Buy a classic motorcycle

classic engine
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Other work had to be left behind. But friend G. wants to buy another motorcycle. He wants to go back to something classic. Because his work situation has changed and he no longer needs a modern four-season BMW. He is looking for a late two-valve boxer with cockpit.

The rational approach

For the rest, we leave a little bit of type, because that would be bland for the provider where we were. The engine we looked at did not become it. Despite the fact that it is a neat bike.

Buy a classic BMW

But we will gladly take you on a journey to the ultimate bike from G .: a late - monoshock - two-valve BMW boxer with a cockpit and suitcases. Those machines usually represent amounts between € 3.500-4.500 for private individuals. In the trade you find them with asking prices up to the € 5.000.

You actually buy that kind of classic motorbike without a guarantee. But in the regular trade there are regular delivery costs / a short warranty of one month or so up to around € 400 asked for. G. is a talented key man himself. He does not like the guarantee - for what it is worth - and the delivery costs on a traditional motorcycle.

When visiting a dealer there must therefore be room in the price, also because there is no question of a trade-in. We went to a regular motorbike dealer for years. No brand dealer, brand specialist or classic specialist. And no bad word about that trader.

A very neat engine

The engine that stood there was undeniably neat. And he had run relatively few kilometers. The machine was complete except for the tool set and the service book. The latter was a thing.

Despite the lack of the maintenance booklet, the mileage could just be right. The DOT code on the tires made it clear that the rubbers from 2011 were - despite a reasonable profile - about their expiry date. The brake fluid was clear, but the brake hoses were apparently never replaced. And replacing the original brake hoses on old engines is really important.

The final price of a classic engine

The asking price of just € 5.000 could not be lower than € 4.800 in consultation. G. then handed in the delivery and the 'guarantee'. And then it became clear what a purely thinking character tiger G. is. He liked the engine. Was actually what he was looking for. And that € 4.800 wasn't the problem either.

But he stayed with his final offer of € 4.500. That was not enough for the seller. The farewell was correct but cool. For € 3.500-4.500, G needs to be able to find a very clean copy on the private market. Without guarantee. Without delivery.

To simply buy a good copy from a dealer quickly and easily, he had € 4.500, which is about the main prize. Two fresh Battlaxjes cost something from € 200. A set of brake hoses costs about the same. Add another euro or a hundred and then you are in the five mille for the classic engine of G. 's dreams.

Missed on 300 euros

classic engine

At least if that would be the copy that we had viewed. And to run a good motorcycle with a difference of € 300 in the purchase? That is certainly not stupid if the initial price was on the high side and more of the 'same' engines are for sale.

The photos are not of the engine that we have seen. Also no bad word about the trader. Sometimes you find each other. Sometimes not. But the idea behind this story is the same thing we once heard from a dealer in older, classic cars: “I know from the front what I want to pay. And I will never go over it ”. We once left him a car with a final 9550 euro because he had decided to give the car a maximum of 9500 euro. Sensible right?

classic engine
classic engine


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  1. In 2007 bought my R50 / 5 for € 2350, =. A neat engine where a few small things had to be done. Rediscovered motorcycling. First around the church, gradually continuing to the Harz. Cruising speed remained a thing. In 2016 I bought my R80RT mono for € 2350, =. Real touring buffalo with then 73000 real kilometers, now almost 90000. A rolling renovation, new starter motor, rear shock, and front springs and a new universal joint of the PTO shaft. Both are stayers, each perfect for their own things. The R50 / 5 for round trips now and the R80RT for the long journeys.

  2. 3 years back r80gs from 1989 with 40.000 km purchased for 1600 euros.
    Very nice BMW 2 valve, needs TLC.
    Never leaves again?
    Gets a big turn and Siebenrock cylinder kit for a little more puncture, otherwise keep original seems to me. make sure it is not a bobber or scrambler!

  3. Eight years ago with pain and effort I could get € 1300, - for a well used '82 R80RT with a full fairing and a small bikini fairing ..
    And that has cost quite a lot of trimmings, because no dog responded to MP.
    And no doubt the saw was put in to make it such a terrible bobber / scrambler BMW ... sund ..

    • Oops, you don't get it for that anymore. And then that renovation: Definitely with such a thick spring roll as a buddy. I find quite a few BMW drivers rather tight in De Leer. But spring roll buddies are pretty much the gruesome thing I know

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