We can go on talking about money not being important. But explain that to the cashier at the Aldi. Or explain to the liquor store that you want to pay for the drink, but not the excise duty. What do you want and what is it worth?
I classic country has been playing for a while that some classics get new owners for unimaginable amounts. Even if the 1.000.000 euros for a 600 cc MV Agusta was an asking price. By the way, the thing only had 16 km on the counter.
The price level of classic cars is related to status and engine capacity. Because: 'A heavy one is your true one!'. Nice and important in a country where you can sometimes drive 130 on some pieces. Oh yes: and the current buyers of the current toppers are now more often investors than enthusiasts. Or they are pensioners who now have money for the dream bike of their youth. And the non- or maybe or almost toppers? They often float in a cloud, nowadays a 'cloud' of ambiguity.
By the way, we also see the 'top down' effect from the time when they were new: You dreamed about a CB750. But it was too expensive. So you bought a VB500, or a 350… But that was a bit of a weakness. Later, when the CB750 was a classic, it was also more sought after than a four-cylinder with less cc. Until the CB750 supply dried up. Then people made the step back to the CB 500 and its brothers. And that is why those machines have risen in price again. That is the 'market forces'. And that is very annoying when you are on the purchase side. But will that make you less happy if you go one step lower in the ranking? no! By the way, we shouldn't be so shocked by classic prices when you see that a modern engine can easily cost 20 grand nowadays.
In the story we were on Hondas. But this whole idea actually started as a result of our Flemish reader Ben Goetschalckx. Ben has a Suzuki. It's for sale. And that generated quite a bit of conversation. Because it's a T350 and it's not free. Free, or almost for nothing? That is something from the past when a Harley-Davidson was worth 110 guilders and a CB750 1.100 guilders. I bought my first (and best) police quality Ural combination with 500 km on the clock already 25 years ago for 1.500 guilders. And was declared crazy.
We take the line of 'expensive' Suzukis: These are the very early T 500 'Titans', the later T 500s - the GT 500s are no longer seen as 'too new' and the 750 cc, water-cooled three-cylinder T20 and the RE5 Wankels are also recognized and known. But the beauty of the less legendary Suzuki two-stroke twins is that they were and are absolutely classic, reliable and beautifully designed. But they haven't been 'discovered' yet. And they are quite rare because they come from the days when there was a lot of full throttle driving and motorcycles were traded in fairly quickly until a sixth owner drove them to their grave. But a good one is pure two-stroke fun and completely traffic-compatible and highway-proof. It takes a few refuels, but it will get you into the Alps in no time.
And what do you pay attention to when one is offered?
Make sure that the machine looks well maintained. A block with keyed crankcase cover bolts should make a purchase very cheap. After a good test drive, the engine should be almost smoke-free. The once characteristic two-stroke smoke and poor idle running indicate tired crankshaft seals. Ben's 1975 T350 is what they call 'technically perfect' in Flanders. Fresh pistons, new crankshaft seals, etc. The frame (frame) is powder coated. The shine is great. The paintwork requires attention. The buddy cover could use some botox. From childhood sentiment, he is pretty enough. But it's so good it's actually worth the original paint. And then you have an absolute topper for the most beautiful Sundays. Fortunately, Suzuki did not have such fierce color schemes in 1975. For example, with a BMW R90S you really have to go to one of the few specialists who can spray BMW's 'smoke' colors. With a Suzuki like this you can happily go to your local car painter.
So maybe it's just more fun to opt for the engine you could have bought, instead of the engine you couldn't afford at the time. We had a pleasant conversation with Ben. But here the garages are full. If you have always dreamed of a T350, you can contact Ben as a forerunner of a new trend. Then there may soon be a trip to Belgian Flanders in the offing.
The most expensive T350 we know has an asking price of € 4.750. And this copy is certainly not the most expensive. But possibly a nice topic for a happy discussion about what is worth why and when. Bring it on! If you would like to conduct the discussion in Flemish, please do so directly with Ben: Bengoetschalckx@hotmail.be