You can get a lot of bike for £2,000 but you’ve got to know what you’re looking for.
From big ’90s classics to smaller newer bikes, the market offers a range of great choices.
Most of our picks are over a decade old but there are loads of models on the market that have clocked up under 1,000 miles a year since new, meaning you’re buying a bike that’s been through the majority of its depreciation but is still pretty-much fresh.
Buy one of these bikes and you’ll get lower insurance compared to the new models and all you’ll have to do is fill up the tank and get going.
Reliable tourers, sportsbikes, and even adventure bikes might be just one click or a local dealer’s trip away. Get inspired by our selection.
Here’s a full run-down of each of these great bikes:
Kawasaki ZZ-R1200 Key Specs
It might not have the best looks, but the big engine makes Kawasaki ZZR1200 a wonderful sports tourer.
Mid-height, ergonomic seat is perfect for long-haul riding, while it’s not the most nimble in city-centre traffic, it can handle it, making it a great choice for commuters.
Aggressive and powerful but not excessively so, it’s a great first big bike for full licence holders as well as an excellent choice for those who crave more relaxed rides.
Triumph Tiger 955 Key Specs
The 955i Tiger was almost before its time. When it was launched, some people moans that it wasn’t a ‘proper’ adventure bike and more suited to touring. However the ‘Adventure’ market is now saturated with touring-bikes with off-road looks and that’s exactly why this Tiger is a bargain.
The Tiger 955 from Triumph can compete with the newest adventure sports bikes with its torquey and drivable motor. Easy to manoeuver on all terrains, comfortable enough for touring, and agile enough to handle the rush hour traffic. This is a great contender for most types of riders.
Honda CBR125R Key Specs
Honda’s smallest sportsbike, the CBR125R is a great trainer for inexperienced riders as well as one of the cheapest yet most fun to ride pocket racers.
Excellent build quality and road stubbornness come packed in a punchy yet CBT-compliant machine. A small-scale replica of Honda’s race bike, the CBR125R doesn’t lack anything except for a more comfortable seat. Yet, that’s negligible annoyance, considering its performance and price tag.
Suzuki Bandit 600 Key Specs
Coming from the early ’90s, Suzuki’s Bandit 600 is one of those bikes that almost every biker has experienced. Whether as a training-school bike, or a bike a mate had one their first big bike.
Its aggressive look characterised by the soft and balanced lines popular at the time conquered generations of riders. Finding a Bandit 600 with almost no miles on it is totally possible. Reliable and fun, it’s a great choice for commuters or as a first big bike.
Honda CBR900RR Fireblade Key Specs
Boasting an unmistakable style, the CBR900RR Fireblade is a timeless classic that is starting to go up in value.
With its retro, ’90s aesthetics and punchy personality, this beast designed by Tadao Baba set trends in terms of power and weight, and it still impresses with superb performance and stance on the road.
Despite the fact it was launched to the world some two decades ago as a razor-sharp sportsbike, the CBR900RR has aged well and is undoubtedly a great all-rounder; from cheap commuter to a top bit of kit for a weekend blast.
Whether you want to upscale your local commute, look for your first big bike, or just for a cheap alternative to the newest models, there are dozens of reliable bikes under £2000 on the market.
While it’s possible to buy a good bike in this bracket, the mistake that most people make is that they’re unrealistic when it comes to the best bike for this budget. Sure, we all want a nicer-looking, newer bike but the problem with trying to go for something that’s newer or more desirable is that you start to buy the worst bikes for £3,000 rather than the best bikes for £2,000.
Be careful not to buy a bike that is a Cat C or D write-off as this will affect its resale value and how quickly you’ll be able to sell it.
Don’t buy a bike that is just about to need a major service as this can cost you up to £800. Look at consumables like tyres, chain and sprockets, brake pads. Replacing that little lot will cost you around £500.
Far better to buy a great bike within budget than overstretch yourself and buy a bike that will end up costing you more in the long run.
Which is the best is ultimately your call. Think of your riding style, desired performance, and budget. Visit your local dealer, sit in the saddle, and decide which vehicle best suits your needs.
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