Three-grand is a decent chunk of change when it comes to buying a motorcycle.
You can get some almost-new smaller capacity motorbikes with that kind of dough, but you’re looking at a bike that’s probably around a decade old if you want something with a larger engine size, say 600cc and above.
Because motorcycles are a hobby for many and not their sole form of transport, you can find some great low-mileage bikes out there. Sure, they might be 10+ years old but if they have under 15,000 miles on the clock, then that’s just 1,500 miles a year for a 10-year-old motorbike. The average UK biker’s mileage is 3,000 but it’s easy to find motorbike that have clocked up less than 3,000 miles in 5 years.
Just keep an eye on the service history. If a bike has missed a service, that’s not a huge deal, especially if it’s a minor. If a bike’s over 10 years old but it doesn’t have a full-service history, just check it was well serviced for the first few years and if it was home serviced after that, you just want to see the receipts and the general condition of the bike to have confidence that you’re buying a good one.
With so much choice out there, this was a hard list to put together. We had to have a 170mph superbike on there and a few A2 compliant bikes too but with our options, you’ve got some very capable bikes for a typical UK biker. Whether you want to go touring or you’re looking for a reliable commuter or even a bike that can hold its own on the occasional track day, we’ve got a good pick for you.
Here’s a full run-down of each of these great bikes:
Honda CBR1000R Fireblade Key Specs
Low mileage, second-hand Honda Fireblades as recent as this model are hard to come across. But if you’re dreaming of a powerful superbike that reaches 170mph is seconds and comes at a fraction of the price of a new CBR1000RR, this 2006 model may be just what you need.
It’s ideal for those riders who want to enjoy track days or weekend blasts. Flawless black paintwork and a seriously low 13,000 miles gives you an idea of what you can get for your money.
Suzuki GSX250R Key Specs
Practically new, this stunning GSX250 is perfect for the A2 licence holders looking for their first big bike. Inspired by MotoGP, it impresses with a Triton Blue finish and badass lines.
Released in 2018 and with only 17 miles, this superb superbike is a real bargain. Designed to bring Suzuki’s sportbike heritage to a broader audience, it is ideal for tackling city streets, winding roads, and you could even just about scrape your way around a track day on it. A great looking first big bike.
Honda CBR500 Key Specs
Honda CBR500 RA is another fine example of A2-compliant first big bike. It has a sporty character and legendary reliability.
This model has superb all-black bodywork and is in excellent condition. Just hop on the saddle and ride away. It costs half the price of a new CBR500 and is great for commuters or weekend warriors looking for a small dose of superbike adrenaline. A great all-rounder for those in search of a fun and comfortable city ride that won’t let you down.
Aprilia SL1000 Falco Key Specs
If you need a cheap big bike with loads of character, don’t let Aprilia’s scare stories put you off. There are loads of realy high mileage Falcos out there, proving they aren’t as unreliable as the old cliches suggest.
The Falco packs a punch and is really well made. Gorgeous super-sport lines and low mileage make this one an excellent first bike for full licence holders. The eye-catching bronze and black finish is very classy. Released in 2004 but incredibly well maintained and with low miles on the clocks, it’s one of the best motorbikes under £3000 you can find.
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.
There isn’t really a best motorbike in this category because what you want and what the next biker wants are likely to be completely different bikes.
Think about what you want your bike for and how many miles you want to do. It’s no use buying a naked bike if you want to commute but you also want to go touring. Likewise, there’s no point having a big adventure bike if you’re never going to leave the city. If you buy an older bike it may be less reliable than a newer one but if it has a good service history, you ought to have few if any problems.
Keep in mind that the easiest way to tell whether or not a bike is right for you is by trying it out. So, visit your local dealer, sit on the bike and see which bike is the most suitable for your height and riding style. If you can, take it for a test ride before you decide.
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