Second Summer – used test – Conclusion
Right now is the time for enjoying the sun on two wheels. Whetherit’s maximum speed or maximum cool you’re after, we rounded up thefour best second-hand bikes we could find for £4,000 that providethe biggest bang for your summer buck…
Posted: 7September 2009
Once we’d all wiped the remains of 99 Flake off our assortedstubble it was time to make a decision on which bike was the onewe’d take for a summer bike if we could have only one. And it wassurprisingly easy.
The first bike we all wrote off the list instantly was theGSX-R1000. It’s a shame because the Suzuki is usually right upthere when it comes to group tests, but the GSX-R is still just toorampant on one hand but too poorly-built on the other. Time has notbeen kind to the original Gixxer. Had it mellowed into a sportysports tourer then it could have done more to justify its £4,000price tag, but although the engine was still ballistic, the rest ofthe bike is now too dated.
The next to fall foul was KTM’s 690SM. Again, it’s a time and aplace thing. If you live in town, don’t venture on journeys of anydistance and are happy to spend your time working the gearbox thenthe SM will appeal. Unfortunatly for everyone else, it didn’t. It’sa great looking bike and a total bargain at the price, but just toolimited, even for limited summer riding.
So it’s down to the two retro bikes, Triumph’s Thruxton andYamaha’s XJR1300. Despite easily winnning the looks award theThruxton’s uncomfy riding position and lack of any real pillionaccomodation does make it a solo bike and limits its appeal. Forsome this is a plus point, but when you can have a really goodlooking retro bike, with a monster engine and better handling forthe same cost, well that is enough to nudge the XJR1300 ahead.
For £4,000 the Yamaha will provide a glorious summer’s riding andwell beyond. You can tour on it, have a laugh on twisty roads andeven take a pillion in total comfort. The engine is hassle free,relaxing to use and yet still more than fast enough while theriding position is pure bliss. For lazy summer riding, this issurely the perfect bike.