2015 Best Used Bike of The Year

The best of 2015’s pre-loved beauties. Or just pre-loved in the case of the Multistrada...

2003 Ducati Multistrada 1000

Ducati’s first Multistrada didn’t compute. We were still getting over a sports obsession, so a tall odd-looking all-rounder from a firm loved for beautiful race-reps left us cold. But biking’s changed. Now road-biased crossovers are the rage, and the Multi makes sense: you get traditional Ducati engineering (steel trellis, single-sider, soulful V-twin) with road manners, usable grunt and reliability. They start at just £2k. From 2005 you get better mirrors, sidestand and seat, and optional touring screens.

Price : £1900

2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200

Sportsters have been the best-selling cruiser for yonks, so ample used choice makes almost five grand for a basic decade-old cruiser seem salty. But H-D depreciation is so s-l-o-w and they’re a super-safe buy – especially as traditional pared-down bikes are in trend and Harleys are hipper than ever. It’s particularly true of the Sportster with its iconic silhouette, satisfying authenticity and surprising usability. Get the reliability of a 2005-on model and go 1200, not 883. Big is best, right?

Price : £4800

2013 Yamaha MT-09

There’s no better indicator of popularity than simple sales figures and in 2014 – its first full year on sale – the Yamaha MT-09 was Europe’s third best-selling big motorcycle. Not bad for a fresh model, but entirely understandable when you sample its engaging, instant, flexible 847cc triple, slender build and capacity-defying agility. MT-09s are keenly-priced new, so that means secondhand steals. 18-month-old bikes with insignificant miles start at £5000.

Price : £5000

2013 Honda NC700X

A two-year-old NC700X with full history costs around £2900. That’s a whopping 55% saving after just 24 months. It will have been used. A lot – superb efficiency and the ability to store a helmet in the dummy tank means popularity with commuters and dispatchers. But miles aren’t a worry. Quality is high, and the twin is half a Jazz car unit, low stressed, and runs and runs. In fact, go for one that’s done 30,000 miles – that way the pricey 24k service will have been someone else’s expense.

Price : £2900

2015 Honda VFR1200F

Launched mere moments after Kawasaki’s gizmo-laden 1400GTR in 2010, the VFR1200’s lack of electronic widgets meant it was dismissed by fickle journalists. However, the silky-fast Honda makes up for absent toys with something far more desirable – and that’s classy engineering with a sublime finish. The 1237cc V4 whirrs sweetly on bimbles yet has soaring top-end thrills. Sweet handling and plush suspension deliver a blend of comfort and control, and the bar-seat-peg triangle is cock-on.

Then there’s the detail – supple handlebar grips, pin mirrors, robust switchgear. With the kind of quality responsible for Honda’s reputation (not many bike’s have a standard three-year warranty), the VFR doesn’t need to hide behind a veneer of trinkets. And yet despite being the only genuine, big-bore, contemporary sports tourer, used 1200s are stupidcheap. List price is £13k, but used 15-plate bikes are nine grand (with two years warranty left). Four-year-old with accessories? £6k. Ridiculous.

Price : £9000