So right after xmas I go to Florida with an empty trailer, eager to partake of the reputed bargain buys of old bikes in Flatistan. I find zilch airheads or other bikes that interest me on the market, at any price. Then the trailer cooks a chinese bearing and ends up staying in Flatistan.

As ever, I’ve been window shopping the ‘net for deals- airheads, Buell, Guzzis, new dualsport singles, Corvairs, even small tractors- I’m omniverous. Been watching an ’07 Buell XB9R marooned in small town Minnesota but 5 miles from my cave. He’s asking $4500 and book is $4000, a bit high, so I wait out my prey. Other day I’m riding down main street, and going the other way out of town is a pickup with what looked to be my target Buell aboard. Been stalking an old Ford 1200 diesel tractor too, dealer wants $4900 and won’t dicker. I see a note for an auction at the dealer’s lot, maybe this is my chance… So I drive by when I’m in the hood, and it’s MIA. Check their website and it’s disappeared, not on the auction bill either. Been tracking a new left over ’09 Yamaha XT250, listed on Cycle Trader for $3700 a couple months back… Check back the other day, it’s sold. Search again for dual sports under $10k within 250 miles and come up with half as many as I found a couple months ago. And remember the new Guzzi Breva 750s for $6350? Gone too, in fact I can’t find any 750 Brevas left near here on Cycle Trader.

Clearly, the market and economy is recovering, though still not fast enough for my tastes. The new left overs that have loitered on dealer’s floors for years are suddenly selling. Given that the increase in sales are at the low end of the market, buyers (and their bankers) are clearly being cautious. Such caution is wise- a lot of folks are back to work, but still not getting the pay they used too. And heck, why pay $20K for a new bike or whatever when one selling for half that or less will do just as well… The price gap between a shaft drive GS and a KLR or even a Wee Strom will buy a lifetime supply of chains!

So if you’re bargain hunting for new bikes or whatever, better make your move quick- I wouldn’t be surprised to see the depleted dealer stock of bikes under $10K disappear by July. And theres a few small Guzzis left- Motocycle Shop in Watertown has a Breva on their website for $7500, though the lady of the shop has taken a liking to it and may not easily part with it. Judson Cycle Sales has a leftover 2011 750 Classic on their website, and I’m sure they’d give a discount to make some room on their crowded showroom floor. But best make your move quickly…!