You probably haven’t heard of crate bikes; we only just discovered this niche investment sector that has been in operation since the early 1970s.
How does it work?
When a motorcycle manufacturer launches a new model, certain investors order a bike, have it crated up and delivered to their secure storage, where it stays.
Of course, this is a long-term investment; as time passes, the value of the commodity increases and recently, a 1980 Norton Commando 850 was recently sold for $40,000 at auction, which is a huge return.
Some investors start with a single bike that is stored securely and this usually leads to another acquisition, and another, and another. Before long, you have a warehouse full of brand-new motorcycles that have yet to be ridden. There are a few investors who are sitting on a couple of hundred crated bikes and they might periodically sell machines if the price is right, while others are focused on collecting as many as possible. You might be thinking of setting up an adult store selling vibrators, which is a good business strategy, and with a few crate bikes in your lock-up, you have an investment that is working 24/7.
Set up a museum
If you have acquired a lot of crate bikes, you could set them all up and display them in a unique bike museum; imagine being able to sit on a brand-new 1976 Suzuki 750GT or a 1985 Honda CB750! These investors are usually bike crazy and they love nothing more than acquiring epic bikes and leaving them in the crate.
Online bike auctions
There are special crate bike auctions where these epic bikes change hands; the wooden crate has many holes in it, as buyers want to see the goods before they buy; it is important that the bike is not removed from the crate, as its value would drop instantly. If the bike was packaged correctly, there should not be any damage, even after 50 years. Rodents can be a problem; serious investors store their bikes in a pristine environment, ensuring that the asset is in tip-top condition.
Resisting the temptation
If you are a bike fanatic, it can be really hard to resist the temptation to uncrate the bike, configure it, and ride! The value would plummet, the moment you hit the road, as your brand-new bike is no longer classified as new. Of course, there will come a day when you decide to sell to realize a high return; by keeping your eye on the market prices, you can sell when the price is right.
Long-term investment strategy
Crate bikes are a long-term investment, with a minimum of 10 years, in order to see the value increase to a point where you decide to liquidate; while you might be selling 1990s bikes today, you would also be thinking about the future and acquiring 2023 bikes.
If you would like to buy a crate bike, Google can take you to digital platforms where you can find out about Australian bike auctions and you can unpack a brand-new bike that has been waiting for 20 years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Senior Content Creator
Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering motorcycle adventures, biker tips and tricks and general exploring on two wheels. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the biking and adventure, getting out on the open road, year after year across the planet helps her continue to be a top expert at RMJ.