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Commando prices...

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Fast Eddie, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    There has been a few very nice Commandos advertised on here, and eBay, in the USA that haven’t sold. Some max out with low bids on eBay, some receive no serious bites, etc.

    Has the market dipped in the US recently?
  2. texasSlick

    texasSlick VIP MEMBER

    Jan 2, 2013
    Seems to me, the major market (i.e. the buyers) of these vintage machines are those who owned one way back in the 70's, let it slip away, and now wants to recapture his youth by buying another. If I am correct in this assessment, the market is shrinking day by day ....

  3. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    Yeah Im shrinking day by day...must be getting old. Truth is market is heading out with us!
  4. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    May 13, 2007
    Dunno, haven't been watching for a while. Current offerings on eBay range from reasonable to outrageous.
  5. alan hodge

    alan hodge

    Oct 10, 2017
    uh oh did I sink $6,500 in pieces alone to build my bike and told wife it was an investment only to lose ass when I ere too feebull to start it up and have to let the old boy go?
    nortriubuell likes this.
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    I don’t buy the ‘dying market’ argument to be honest. Look at older bikes, and cars, from times when all their customers of the day would now be long gone. Generally speaking, prices continue to rise.
  7. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    May 26, 2010
    3 year's ago when I bought a triumph from Germany the guy had 20 classic bikes for sale he told me that in Germany really old bikes (pre war I guess) were on a general trend down in value because the older riders were dying off, and younger people weren't interested
    And the big sellers were now 70s bikes like z9s , commandos, Tridents, CB 750s etc
    I think the classic bike prices may have reached a peek over here?
    If you look at completed listings on eBay you can see that some big asking prices are out of control and not reaching anywhere near their target
    Then you have the matching numbers brigade (selling and buying) who seem to delight in telling everyone it has original numbers therefore it must be better IE cost more not worth more
    Personally I'd like to see the bottom fall out of the classic bike market I've never seen any of my bikes as an investment
    And maybe it'll keep the investers away if they get their fingers burnt?
    And bring the prices down a bit
    nortriubuell and Woody850 like this.
  8. To surgeon

    To surgeon

    Jun 11, 2019
    I bought mine back in May, 72 commando 5k original miles, numbers matching, fresh rebuild. Asking 11k on eBay, offered 6500, settled at 7k.
    nortriubuell likes this.
  9. Time Warp

    Time Warp .......back to the 70's. VIP MEMBER

    Dec 3, 2012
    I bet there is no shortage of bikes leaving the USA by the container load and that has been going on for decades and there will be no shortage of locals trying to find a foreign contact to get them exported for a good profit.

    Beats dealing with low ballers within the domestic market, exchange rates might have slowed that a little but it will still be big business and that applies to anything that is not bolted down.

    Even in the domestic market untouched bikes will still sell over what might be a pig with lipstick which is all to common worldwide.

  10. 850commando


    Nov 1, 2014
    America is a big market, hence there will be a larger contingent of used ones for sale. the lowballers don't realize that there are other places on the globe were there is a demand and any enterprising individuals will find a way to buy here and meet the demand. as for the guys who think there made of gold, keep dreaming..

    A wise one once said that everything is for sale at the right price... my asking price is based on what it means to me, but that may have no relationship to a value anybody else would assign it...
  11. 84ok


    Aug 10, 2014
  12. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    May 13, 2007
    This. I bought it new and still have the original bill of sale and factory literature packet. I just threw a few thousand $ at it this year for an e-start and other assorted stuff.
    It's not for sale. It represents too many years of my life.
    nortriubuell and Woody850 like this.
  13. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    May 26, 2010
    That's great just keep riding it for as long as you can
  14. o0norton0o


    Apr 27, 2015
    Supply and demand rule the pricing of commandos, but there's a seat for every ass as the expression goes. Some people want to build their own bike from a basket case. Some people want a CNW gem. Some just want a reliable runner. There's a lot of width in the price considerations there.

    I bought my commando for $500. in '78 from a friend who couldn't fix it. I easily spent over $5,000. in parts since then. Some of those parts are consumables like tires. Some were upgraded parts. Some were modifications. The labor time for all this work is beyond calculation, and means no one would ever pay me what I've put into it with the labor calculation added in.

    Granted, I've done a lot of stuff to my commando that cost good money that might not show up in higher resale value and some that might. The adapted cast wheels, the Givi frame and hard bags, the fairing, dual breathers, Jim's headsteady, kegler clamps, all should add some extra value, but probably not equal to their costs. I have a decent amount of extra parts too. I have both roadster and interstate tanks and side covers. I have a new extra roadster seat, the original spoke rims which can be swapped back to the bike to make it more original...

    My bike runs great. I am not a norton builder of any note. If I asked $10,000. which seems a fair ballpark, I doubt I would get much interest at that price. At $6,500. I think it would sell easily, so the market value is probably fluctuating between those 2 numbers for your average, complete, well sorted, commando. Like most of you, I'd like the value to be greater, but I'm not looking to sell it either...
    nortriubuell likes this.
  15. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

    Jul 12, 2015
    I think it might be a summer thing - counterintuitive but sales of motorcycle parts also seem to drop a lot in the summer. I normally ship 1-2 orders per day in the rest of the year, but 1-2 orders per week in the summer. Last year was the same.

    My 72 Combat has had no interest, but I bet it goes easily this fall.
    nortriubuell, B+Bogus and Torontonian like this.
  16. jan nelder

    jan nelder

    Feb 18, 2018
    Andover Norton employee told me recently that only about 5% of Brit bikes in 50’s to 70’s were sold in the UK. Vast majority went to USA.
  17. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Dec 20, 2005
    Honestly an hour ago may have given it away ... out for the annual solo b-day Ride and poof just died ... pulled over on deserted back road thinking I blew fuse ... nope positive side battery bolt had worked loose ... going to rethink the zip tie on side cover , no knife or tools ... couple cruiser guys stopped with an edge ... zip tied battery cable to battery and rode home , found bolt jammed between frame and Z-plate , 15 minutes to fix ,in love again ...... first time left without a knife in more than 45 yrs ... what up with that ,eh .....
    nortriubuell, NPeteN and Torontonian like this.
  18. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    I’ve read that 80% of BSA / Triumph production in the 60s went to the US.

    80% to one country... 20% for the rest of the world!

    So yes, there are a few over there.

    I would imagine it was a fairly similar picture for Norton.
  19. DogT


    Jan 20, 2009
    As someone told me you can buy a perfectly good modern bike for $8-10K. Yes, it's not a Norton, but that list is diminishing. I haven't a single nibble on mine at 9K but I need to try Craig's list again. It's not that I need the money though I've probably got 10K in the thing, but that was fun.
    nortriubuell and vercu like this.
  20. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    I used to keep very close tabs on the general market, major auctions, and especially forums on COMPLETED SALES of Triumphs, BSAs, and Nortons, but in the last 2 years I've only been taking notice when I see or read of current trends.

    It seems (based on anecdotal information) that the market is "a bit" soft. Maybe 10% down.

    Whether it continues to dip, or not is speculation, which I don't do.

    Hoping the market "crashes" is never a worthwhile sentiment except to an individual hoping to gain from the drop. Everyone else wants the value of their bike(s) to be stable or improving (which they should be, as they are no longer producing them).

    Generally, the consensus is that the classic bike market will never "crash" or "die", as there are ALWAYS wealthy investors and collectors who can afford them (although perhaps they sometimes benefit from reduced price from peak; after all, that is how they BECOME wealthy!).
    nortriubuell and Torontonian like this.

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