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Riders Briefing: A price worth paying

We all take a sharp breath when we see new bike price tags but the offer lots of smiles for your cash.

YOLO. If you can afford the hot new bike, go for it

Every year when the manufacturers wheel out their new bikes, one important spec is often missing – and that’s the price. We can drool over the new machines, but often details of the cash you’ll have to hand over is not revealed until the bikes hit the shops. It’s almost as if the manufacturers wait for each other to go first…

Well KTM and Husky almost always have their bikes on sale first, and with the new 2020 models being shown, this year is no different. Of course, that means they have to show their prices – and they haven’t gone down too well. Here’s the skinny. The 450 is £8349, the 350 £8199 and 250F £8059. The 250 smoker is £7649, 150 is £7199 and the 125 £200 cheaper. The 85 big wheel is £5099, 65 is £4299 and 50 is £3599.

The new 2020 KTM may be pricey… but compared to what?

The reality is that the big bikes have gone up by around £300 on list price. But as it’s now season end for 2019 bikes, they can usually be had for around a grand less than a 2020 model. So that’s £1000 more for new graphics and suspension tweaks, really. You can even save almost a grand on an 85, too.

Of course, a used 2019 model will be worth less than a used 2020 model, but when you pay £1000 less to start with then you can afford to lose a bit less. And that £8349 for the 2020 450SX-F makes £9249 for the blinged-up 2019 Herlings replica 450 look like a bit of a bargain.

If you want a new bike, the Husky may cost a few quid more but go on, treat yourself

For some, there is joy in always owning the latest and newest bike. And if you can afford it, got for it. You only live once… you can ‘t take it with you and all those cliches. Of course, if money is a bit tighter than there are lots of other options than a new 2020 machine that you’ll have just as much fun on.

Because unless you’re a professional rider, you buy your bike to have fun on it. And at just over eight grand, a new four-banger or two-smoke will bring hours of fun you can’t get anywhere else. Some people spend over 10 grand on an e-mountain bike. Others drop 20 on a fast road motorcycle. Some even more on boats or cars. Some people spend 10K on a watch. Others on a posh hi-fi or camera, even.

Two-strokes are cheaper to buy and tend to hold their money better

Good luck to you if you can afford all those luxuries. But the best luxury of all is a dirt bike, plus the time and space to ride it. It’s more than an item you bought, but a lifestyle choice and something you actually get use out of. Real use, not just looking at a posh watch. Dirt bikes bring friends, challenge, fitness, fun and the adrenaline rush you can’t get anywhere else. So do yourself a favour and spend your money on a bike. Sod the depreciation, think about the fun and joy of ownership.

First published MotoHead Issue 29

By Adam Duckworth