Top 10 Modern Classics

History will look kindly on these bikes

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Collectibles are a funny thing to figure out. Everyone wants to think a family heirloom or trinket snagged at a garage sale will be worth millions someday on Antiques Roadshow. But the truth behind trying to predict what might be a goldmine 100 years from now is that the market is unpredictable. An object is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

That said, we here at Motorcycle.com are going to take a stab at it anyway. This time, it’s a list of Top 10 Modern Classics. We think the 10 relatively new motorcycles listed here are currently available for a steal compared to what they’ll be worth several decades from now.

The criteria for eligibility is simple: each machine must be a production motorcycle available in the 1996 model year or after. This particular list won’t worry about current market value — this is for those true collectors with deep pockets (stay tuned for a budget-minded collectables list). Electronics and rider aids are really coming into their own, and history tends to remember pioneers in a given field, so expect many models on this list to be fairly current.

However, other modern machines on this list are remembered purely for their riding enjoyment, relative simplicity or sheer rarity. Clearly there are many deserving motorcycles, and we’re sure to miss a few. Tell us which bikes you would pick in the comments section. In the meantime, here are our choices.

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  • Greg Morris

    I can not believe you guys left out the Suzuki SV-650.

  • Grant Ray

    Even in terms of US-spec bikes, this list is seriously weak. Brand new sport bikes like the S1000R and the 1199 are great, but you guys should really know better than to be so narrow-minded about what makes a classic. No KTM 950/990 Adventure? No Bimota V-Due? No Ducati Sport Classic? No Aprilia SXV? No Honda XR650R? No BMW HP2 Enduro? That’s just off the top of my head.

  • Nils G

    I kept reading through, wondering when the V-Max would show up. So, where is it?

  • Dusty P

    How about any of the Buell XB lightnings? Not only were they technologically unique, but there’s the whole Buell legacy, the fact that the company no longer exists, would be cause for a lot of exclusivity down the road. There’s not a bike in this list more unique than an XB.