It’s insane to think that for $2,500, you can get an okay mountain bike. But, for the same money, you can get a half-way decent — and even pristine — classic motorcycle that’ll go farther and faster. I know they’re two wildly different products aimed at different customers, but I’m a little biased. $2,500 seems to be a sweet spot for used motorcycles. Yes, there are some rust buckets out there at that price point, but there are also a few gems, and we believe we found them. These are the used motorcycles we’d buy right now for $2,500 or less.

1978 Yamaha XT500

Lately, I’ve been leaning more towards bikes which are prime examples of lower weight and handling rather than power. It’s a fairly big shift in taste for me, but classic enduro bikes like the legendary XT500 make a great case for the change. The ’78 XT500 might only pump out 32 horsepower (when new), but the low-stress engine means it’ll probably last longer on the trails than you do. And how can you turn down ’70s style of this magnitude?– Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

Mileage: 9,108
Original MSRP: $2,000

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750

If you follow the custom scene at all, you’ll know that all things ’80s are making a huge comeback. And this low-mileage Gixxer is a great example of why. The late ’80s represented a time of massive advancements for sportbike performance, and the ’88 Gixxer was arguably leading the charge. Those performance numbers may pale in comparison to the new hotness of today, but today’s bikes don’t have the classic endurance racer good looks and Slingshot graphics that this bike does. Somebody save me from myself and buy this before I do. — Matt Neundorf, Contributor

Mileage: 18,915
Original MSRP: $6,000

1987 BMW R65

I’ve had a fixation on BMW’s old air-cooled standards for some time, with a specific love for the widely-forgotten R65. I love the bike’s simple, upright design, and modest performance (I’m still something of a beginner). The funky, rare and wedge-gendered LS variant has always been my grail (they fetch a pretty penny these days), but the standard version is still a bargain on the used market and known to last a long time with the right maintenance. — Andrew Connor, Staff Writer

Mileage: 50,000
Original MSRP: $3,595

1975 Honda CL 360

It’s tough to beat an early ’70s Honda (right Dad?), and the ’74/’75 CL360 was an even better iteration of an already popular model, the CL350. This bike wasn’t just a simple numerical upgrade either; the CL360 featured a new chassis and new components that brought ratings up from 325cc to 356cc. With 34 horsepower, this thing isn’t going to blow your hair back, but it’s a nice around town runabout with quintessential two-into-two side pipes and room for a passenger on the back for cruises down to the local dairy bar. — Andrew Maness, Contributor

Mileage: 2,000 (new engine)
Original MSRP: $1,000
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