Top 10 winter commuters for sale: £600 - £1600

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, Bike Social boss, Potski to his mates. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.

It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to splashing a bit of cash to buy a winter commuter. We've been chatting about which winter bikes to buy in the Bike Social office for hours. You know, the kind of bike that’s going to get you to work with the minimum of hassle but keep you on two wheels in the mornings while your pride and joy sits safely at home.

To save you some trouble, we’ve spent hours searching through some of our favourite winter bikes from £600 to £1600 on Bennetts Classifieds.

Hopefully these bikes will fire-up your imagination, but if none of them take your fancy, don't forget there are thousands of bikes for sale at Bennetts Classifieds.

Honda VFR400R £600 1996 (N reg), 399cc, 33000 miles, Black
Honda VFR400 for sale
Seller says: Imported VFR400R. As you would expect for a bike of this age, but starts and runs fine. I use this bike every day to get to work (25 mile round trip on the motorway). about 9 months tax and mot. Call 07880239426 for more info / viewing.
We say: Cute little VFR400R is fast becoming a modern classic. They’re mega reliable. Just don’t expect it to be grade-A in this condition, and check the condition of shock, forks, wheel bearings, check for sticking brakes and swingarm bushes. At this price it’s guaranteed to give you some early morning frosty fun.
See it here:

Piaggio X9 250 £600. 2002 (02 reg), 250cc, 10223 miles, Silver
Piaggio X9 for sale
Seller says: Really clean condition for the year, datatag, taxed until February 2013. All our bikes come HPI clear and undergo a 41 point preparation before leaving us, they also have 3 months major mechanical and electrical warranty and 12 months mot (if needed).
We say: Think about riding a big comfy sofa and the X9 is it. Great wind protection, good MPG and proven reliability. If you’re after a lazy winter scooter the X9 is a good bet.
See it here:

BMW K75C £699 A-reg, 740cc, 100,000 miles, red
BMW K75 C for sale
Seller says:
This is a unique opportunity for a true BMW lover to pick up one fantastic specimen of this incredible motorbike. This bike has been with me for the last 12 years and I bought it from a trusted friend. So I know what I am talking about! The bike is in perfect working order and has always been lovely looked after during its glorious life.
We say: Ageing triple is one of the most robust winter hacks you could ever want to buy. And on the surface it looks like this bike is in good condition. As long as the bike’s oil is changed regularly and it’s been well-looked after as this one appears to be, it should give you years of happy winter riding.
See it here:

Honda NTV650, £795, 1994 (L reg), 650cc, 65000 miles, Black
Honda NTV650 for sale
Seller says:
Very reliable bike, recent oil service, with new tyres and pads. Top box and screen. MOT and tax to February 2013.
We say: Honda’s NTV650 is one of the archetypal commuter bikes of all time, and still a favourite with hard-up couriers. The engine is still used in brand-new Honda Deauvilles, and spares are plentiful. They should run forever and as a winter hack an NTV650 would be top of our list.
See it here:

Honda VFR750, £850, 1996 (N reg), 750cc, 69400 miles, Silver
Honda VFR750 for sale
Seller says: A very reliable bike, although not in perfect cosmetic condition. Sale includes: 1. Oxford heated grips (fitted) 3. Hepco and Becker panniers 4. Scott oiler 5. Haynes workshop manual 6. Scorpion stainless steel silencer (fitted) 7. MOT valid till May 2013 8. Taxed until April 2013 I've owned this bike for 6 years and she's been almost perfectly reliable. The only problem I've had was difficulty on two occasions starting in cold weather. But this was easily fixed by cleaning the battery terminals, otherwise she's perfectly reliable.
We say: You can’t expect miracles for this money but trusty VFRs are true legends and even ones of this age are almost always reliable. It’s very tatty, but if all you want to do is cover it in Waxoyl and WD-40 and ride it to work, the scrapes and dings really shouldn’t matter. It even comes with panniers to stash your laptop/tools. Looks like an honest workhorse to us.
See it here:

Kawasaki GPZ500S, £950, 1999 (V reg), 498cc, 18282 miles, Black

GPZ500S for sale
Seller says:
Kawasaki GPZ 500s, recently MOT'd, 6 months tax (ends 31/03/2013) - in the Leicester area.
We say: GPZ500s have been around forever and this one looks to be in great condition. Raspy little 500 twin will more than put a smile on your face. Fit some heated grips and this should provide years of winter biking.
See it here:

Kawasaki KLR250, £1000, 1998 (R reg), 246cc, 12800 miles, Turquoise
KLR250 for sale
Seller says:
1998 Kawasaki KLR 250 D11 with 12800 miles on the clock. 9 months MOT and road tax. Relisted at cheaper price due to some local timewasters A wonderful 4 stroke thumper I've been using it daily on road for the past 2 years on a commute each day and it's been no problem come wind, rain snow/ ice or shine. Doesn't seem to have been off road much. Few odd scratches here and there, but in better shape than I was after 15 years. Used daily, it kicks over within 1 - 2 kicks every time.
We say: KLR250 is a reliable old mud plugger that will never fill you full of adrenaline but would make a brilliant (if a bit steady) winter commuter. It’s done very few miles for its age and from the ad it looks to be in great shape. Fit some knobblies and this bike would make a great gentle trail bike too.
See it here:

Honda Vigor 650, £1150, 2000 (W reg), 644cc, 29000 miles, Blue
Honda Vigor 650

Seller says:
This is a great bike for commuting or enjoying a ride out at the weekend, it is in great condition, has covered 29,000 mls with full service history. I am the 3rd owner and have owned for almost 5 years. 100% reliable, easy to maintain, 60mpg.
We say: Dominator-based 650 single motor is a staple of Honda’s engine range for the last two decades. The Vigor is built in Honda’s Barcelona factory and build-quality isn’t too usual Honda standards, but it’s not bad. At this price we’re almost tempted to pick up the phone ourselves.
See it here:

Suzuki Van Van 125, £1250, 2005 (54 reg), 125cc, 13000 miles, Blue
Suzuki Van Van 125
Seller says:
Lovely little motorbike ideal for learners or commuters. Average condition for age and mileage. 13000 miles on the clock. Lots of supporting paperwork. New rear tyre, front fork seals, sprockets front and back, chain and front brake pads. Comes complete with GIVI top box and rain cover.
We say: One of the most charming 125s you could ever want to own. We’re big fans of its beach-ball blocky tyres, aping a style that’s big in Japan. The Van Van is reliable, great to ride, comfy, and a good buy secondhand. We’d suggest it’s a little over-priced at £1250, so negotiate.
See it here:

Honda Hornet, (Grey import), £1650 2001 (Y reg), 599cc, 16600 miles, Blue
Honda Hornet 600 for sale

Seller says: Honda Hornet CB600F2-Y, Tahiti Blue, only two mature owners from new, just had 16k, major service at Padgetts Honda, Very Good Condition for year, Smartwater Security, HPI clear, excellent Continental Tyres, Haynes Manual, Taxed, MOT April 2013, £1650, Location: Barnsley, S. Yorks.
We say: It may be a grey import but don’t let that put you off, tons of these were imported through non-official channels around this time but any problems will have been sorted now. And, they were built at the same factory! Hornets are brilliant bikes with CBR600-based engines, easy handling and famed reliability. This is a lot of bike for the money, and this being the semi-faired S-version, it will make a big difference at keeping cool air off your chest.
See it here:

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