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help looking at a motorcycle?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by mineman bruce, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. in november i'd like to purchase my first bike, but i don't know what to look for specifically. if anyone would like to help me or fill me in! i'd appreciate it!
  2. It would be helpful to you if you indicated the following:

    1. Type (Make: Model: Year)
    2. Budget.
    3. Super Sport/ Dual Sport/ Sport Touring.
    4. How new and your riding experience.

  3. sorry, totally spaced, 99-04 ninja ex250, new rider hopefully around 1500 bucks
  4. Sounds like a tight budget? At that time of year when we are all still in our caves sleeping off the winter, it might be doable?

    $1500 sounds like you might be doing some fix-up work?
  5. yeah possibly, i looked in san diego, and they want anywhere from 1700-3000 for even older models, but they keep popping up in washington for around what i have. if i get it there, i will put it in for a home of records tranfer etc, and have it shipped for free to me. i'm not adverse nor worried about having to do small things. built plenty of acvw's the last few years to feel confident enough in my wrenching skills. but i'd like to ride asap. november time frame hopefully prices will drop and i can score when i am home on leave!
  6. Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  7. I don't think you'll have a problem finding one. There are a couple on CL right now around your price range. Prices will only go lower when the temperature goes lower. Of course for $1500ish, they won't be mint. But you never know, you might come across a hell of a deal. My advice, check CL and check it often. There are some deals to be had on there.
  8. definitely! i'm not out for a dealer fresh mint bike, i figure i'll put my fair share of dings and scratches in it learning and being brand new. but as long as i can resell before my next deployment i'll be good and save up for a nice bike after learning
  9. Is this your first "street bike"? Ever consider a duel sport?
    Could get a nice one for that amount. Easy to work on and pick up after a few get-offs.
    Can learn just as much if not more because you can rip it through a field or a forest service road .

    Just a thought.
  10. yea it's my first bike. i have no experience other then snowmobiles and a 450 my biological dad put me on when i was 12 and told me to go wreck thats how i'll learn lol.
    any models you would recommend for dual sports?
  11. Depends on how tall you are.
    I had a 85 XL 600 and it was a kick. Pain in the ass to start.

    Also depends on what you want to do with it?
    If you plan on doing a lot of HWY riding then maybe not a good choice.
    If you just want to rip around the back roads and mostly city riding then it might work out good for you.

    Suzuki DR350?
    Honda XL 600 (650?) with a starter.
    Just about anything in the 350-600cc range.
    Not sure for that price if you could find something with street tires?, but if you could, good for it.
    I would want an electric starter.
    Nothing sucks more than killing it at a light and having to push it to the side of the road to kick it 40 times to get it going.

    P.S. Just found this
    Not that you're ready and I'd get that price down a bit (been on there before).
    Think it has a starter too?
    If I had the cash, I'd be on it.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  12. He has "firm" on there so he may not be open to offers at this point.
    You could always try. All he can do is say "no".
    I would think it would be worth a bit more than $800. maybe $1100?

    I just put that up so you could see what I was talking about. I think your plan of waiting till Nov might be a good idea if you really want to make a sweet deal.
    The sun wont be out too long though.

    Myself. I'm too impatient to wait. Being unemployed helps me to keep my hands out of my small cash supply.:roll:
  13. take your time, youll find one in your price range easily. Dont put an offer on anything you havent seen personally.

    I bought an 07 ninja 250 last year that had run over a 2x4 for 800 bucks, new front rim and tire and it was minty.
  14. Awesome, is there anything wrong with something like an sv650 for a first bike? i had a chance to sit on a ninja 250 yesterday, a contractor brought one out here with him. it felt really uncomfortable. kinda like a bicycle that was to small, but i'm only 5'11 and 155 wth lol. Through my research over the last week the sv is only marginally more exspenisve, but easier to hang on to in the long run and better highway characterhistics, which big seing as everything in socal is connect by the highway :scratchea. i scored a super nice joe rocket jacket that fits from a family friend that sold his r1 a week after buying it. getting excited, but might be a little later then november when i buy now :angry7:
    Thanks for putting up with my newb ass
    V/r bruce
  15. Lol @ newb ass.

    Get what's in your budget, whatever that might be. The Ninja 250 is certainly a small bike, not necessarily what you want if you'll be commuting a lot. Here's what I did when I got started riding:

    Go on CL. Search from $2 ro $2000 (or whatever your max is). Find lots of cheap bikes that you likely passed over before.

    Which model SV650 are you referring to?
  16. really any of them. i like the naked model, but i am not picky haha. unfortunately, due to the death of a family member i'm coming home to washington tomorrow on emergency leave so now i won't be able to take my truck down to san diego, so a bike is pretty much set in stone in the next few month haha
  17. No matter what bike you get, make sure to inspect & test the brakes. I bought an '01 f4i and thought it just had bad fluid. Turned out the rotor was bent.
  18. I am in Lake Stevens and could check out a bike if you needed assistance.

  19. When looking at a bike there are also a lot of things to check before you take it. (although you may not be able to be picky in that price range.)

    I always: check engine oil level. Ask them when last changed and what brand. If long time ago (more than 3k miles) AND not (at least) semi-synthetic, personally i dont want to risk it. Although some low performance bikes are obviously built like cars and can run ages with dino. when the bike is running check it for shiny particulates and foam.

    Always ask about valve clearances! if they havent had them checked every 10k miles, issues. Ask about wheel bearing replacement, head-set bearings, swingarm, etc. (also should be done every 10-20k) most of those bearings are about $30 (like 30 for front wheel, 30 for rear, etc)

    Pop the radiator cap to see if the owner has kept coolant topped up and replaced often. if it looks nasty and rusty, think about where that rust is coming from.

    Start the bike with the cap open to see if bubbles come up (water pump leak or head gasket) headgasket, forget the bike, youll ahve to mic the piston and hope everything else isnt fucked. water pump, depending on the bike it can be $20-100

    other things always to check: fork seals( pump the forks up and down vigorously and see if any oil rings appear on the tubes. $30 if you do it yourself, 150-200 for a shop to.

    ask about fork oil replacement (should be done every few years), the forks shouldnt spring up rapidly after they are compressed. $10 to do yourself, 50? for shop

    Spkrocets: check for hooked teeth, too loose or too tight chain (most bikes should have about an 1.5" of chain play) $100 to replace

    Tires:duh. check manufacture date. Even if a tire has good tread, if its more than like 5 years old chances are its rather hard and not very safe. 150-250 to replace

    look down the tail of the bike to see that subframe is straight over wheel, look for any shoddy repair jobs via jb weld on downed cases. check throttle cables work smoothly and spring back.

    Make sure brakes arent squishy, if squishy ask when last fluid had been bleed. really easy job ($10) if they pulse, warped rotors: $200

    just some things to keep in mind, asking all these questions will give you a better insight into how well the bike was cared for and hopefully how reliable it will be

    hope that helps, and im sure im forgetting a bunch of other little details, but you get the idea.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
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