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wolfraven 06-25-2009 12:01 AM

In the Market for a cheap bike
 
Since my Mercury is dying the slow death reserved for Fords that were never properly taken care of in decades past, and I'm starting to hate it, I've decided I want to get a motorcycle. I'm saving money, so the longer it takes, the more I'll have...but it's still got to be relatively inexpensive, and hopefully more reliable than my Capri...because I'm tired of dumping $200 in parts into it only to have another $150+ in parts go bad... I've found one bike, but it's an old monster...it may or may not be worth it, I'm just going for opinions, as I've only worked on cars until now, and haven't ridden a motorcycle yet...unless you count a quad and a three-wheeler...>.< Anyhow, I'd just like some opinions of what bikes pop up used fairly often that're good, reliable beginner bikes that I might be able to get away with getting...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3387/...d4fecf.jpg?v=0

^this one is just down the road from me, for best offer...82(ish) Honda 750F Supersport...kinda big, needs front calipers...but so far, what I'm considering the current best idea...for now...>.<

jonathan150cc 06-26-2009 08:25 AM

You can always find Ninja 250s for cheap. They are great bikes and if you get an older year model, you can find one for $1500 or so.

Some older 600 sport bikes are the same way. You can get a lot of bike for not much dough if you just get a body style that is no longer the "in" thing. I'm thinking of late 90's Kawasaki 600s specifically. I most like the ZZR.

Good luck.

Have you been searching craigslist?

wolfraven 06-26-2009 09:47 AM

Every day lol, and if I can't score that beast, I'm definitely thinking an older Ninja, because of both the price and the...well, shoot, I'm ok with sport bikes...but the Ninjas were the ones I do like :D Aww, not the "in thing" that works fine for me! I'm also keeping an eye out for a potential dead roller, for an e-motorcycle, but that'd be a later project anyway. But, since I'm not very knowledgeable about motorcycles, asking for advice is a good thing :D

dcb 06-26-2009 09:49 AM

I like the kick starter, seriously.

I've always liked rat bikes myself, you will learn a lot about motorcycle maintenance if you buy a $100 bike :) I brought some callipers back to life on a rat with 800 grit sandpaper once (pumped the piston out a bit and sanded/cleaned the crud off that made it stick).

Hydraulic disk brakes are nice,
chain drive for easy gear ratio swaps.
Useable tires.

750 would be fun, though any two wheeler that gets you where you want to go is good transportation. My 250 is a little big for serious fuel savings, but it does pretty good.

Just don't be a squid ;)

jonathan150cc 06-26-2009 09:54 AM

The older 600s and the Kawi 250 & 500 have a very upright seating position as far as sportbikes go yet they still allow you to tuck down behind the windscreen for a better aerodynamic flow.

You can get either of those bikes for sub $2000 I would bet.

wolfraven 06-26-2009 09:40 PM

Ok, the squid comment...in Bremerton...so I had to read the little wiki thing, because this is a Navy town...so there's loads of the other kind...but the wiki article described a guy I work with...which makes me sad...but he's learning, so not-so-bad lol! What really gets me, atm, is that the only sportbikes I do like are the Ninjas...but I still want that gigantic Honda. And I already work on Honda cars every day, so...and I prefer that style of bike, though I dislike some of them (mostly the newer ones, with the speedo on the tank...>.<). Lucky for me, I'm after older/used either way, and if it really bugs me, I'm not against modifying things. I found a Ninja 250r today for $700...waay too far away for me to go take a look and I don't quite have the cash yet. I was sad >.< Now, well, that's what I get for pricing things before I've saved the money. Next month, bills might allow something like that to happen, and I've made a few arrangements to try and get away from using my dying car. What do you folks think that CB750 is worth, minus the front calipers? (they're GONE! I told a friend and he was like...no they just have smaller pads...I had to tell him, very clearly, that they just weren't there...and had a great laugh at his expense)

Christ 06-26-2009 10:27 PM

Make a silly offer, and act like you don't know any better. Something like $500.

The worst that will happen, is the owner laughs, and you then act like you feel stupid for "not knowing any better". It's the easiest way to get stuff cheap. I do it all the time. :)

The other way is to act like you know something they don't know. Sometimes, you can give out that one little detail that tells people that your offer is "probably the best offer", and confidence will help show that.

The latter is my primary technique when it comes to cars and automobiles, like my new Tacoma.

wolfraven 06-26-2009 10:43 PM

Heh, actually...now that you told me my previously formed strategy works sometimes...lol...ok but seriously, I was going to not play dumb, because I grabbed like a ton of the tools he had for sale too :D Seriously, all Honda cars should come with no less than 5 17mm sockets and wrenches! But heh, the act like I know something he doesn't wasn't 100% what my plan was...I priced all the parts it needs, and almost gave up...$290 for one OEM caliper, and $190 for the other one (front has 2...so cool!)...then I continued playing around in my parts hunt, and found some "universal fit" calipers with everything needed...and they top out at $46. So my plan, unless it sounds like a bad idea after I just blab this out and hit post >.<, is to explain that...well, the KBB value is like $885 in stock, good condition...which it's not. I'm going to talk that all out, and explain the price of the parts...what labor would cost me...and be like, soo....and then lowball the crap out of it, for like $300-ish, and if he says no...I'm saving up $500 before I go over there again lol...if I end up shelling out $500, I better be able to ride it the 2 miles home! lol, j/k I know I need brakes...there's at least 5 places that are just dumb w/o them on the way...but I'm going to try and get him down to $300 with pure logic...and I've been listening to the service writers at work all week...Think that sounds like a plan? (and if you don't...why?)

Christ 06-26-2009 10:51 PM

That sounds about like:

Guy: "I wanted to get $500 for it... were you going to just use it for parts?"

Me: "No, I want to fix it up and drive it... worst case, it needs a cab, windshield, and d-side window... cab is about $240 bucks, windshield is $60+ installation, door window I won't even count, I can probably get it free... I won't count labor..."

Long Pause

Guy: "So what did you want to do?" <(--- Ball's mine now!

Me: "What did you want for it?"

Guy: "How about $300?" <(--- Game, Set...

Me: "$200, I pick it up tomorrow with cash."

Guy: "Sure" <(--- and Match.

The key is that once you've laid it out, SHUT UP. Don't say another word until you get a cue from him. First one to speak, LOSES, all the time. It's a simple, but effective sales technique that's been working for ages.

You could probably ride it home, but you'd have to take it easy and use the rear brake and gears as much as possible. Good luck!

wolfraven 06-26-2009 11:55 PM

Thanks! But I don't have good luck, so I'm going to either fold the seats down in my Mercury and try and carry it with that somehow not insanely, or I'll just push it...it's a 10 minute walk normally, so...no big deal, and I've pushed some of my cars farther.

JacobAziza 06-27-2009 08:54 PM

Sounds like you may be set on the Honda, but just wanted to point out: someone on this board just got over 100mpg on the last tank on their Ninjette (ninja ex250)
You're not gonna see that kind of mileage on the Honda.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...-a-8686-3.html

theycallmeebryan 06-27-2009 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JacobAziza (Post 112558)
Sounds like you may be set on the Honda, but just wanted to point out: someone on this board just got over 100mpg on the last tank on their Ninjette (ninja ex250)
You're not gonna see that kind of mileage on the Honda.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...-a-8686-3.html

:thumbup: :thumbup:

Yup. These Ninja 250's are great bikes.

As far as maintainence goes, the only thing i replaced is tires. I do valve adjustments, oil changes, carb servcing, and all other services myself since this bike is so easy to work on.

wolfraven 06-28-2009 01:34 AM

Well, since the most I normally drive in a day with my current ride is like 50 miles of stop and go, the bigger difference for the moment would be initial cost. If I can't get that Honda for the price I want it for, which is fairly likely, a Ninja 250 is why I'm already planning on saving considerably more. I've had it happen a lot, I want one thing...and it falls through, but I score something better not too long afterward. I got my last bicycle right after my VW got taken out in traffic, and the bicycle got stolen just before I got my current car. That was the third car I looked at, because the rest turned out to be not worth it. The Honda will get easily 2x the gas mileage as my Capri, as 25mpg is my max and was probably pure luck (all I get is the bad traffic times of day now >.<) and I was reading elsewhere that this thing gets like 45 stock, 50 with a different sprocket...and that wasn't somebody who was going for mileage, either. It's a step in the right direction, at the very least. But, well, I don't have it yet...so it's speculation. I'm also considering what wonderful things I could do with a baby Ninja, because unlike the Honda, it has fairings...and I would be perfectly happy to customize the living daylights out of it. :) Nothing's totally set until I get my hands on it, and even then, it's not always for good. I'm just upgrading from clunker to hopefully something better, and if I can't get the price down to an amazing deal, I'll be saving for the Ninja. At work today, I ran some numbers, based on average...with the Honda, it would cost me about $16 to visit my mom, if I rode it the whole way...the Ninja would only cost me like $10. My car, however, would probably die a horrible death somewhere near Gig Harbor, nevermind the rest of the 90 miles or so lol!

theycallmeebryan 06-28-2009 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfraven (Post 112625)
Well, since the most I normally drive in a day with my current ride is like 50 miles of stop and go, the bigger difference for the moment would be initial cost. If I can't get that Honda for the price I want it for, which is fairly likely, a Ninja 250 is why I'm already planning on saving considerably more. I've had it happen a lot, I want one thing...and it falls through, but I score something better not too long afterward. I got my last bicycle right after my VW got taken out in traffic, and the bicycle got stolen just before I got my current car. That was the third car I looked at, because the rest turned out to be not worth it. The Honda will get easily 2x the gas mileage as my Capri, as 25mpg is my max and was probably pure luck (all I get is the bad traffic times of day now >.<) and I was reading elsewhere that this thing gets like 45 stock, 50 with a different sprocket...and that wasn't somebody who was going for mileage, either. It's a step in the right direction, at the very least. But, well, I don't have it yet...so it's speculation. I'm also considering what wonderful things I could do with a baby Ninja, because unlike the Honda, it has fairings...and I would be perfectly happy to customize the living daylights out of it. :) Nothing's totally set until I get my hands on it, and even then, it's not always for good. I'm just upgrading from clunker to hopefully something better, and if I can't get the price down to an amazing deal, I'll be saving for the Ninja. At work today, I ran some numbers, based on average...with the Honda, it would cost me about $16 to visit my mom, if I rode it the whole way...the Ninja would only cost me like $10. My car, however, would probably die a horrible death somewhere near Gig Harbor, nevermind the rest of the 90 miles or so lol!

The best part about the Ninja 250's, if anything, is that there are soooo many people out there that have one. Any part you need for the bike is readily available, whether it be on the forums, craigslist, or ebay. Also, over at Ninja 250 Riders Club :: Profiles , there is a very extensive wiki that includes everything from changing light bulbs to tearing the complete bike down piece by piece. The wealth of information available and the years of experience offer by board members simply makes buying a ninja 250 worth while. The bike has enough power to do whatever you need it to do. Noone needs to go over 100mph, noone needs to ride wheelies down the highway, noone needs to do 0-60 in 2 seconds.

Lets not forget that there are a couple of Ninja 250's out there with over 100,000 miles on the original motor. :eek: Pretty impressive for an engine that's made to spin to 13,000 rpms.

JacobAziza 06-28-2009 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfraven (Post 112625)
I've had it happen a lot, I want one thing...and it falls through, but I score something better not too long afterward.

Yep. I was planning to be a park ranger. Went back to school, got biology and geo degrees, EMT and peace officer certificates, went through the whole intense application process, passed - and then the funding was cut and the position disappeared.
I started moving stuff in the truck to make ends meet. I thought it would be for a week or two.
3 years later Biodiesel Hauling is a certified green business.
I have learned not to bother to plan for the future.


Quote:

Originally Posted by theycallmeebryan (Post 112627)
Ninja 250 Riders Club :: Profiles ...
Noone needs to go over 100mph, noone needs to ride wheelies down the highway, noone needs to do 0-60 in 2 seconds.

Hey, I have a profile with those guys. Great website.
Incidentally, the Ninjette will go 110mph stock (a younger stupider me did it daily) and it won't do 0-60 in 2, but it can do it in 5.75 seconds, (faster than most sports cars).
And when you drive like that, you still end up getting 50+ mpg.

wolfraven 06-28-2009 02:25 AM

Well, getting a Ninja 250 is why I'm saving more than I'm willing to spend on that big Honda...but I'm probably going to get an older one, which I'm sure will crop up here soon...saw one the other night on CL for like $750 and it was an 89, looked nice...very well maintained, and only had a dent to the tank....compared with my car, that's 18x better lol. But I'm saving first, going for cheapest possible option first and foremost to replace my car while I attempt to repair it...or save for a decent used car, preferably FWD with some ABS and traction control, after last year's snow...heh, long story short, the Capri does NOT do snow...but honestly, I'm on the lookout for a Ninja 250 or 600 eventually anyway. I found a similar e-motorcycle build to Ben Nelson's elsewhere...and it had a larger motor, and I had a few different ideas...beyond an EV conversion, I was thinking of doing some heavy customization, and the Ninja would be a better starting point for either direction...but for now, it's whichever I have the cash for...I might work for one of the only currently succeeding car dealerships in my specific neck of the woods, but I'm definitely not making much...so it'll take a bit lol. That's the point of asking for advice, and I'm glad all you folks keep it coming!


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