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Old 06-25-2009, 12:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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That Big Gray Thing - '82 Mercury Capri
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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...



^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...>.<

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Old 06-26-2009, 08:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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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?
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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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 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
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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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
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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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)

Last edited by wolfraven; 06-26-2009 at 09:46 PM.. Reason: proofreading failure >.<
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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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 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?)
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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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!
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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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.

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