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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am saving my pennies to purchase my first sportbike. I am thinking along the lines of a CBRF2, Bandit 600, or something like them. I have ridden my brothers Bandit a few times so I have a small idea as to the performance of the more pedestrian 600's. I have also ridden dirt bikes a bit. I plan to take a MSF class, and get my motorcycle license. I will take it easy at first and progress my riding skills at a reasonable (for me) pace. I am not a proud person, so I am more than willing to learn on a smaller bike. I just suggested the CBR and Bandit as bikes that I can grow into, and have at least a few years of good riding without feeling that I need to "step up".

My questions are;
What should I look for as far as damage or wear?
What would be considered excessive mileage?
What model years would be a good minimum? Is that even an issue?
What other suggestions can you give for a person who is very eager to join the sportbiking (not squidbiking) ranks?
What would be some minimum equipment requirements? I am not the wealthiest person, so I can't go out and get a full set of leathers right away.
What would be some good features to look for on the bike?
What kind of questions should I ask about a maintenance history?
 

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As far as damage:

Anything that would prevent the motorcycle from operating in a safe fashion would be bad. Those things that are cosmetic shouldn't be an issue. Watch out for serious rust, though.

Excessive mileage really depends on the care that was given to the bike. 12,000 miles with only 2 oil changes would be excessive mileage. 50,000 with frequent maintenance would still be a good bike.

Model years don't really matter.
My first bike was a 1979, and my latest is a 1973... both ran well (I'm customizing the 1973, so it doesn't run at the moment).

Get a dirt/street bike, a Ninja 500 or a GS500. Something that you can cane really hard. The harder you have the cane it to go fast the more likely you are to learn good technique in order to go any faster.

Helmet. Gloves. Sturdy boots that protect your ankles. Armored Jacket. Armored Pants. The pants are not optional if you don't want scars on your knees.

Good features: Low seat height, upright riding position, not a lot of plastic, cheap and abundant spare parts. The lighter the better.

Ask what major repairs have been done. The regularity of maintenance. Ask when the fluids were flushed. Find out what will need to be done in the near future to keep the bike running good.



 

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in retrospect i wish i had seen the bike i bought with all the plastic off, so you can see inside better....get it home, take it apart and bam, theres a frame weld...well sheeeit..wonder how bad this fram crack was? called the kid he said it was a suraface crack that was repaired...still feel like a got deeked, i woulda shot him down about 4-500 if i saw that damn crack.... live and learn
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are there specific areas that are more prone to damage on all bikes. Obviously checking the frame is a good idea. What other areas should bear close scrutiny? Please be specific.
 

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Bar end, pedals, blinker, mirrors often have tell tales sign if the bike has been droped. Also the end of the swing arm that an expensive part to replace. Some people will tell you the bike is mint but dont be afraid to put a little money on a check up from your local shop.

 

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Don't worry if a bike has been dropped or crashed. You can use it to your advantage to drive the price down (though the price should be pretty low already). Just make sure you have a shop check it out. As the person above recommended, a $50 check-up at a shop can save you hundreds of dollars in headaches if you end up getting a lemon.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I appreciate the comments thus far. I am not looking for a cosmetically perfect bike so I can use that to drive down the price as alanheng said. I just wanted to know about potentially serious conditions, or costly, that could be identified beforehand so that I don't make my first bike a nightmare experience. thanks so far.
 

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It's kinda hard to know unless you've been around motorcycles a lot.

There are the obvious things like leaks, especially leaks around the cylinders and engine cases. If the bike is older and hasn't been kept inside a garage it could suffer from rotted eletrical systems, and may mean excessively worn parts due to old age and neglect.

Make sure that the bike is not warmed up before you get there, as that's usually something owners would do to cover up starting-difficulties.

If the bike can't maintain a steady idle, if it sputters a lot, if it makes a lot of clacking sounds, then you could be in for a bad trip... or it could be a $20 fix.

Bring an experienced friend and have them ride it. Don't ride it yourself because if you drop it you've bought it.

If your friend gives the OK get the bike to a shop/dealer and have them inspect it. If they give the OK then congratulations! You've found your first bike

 

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You know, one trick I learned awhile back about buying used bikes is this. Ask the guy what kind of tires are on the bike, and how he likes them. The thinking is if he's an educated motorcyclist, and cares for the bike and the parts that are on it, he'll know what kind of tires are on the bike. This shows that he has paid attention to the bike, and was most likely a considerate owner. If the guy's like, "Tires? I dunno." Then he probably doesn't know jack squat about bikes, and could have ridden it like a jackass, not broken it in properly, maybe even damaged the engine or fried the clutch too, you never know.

So, I always ask that question when buying a used bike, take it into consideration.
 

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Check this site out. I read the whole thing a couple times while I was looking for my first bike. It's a bit long, but pretty informative for someone new to the game. I don't know how to make the url a link, so you'll have to copy and paste to your browser of choice.

http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html


* Exercise, eat your veggies, drive a cage…die anyway. *
 

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Look under her skirt... uh, plastic. Even with Carfax type statement to show the bike has a clean title, the bike may still have been crashed and just not claimed on insurance.

Gotta remove ALL the plastic and verify.

M.

 
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