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So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

This is a discussion on So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :) within the Cars and Motorcycles forums, part of the Everything But Cigars category; I've been riding friends bikes for a while now and it's time to get my own! Budget is non-existent so ...

  
  1. #1

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    I've been riding friends bikes for a while now and it's time to get my own!

    Budget is non-existent so I'm going to look for an older bike and maybe upgrade after a couple of summers. I've looked/rode a few so far, but I just don't know what to look for on a motorcycle. I know cars pretty well so I get the lingo and such. What are the main things to look at when considering an older bike?

    I'm pretty excited to have my own finally. Will make my commute to work fun! Any insight is appreciated!

    A bike just fell through that I was looking at. It was an 82 XJ 750 Seca that ran OK. I called the dude to pick it up and he isn't returning my calls which is very weird, but there are plenty of bikes out there. The price was DEFINITELY right on this one though.

    Oh, and I don't have a garage. Would a cover be sufficient, especially over the winter? Any suggestions on outdoor storage?

    Jim
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  2. #2

    Young Puffer Fish


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    I bought my bike new so I can't help you much regarding what to look for in a used bike, but I can tell you that my bike sits outside under a "waterproof" cover all year, rain or shine. The cover is waterproof in everything but the heaviest rains, and then it's only the gas tank and back seat that get wet (the parts where the cover has the most contact).

  3. #3

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Oh thats good to hear, where did you get your cover from? Mine will spend its life outdoors until I can get a house one day....
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  4. #4

    Young Puffer Fish


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    It's the Deluxe Motorcycle Cover from Cycle Gear. I think it can fit touring bikes too, because it has a lot of room in front to accommodate bikes with windshields or handlebars much higher than the gas tank. I have a sports bike so everything is lower; depending on the bike it could keep the cover off the bike enough that it won't get wet like it does with mine.

    As for what to look for, I'd say make sure it's had regular maintenance, check when all the basics were last replaced (fluids, spark plugs, chain, brake pads, etc.), make sure all the lights work and, most importantly, make sure it's comfortable for you and handles well. Also make sure that the tires have enough tread that you won't be replacing them in a couple months; I got my rear tire replaced at a shop and it cost almost $200.

  5. #5

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    tires are solid.. i had him send me pics... as far as fluids, that doesnt matter too much to me as I'll be changing them all this weekend hopefully Im pretty sure its a shaft drive, so no chain either Im riding it today, if I get it I'll post up some pics!!
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  6. #6

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Plugs and brake pads I'd like an answer, hopefully he knows when those were changed.
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  7. #7

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Well I got the bike! 1982 XJ650 Maxim. My first bike

    There's some sort of oil leak on the right side by the valve covers, so I'm thinking it will need new gaskets... not sure how much that will cost to have done. The front brake looks like there is a lot pad but I have to pull awful hard to use the front brake... I may change those. If it's anything like a car disc brake, that wont take me but an hour to swap.. the valve gasket, that's a different story. I've never worked on bikes so that's something I'll want professionally done. The rubber hosing etc is cracking, but all of this is to be expected of a 1982 bike.

    Starts ok (gotta crank the throttle for a second or two when pushing start) but she runs great after being fired up! Now to check how much oil is in the thing as I don't trust the red oil light. I'm sure that sensor is probably shot by now. Gauges work great, all lights work, tires have lots of life left. I'd say I did alright for 1,000 bucks. Hopefully I can get the engine back to sealed and the carbs cleaned for under 500, then I'm in business for a long time!
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  8. #8

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Here she is.

    I took off the luggage rack this morning. Looks a lot better to my eyes now

    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  9. #9

    Puffer Fish with some spikes shakinghorizons's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Congrats Jim!

  10. #10

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Thanks man!
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  11. #11

    Young Puffer Fish


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Congrats on the new bike!
    It looks to be in really good condition cosmetically, especially considering how old it is.
    I get a full checkup from the service department at a dealership for a bit under $400, so I can't imagine that it'll cost much more than $500 to get everything fixed up. Just be sure to not ride it too hard and do regular maintenance and it should last you a pretty long time. My bike has probably close to 15k miles (the lens over the odometer is damaged from the sun, so it's hard to tell how far past 14k I am) and it still runs great.

  12. #12

    "Keeping it lit" fiddlegrin's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Cool! Congratulations Jim!
    It looks great!

    Regarding the Winter season, I recommend that you pick the brains of some guys that actually live in snow country. I believe they usually do some preparations to "winterize" them.

    HavannaJohn and Cypress come to mind, but a local shop should have plenty to say too.

    Best wishes, Dafiddla
    Dafiddla
    "What Could be Finer, than a Spanish Cedar Liner?"

  13. #13

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader dj1340's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    Jim,

    Congrats on your purchase! maybe your front brake issue can be fixed by bleeding the line. Also add some
    stabilizer each time you put gas in if you can, the gas these days has ethanol and can wreck havoc
    on carbs. Star tron is what I use and helps with ethanol and moisture.
    The older I get, the better I used to be.

  14. #14

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    THanks for the responses guys! I guess I should go to a shop and get a full check up, that's not a bad idea. Iain, you just went to a motorcycle dealership right? Do they even work on carbs still lol? Actually I found a local guy who absolutely love working on carbs, he said he can clean and sync mine for 240 bucks... I might do that. But first I think I need to go to a dealership and get everything else looked at. What did they do to yours for 400 bucks?

    Don, I'm pretty sure the previous owner did not do this, now I'm paranoid! Where do I find this Star Tron, and how much do I use? I have to fill quite often as its only a 3 gallon tank and I'll put a minimum of 40 miles on daily. I try to fill at 80 miles since there is no fuel gauge on this thing lol!

    Fiddle, that's something i need to work out as well, "winterizing" will definitely be on the list when the time comes
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

  15. #15

    TWANGGGGG! StogieJim's Avatar


     

    Re: So I'm in the market for my first motorcycle, what to look for? :)

    And Don, how would I bleed the line on this? The window for the brake fluid is gunked up so I can't see inside. I'll have to open it this weekend and see where the fluid level is at. But how would I go about bleeding these lines. That would be the cheapest fix. I priced out new brake lines and master cylinder rebuild kit... over 200 just for parts, and then I gotta figure out how to do it! Would rather try bleeding first, as it's definitely the cheapest route right now!
    "Smoking cigars is not a sign of wealth. Having the time to smoke one is." - Fellow Puff Member

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