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Old 06-18-2009, 02:58 PM   #1
guyd78
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Default Old bike reliability

As we all know, bikes have come a long way in the past 30-40 years. There are still some dandy bikes out there though in pretty good shape with surprisingly few miles. Personally, I think a lot of the older ones have a certain asthetic quality that the newer bikes don't even come close to.

Brings a question to my mind. If a person was to use a motorcycle for every day transportation, such as myself, would the older bikes not hold up? Would reliability be of great concern? I'm thinking of paying cash for something to buy me time for the next year or so, because as much as I want a V-Strom now, I just can't bring myself to take out a loan in it. I guess it's the frugalness in me.

Found a Honda CB750 with around 10 grand on it. Mid-70's model. Nice looking bike, but I wonder if it could take every day riding (with proper/basic maintenance and a little TLC). Also found an old Kawi 650 SR.

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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Those bikes are reliable as stones as long as the seals haven't gone bad. There's never been a stronger engine than the old Kwacker 2-valve 4s except maybe the Suzuki air/oil-cooled 4s. 2 Valve Kwackers don't die. You have to use C4 on them.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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"If a person was to use a motorcycle for every day transportation, such as myself, would the older bikes not hold up?"

I rode a junk 1972 Honda 750 to work and back for 2 years and it never missed a beat. Put an electronic ignition on it and it will run forever.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:59 PM   #4
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You can still find old Honda 350 twins in peoples garages that have 5000 miles on 'em, one of the most reliable motorcycles EVER made. Same goes for any pre 1974 Yamaha Enduro. Unstoppable.

That 750 with maintenance and lots of rear chains & sprockets will last for ever...and ever....it will drive you nits because it will never blow up, and with exception the calipers getting old and sticky, or head gaskets, it will just keep going and going...you will eventually start leving the igniiton key in it, hoping someone steals it. No such luck.
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:13 PM   #5
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Most old air-cooled bikes are fine when you see the Honda logo on them.
Really- Check out the 1993-2000 Honda CB750 Nighthawks. Most can be had for around $2500-3000 with low miles and $1500-2500 with average miles. You can commute in comfort and find hundreds of things to accessorize it with. They are easy to maintain. Parts are everywhere and when you use her up you can probably sell her for what you originally put into it.

Buy this and I'll run over and broker the deal: : 1977 Kawasaki KZ 1000
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acecycleins View Post
Most old air-cooled bikes are fine when you see the Honda logo on them.
Really- Check out the 1993-2000 Honda CB750 Nighthawks. Most can be had for around $2500-3000 with low miles and $1500-2500 with average miles. You can commute in comfort and find hundreds of things to accessorize it with. They are easy to maintain. Parts are everywhere and when you use her up you can probably sell her for what you originally put into it.

Buy this and I'll run over and broker the deal: : 1977 Kawasaki KZ 1000
Too bad he wants more than they cost new. $1500 tops.
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longride View Post
"If a person was to use a motorcycle for every day transportation, such as myself, would the older bikes not hold up?"

I rode a junk 1972 Honda 750 to work and back for 2 years and it never missed a beat. Put an electronic ignition on it and it will run forever.
When aren't you riding old junk?
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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Here's another I'd look at for you: 1988 Honda Hawk GT (NT650)
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyd78 View Post
As we all know, bikes have come a long way in the past 30-40 years. There are still some dandy bikes out there though in pretty good shape with surprisingly few miles. Personally, I think a lot of the older ones have a certain asthetic quality that the newer bikes don't even come close to.

Brings a question to my mind. If a person was to use a motorcycle for every day transportation, such as myself, would the older bikes not hold up? Would reliability be of great concern? I'm thinking of paying cash for something to buy me time for the next year or so, because as much as I want a V-Strom now, I just can't bring myself to take out a loan in it. I guess it's the frugalness in me.

Found a Honda CB750 with around 10 grand on it. Mid-70's model. Nice looking bike, but I wonder if it could take every day riding (with proper/basic maintenance and a little TLC). Also found an old Kawi 650 SR.

First a point you havent touched on is, what is your riding experience? Because no matter what price you pay for a bike new or used it still doesnt mean its the right bike for you and your current riding experience. Threw the years ALOT in technology has changed.

I say why go back so far in time as far as that model year? Sure they where bullet proof back then but how have they weatherd the years?

Imo purchasing a bike that old, your success with it, relies not only on the previous customers up to date maintenance calander but also the availability of parts. There are tons of newer used bikes that will make a great purchase something in the 80-90s range something you'll have alot easier time finding parts for if you need them, hopefully you wont! Good luck.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzglyd View Post
When aren't you riding old junk?
You haven't seen the 72 Sporty I've been plonking around on!
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