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 Buying a used bike - is this a good deal?
 That bike that has been sitting sooooo long...
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onthebeach
Male Standard Member
115 Posts


Arch Cape, Oregon
USA

BMW

R 1200 RT

Posted - 04/10/2012 :  10:18 AM                       Like
I have been watching Craigslist for a bit looking for a good beginner motorcycle. One lesson quickly learned is that there are some motorcycles that sit for a long time with not much use. A couple examples:

2007 Honda Rebel 250 with 917 miles
2005 Honda Rebel 250 with 307 miles

I found a link on this site that gives good information on tires, so am aware that just having good tread is not enough. And I'd be suspicious of an old battery. But assuming an indoor storage environment is there anything to watch out for with a bike that has been sitting so long with no use?

For example, if it seems to run OK can we assume that the old gas sitting in it did not clog up the carburetor? I'm betting that most people don't intentionally store the bike for 5 or 6 years without riding so they don't drain the gas, squirt some light oil in the cylinder, and really prep the bike for storage. Instead the bike just sits, and one day they think "hey, I haven't ridden that for years".

I am wondering if the bike that sees 500 to 1,000 miles a year is in better shape that they one that sees no miles for 4, 5, or 6 years and if there are any special traps for the one that has been sitting.

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6914 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 04/10/2012 :  12:19 PM
If it has been sitting for a few years you can assume that you'll have to get a new battery for it.

You can also assume, unless all gasoline was drained, that you'll have to do some work on the carburetor and the rest of the fuel system to clean out any residue. You'll likely have to put in new jets, since it's pretty hard to clean a clogged up pilot jet or other very small orifice like that.

You'll have to put in new oil, of course.

In addition, rubber seals tend to degenerate more if the bike is not used than if it is ridden every few months. So you'll be taking a chance that there will be oil leaks in the engine and forks.

The only other thing that I can think of to check out is whether you'll have to pay several years worth of registration fees and taxes. Sometimes those can cost more than the price of the motorcycle.
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Night Train
Male Advanced Member
1667 Posts
[Mentor]


Sydney, Nova Scotia
Canada

Harley-Davidson

99 Sportster XL 1200

Posted - 04/10/2012 :  1:30 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Like Scott said, there are things one has to look for when buying a bike that has sat for any great amount of time. Both bikes you mentioned have been very slightly used being 5 and 7 years old with the equivalent of a couple full days riding on them.

Keep in mind that other than paint color, very little, if anything, has changed on the Rebel 250 from the date these bikes were manufactured to those manufactured by Honda today. They are a good solid bike with excellent re-sale value. The guiding factor should be price. Check the dealer and find out the price on a 2012 Rebel 250 and compare that to the price of the ones being offered for sale. Budget $1000.00 for possible upgrades on the used bike and decide from there. I'm pulling that figure to cover cost of battery, tires, rubbers, seals, gaskets, carburetor repair, oil filter, etc., assuming you will have a shop do those things for you. You may not need all that but you should factor that into what you will possibly be spending.

Don't even consider buying a bike you have not seen or heard running. That's about all I can offer for advice in this regard. Let us know what you get and how you get along with it.
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1062 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 04/19/2012 :  9:19 AM
quote:
Originally posted by onthebeach

I have been watching Craigslist for a bit looking for a good beginner motorcycle. One lesson quickly learned is that there are some motorcycles that sit for a long time with not much use. A couple examples:

2007 Honda Rebel 250 with 917 miles
2005 Honda Rebel 250 with 307 miles

I found a link on this site that gives good information on tires, so am aware that just having good tread is not enough. And I'd be suspicious of an old battery. But assuming an indoor storage environment is there anything to watch out for with a bike that has been sitting so long with no use?

For example, if it seems to run OK can we assume that the old gas sitting in it did not clog up the carburetor? I'm betting that most people don't intentionally store the bike for 5 or 6 years without riding so they don't drain the gas, squirt some light oil in the cylinder, and really prep the bike for storage. Instead the bike just sits, and one day they think "hey, I haven't ridden that for years".

I am wondering if the bike that sees 500 to 1,000 miles a year is in better shape that they one that sees no miles for 4, 5, or 6 years and if there are any special traps for the one that has been sitting.





Step one, is , of course, a conversation with the owner.
Was the bike started during it's "lay-off"?
Has the fuel been in the bike all this time? or has it been replaced?
How did the owner "store" the bike... was it choice? and the bike was stored properly? or was it "accidentally"? and time just flew by?

I know several riders who bought similar bikes for their wife as a "first bike". The wife decided she was not interested, and the bike sat. The husband DID in fact ride the bike a bit, just to keep an eye on everything.

Regardless of apparent conditions, I'd expect to replace tires, battery, and any hose. If the bike sat, for more than 3 months without moving, every moving part MAY be frozen... and the gas is fit only for your lawn mower.

I agree with Scott, and Rod. Meet with the seller, and have them start the bike. Compare prices in YOUR area, against what the seller is asking. Never be afraid to walk away from a deal. Paying less for the purchase, may not always be the "best deal"

good luck
Frank
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