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Buying a drifting bike...

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by mattb, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. Hey. I'm helping a friend buy a bike, and today we looked at a Kawasaki EL250. A very cool 250, which she loves, and was intending to ring about and buy tomorrow, but out riding with mates (and with her pillioning) tonight, a debate developed over coffee. I test rode the bike today and was quite impressed, my only criticism being that the handle bars felt slightly bent - like one hand was slightly more forward than the other, and when I took my hands off the bars while riding, it started to drift to the left (though this drift wasn't a problem when riding with hands on the bars). I reckon there's no issue - my old postie was worse in this regard, and never bothered me, and I never even noticed it - it only annoyed me on the EL because my bike is completely straight and so it stood out (as do many things when you go sit on a 250 compared to your own bigger better bike). Another fellow was cautioning her that this could cause tank-slapping, whereas I don't think it will be a problem, especially given how I expect her rather calm temperament will translate into riding this cruiser.

    What do you guys think - should she stay away from this otherwise happy and suitable purchase, or is this only a minor ignorable fault? The bike is otherwise quite a good deal (and comes with RWC). She expressed a lack of concern over my description of the matter (as really quite minor), but the tank slapping argument seriously concerned her.

  2. depends whats bent mate, it might just be the handlebars, or are they clip-ons?
    the fact that it drifts can be inconclusive as there is a million reasons why it might drift, eg worn tires, road camber, rear wheel not running true or something is bent.
    nobody want to be the pilot during a tank-slap, but it can happen on the straighest of bikes.

    get it checked out by a bike mechanic for peace of mind especially if you are giving your word on it. $30 isnt worth as much as your mates life.
  3. Could be the forks are slightly bent and it makes it feel like the handlebars are bent.

    If It was a bike I wanted to buy I'd try getting a quote to see what it costs to fix and haggle it off the purchase price.
  4. Could be wheel bearings, could be rear wheel not strait in the swing arm, could be forks slightly twisted in tripple clamps, could be frames twisted, could be, could be, could be lots of things
  5. It's also worth thinking about the reason WHY it's like that. Poor maintenance? A stack?
  6. I had an 94 EL 250 for years, bought it to learn on in 96 and kept if for 5 years!!.

    But what you describe was happening on my bike too!. the bars never quite seemed straight but I got used to it!

    maybe its a 'feature' of this model and the bike is just greeat for a short ass like me...