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Pointers when looking for a bike?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by pennylayne, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Hey guys - are there any threads here that have pointers for when looking for a bike? Im starting to look now for a vtr or similar naked bike 250 & it would be awesome to have a basic idea of what to check out / ask.

    Id like to get something with rego & rwc for around $3k Ive seen some on gumtree etc. Not a heap of extra cash to fix things up afterwards either!

    Mainly using to commute to work (On Melbourne highways) and Sunday rides (Will check out any organised rides when I get the bike) Maybe around 150-200km per week.

    I love the cbrs but going on the advice of a well seasoned amaze balls rider I know he thinks I should look at the naked bikes as they are easier to fix than bikes with fairings.

    Im new to this site so any advice would be rad!

    Thanks :)
  2. Hey PennyLayne... I ended up buying a VTR250 and love it! (found one within your $limit too so it can be done). Mind you, I had someone check over the bikes I was looking at online and was pretty glad I did as some were a little dodgy. Highly recommend you get someone who can help check your options out mechanically etc..
  3. well hello girls

  4. Hey Matt

    Thanks for your reply!

    I do have someone I can ask to look over the bike for me, but I kinda need to get to the stage where I know enough to make a decision to check it out or not. Yeah I think a vtr will be awesome!

  5. Ok
    Does it
    Start ok
    Idle ok
    Rev ok
    Have any leaks
    Lights and indicators work ok
    Change gears ok
    Brake ok
    Ride straight
    Hope this helps
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  6. #6 AD-HUI, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    Tyres roadworthy, possible service history (receipts for parts etc...)

    Sit on both bikes and see which you are most comfortable on. :)
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  7. If you don't know what you're looking at then take someone who does with you.
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  8. Also take into account the mileage on the bike, condition of chain and sprockets. Also check for brake pad wear and condition, do they need replacing soon. Check the service book, when is the valve clearence check and adjustment due (This makes the service more expenseve if it's due soon or wasn't done when it was due). You should factor these into your purchase price.
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  9. A lot of the time, with used bikes at the lower end of the market you're buying someone else's problems, so be diligent.

    Learner bikes tend to swap noob owners quite frequently. Look out for worn/slipping clutch.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. #10 pennylayne, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2014
    thanks for that list Ill be using it for sure!

    How much milage is TOO much milage? This is a question Ive been wanting to know.
  11. Ok I had a VTR for my LAMS bike and it was awesome. Also I dropped it a couple of times and it didn't get damaged so it's a good starting bike for that reason :) Glad I didn't get a faired bike.

    I think with mileage, under 20k is probably a good guide though at your budget you may not be able to get one with low km(<20k is what I consider low mileage). For reference I bought my '99 VTR at 23k km for $3500 and I sold it at 55k for $2800 18 months later. Basically try to get the cheapest one you can find that is mechanically ok as you might want to upgrade.

    Check when the tyres ($370 is what I paid for a set fitted) were replaced, as well as the chain + sprockets ($250) and when a valve clearance check was done as those will be expensive servicing (well valves won't be if you can do it yourself, I think they are about $400 at a shop). Speaking as someone who knew absolutely nothing about mechanics before owning a bike a VTR was very easy to learn on if you have a friend to show you how to do it and you will save heaps of money. I spent $1200 on parts/tyres during the time I had it but I didn't have to pay for labour.

    All bikes must be sold with a RWC if they are registered so that is pretty standard.

    How well can you ride now? If you're not that confident get a friend to ride it home or to come with you to look at the bikes and test ride it. A test ride is a really good idea but I know some people might not like Learners on their bike.
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  12. Hey Saspotato

    Awesome awesome advice exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

    That's great you were able to make all those adjustments yourself - def high on my list of things to learn also. I do have a friend that might help but not readily available.

    It's funny because there is a mc19 I'm looking at that I like & the owner has been completely honest about it's history. But it comes back to the issue of fairings for a green rider! The other thing is 21,000 kms for an 1988 seems a bit off. (It's an import so maybe wound back?)
    However it's light & low which is perfect for me.

    Sorry I'm off track I guess what I was trying to say is you're comment about buying a naked first bike came at a good time!
  13. I guess I just wouldn't buy such an old bike as a new rider with no mechanical experience though some people buy bikes and never ride them so that's a possibility. My first car had the clock wound back :( My mechanic at the time said 'it has 100k on the clock but the body of a car that has done over 300k' but I had no idea what to look for in those days.

    Also there are lots of youtube videos and I think even some places offer courses (60 degrees in Notting Hill might do one but not sure how involved it is, might just be basic maintenance like lubing your chain and so on). Anyway I found it a bit overwhelming to start learning now I don't know what I was worried about. It's heaps of fun to work on bikes if you haven't before. :)

    If you end up buying a VTR you are welcome to PM your email I can send you the VTR service manual (it's a large file) which goes into lots of detail about the mechanical work required. Though it's not 100% accurate as it recommends special tools (which I didn't need) and that for things like the valves you have to take the engine out (I didn't!).

    Also here is a huge guide to buying a used bike: http://www.clarity.net/adam/buying-bike.html

    Put it away Greg.
  14. I second the VTR, easy to work on. If you get a pre 2010 VTR it should have similar horsepower to a current 300 Ninja, more torque particularly low down (easier to drive out of corners) and its light without fairings. Doesn't use lot of fuel either.

    The MC19 I wouldn't touch unless you were experienced enough to maintain it. They are a small high revving four cyclinder. The engine is actually pretty simple but you've got 4 carbs, 4 sets of valves. And they typically haven't been treated well.
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  15. I have a list in pdf but am unable to upload for some strange reason and its too long to paste in here. If you PM me your email address I'll try and email it to you.
  16. I bought the first bike I went to look at (found second hand on gumtree), because she was just what I was looking for in a first bike, stylewise. That she is also mechanically sound was more good fortune than good knowledge on my part.

    All the best finding the right bike for you.