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Things to look out for when inspecting old bikes with low kms

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by pastafarian, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. I'm looking for my first bike and a few have come up that are over 10 years old and have less than 6000km, so if you go by the logbook it technically would have minimal servicing..

    Now I'm assuming even though the bike has low km it should still have regular oil changes, chain maintenance and the tyres should be replaced even though tread might be decent? What else should I ask the owner's about servicing wise?
  2. over 10 years and < 6000km??
    Ordinarily I'd be crying BS. Although normally if someone is going to wind back the odo they would be a little less obvious than that!
  3. Is there a way to tell if the odo has just clocked over?
  4. hhrm...what kind of bike are you talking about? On things like old jap racers...then its likely to be BS.
    I know that you can get a speedo with less km, plug it in and it will say the lower km that came with the unit.
  5. Let us know the types of bikes and we can offer a little more advice. Not sure about the crotch rockets but on cruisers it's fairly common.

    Someone wakes up one day and decides they want one and buy it. It's fun for the first few months (Normally until the first breath of Autumn and) then they get on with their previous lives.
  6. At ten years old, I would be checking anything rubber. Not just tyres, but fuel lines, water hoses if not air-cooled, brake lines etc. These can all perish over time. I would also suggest that if it has sat for a fair portion of the time, the fuel system may be a bit cactus as it slowly deposits residues on internal lines. Carbys in particular have problems here.
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  7. No, but the state of the engine, frame etc should be a dead giveaway.

  8. It does happen though, we picked up a 1970's cb350 with 1800 original miles on it for $2000.

    The original owner had bought it new, and then died. His wife left it in the shed. His son started it about 15 years later, it would run for a few minutes and then stop. He left it in the shed for another 15 years. When the wife was shipped into retirement, they sold everything no one wanted including the bike.

    The engine conking out was due to a blocked breather in the top of the tank. Vapor lock is a biatch.

    Replace all the carb o-rings and rubber seals anywhere on the bike, replace the oil and filter, give the chain and bearings a grease, and away you go. It has in the vicinity of 30000 miles on it now, and according to it's most recent owner, still runs well.
  9. A few years ago we bought an '86 Virago 1100cc as a Jap import with 16,000 klms on the clock. Apparently before being shipped to Australia it had been sitting totally untouched for 20 years in a shed and the paintwork and chrome showed that this was probably very true. Anyway, less than 15,000 klms later, the main bearing went and it was uneconomical to repair. We had problems all the way through with just about everything else going wrong with it as well. I think everything was just left "as is" when it was left in the shed, original petrol, original oil etc still there after all that time which explains why we had problems. Probably had done 116,000 klms and not just the 16,000 that the dial showed, but the guy we bought if from assured us that it had the lower mileage (and we believed him, gullible, I know). Learnt a valuable lesson from it all.
  10. I think a lot of people buy a bike intending to ride it all weekend, every weekend. After a few rides they end up riding it to the local cafe once every couple of months.

    A close call or a loss of license can reduce ks too.

    What you need to look for is area of rubbing and wear. Stone chips etc. There should be almost none on a bike with 6000kms. Also way the corrosion etc against wear it has been stored. If it has been stored in a dry shed, but there is general corrosion and oxidation, then I'd be suspect.

    Tyre wear probably won't help because they could well be onto their second set.
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  11. A bike left alone for a long time can have issues after a few thousand kilometers due to parts which were meant to be moving, seizing into place and then suddenly woken up again which would have caused many issues. One thing would lead to another and the bike would die. Main bearing wouldn't have been oiled well enough when it was sitting for 20 odd years (maybe rusting or some other hard deposits) may have sat quietly until it was started up again causing scoring/scratches/uneven surfaces. I have seen cars driven every day of their life with required maintenance run better than a weekend car on a regular maintenance (km/time which ever comes first).

    Minimal use doesn't always mean better. If it's old, you have to get it checked out properly...hoses, joints, pivot points, cables, chain etc.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. if you really ARE interested, pay a reputable mechanic to give it the once over, are the discs thick enough to be legal? As mentioned above, rubber, hoses, all perishable stuff MUST be checked, any rust in the tank? all this stuff a person that knows his stuff will report on it for you. OR chip in more bucks and go newer then this..
  13. It does happen - the basic requirements will be spark plugs, oil, and other fluids, new battery, new tyres, new hoses and other rubber and clean out the tank and fuel system (carbies/efi) and possibly a new chain.

    Plus anything else that comes up in the road worthy.

    When I bought the Katana it had been standing for about eight or nine years. It started with a new battery and fresh petrol and I rode it the nine k's home on temporary rego. Admittedly it had a lot more kilometres than that.

    It cost me $950 unregistered and no roadworthy - but by the time I did all the above and had it professionally tuned it was closer to $2K (excluding rego). Still an excellent price for what it is.
  14. Grey import. Could be right, could be dodgy, could have had the speedo replaced. Need to ask the owner straight out for a full history.
  15. How could it be right though.. seems clear to me that the odo says 59 xxx km and not 5 9xx. I'm just going to go with 'seller doesn't know how to read odometer' :p
  16. The photo's pretty bad. Might be some reflection thing. You're probably right however. Likely a typo when posting the ad.
  17. My viffer is an 08 and only had 4,000 on it. I've had it a year and it has 8,000 on it now and I feel I never ride it.
    I still changed every fluid in it.
    The tyres.
    Brake pads.
    Gave the tank a good flush.
    Thing that show more use than the odo is showing.
    A lot of pitting in the front of the frame and engine.
    Swing arm bushes gone.
    Suspension linkages.
    Worn grips or pegs. So many fools forget to change the most basic things when cheating.