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porschefan

WTB: CHEAP bike for beginner rider.

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Hey everybody, as you are scouting around craigslist and having a beer with the buddies, please keep an eye out for a cheap bike. Any year or make is fine, so long as its bigger than 250cc and not a dirt bike or sportbike. Looking to do this for around $600. It just needs to run and be solid. Of course offers from OR members are welcome too ????

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Some very cool cheap bikes to look for:

Yamaha xj600 Seca II. I had one for a season, comfy upright riding position, decent but not overwhelming power (60 hp), good handling characteristics, air cooled motor, easy to work on and 45mpg.

Anything from the honda cb line.

Suzuki gs 550, Kaw kz650....pretty much any jap standard from the 70's or 80's are great starter bikes. Not too much power, comfortable, easy to work on and cheap.

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Yeah $600 isn't gonna get you much...it's either gonna lbts or run like a 3 legged dog. Double your budget and get something that's at least capable and won't get your buddy stranded.

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it's hard to find a running bike for $600.

 

I spent plenty of time looking.  What you should be able to find for that price is a decent project.

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That bike in Dayton looks interesting, though a bit big. And I don't disagree on the issue of budget, but that's where he's at right now.

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That bike in Dayton looks interesting, though a bit big. And I don't disagree on the issue of budget, but that's where I'm at right now. The plan is for him to buy the bike off of me once the divorce is finalized. I don't have that much extra cash, and I'm not really looking for another project for myself. Otherwise I'd pick up a sweet looking 700sc and call it done:) There is a gs450l around for $650, and a 450 nighthawk for $500. The 450 leaks oil after a rebuild, so I dunno.

Wouldn't let me edit.

Edited by porschefan

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That xj650 is a good bike, the maxim/seca family of motors are very good mills, reliable as hell. Only weak point I know of is the starter gear, they're made out of something slightly harder than play do and if the bike is flooded or in gear and the safety switches fail they strip pretty bad. Other than that it's a good buy.

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Yeah you have to pull the motor, split the cases and all that fun stuff but it was only a real issue on the SECA II because the cylinder bank was canted way forward and it used downdraft carbs and a vacuum petcock. People would leave the petcock on prime or it would get stuck open and if a float valve was bad it would fill the motor with gas overnight. When the owner tried to start it the next morning the gasoline in the cylinder would refuse to compress and the starter gear would fail. It's highly unlikely that those series of unfortunate events would transpire with the 650 tho due to its upright cylinders and side Draft carbs. If you buy it expect to learn how to do a good thorough carb cleaning and maybe valve adjustment. One nice feature is the shift drive, no chain adjustments or worn sprockets! I can't remember if that's a YICS motor or not...If it is you need a special tool to block off the transfer ports if you wanna synchronize the carbs.

Edited by CrazySkullCrusher

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Called on the xj, didnt sound super promising. The owner has done anything to it besides paint it primer black, and doesnt really know anything about bikes.

I went and looked at the gs450gl. I really liked it EXCEPT it was burning oil out of a coupling in the exhaust, and I couldn't seem to find neutral even with my hand. Other than those two faults I would have made them an offer.

It could just be a goofy neutral indicator switch, i didn't ride it to really get a sense for what it was doing.

Ill post some pics of the engine, and maybe some of you sages could point me to a member or thread where I should direct questions about old UJM's.

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Most of the time not being able to find neutral is because of a poorly adjusted clutch. I wouldn't buy it if it's leaking oil. The xj still sounds like a better deal.

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I grabbed backpack's CM450E for a few hundred bucks, but it was in pieces. The PO wrecked it, scared himself, and dismantled it. 

 

I put it back together, and got the engine purring... to make it right though, i still need a speedo cable, new triple bearings, new forks, new springs and a new front fender...

I still think it was a pretty good deal, but it certainly wasnt a "turn key" bike...

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Found a super nice looking xj650 maxim outside of akron for $750. Supposedly it's had the same owner for the last 20 years, has 20k on the clock and they have receipts for maintenance. I guess I'm going on a drive this weekend. I found a Honda cb650 roughly same condition, price, and area but I haven't got a return message yet. Somebody tell me why they love (or hate) the xj?

Edited by porschefan

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It is an '82. Do you know if all of the '82s have the reduced effect (50hp) motor? And do all of the '82s have gas adjust front forks?

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my buddies first bike was an '82 Maxim. I think it was the 650 as well. Bike was awesome for a learner bike, especially cause the thing was running and had no issues for $400. I think all we ever replaced on it was the throttle cable and battery. His lil bro bought it off him and rode it another 10,000 miles for a grand total of 60k until he finally raped it enough to blow a head gasket I believe is what he said

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And head gaskets are cheap to replace if you do the work yourself. If a complete noob like me can do it after a lot of watching videos and studying the shop manual, most people could.

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My bandit is still for sale if you're interested...cant let it go for 6, but its somewhat close to that price.

 

(It's in this  forum if you want to take a peek at it)

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