Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Road warriors
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-18-2014, 05:17 AM   #1
Alexander B OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Sweden
Oddometer: 232
Having an old bike (other than HD) as main ride?

Lately there have been many discussions about old bikes here.
My thoughts are related to the practical side of things. Is there a lot of problems around riding, maintaining and repairing "old bikes", not vintage collector items? What sort of experience have you got?

I have seen many times that (mainly?) Honda stops selling unique and vital parts, rendering the bike virtually useless or (VERY) expensive to repair. (Rotors for first gen. CB 1100 R, engine and gearbox parts for 80s Shadows, exhausts and suspension parts etc.)
I find this cynical, as the genuine parts are often the only supply available once the bike is in a certain age between "current" and "old timer". I have also read over and over in magazines how owners literally bought the last NOS tank, speedo, cam shaft etc available anywhere to restore their bike.

So, how about owning a late 80s or early 90s non-Harley bike as your only bike?
Is it doable without devoting your life to monitoring ebay or buying your own parts factory for electronics, machining and metal work?
Alexander B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 05:26 AM   #2
Murphy Slaw
Beastly Adventurer
Murphy Slaw's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Southern Illinois
Oddometer: 1,429
I think that's a major factor in the resale value of Harleys staying so far and away higher than any other brand. It can't be supply / demand because there are zillions of Sportsters out there, yet they command a decent resale.
The Murph Channel
Acoustic Originals
Murphy Slaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 05:28 AM   #3
joe a
joe a's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Lake George NY
Oddometer: 594
Buy any "old" BMW.......
The traveler in me is the most loved or most hated quality I possess, depending on who you ask.
joe a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 05:35 AM   #4
Riding an' Wrenching
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: NJ
Oddometer: 226
I rode an 82 Suzuki GS850 exclusively until last season. I had no trouble finding parts for it. You would be amazed how many people ride old Japanese bikes, and there is a lot of support/ aftermarket parts available.

I've since upgraded to a 92 ZX600c and also have had no issue finding parts. There are lots of websites that cater to the old Japanese bikes.

I will say though, having an old bike as your only bike, you better enjoy wrenching and can expect at least a week or two a season for your bike to be down waiting on parts or repairs. Just part of the experience.
Tim_Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 05:36 AM   #5
Castle Anthrax troll
DC2wheels's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: N.H.
Oddometer: 2,347
Originally Posted by joe a View Post
Buy any "old" BMW.......

No problem finding parts for my '92 K100RS4V. Not cheap, but available.

Barely broken in with 102,xxx km.
'92 K100RS
'12 DRZ400
sugarhillctd on the world-wide K bike forum

DC2wheels is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 06:12 AM   #6
Jet Measurer
Hank.SD's Avatar
Joined: May 2007
Location: Sodak
Oddometer: 1,268
I've been fixing up a 1980 CB750F for fun, so far parts have been very easy to find for that bike. I've purchased a stator rotor, regulator rectifier, some gaskets. I see ebay is loaded with exhaust systems for it yet.

I think it depends a lot on the model and how many were sold.
Hank.SD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 06:42 AM   #7
Alexander B OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Sweden
Oddometer: 232
Thanks! Good replies!

"Ebay" means new or NOS parts to me. Buying 25 year old used parts to replace identical, 25 YO, failing parts is not an option to me, unless it is "sheet metal" or auxillary parts like turn signals and mirrors, etc.
Forget about finding good (clean!) used parts for that age bikes in Sweden, IME.

Having had cars of a similar vintage, I know by experience that truck loads of part numbers are obsolete, even for very common cars. Sheet metal, windows, interior parts, electrical parts are not available at all.
Alexander B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 06:46 AM   #8
Alexander B OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Sweden
Oddometer: 232
Regarding BMW, thanks for the tip, but I am not buying one, new or old.
The brand represents so much that I find do not like, even to a level of contempt. But that is another discussion.
Alexander B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 07:02 AM   #9
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2010
Oddometer: 571
Manufacturer, at least in Sweden,are due to laws only to forced supply 7-8 years after it is released. That is at least what a dealer in Sweden told me.

I was looking for a part for the bike I had at that time, a honda cm 400 t, and he told me that honda was no longer manufacturing this part, despite the fact that it was a know weakness of the model.

I was shocked since I have had cars that was 40 years old and I had no trouble what so ever to find parts for it. The bike in question was only 20-25 years old.

Iranian screwed with this post 10-18-2014 at 07:10 AM
Iranian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 07:12 AM   #10
jehu's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Vail,AZ
Oddometer: 3,681
Get a Guzzi.
Gran Canyon, XR650R, CB77, V7 Sport, Hodaka
jehu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 08:15 AM   #11
Studly Adventurer
gus's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: columbia SC
Oddometer: 850
gus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 08:45 AM   #12
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2010
Oddometer: 571
I would personal go for a honda cb 500 four which I think was on of the most beutiful bikes ever build. The suzuki 750 gt with two stroke is also very beutiful bike but it has become somewhat expensive to buy.
Iranian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 09:29 AM   #13
diplomatico di moto
rocker59's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: The Trans-Mississippi
Oddometer: 15,558
Originally Posted by jehu View Post
Get a Guzzi.
+1. I have a '91 and a '96 Guzzi. Regular riders and no fear of keeping them on the road.
Rocker59 (aka guzzimike), Aux Arcs (NW Arkansas)
Moto Guzzi: LeMans 1000 CI, Sport 1100, V11 LeMans Nero Corsa
IBA #24873, MGNOC #21347
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt
rocker59 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
evil boy for life
mjydrafter's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: dsm, ia
Oddometer: 4,057
I've only had older or vintage stuff, so I may be a bit biased...

Do a bunch of research on a bike that interests you, like Tim Tom says some older bikes have NLA parts, that are still available, but at a price. If you can find a specific forum for the bike, you can get a good feel for the "popular" problems and what may be NLA vs. a work around.

Honestly, I haven't had any problems with what would be called maintenance items, but big hard parts, can be a challenge. Both finding them and getting a decent price. Where it gets real pricey for some bikes is body panels, side covers, etc.

Some bikes are quirky but if you can find a bunch of owners, you can figure out most of the tricks. Before my K75 I commuted on an old '87 KL600 (pre KLR650), and then on a Honda CB900c. Both proved to fine as commuters, but both had some NLA stuff that could be a bike/deal killer. ie: the oil pump could be called "fragile" on the CB, they are a NLA item, so the only replacement is NOS($$$) or a used one of the same vintage. The rotors were kind of problematic for some, and they were available aftermarket, but again $$$$.

The other recommendation I can make is to find something that was made for a while. The CB900c was made for about 3 years, and the KL600 was made for about 3 years. Pretty short lives, so parts are a bit more rare. If there weren't very many out there to begin with the population of owners will be smaller. There was a great forum for the CB, but there were very few KL600 owners, some KLR650 stuff was "backward compatible" but lots wasn't.
1974 Suzuki TC-185 (The little 10 speed)
1986 BMW K75c
Yes! Whenever bicycles are broken, or menaced by International Communism, Bicycle Repair Man is ready!

mjydrafter screwed with this post 10-18-2014 at 09:37 AM
mjydrafter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2014, 11:57 AM   #15
Studly Adventurer
doxiedog's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2007
Oddometer: 895
I rode a suzuki gs550/4,from 1977-1999,used tires,chains,oil.
Snot nosed 68 yr.old kid.
What can I say,the poor thing likes redline.
doxiedog is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:05 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014