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Old 10-23-2012, 08:11 AM   #31
thumpism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kt-88 View Post
There were kz650 twins.
I believe it was the 750 that was built as a twin and later as an inline four. I'm pretty sure the KZ650 was always only a four.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:21 AM   #32
sam handwich OP
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Definitely planning on taking the MSF course, but probably will have to wait for Spring.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:03 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
I believe it was the 750 that was built as a twin and later as an inline four. I'm pretty sure the KZ650 was always only a four.
Other way around. It was a 4 first and then they made a twin in addition to the 4 for a couple of years. There never was a 650 twin though.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:53 AM   #34
willis 2000
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Originally Posted by sam handwich View Post
Ok, so let me ask this: What do you think is a reasonable budget for something truly ready to ride? I'm not saying something that will never need repairs, but something that won't need work immediately post-purchase.
The Blast and Suzuki Savage can be had in or near your price range.
A year ago, I bought a '97 Sportster for 3 grand. It needed tires and a new voltage regulator and a stator. Also, some quieter mufflers. I'm into it for 4 grand now. That may be above your budget, but it is ridden daily, with a caveat: keep blue loctite handy and check for loose fasteners frequently. Once everything has loctite, these are very dependable and fill the needs of many.
For $2500, the Suzuki 650 v-twins and the Kawasaki 500 Ninja become available, but the ones I looked at before buying the Sportster were pretty rough at that price point.
Someone else suggested the Ninja 250. They have a great reputation and truly have freeway capability.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:06 AM   #35
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The Ninja 250 looks like it has a lot going for it. I just wish it wasn't so Ninja-ey.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by sam handwich View Post
Problem is, I don't have any tools yet. I realize I'll probably have to spend a bit after buying - I'm just hoping to get something rideable to start with. Somewhere there's a sweet spot where I don't have to immediately spend more post-purchase that I could have just spent up-front for something with fewer problems.
I strongly suggest you buy a nice running newer bike. That way, you can learn wrenching by slowly immersing yourself in maintenance (oil change, filter, sparkplug) then work up to valve adjustments at some point perhaps. Buying an older bike, even in seemingly good running shape will be an exercise in frustration, as any small problem (and old bikes do constantly have small issues crop up) will keep you off the road. I recently helped a shorter female friend buy a 2001 Buell Blast ($1400 with 6k miles), it's the perfect bike for a beginner! Standard ergos, nothing to break in a fall, very easy to maintain. On top of all that, it's fun as hell to ride!! Even though I barely fit on it
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:50 AM   #37
Kt-88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
Other way around. It was a 4 first and then they made a twin in addition to the 4 for a couple of years. There never was a 650 twin though.
Ugh, I hate being wrong- but you're of course right.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #38
High Country Herb
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Originally Posted by sam handwich View Post
The Ninja 250 looks like it has a lot going for it. I just wish it wasn't so Ninja-ey.
How about finding a Ninja 500 with thrashed side panels, getting it cheap, and throwing them away. A naked Ninja is not so Ninja-ey.

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:37 AM   #39
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I have to agree with the Ninja 250. I bought a 2002 ninja 250 for $1500 and rode it 15,000 miles, 2-up, to South America without a problem. There is no more bang-for-your-buck than a used ninja 250 (2007 and earlier). They are ridiculously cheap, fast as hell for a 250 (we're talking more power than many 650s), crazy good gas mileage, huge tank, easy maintenance, reliable, sold them for 20 years, parts everywhere. The only problems with the ninja 250 are that A: They are a tiny bit small for my 6'5" self and B: The stupid sports-bike fairings. If only it had been naked!

If somebody told me I had $1500 total for a motorcycle that I had to ride across the country tomorrow, I would be on craigslist searching ninja 250. Sure, there are other good bikes that occasionally fall into that price-range when they've been abused, or sometmes you can pick up a basket-case and build it back up for less than $1500, but the ninja 250 is by far the most well-rounded, capable motorcycle that sells in that price range in good condition. I love that bike.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:17 PM   #40
XS500RUS
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Originally Posted by jordan325ic View Post
(we're talking more power than many 650s)

What 650s are those?
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:19 PM   #41
XS500RUS
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Originally Posted by willis 2000 View Post
Great in its day, it is a useless artifact now.
I'd say you're on the wrong forum there pal

My friend's 'artifact' of a KZ650 made it across the continental US and back in 2008 (albeit with a Yamaha rectifier swapped in near the Mississippi )
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #42
willis 2000
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Originally Posted by XS500RUS View Post
I'd say you're on the wrong forum there pal

My friend's 'artifact' of a KZ650 made it across the continental US and back in 2008 (albeit with a Yamaha rectifier swapped in near the Mississippi )
Like I said, charging systems are a problem. Newbies on a budget should avoid them. Another fellow showed his had weathered the years well. He did not pay $1500 for a down-at-the-heels example on Craigslist.
I enjoy the stylng of that era of UJM, but I say again, it's a labor of love to keep them operational.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:36 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by willis 2000 View Post
Newbies on a budget should avoid them. Another fellow showed his had weathered the years well. He did not pay $1500 for a down-at-the-heels example on Craigslist.
I'd probably make the same recommendation, but then again when I was a newbie on a budget my first bike was a non-running 700cc japanese inline 4 that had been sitting for a few years that I bought for $250 with no title. I learned a lot in order to get it running on my own and probably wouldn't do it differently given the chance. I only had a total of about $500 into that thing by the time I sold it for $400 several years and many thousands of miles later. That bike didn't owe me dime.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #44
XS500RUS
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Originally Posted by willis 2000 View Post
Like I said, charging systems are a problem. Newbies on a budget should avoid them. Another fellow showed his had weathered the years well. He did not pay $1500 for a down-at-the-heels example on Craigslist.
I enjoy the stylng of that era of UJM, but I say again, it's a labor of love to keep them operational.
Agreed, my friend paid $650 for his, and it needed a thorough going through. I wouldn't relegate one to strictly museum/artifact status, but for someone who wants to learn to ride a motorcycle rather than restore (then ride some time later), a newer motorcycle is the way to go.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by davevv View Post
For an idea of what can be available in your price range, check out the "cheep bike challenge" thread.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=482885

If you're looking for a great buy from Craigslist, several things are important. You need to know exactly which bikes you would be satisfied with. You need to be able to buy, or at least look at, a bike that looks like a good deal as soon as you see the ad pop up on the list. Check the list several times every day. Great buys show up on Craigslist fairly often, but they don't stay there long because people who are able to act quickly usually snap them up in the first few hours after they are listed.
+1

I have an app on my phone that automatically scans Craigslist. I have it set to show me every listing in the motorcycle for sale section under $1500 within 50 miles of me. Much easier than going on CL and trying to search several different cities, and you can get on the good deals fast. In fact, I had to turn it off because there were too many tempting deals popping up around me. But yes, the good deals are out there, you might just have to look a while. I saw a '78 CX500 listed for $800 a few weeks ago - I went and looked at it, it ran great and looked nearly mint. I didn't buy it on the spot, and when I called back only about 36 hours later, it was gone. Gotta be quick and decisive.
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