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Old 02-16-2015, 07:28 AM   #1
scapegoat OP
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Service records, do I expect to much?

Ive been searching for a clean ready to go commuter. Could be a early RT, GS, a 955 Tiger withing my affordability range. There are out there, miles seem to be in the 40K to 60K range ,look clean and prices reflect "needs nothing ready to ride". When I ask about things like a paper work for service history, Valves, main shaft or D/S spline maint on BMW' s it always, I have no idea or no paperwork. I assume making a purchase from a BMW dealer on a trade in bike with no known history and over 50K miles, doesn't necessarily mean they performed this type of work to prevent a meltdown. Should one move on to the next bike or deal with the "as is" sale.
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:37 AM   #2
Navin
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Why shop for bikes with more than 5,000 miles on them? There is no shortage of near new examples. At 50,000 anything can go wrong and it shouldn't be a shock.

And yeah, most don't keep a running log book, and the dealer would likely bin it if it came in on trade anyway.
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:50 AM   #3
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Funds are a significant factor as well as dealer location for parts support. Id love to swing a new Norge, but I need to curb my spending habits on pricy bikes and the like. Just hoping to find a solid DD'er for under $5K
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:09 AM   #4
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If funds are an issue and you want a DD, I would suggest a Japanese bike would be the way to go. Everyone has their own priorities, but I would guess that you'd have a bigger potential for an expensive service need with one of the bikes you're looking at compared to used Japanese bikes at a similar price point.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:26 AM   #5
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I've purchased several bikes with 20k+ miles and after a quick test ride you should be able to tell if anything feels "off". (vibes, excessive play in controls/final drive, silent valves or overly loud valves, etc) I've yet to have a negative experience but I also do all of my own maintenance and check the bikes out thoroughly after purchase.

Check the final drive, all fluids, valves, and lube the spine when you get home. More often than not the used bikes I've bought were all "good to go" from the point I bought them but taking a look inside always made me feel better.

I'll second the notion that it sounds like you need something Japanese.

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Old 02-16-2015, 08:33 AM   #6
calamarichris
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I personally wouldn't buy a bike with that many miles on it and no service log nor receipts. Too many people abuse & neglect their bikes, with the plan of dumping it on some hapless schlub in the near future.
Valve adjustments are fairly expensive, so it's stupid to simply throw away the receipt from that. Or if you do them yourself, you're already recording the shim thicknesses & clearance, so there's no point it throwing those away either.
If they can't cough up a maintenance log with receipts, I'd offer significantly less than the asking price. You'll be needing that money very soon.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:21 AM   #7
Jim Moore
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A bike with 60K miles has been taken care of, or it wouldn't have lasted that long. Look for a $4K bike and bank a grand for unexpected expenses. A 98 / 99 oil head is going to be a solid bike even with a lot of miles.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:45 AM   #8
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I would move on. You'll know when you find the right bike. When my new 2005 R1200GS decided to shed the piston rings on the right cylinder, I went shopping for an oilhead RT to have as a back up. (When I was young "backup" bikes were mostly for HD owners.) At any rate, in time I found a nice R1100RT about 90 minutes away. The guy had done all the maintenance himself, and had a very detailed Excel spreadsheet tracking it all. Sure - he could have just made it up. But his garage was beyond meticulous, and into the "anal retentive" stage. There was no doubt in my mind he had done all the maintenance he claimed. The bike was flawless for the few years I ownd it. I sold it to a guy at work, and it has remained flawless for him as well.

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Old 02-16-2015, 10:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
A bike with 60K miles has been taken care of, or it wouldn't have lasted that long. Look for a $4K bike and bank a grand for unexpected expenses. A 98 / 99 oil head is going to be a solid bike even with a lot of miles.
Thats what Im thinking especially with the potential spline issues and this comes based off two GS'es i owned. If it made it this far its either been replaced or taken care of. Ive have one or two or every bike made pretty much, some 50K plus isn't an issue, some I wouldn't consider @ 20K miles. I shall keep pluggin away till I fine what Im lookin for then.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:48 AM   #10
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My brother best the living shit out of a ZX6r that he traded in at 75,000 miles. He cared for it, but also replaced the frame from wheelies!

Go buy a CBR300f for $3999 brand new.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
A bike with 60K miles has been taken care of, or it wouldn't have lasted that long. Look for a $4K bike and bank a grand for unexpected expenses. A 98 / 99 oil head is going to be a solid bike even with a lot of miles.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:43 PM   #12
Vertical C
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If it's a BMW or other European bike I would expect and want service. Those owners should be more fastidious after spending so much.

If it's only a commuter buy a Japanese bike though.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scapegoat View Post
Ive been searching for a clean ready to go commuter. Could be a early RT, GS, a 955 Tiger withing my affordability range. There are out there, miles seem to be in the 40K to 60K range ,look clean and prices reflect "needs nothing ready to ride". When I ask about things like a paper work for service history, Valves, main shaft or D/S spline maint on BMW' s it always, I have no idea or no paperwork. I assume making a purchase from a BMW dealer on a trade in bike with no known history and over 50K miles, doesn't necessarily mean they performed this type of work to prevent a meltdown. Should one move on to the next bike or deal with the "as is" sale.
Not sure where you're located, but here are 2 GSs local to me in your price range, both supposedly serviced by my local BMW dealer, Ironhorse, in Tucson, who would have records, and I've had great experiences with them over multiple bikes. I don't know the owner, but would be happy to check them out for you if you're interested, just PM me.

http://seatrider.org/for%20sale/for%20sale.htm
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:30 AM   #14
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I bought my 2001 ST1100 with 41k last year with spotty maintenance records against my better judgment (based on reputation of Honda and the ST1100). I changed all the fluids and did all the routine maintenance when I first got it. Not long after that, I was on my way home from work and a coolant hose under the carbs blew spraying coolant everywhere. It had been neglected, but not severely. I ended up doing a major cooling system overhaul, and the bike was off the road most of the first five months I owned it. Im glad I kept my other bike or I would have lost half of the riding season. The bike is running great now, but if I had it to do over, I would insist on thorough maintenance records for a bike that old with that many miles.

Actually, this has become a pet peeve of mine - when you hear guys say "just change the oil and tires and ride...". It's so not true, especially on liquid cooled bikes.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:34 PM   #15
Skowinski
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I keep detailed maintenance log books for every bike, but I think I might be a bit of an OCD weirdo. I can't think of but a very few used bikes I bought that came with a maintenance record. I always relied on a careful inspection and short ride to make the judgement of what condition it's in.
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