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Old 04-23-2013, 07:53 AM   #1
lockley16 OP
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Project bike help

Hello guys,

This is my first time on this forum and I need some help. There are two bikes for sale both less then $500. They do need some work, yes, but I was wondering which is the better deal. The first one is a 1984 Honda Shadow VT700C. It is running but needs a few thing, like clutch work, upholstery, and I don't know what else. It is for sale for $500. The other one is a 1979 Honda CX500 for sale for $350. This one doesn't run because it needs spark plug wiring, a new CDI box, it has a leaky gas tank, and again I don't know what else. (also the CX500 has a Harley's rear fender.)

Thanks guys.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:35 AM   #2
sailah
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Probably better to ask in the garage section but I'll answer anyways.

Bikes are an emotional buy hard to rationalize. Be aware that the cheaper bike can easily be more expensive once the chips land. How are your repair skills and trouble shooting?

Hard to give an opinion without pics and more details
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
lockley16 OP
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Oops, sorry. I forgot to post them. This is the VT700C.
This is the CX500.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
Beezer
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some parts for the cx are very scarce... pistons & rings for one, I think cam chain tensioner & guides as well. also some engine bearings and seals are unique & only NOS will do (no new production parts from honda in many years). there are aftermarket fixes for the ignition system using new parts thats not too bad price wise.. if you can be assured that the engine is structurally sound I would consider it but if in doubt I would pass. maybe look for metal in the oil filter & do a compression test. I just did a build on it's relative, the gl650 & it is even more of an orphan (see Terra Ambulator thread)... most orphan bike I have ever worked on & thats sayin a lot.

Here is the cx/gl forum...

http://choppercharles.com/


personally I like the cx better, but it is what it is.... an orphan. I know nothing about the Shadow.... it may be in the same boat for all I know
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:00 PM   #5
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The newer bike would be easier and most likey cheaper to deal with. Running vs non running is huge. Upholstery can be done at home for cheap. Clutch jobs are pretty easy on motorcycles. THe $150 differecne is nothing in the world of repairs.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
lockley16 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
some parts for the cx are very scarce... pistons & rings for one, I think cam chain tensioner & guides as well. also some engine bearings and seals are unique & only NOS will do (no new production parts from honda in many years). there are aftermarket fixes for the ignition system using new parts thats not too bad price wise.. if you can be assured that the engine is structurally sound I would consider it but if in doubt I would pass. maybe look for metal in the oil filter & do a compression test. I just did a build on it's relative, the gl650 & it is even more of an orphan (see Terra Ambulator thread)... most orphan bike I have ever worked on & thats sayin a lot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPulldown View Post
The newer bike would be easier and most likey cheaper to deal with. Running vs non running is huge. Upholstery can be done at home for cheap. Clutch jobs are pretty easy on motorcycles. THe $150 difference is nothing in the world of repairs.
Ok, thanks guys. So I will see if I can buy the shadow, just gotta sell my ATV.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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I'd go with the more common Shadow, which also runs, and which is also newer.

On the other hand, if possible, I would wait few months, save up some cash, and then you could buy a mid-80's Honda Nighthawk 650 for between 1K and 2K. They aren't very expensive, looks somewhat cruiser-ish (if that's what you like), and are shaft-driven with hydraulic valves (so you never have to lube chain or adjust valves).
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:40 AM   #8
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I would pass on both and find something more interesting. The CX500/650 is a great bike, it's unique, and I have always liked them. But as said they are very difficult to find parts for. I never understood why Honda gave up on such a wonderful engine so quick. The Shadow is an early attempt at a Japanese Harley copy. It looks nothing like a Harley, it was built before the Japanese got the look down. I am a cruiser guy, I have always liked them for their comfort. Maybe an early inline four cruiser? I understand parts are still fairly common for the Suzuki GS750 and 1100. Or if you really want something with a lot of support and parts availability, look for a Yamaha XS650, any year. You can buy complete rebuilt engines for those, and even custom hardtail frames. And they are damn near bulletproof.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:41 AM   #9
Dave in Wi
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My question is, what are you looking for? A project/hobby, or a rider?

If you are looking for a project, pick the one that interests you the most.

If you are looking for a bike to ride, save up some more money and find a good runner in the $1000 range. Either of these will cost you at least that much if not more to get them roadworthy. Just looking at the pics, I wouldn't take either at the asking price. Also make sure they have titles.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Wi View Post
My question is, what are you looking for? A project/hobby, or a rider?

If you are looking for a project, pick the one that interests you the most.

If you are looking for a bike to ride, save up some more money and find a good runner in the $1000 range. Either of these will cost you at least that much if not more to get them roadworthy. Just looking at the pics, I wouldn't take either at the asking price. Also make sure they have titles.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
+1 to every word, especially the ones in bold
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #11
kellymac530
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+2 with Sailah and Dave.

Not running is often, not always, a bad thing. People always say "oh it only needs....." or "it ran when I parked it".
Both are often NOT true.

Often it ran up until it stopped running SO that they parked it. If bikes run, people ride them.
That does not mean that you can not sometimes find a bike that just needs a carb cleaning and a battery and fire it up, but I never count on that.

Sometimes the most expensive "deal" is the cheapest deal.
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