1986 Helix; How much is too much?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by bbishoppcm, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    666
    Location:
    Bennington, NH
    I'm looking at buying a pearl white (w/ metallic gray rocker panels) 1986 Honda Helix; this bike is in relatively decent condition with 20,780 miles. The bad; The seat needs reupholstering, front brakes are trashed, it has telltale oil leak signs, there is surface rust on a few parts (obviously spent some time outside under a cover), the suspension is soft (front and rear), BUT the body is good and intact (with good paint, a few minor scratches),


    The good? everything seems to work; she is a runner; starts right up and the engine still sounds good and tight (could use carburetor work and an intake boot; it's not split, but it's original), tires are good, muffler is rusty but not leaking yet, and it has the optional folding (adjustable) back rest.
    New windshield, and aftermarket air deflectors over the foot wells. Still has original owner's manual and toolkit.

    So, how much is too much to pay for a bike like this? The price is $1200, but the seller will not budge on price. I offered $1100, and he wouldn't take it. Should I pass on this? I am seriously pining for a Helix; they're hard to find around here, but there is one other; a 1998 with 12k for $2,000.00 at a local Honda dealer. There is a 1994 with 6k two states over for $1700 that would cost a fortune to get here. What should I do?
    #1
  2. Odin

    Odin Adv rider

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Georgia
    Sounds high for a scooter that is 25 years old. I paid 600 for one in '92 with only 12k on it.
    #2
  3. btcn

    btcn Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,880
    Location:
    Morgan Hill CA
    I'd say its OK, but its not great. There is an 06 Burgman 650 in perfect condition for $2,200 in my area right now, and thats a lot more bike than a Helix for just $1,000 more.

    But for a Helix, its ok but not great. I would personally pass it up, get either one from the dealer that will likely need less work, or just wait and see if a better priced one comes along, I'm sure one will.

    Or, look for another newer bike. But if you want a Helix, wait a while and one should pop up on CL. Same here, right now there isn't a Helix for sale around here, but I know in a week or two a few will come.
    #3
  4. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Omaha, Ne
    $1200 is too high, the condition you describe sounds closer to $800 or $900 on a good day.
    Forgot to ask, how many miles is 2 states over? A Helix will cruise 65+ on the Highway.
    #4
  5. btcn

    btcn Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,880
    Location:
    Morgan Hill CA
    Thats something to consider:evil!

    Yes, the Helix will cruise real nice right around 60 MPH all day long, and 65 MPH is just fine, but the RPMS will be climbing up there.
    #5
  6. Black Sheep Radical

    Black Sheep Radical Fusionista

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    UK
    If it had none of the issues you describe and it was uncommonly tidy then I'd say go for it. That's steep for a bike that needs work though. Do you know if it's been for sale long? Perhaps the seller might be a bit more reasonable in a little while when he realises no-one's going to snatch his hand off.

    The one two states over sounds better value, as long as you're happy it's as good as the seller says it is. Don't look at it as costing a fortune to get home, just call it your first big road trip instead and then it's free :D
    #6
  7. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,205
    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    $800 at most for that year,condition, and miles. Let the seller keep it. 25 year old rubber and plastic.
    #7
  8. PinkSteel

    PinkSteel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Fairfield County, CT
    Patience, Grasshopper.

    If it is meant to be, you will be blessed with a Helix at a reasonable price....
    <input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="jsCall();" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">
    #8
  9. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,531
    Location:
    Next to Rio Bravo
    Keep looking
    #9
  10. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    666
    Location:
    Bennington, NH
    Thanks guys... the seller is a dealer (consignment motorcycle shop), but this is a bike the shop took in trade on a Lifan Honda (yamaha chappy lookalike) clone. I definitely want a Helix, but I definitely don't feel comfortable paying this much for something that's 25 years old, and LOOKS 25 years old! I'll keep shopping, and get my $100 deposit back.
    #10
  11. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,247
    Location:
    BC
    #11
  12. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    meh, seems to me that if a shop wants that sort of money for it they could at least put some labor into it along with a few wholesale dollars for parts and bring it up to snuff

    a shop selling a scooter for $1200 with bad brakes, possible carb work, and a seat that needs upholstering? no excuse for that but laziness, really

    with a little elbow grease and time the bike might fetch $1200 or more, even. i sure wouldn't want it passed on to me for $1200
    #12
  13. techguy

    techguy Scooter Trash

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    It might be worth 1200 if they had fixed the issues you mention. As is, 800 seems more realistic.
    #13
  14. D0N

    D0N Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    upstate NY
    I've owned 2 helixes (helixi?) an 86 and a 97.

    I wouldn't pay more than $350 for the bike you described. It's gonna need a ton of work.

    It sounds like it was beat and treated badly. 21k is a lot of miles for a poorly maintained scooter.

    I'd steer clear of that one.
    #14
  15. btcn

    btcn Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,880
    Location:
    Morgan Hill CA
    Yes, actually another thing I though of is potential problems. If it wasn't taken care of very well, well then its gonna have tons of issues. Once these are fixed, it will be one thing after the other and the other.

    My Elite 150 looks great, but the PO had it serviced regularly by an extremely shitty dealer. It has been a headache for the past 2 years, but now I have got it in perfect condition, $1000 later! Oh well, I did enjoy some of it, and I learned some things and got to be creative at times!
    #15
  16. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    666
    Location:
    Bennington, NH
    The thing is, I've already been down this road; my previous scooter, a 1986 Elite 150, was purchased used from a man who was obviously drunk. I wasn't thinking clearly, and bought it for $550; the scooter turned out to need just about everything and more, but when I was done, it was one hell of a machine; I even received compliments on my rattle-can paint job! Unfortunately, all that "learning" set me back almost $1500, and I DON'T want to do it again! (well, not on a bike that isn't worth the money in the end). I ended up nearly giving that scooter away in the end, after a failed crankcase breather element nearly grenaded the engine after 4,000 miles of hard riding.
    #16