Cheap Thrills - Can you get started in motorcycling for $2,500 or less?

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Seavoyage, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    My buddies and I leave on a trip in a month rules are simple 1. Bike is older than you 2. bike is under $1000.

    Aside from that, I bought my 2006 Vstrom 650 for $2400. Deals are out there... $2500 isn't even a challenge.

    If you look at my signature line, the only bikes over $2500 were my VFR800, DL1000, 2008 DL650($2950), and FJR1300.
    #21
  2. Lesharoturbo

    Lesharoturbo Nerdly Adventurer

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    My first bike was KZ400 that I paid $150 for. It needed a lot of work, but $400 later I had a nice beginners bike. I replaced the exhaust, rebuilt the carbs, tore down and inspected the engine, replaced gaskets, rings and bearings. I repainted the frame and the tins. It otok me about 6 months to finish, but it was worth it.

    For $2500, I could have bought 5 bikes :lol3. Or that Pantah that was on display in the local shop....
    #22
  3. sjc56

    sjc56 Long timer

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    "My buddies and I leave on a trip in a month rules are simple 1. Bike is older than you 2. bike is under $1000."
    Now that would be a challenge for me at 55.
    #23
  4. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I have owned a lot of bikes, both new and used. I have paid over $10,000 for a couple. But for what you are describing, IMO the Yamaha XT225 simply cannot be beat. You can get a NICE one for under $1500, and you can put a 4 gal. Clarke tank, Cigar Mike centerstand, and a BryanSwens luggage rack on it. You can also get a kickstarter for it. It will cross the country (though not at warp speed) and I have yet to find a place where it will not go. With the 4 gal. tank, you can ride around off road all day. So far mine have been bulletproof (I own 2, a '94 set up for off road (but still street legal) and an '01 set up for street use, with Avon Distanza tires). With the centerstand, you don't have to worry about flats due to the tube type tires. You can even replace the cam chain without tearing the engine down.

    Most pure streetbikes lack the suspension and ground clearance to be good off road, though I know of one guy who converted his Kawasaki Ninja 500 to an off road bike and seems to be doing well with it. Seems like the low mufflers might also be a problem.

    As for the original question, you can most definitely get into motorcycling for less than $2500. You even have your choice of sportbike, cruiser, touring bike, or dual sport bike. I have an '85 Goldwing I would not hesitate to ride from coast to coast, that I have less than $2500 in, but I do have a LOT of work into it, like a few hundred hours, and it is definitely not an off road bike.
    #24
  5. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    That sounds like a blast. I need a beater bike that has crap suspension, no brakes, no power, handles like crap, leaks oil and rusted to remind me of how good I have it now
    #25
  6. sjc56

    sjc56 Long timer

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    [​IMG][/url]
    P1010979 by steven_j_cote, on Flickr[/IMG]I have a GS850 I would sell for $1800 all the bike you really need.
    #26
  7. 2000RSV

    2000RSV Go Fast, Go Long

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    Ummm, no one's mentioned a KLR? You can pick up a nicely sorted out KLR for $1500 (easily) with plenty of money left for riding equipment, etc. Take you anywhere in the world, do 70+ on the highway, eat up gravel and trails, and not whine about needing a bath.

    J
    #27
  8. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    Hmm, I rarely see KLR's for $1500 that are nicely sorted, but it does vary geographically. If I see a KLR for $1500 that is decent, I'll buy it.
    #28
  9. squish

    squish Out of the office.

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Really
    2500 seems like it would be a luxury....

    Here's my list.

    Honda XR250L purchase price, =700.
    Fix up $250

    Total cost $950.
    Gear
    used jacket 150,
    used pants 100,
    work boots 50,
    work gloves 20

    MSF class
    !00

    Used soft bag
    !00

    Used plastic take off tank.
    Free.

    totally just under $2000


    XR650L
    Bike $1,200
    Gear, (same as above)
    Bags $600
    New seat $100
    SRC brace $25 used
    Windscreen
    skid plate $15 materials, free labor
    5.8 gallon tank $300

    $2240
    #29
  10. windburn

    windburn Long timer

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    A 1971 Honda Trail 90 has been my cheap thrill. At $350 and about the same in parts I have this little mountain goat.
    The plan is to take it to the Rockies and ride. New points and condenser, battery, spark plug, rear tube and tires, valve adjustment, mirrors. At 4000 miles it runs very well.

    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. Buddykitchen

    Buddykitchen Lurking about

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    Having an adventure for under $2500 isn't even a challenge.

    I bought my '82 CB900C for $1250, put about $250 in parts to make it run, paid $100 for a Windjammer, paid zero for a KG trunk, got a set of used-only-once Nelson-Rigg CL-850 saddlebags for $25.

    30,000+ miles later, I'm still enjoying every minute of riding it. In fact, I'm entertaining the idea of taking it to Chile next year.

    (Since this picture was taken, the trunk has been replaced with a Vetter trunk. Still way under $2500.)

    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. WhatThaFrig

    WhatThaFrig Been here awhile

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    I've been trying to find that ride report. It was one of my favorites.
    #32
  13. ADK

    ADK ____

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    #33
  14. WhatThaFrig

    WhatThaFrig Been here awhile

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    #34
  15. shadman

    shadman Been here awhile

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    I bought a DRZ400SM for $1300, spent $800 on a full (preventative) engine refresh including rings, clutch, clutch basket, seals, all new bearings. Titled it for $250. Gun box for $10. Dirt tires used for $100. Been to Mexico and back twice, once to Big Bend, and around Texas. Tops out at 95, cruises easily at 70, gets about 50 miles to the gallon, and is actually a great bike in all ways but the seat. YES, $2500 will get you into the joy of motorcycling...in style.

    <img src="http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/1129/f4iparts047.jpg" alt="Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"/><br/>By <a target="_new" href="http://profile.imageshack.us/user/peshaddock">peshaddock</a> at 2011-05-19

    <img src="http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/2479/bigbend2011306.jpg" alt="Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"/><br/>By <a target="_new" href="http://profile.imageshack.us/user/peshaddock">peshaddock</a> at 2011-02-28

    <img src="http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/9764/bigbend2011231.jpg" alt="Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"/><br/>By <a target="_new" href="http://profile.imageshack.us/user/peshaddock">peshaddock</a> at 2011-02-28

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    #35
  16. Fictitious

    Fictitious Been here awhile

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    $1300 for a DRZ?! :O Where do you live? I need to move there! :p
    #36
  17. motomike14

    motomike14 Thumper Crusader

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    $700 for a 1986 Honda XR600R; already had a title and DOT knobs. Threw on new chain and sprockets, homemade tail bag, a brake light switch from my pile of goodies at home and a mirror/GPS mount. Have less than $1000 in it and still tight as new.

    [​IMG]

    Sub-$2500 bikes are easy to come by. Having mechanical skills and knowledge is incredibly helpful. Now-a-days, with so much ethanol problems, if you can work on a pair of carbs, you can find cheap bikes allllll day.
    #37
  18. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    I've had one. Not much fun to ride as I didn't want to drop it.
    #38
  19. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

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    Starting from zero gear/experience, it cost me less than $2000.00 to get up and running.

    -1990 DR350S
    -bike mods (service manual, sprockets, chain, petcock, oil change, adjust valves)
    -tool kit with tubes, patches, etc.
    -two day MC class
    -plates
    -insurance
    -helmet & goggles
    -jacket
    -pants
    -boots

    I just did my first overnight trip this past weekend which included ~180 miles of dirt roads, 4x4 trails, and pavement. :D

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. jenkinskg

    jenkinskg n00b

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1
    Cost $1000 and pretty beat up
    Needed a few parts, altogether maybe $300
    Now it rides nice everywhere
    #40