Have you "Downgraded"???

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by N.Penley, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. N.Penley

    N.Penley Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
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    95
    Location:
    Piney Flats,Tennessee
    Tell me about trading for or a cheaper, slower, older, uglier, etc. bike.

    I havent had a street bike in almost 2 years and am on the hunt. With a new baby in the house I am not willing to spend above my $2,000 budget. I have never owned a "cheap old bike" and need encuragment.

    Can less truely be more?

    Tell me about trading or selling your nice, fairly new, and clean ride and picking up an old dirty out dated motorcycle. did you love it or hate it? :ear
    #1
  2. plugeye

    plugeye mc caregiver

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    cant answer that truthfully, as $2000 is too steep for the likes of meself
    but i believe happiness can be attained from doing what your proposing.
    the cheaper you get it for, the happier you'll be
    #2
  3. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Joined:
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    SE Michigan
    As my tag suggests, I don't spend a lot purchasing motorcycles. I always buy "diamonds in the rough." This usually means older and neglected. If you're decent with a wrench, you can get a lot of motorcycle for $2,000. The trick is being patient in your search, having the cash on hand, and being ready to jump on a deal the second you find it. Good deals are out there, but they tend not to hang around for long.

    For instance, this past spring I picked this up for $1,500:

    [​IMG]

    It had 14,000 miles on it, almost new tires, new chain, and a bunch of extras. The problem? It didn't run because the tank didn't vent properly, causing the fuel system to pressurize and the carbs to overflow. I fixed that problem for the grand total of $0 by removing the stock one-way tank vent and spent $200 completely rebuilding the carbs to ensure reliability.

    It was definitely cheap, but I wouldn't rate that bike slow or ugly.

    The previous winter I snagged a '96 DR350 with 7,000 miles for $600, put another $400 into it for all new carb rubber, new chain and sprockets, new cables, new air filter, new tires, etc. It's slow and ugly, but it's a very functional and reliable dual sport that I've had a lot of fun on.

    And sometimes you get really "lucky" and get a mostly complete GL1500 in a million pieces for a project... :lol3

    Basically, the deals are out there and there are plenty of good motorcycles to be had within your budget. You're just going to have to be kind of picky because there are going to be far more train wrecks for that price range. Plus there's a certain sense of pride to be had in doing more with less.
    #3
  4. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

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    bought a 2000 KLR awhile back for $2000. thing had been rode hard and put away wet and looked it. Painted the plastics with rattle can bed liner. It looked great. Never did a thing to the engine. Never needed it.

    Traded it even up for a Beemer K75. Never did bond with the thing. But I was able to sell it later for $500 more than I paid for the KLR. All in all not a bad experience.

    take your time looking. but be ready to buy the minute you see what you like. Good deals do not last long.
    #4
  5. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
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    Location:
    Durham NC, The Old Durty
    I have owned old and new, fast and slow, pretty and ugly. They are all bikes IMHO and bikes are fun. If it has two wheels and a motor, I probably think it is cool. I recently sold my 2005 dual sport, and ride only a decent, but no beauty queen VTR1000F as my commuter. I got it for under $2k and I have fallen in love with it.

    In fact, I really can't think of anything I would want to replace it with right now. It is fun as hell to ride, has gobs of power, handles like some much fancier bikes I have ridden if you have b**ls - and does so for something like $90 in annual insurance (liability only). Oh yeah, and it never breaks, or needs tune-ups. And parts are cheap. And I don't really care if one of my kids accidentally bumps their bike into it while it is in the garage. Or I have to ride it in the rain. Or some Squid on a $10,000 600R thinks he's going to take me between stoplights. And the list goes on...

    It's the perfect bike for right now. And it puts up respectable numbers for being 16 years old. 425lbs, 109hp, load of torques anywhere in the power band.

    Would I like a Monster or Griso or Aprilia or and XR1200R - S**T yeah! But that would be the wrong bike for me right now. I love being on a weird old beater. People come and ask what it is. Children and pets run from it's basso-profundo rumble. Plus I had enough left to pick up a GPX1100e for $850 that I getting back into running condition. Another 1990's bike that still looks nice and put up great numbers.

    You don't have to be the newest, fastest, or shiniest on the block to have fun.
    #5
  6. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Very much so but it has to be in your personality.
    When I was a younger family man a 25yr old CB550 for 125 dollars was allowing me to enjoy the freedom that riding provided. If I was the type to have to have the latest and greatest I would not have been content because it was underpowered and too small and noisy etc. I donated it to a nephew after i had used it up and when he bought something newer i gave it away to another needy wanna be rider.
    Nowadays I have more suitable machinery but still ride a scarred clapped out KLR for my winter beater. It owes me nothing and I just got home from getting groceries in the snow and -8c temps.
    And i had as much fun today as on any other machine in my stable. Just the way my brain works.

    YOU RUN WHAT YOU BRUNG.
    #6
  7. DustyRags

    DustyRags Idiot

    Joined:
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    The Beast, California
    The most I ever spent on a bike was 2600, for a (supposedly) immaculate 2000 Nighthawk 750. Turned out to need the carbs rebuilt and dropped the front fender on me, but otherwise a great deal. You can get something similar for 2k straight up if you're willing to get a dirty bike or the seller admits upfront that it needs carb cleaning.

    There are loads of bikes out there for under 2k. What do you consider "old"? What's "slow" to you? The 750 has 75 HP (supposedly) and will run freeways with narry a hiccup. Hydraulic lifters, self-adjusting cam chain, it's a work horse. Sure, it's 13 years old, but what of it?

    I used to run a Vulcan 500- great bike, if you have short legs. Mine were a little bit too long, so I sold it after a year. Again, a very clean bike, I dropped 2300 on it and it ran great. Not the most powerful thing ever, but handled freeways just fine and was oodles of fun around town.
    #7
  8. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Avon, IN Not so much Motorcycle Heaven
    You can find a lot of old Suzuki GS bikes for a lot less than that. Buy one, go to thegsresources.com, dive into the maintenance they suggest and have a cheap, reliable older, but still very capable, bike.

    Or keep your eyes open for the occasional SV650 that comes in around your budget number and buy it.
    #8
  9. N.Penley

    N.Penley Adventurer

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    Nov 5, 2009
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    Piney Flats,Tennessee
    I would love to spend under $1,500 and earn the right to post in the cheap bike challenge thread too.

    I have been watching Craigslist daily and have yet to find anything to even look at. I suppose its time to look at bikes with a higher asking price and polish up the haggling skills.
    #9
  10. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    Asheville NC
    Downgrading is awesome.

    Forget Craigslist. Talk to people you know. Network. There are a lot of old UJM type machines just sitting around that need tires and carb work.
    #10
  11. Jedi Apprentice

    Jedi Apprentice Been here awhile

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    Philadelphia, PA
    The GS850g is a super nice looking bike that could be had for less than 2k. I was in the same predicament as you months ago and was considering one of these for the same purpose
    #11
  12. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    You can't downgrade when you don't have anything to begin with. :1drink
    #12
  13. kojack06

    kojack06 Been here awhile

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    Exactly! Eventually you'll find that four year old bike with almost no miles and dry rotted tires the owner just wants gone.
    #13
  14. Swashbuckler

    Swashbuckler Been here awhile

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    Fort Collins
    I scored a great deal on a new leftover Triumph Daytona. After a wrist injury I couldn't ride the Daytona comfortably for more than 40 miles. I decided the time came to start Adventure Riding. I sold the Triumph and downgraded to a F800GS. Dumbest move I ever made. I should have stuck with Triumph or went with the KTM as planned.

    With that being said, expensive bikes aren't any different that cheap bikes. The fun factor is all that matters. And my 04 crf sumo was easily the funnest bike I've ever owned. Cheap, light, small, fast, go anywhere, do anything, and I always had a smile on my face. One time I jumped on it and chased the setting sun deep into the Colorado mountains. I took 170, to some sort of dirt road, that led to a trail, that I left and just kept going. I barely made it back to Denver, even with coasting the bike a bit, but it was one of the greatest rides I ever had.
    #14
  15. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    Tampa
    That sweet bike doesn't count as downgrade [​IMG]
    #15
  16. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

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    Feb 26, 2010
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    I realise you put quote marks on "downgraded", and are most likely specifically thinking about older and/or used bikes versus new and expensive ones, but in the spirit of the topic, if not the letter-

    I got a loan to acquire my 2009 BMW F800ST, brand new in early 2010.

    I got it thinking it was probably going to be the last motorcycle I would ever buy brand new, justifying the eyewatering expenditure of time and hard earned money devoted to the undertaking, and given it being a BMW, well, I fell for the damned lies and hype about quality, craftsmanship and so on. :csm :fpalm

    So, *that* was a gigantic FUBAR on my part, lol.:lol3 Before the "warranty" expired, I traded it in on a Honda NC700X. Holy crap did I get hosed as I owned more money than the bike was worth, by several thousand dollars. :cry

    I am so happy now though! Getting rid of that godawful BMW albatross lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Knowing then what I know now, I would have without hesitation willingly paid the same or more for my NCX as I did for the F800.

    I "Upgraded"! :D
    #16
  17. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I went thru similar when I had my first child. I sold the 10k cruiser cause it was seeing less than 2000kms a year, and I felt I was tieing up a lot of money for nothing.

    Not wanting to stop riding altogether, and those 2000kms are still enjoyable. I bought a DRZ for 1600 bucks and rode it for 3 years. Cleaned it up a little and sold it for 3k.
    #17
  18. N.Penley

    N.Penley Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Piney Flats,Tennessee
    A little more regarding my "downgrade."


    My last street bike was a 2006 Harley XL1200R.

    Please resist the urge to comment that anything is an upgrade from a sportster (However I understand there is some trouth to that). I loved the sportater but I want some storage, comfort, reliability, and character in my new to me toy.

    Thanks to all who have replied.
    #18
  19. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    Sep 22, 2009
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    8,475
    I went from the mega awesome KTM 950 to a Ninja 300 last year. I just needed a change. I like the light feel of the Ninja 250, hated the power, suspension, everything cheap about it. The 300 has the power bit covered, nothing else really.

    So, dumped everything I got from selling the SMR into the 300. It was a downgrade for sure, but I go just as quickly on it. I have dumped $ into every aspect of the bike, it was brandy new and it works pretty well with the mods I did.

    So, yes, you can have a ball on a cheaper bike. And no, I can't resist! Where you go down from the Sportster I can't tell ya! Craftsman garden tractor? :lol3
    #19
  20. MacMcMacmac

    MacMcMacmac Idiots Avant!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
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    I downgraded by upgrading, from an immaculate GS1100E to a 2004 Bandit 1200S. The 1100 was more comfortable, and beastly, with the thump-thump-thump of that big roller bearing crank at idle. Time marches on though, and the Bandit has all the upgrades I was going to do to the 1100 built in from the factory. Still, it isn't the GS, and is somewhat anonymous by comparison. What finally swayed me in deciding which one to sell was the fact that getting insurance for 30 year old bikes is somewhat dodgy in Ontario for a daily driver bike, and despite the huge aftermarket for GS upgrades due to its popularity with drag racers, it is nearer to the end of the line for (stock) parts availability than the beginning, so I reluctantly sold it off and kept the more modern bike.

    I was sorely tempted to downgrade to my 83 XS650 as an only bike for awhile, in a fit of commonsense and merciless analysis of how much, where, and how fast I ride, but I simply couldn't live with the lack of power, and again, the insurance factored in. Twas a pretty bike with the mods I made though. (I WANT A W800 DAMMIT!)

    I'm happy with the Bandit, but it's really more than I need for how I ride these days.
    #20