~500cc bike recommendation

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by SIKLR250, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    Hi,

    I'm in the market for used street bike (older models included) and looking for recommendations for models to look for based on these criteria:

    ~500cc single
    upright/standard seating position
    kick starter only
    front disc brake
    good reputation for reliability
    $1000-1500 for a specimen in decent shape

    I've had my eye on a really nice 1982 Honda FT500 Ascot, but I just can't stomach the idea of having a bike with an electric starter (it just seems so lame...). I'm looking for a step up bike for city commuting, errands and occasional long trips (not involving travel on interstate highways).

    Thanks, Dave
    #1
  2. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    Oh, I almost forgot:

    a screw/locknut setup for valve clearance adjustment
    #2
  3. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    A kickstart only street bike? you'll have to go back in time quite a ways.

    I have a reliable $1500 standard streetbike with a front disk, but it's electric start - a '93 suzuki GS500E. Has progressive springs in front, so it handles fairly well. Goes like hell up to about 80mph,then aerodynamics and lack of HP takes over. Its my first bike, and its done everything I've asked of it, including some minor adventures in dirt and gravel. I have a pic saved somehwere... Only one I can find is an avatar

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. creeper

    creeper Still alive...

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    Asside from the bike(s) listed, Yamaha made a nice single in the late 70s early 80s called the SR500. A tremendous amount of information on the web... a very cultish kind of bike.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As an interesting alternative, see if you can find a good used early to mid 90s KTM RXC... other than being a little tall for a pure street bike, it meets all your critera.

    C
    #4
  5. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    the last bike I had with a kick start was the W650 and I've got to admitt,
    I really miss being able to kick start a bike. It's a nice back up for sure but it also seems to make you feel much more a part of the process than pushing a little button on the handle bar. I think they started drifting off
    for the most part in the 80's so any good single from that period would do
    (my favorite: SR500 Yamaha, a lovely piece of kit that). They didn't
    sell a ton of them so I don't know if you'd be able to find one but if you do, grab it. In terms of current bikes, the only kick-start single street machine you can still buy is the Royal Enfield. 'Pretty cheep too and if you
    are into retro, its about the only '50's brit bike you can still buy, sort of in
    a time warp via India:

    http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/mdl_65.html
    #5
  6. kbasa

    kbasa Being, human. Super Moderator

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    Kickstart? Why?

    You don't do you laundry in an old style wringer machine too, do you? :lol3

    GS500, man. Alternatively, EX500. Cheap, durable, easy to wrench on.
    #6
  7. Surly

    Surly surly adventurer

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    Any SRX 6's around?
    I'd sure love one. Its a little bigger than you want but I can live with the "extra" 100cc :evil
    #7
  8. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    Four out of six compliance with your wish list. It'll make you happy. I've always thought they were sweet, sweet bikes.
    #8
  9. jehu

    jehu ∩HƏſ

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  10. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    all good advice.
    do a search in the old bike area, a guy bought a FT500 shows what to look for on them. I paid $800 new for mine.inflation sucks.
    go to
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110482&highlight=ascot

    hes selling it
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...&rd=1&item=4615067568&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

    e-start on the street rules.

    the XT500/xt600 aint a bad bike either , kickers are cheap, as are pre 96 (?) dr650, the early 90's were kick start, I've seen clean ones in your range.

    an SRX will get more $, its kind of a cult bike.

    Get some bark busters for intown traffic, show them NYC cab drivers who's boss, heheh :1drink
    #10
  11. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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    I have owned several bikes that meet your criteria. I had two 1978 XT500's and one 1978 SR500. Additionally I had a '93 DR650 which was a kicker as well. As you can see by my list, I like simple, honest, durable, cost effective machines. My current DR is my best thumper yet. Don't discount the power of the button. Can't tell you how many times I was cussing out an uncooperative single cyl kicker. I was known to lose it and kick the bike over in my younger days when the beast wouldn't fire and get me home. I say get what calls to you (the XT still does after 26 years!) but don't discount the advantage of a modern e-start single like the 96+ DR or XRL if you want aircooled and locknut valves...

    my old SR...

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider-photobucket-images/images/t/telcobilly_scoots_smallSR500right.jpg" border="0" alt="Image hosting by Photobucket"></a>
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  12. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Banned

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    Finally a man who is not afraid to light off an engine by himself. If you can handle the idea of dirtbikes that are street legal you ought to consider an older XT500, buddy just scored the TT500 whichis basically the same thing for a grand in pretty good shape.
    #12
  13. Stiner

    Stiner Son of Dakardad

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    have you thought about a ninja 250? its eletric start but there really cheap used very reliable and great all around. at least check it out. i think you will be surprised.
    #13
  14. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    [SIZE=-1]"There are certain things men must do to remain men."
    (Kick starting a motorcycle is one of them.)

    -Captain James T. Kirk
    [/SIZE]
    #14
  15. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    I currently ride/commute with a KLR250, which I don't intend to part with. I would like a larger thumper with better brakes.
    #15
  16. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Banned

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    I'd also consider the early to mid 90s Suzuki DR650s, they were also kickers, very easy to light off, actually any thumper that is jetted properly is very easy to be a one kick bike, the problem comes from people buying bikes they have no idea how to tune or work on and then bitch when it is hard to start.
    #16
  17. steelhorses

    steelhorses Adventurer

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    Here is what you need. Armstrong/Harley Davidson MT500. Rotax 500cc motor, reliable, kick only, well built, holds about 3 liters of oil, cush drive, lots of storage and good road manners. Oh ya, you can go just about anywhere with it. Cheers!

    Attached Files:

    #17
  18. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    There is one of these bad boys sitting outside my local Harley dealer - though I don't know if it's for sale. What years were these made? Were they made by HD or in Italy.

    Just curious...
    #18
  19. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    There is one on eBay. Probably a bit out of my price range. :huh
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  20. steelhorses

    steelhorses Adventurer

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    I believe they were made from 1985 to 2000. Originally they were made by Armstrong in England and then Harley bought them out. The one pictured above is one of the first one's. If your patient you may be able to pick one up for under $2000. The newer models go for big money. I think new they are about $8000 US.
    #20