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Old 03-23-2009, 10:30 AM   #1

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Default How old is too old for a used bike?

I will soon be in the market for a used bike after the MSF class I hope. In the meantime I have been looking at used bikes on ebay and Craigslist. One thing that pops out at me is there are a lot of really old decent looking bikes out there. My question is do you know when a bike is over the hill mechanically?

One thing it seems to the untrained eye is everyone who sells a bike thinks they have a one of a kind gem. They usually price it accordingly.

Any tips for us noobs looking for a cheap first ride so as not to get snookered. A cheap bike is no deal if it spends most of its time in the shop.

There are a ton of early 90's vintage bikes on sale at Craigslist. Are these even worth taking a look at? Just seems to me a 15+ year old bike is a problem waiting to happen. Even if the engine is good hoses and rubber parts just deteriorate from age alone like a car.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:20 AM   #2

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They never get too old. It's all about how well the maintenance is kept up with. I'd rather have a 1970's model bike that had been taken care of than a 5 year old bike that was neglected.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
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It also has a lot to do with how mechanically inclined and willing you are to tinker with the bike. I found a rare bike that needed some tlc, even though the seller claimed it was in good riding condition. I was willing to spend up to $1500 cash on a used bike, so when I got the deal for $700 I was very happy.

After doing some tuning and repairs on the bike, I had spent an additional $400. Since I was able to do all my own work on it, and enjoyed doing it, I was able to stay below my $1500 budget.

By the way, my bike is now 27 years old and has no problem going for 100+ mile rides any day I feel like riding. In fact, once it warms up some more my round trip commute will be 130 miles.
1982 Honda CB750SC Nighthawk
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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One should try to avoid setting mental limits concerning age and concentrate entirely on the mechanical condition of a bike. Mine is 13 years old but you could never look at it or ride it and tell its age. But I've seen some pretty sad looking / sounding bikes that are newer than mine.

I guess if there was one thing I'd avoid, it's a bike that's old enough to have a points ignition system. I can deal with them, but I don't like to.
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