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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been really feeling like I need to start riding again because I miss it. I haven't been on a bike in 6 years but used to ride a small 250cc nighthawk daily to and from work and around town for about 8 months (streets and rush hour freeway). I probably put on about 7k miles in that time frame so I feel like I sort of know what I'm doing but all that experience happened on a very manageable motorcycle.

I sold that bike with the intention of getting something bigger but just never got around to it. Fast forward to today and I'm seriously considering getting back and riding. It would be primarily for getting to and from work 2-3 days a week and maybe some riding on the weekend.

Originally I was really set on just going out and getting a new cb500f but realistically I don't want to go out and buy a brand new bike so the two real options at this point are a Suzuki GS500e or a Honda Hawk gt 647/nt650.

I could get a 10 year old GS500 for cheap and it seems like a reliable bike but the Honda Hawk is a pretty sexy looking bike. Looking at it makes me want to get on it every single day. The problem is that the Hawk is a 25 year old bike..and a GS500e would be a 8-10 year old bike..

I have zero time and desire to spend my weekends wrenching so the bike has to be reliable and ready to go every time I start it up in the morning. Is a reliable commuter Hawk just a pipe dream? I don't want to get it if its gonna be in the shop half the time. It feels like a newer GS500 with low miles is the practical choice but the Hawk is pretty sexy... Is getting a Hawk, taking it in for a professional tune up and then regular maintenance just a pipe dream?

Can anyone weigh in on my dilemma?

I'm stuck on those two bikes since I like the look and the bikes have to be easily manageable in case my gf decides to take them out, I don't want her to kill herself and I really don't need anything bigger/faster.

Thanks in advance everybody.
 

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Odds are the newer motorcycle will be more reliable, but it's really hard to say without checking each one out. Even something a year old can have problems of it wasn't taken care of properly.
 

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Hero's are Remembered, Legends Never Die
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I'm stuck on those two bikes since I like the look and the bikes have to be easily manageable in case my gf decides to take them out, I don't want her to kill herself and I really don't need anything bigger/faster.

Thanks in advance everybody.
Both are great bikes, although the hawk has a cult following and will hold a better value, both are considered pretty bullet proof if taken care of. I have owned both and would own either again, I am actually seeking another hawk at the moment, Time will tell if I can find a decent one priced right. Check out the Hawk GT Forum (No Spaces) There is a nice one for sale in Ohio right now, but I dont have the cash!
 

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Yeah, l have to agree with Outlaw...l have always heard good things about those little hawks. Now, if you buy a project, there is no getting around doing some work...but if you find a clean one, l can see it easily being a daily rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There's a local guy selling a 1991 hawk for $3500.
He is the original owner and the bike has $24k miles. He says it runs perfect but I havent checked it out yet. My budget for this is about $3k not counting money for new gear. And ideally I was looking for something with less than 15k miles on it but the fact that he bought the bike new and ridden it is a plus in my book.

If I can talk him down to $3k is that a reasonable price?
1991 is supposedly the holy grail for this bike so I can understand a small premium if its in excellent condition.

Is buying a bike with that many miles just asking for trouble?
I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the lifespan of stuff from back then.
 

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Pale Rider
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My wife and I toured, two-up, around Lake Superior, on a 1979 Honda 750, in 2009... Four days of rain in Canada. Bike was overloaded with gear, and two adults riding it. Never had a problem the entire trip, 1,935 miles. Now we ride a 1993 Kawasaki Voyager touring bike, with 58,000 miles on it. We tour through Canada, and five States with it, two-up, plus luggage. As long as we maintain it properly, it will go 300,000+ miles, easy.

Care is the question, not so much age, or miles, though it depends upon the engine a bit, as well.

Your best bet is to get a factory service manual on the bike you buy, and learn to do as much of the maintenance as you can, at home. Shops charge $90-$100 per hour, for labor, with parts being extra. The basics of fluid changes are actually fairly simple, and inexpensive to do yourself (oil/filter; fork fluid; brake fluid; shaft drive oil changes; etc.). Best of luck. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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There's a local guy selling a 1991 hawk for $3500.
He is the original owner and the bike has $24k miles. He says it runs perfect but I havent checked it out yet. My budget for this is about $3k not counting money for new gear. And ideally I was looking for something with less than 15k miles on it but the fact that he bought the bike new and ridden it is a plus in my book.

If I can talk him down to $3k is that a reasonable price?
1991 is supposedly the holy grail for this bike so I can understand a small premium if its in excellent condition.

Is buying a bike with that many miles just asking for trouble?
I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the lifespan of stuff from back then.
I don't think 24k miles is a ton for a bike that age. What it all comes down to, whether the bike is new or old, is how it was taken care of. The older a bike is, and the higher number of previous owners, the higher your chances that someone neglected it along theway.

I didn't realize you were talking about that era of Hawk, l thought you were talking about the earlier 400 Hawk. From what there is available in my area, l would say that $3500 is a bit steep, and it would have to be in REALLY nice condition for that price. There are two '88's available near me, one is from a dealer and the dealer wants $2850, and it says it has had modifications to make it shorter. The other one looks to be in a very good condition and the seller is asking $1500 for it. I admittedly don't know enough about them to know if there is a huge differece between an '88 and a '91.

After reading a little more about them, it appears as though there weren't many 1991 models that made it into the US, so that makes sense why he would want more for it. From a practical standpoint, there aren't a whole lot of differences between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I saw the one in Reno. Its a salvaged bike. They guy is selling it in SF Bay area and mentions that its a complete rebuild.

I'm in Southern California so I think Vegas and maybe SF are my absolutely limits bc I'd have to ride it back south. I have no idea how I would ship it form any further away than that.
 

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Gotcha, l didn't notice that it was a salvage bike. Not interested in that.

Honestly that bike in LA is pretty darn cool. If that is your dream bike then maybe you should just go for it. The question l would be asking myself is, "If l don't buy this bike, how hard will l kick myself and for how long?"

Back in the day l had a chance to buy a 1967 Firebird convertible with a freshly built 400, 4-speed, and the 12-bolt posi rear end. It just needed a new top and a paint job, it was $3500. I still think about that car sometimes and think, "What could have possibly been more important?"

Additionally, the GS500 you are also considering is a dime a dozen bike. I see them on Craigslist for $1500 all the time. If you let one of those go, there will be another one rolling in tomorrow.
 
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