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Discussion Starter #1
I am 18 just got out of school. I can't afford to keep my junker cage running anymore and I've always admired the sportsters and bobbers chugging down the road. In fact I've wanted a bike since I saw my uncles Wide Glide at 10. I have a pretty low budget so when I searched craigslist I couldnt find much untill I stumbled upon a 1996 virago 535 for $400. The catch is it needs to be cleaned up and put back together. All the parts are there and it was a supposedly good bike before he stopped working on it. I've never taken on a huge project like this. I've turned a wrench more than a few times, built my own guitar, and fixed things on my car but never reassembled anything of this scale. If I got comfortable doing it I could probably even turn it into a bobber.

Is this a good idea for a first bike? And is this a easy enough bike to work on for a semi-first time mechanic?
 

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So what you are saying if I read correctly, is that the entire bike has been disassembled inside and out and is in pieces more or less?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well its mostly together but I would have to take it apart and refurbish a lot of it so when I get it it'll end up as a pile of parts
 

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Gone.
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^^^:thumbsup:

If it was running good, why did he take it apart?

Usually what happens is they start out to repair a problem and quickly find out they're in over their heads, they lose interest, they don't have a special tool, or they can't find parts. The bike then sits until they realize it's time to get rid of it.

What you get then is a pile of parts that probably isn't complete and almost certainly isn't bagged, tagged, and in order, AND you probably don't know what the original problem was to start with. Yes, you could get the bike back together and running, but you're risking your 400 clams to start with, and you also don't know what it's going to take to complete it. If, just for example, it had burned a main crank bearing and cracked the bearing boss in the crankcase you could be looking at thousands just in parts. You could end up spending more then the bike is worth when it's fixed.

My suggestion would be to keep looking and try to find something that's at least running. It might still be a project and need work, but at least you'd have a running machine while you learn and sharpen your skills.
 

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you never want to buy someone elses unfinished project. that $400 pile of parts will become a restoration project that will set you back twice (or more) the money you spent just buying it. since you're on a low budget and looking for a first bike I'd advise against it. you want to RIDE your first bike not wrench on it
 

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you can pickup a bike thats all together, running, that maybe just needs a part or two here or there for $400-600 on craigslist. Just as long as it's not a frozen engine/electrical nightmare then for someone who knows how to wrench it should be OK. But I'd still consider looking for something ready to go for your first bike, or as close to ready to go as possible without it being torn apart.
 
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