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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My name is Paul and I live in New Orleans. I am at a real cross roads as to what first bike to get. I'm going to be delivering food on the bike full time and here are my criteria: (I have my endorsement and love riding)

-fuel efficient (50+mpg)
-able to ride on highway for at least 20 min
-reasonably comfortable
-able to learn how to work on my bike for general maintenance and possibly all the way to engine work
-have a lean stripped down look besides rack on back
-reliable

So I really like the 1970's KZ's and CB's. I like the fact that I can customize them and can really learn to do all the wrenching myself. I like the simple mechanics, air cooled, carb, no computers etc.

Or... am I just better off buying a newer bike year (2000 & up)with more upfront reliability, but a real limitation to the work I can do on it.

Basically, I love the asthetics and mechanical simplicity of aforementioned 70's bikes and REALLY am up to the task of learning to do most/all of the work on it. But...am I just better off buying something modern like a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 or even the newer Vulcan 650?

I am taking into account that the vintage bike would be in good to excellent condition.

Thanks for reading and remember I'm going to be delivering on the bike FULL TIME.

Paul
 

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I would say even if you're willing and able, older bike part are sometimes hard to find, so if you need something reliable, that's something to consider.
 

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That's a tough call. I love vintage bikes and mine are fairly reliable, but only because I'm always working on them. I think if you're a new rider and can afford it, I would go with a more modern bike to start and then maybe pick up an old bike you can work on.

You CAN go the vintage route to start off, but you have to accept and enjoy the fact that 40+ year old stuff breaks - it's part of the adventure.
 

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Save them all!
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You also have to adopt this attitude the 200th time your bike breaks and you can't go riding.

 

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If I was you, I would look for something more modern and needing less work. Use that for your job. Then after you make some coin, find an inexpensive vintage bike that you can work on in your spare time. Best of both worlds.
 

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I have 3 older bikes plus spare parts. The one I am using this winter just had the speedo quit. No parts available at the dealer. I will have to find on line, or at a scrap yard. The bike is ride-able without the speedo.
But a hard to find bad connection in the main ignition wyre, was not so easy to find and fix. That would put you out of action for a while.

A newish 400 Yamaha street bike, or a dual purpose 650 Suzuki, should provide reliable transport, and be easier and nicer to ride. And that is where I would spend my $$. If you are doing this as a business, then you can expense the bike and costs.

Unkle Krusty
 

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The thing to remember about vintage bikes is that many bike shops won't work on them, partly because the mechanics there weren't even born when the bikes were made.
So....You darned well better be able to fix them yourself.
 

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Hello,

My name is Paul and I live in New Orleans. I am at a real cross roads as to what first bike to get. I'm going to be delivering food on the bike full time and here are my criteria: (I have my endorsement and love riding)

-fuel efficient (50+mpg)
-able to ride on highway for at least 20 min
-reasonably comfortable
-able to learn how to work on my bike for general maintenance and possibly all the way to engine work
-have a lean stripped down look besides rack on back
-reliable

So I really like the 1970's KZ's and CB's. I like the fact that I can customize them and can really learn to do all the wrenching myself. I like the simple mechanics, air cooled, carb, no computers etc.

Or... am I just better off buying a newer bike year (2000 & up)with more upfront reliability, but a real limitation to the work I can do on it.

Basically, I love the asthetics and mechanical simplicity of aforementioned 70's bikes and REALLY am up to the task of learning to do most/all of the work on it. But...am I just better off buying something modern like a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 or even the newer Vulcan 650?

I am taking into account that the vintage bike would be in good to excellent condition.

Thanks for reading and remember I'm going to be delivering on the bike FULL TIME.

Paul
a KZ 650 maybe, but when you get into the KZ 900's they are Crazy fast even for a 40+ year old Bike, Can be a challenge to handle if you grab too much throttle too quickly etc. Brakes arent as good as my much heavier -03 Harley Heritage!!, Chassis and Suspension are not as good as modern bikes, the early KZ's can be difficult to start as the Carbs dont like sitting and not being ridden, and not as good handling as some late models, How do I know? I own a '75 KZ900, I have ridden a lot of KZ900, Kz1000 and the LTD models over the years.its way too much bike for someone who hasn't ridden .The Honda 750, Owned one of them a LONG time ago, only for a little while tho, much too uncomfortable for my Portly frame and the same comments apply as far as Brakes Suspension, Carbs etc. all that Said I LOVE Vintage Bikes and if you decide to go that route I will applaud your effort! and Yes, for the most part they ar5e easier to service if you have basic mechanical aptitude. Good Luck!, :),
Just my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Man thanks for everyone's input. I'm going to most likely get a 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic. Only 4300 miles on it, dudes asking $2350 for it. What do y'all think of that Price? Also, I'm going to try and have him meet me at a mechanic to get a clean bill of health before I buy it. What's y'alls experience/opinion on that as well.

Much love and thanks for the help.

P.S.

I already have an old KZ650 that needs a ton of work that I'm going to probably end up restoring now that I've gotten this feedback!
 

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I'm going to most likely get a 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic. Only 4300 miles on it, dudes asking $2350 for it. What do y'all think of that Price?
Seems a bit high to me. They're basically asking full retail price. Being that this bike is now 16 years old and has only 4300 miles on it, that means it's been driven less than 300 miles a year.

This is a guess on my part, but I'd say if it's 16 years old and only has 4300 miles on it, it's probably been sitting a while and bikes that sit, tend to rot - tires crack, fluids get gunked up, seals go bad, etc.

Now maybe they've done all the maintenance and it's in great shape, but I'd guess it was stuck in the garage and forgotten about. You could be in for some large repairs. If you can bring along someone knowledgeable who knows what to look for, that would be a good idea.
 
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