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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So to any of those out there that have much experience with supersport bikes (though some call the F4i a "sport tourer....I don't think it is), though I suppose anyone with project bike experience would have advice just as valid, when it comes to fixing newer bikes with parts that are more readily available. I just wanted simple purchasing advice about a bike I've been looking at. I obviously know going in it's a project bike, and I won't be selling my current Ninja 250 to pay for it.

Basically, it is a 2001 Honda CBR F4i with 20k something miles on it. It does not currently run, and has been sitting for at least a year. Current owner claims it was running fine, then he put bad gas in it and the injectors need cleaned/replaced, as well as a new battery. I will also need to replace the fairings, as it has a terrible paint job on it. I have found replacement fairing sets for $200 or so. Lastly, the tires don't have much more life in them left. So yeah, that's the bad.

The bike has a clean title, and it was dropped but I do not believe it has any frame damage. I was able to talk the seller down to $1100. These bikes in my area (PA) seem to trend around $3500 for one in fair-good condition running.

So my question to ask really anyone who has even worked on a project bike, is would you pay $1100 for this F4i if you were in my situation? I wanted second opinions on it, and was hoping some would offer insight as to whether or not this sounds like a good deal.
 

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it's hard to resell a bike with non original fairings..... unless you are looking to just ride it then by all means I would say go for it.
 

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I can't remember how many times I have heard of someone buying a motorcycle after being assured by the seller, "It will run great, it just needs a little work", only to find out there is a lot more wrong with it than advertised. This isn't the case every time, but happens way more often than it should.

The old sayings hold true:
Beware of buying a pig in a poke.
and
Caveat Emptor
 

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I'd look at those tires real close. They'll tell how it was ridden. You already know it wasn't taken care of. So the question for you, are you going to flip it or ride it into the ground? And secondly as Dods points out, are you prepared to completely rebuild that engine? There really are those that "claim" it ran fine until.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yeah the tires seem to have even wear on them, I don't see any chicken strips or the like. I don't have any inclination to believe it was a stunt bike (not to say they weren't tried on it, F4i's are notorious for being the "learner" stunt bike), but yeah my main concern is with that engine. I would probably change out the sprockets, chain, spark plugs etc. regardless, but I am not an advanced mechanic so I'm playing a bit of a risky game when it comes to that powerplant.

Maybe it is a fuel delivery issue, I'll assume it isn't. The way I justify it is that even if I bought a used working engine for it (they trend for ~$700) I'd probably be at about the same price point as I would if I had just bought a used f4i with a working engine.

I suppose the biggest thing for me is that I want a supersport bike so bad, that I'm willing to buy a cheap beat up one to get it sooner, even if it doesn't currently run. I'm sure some of you can relate to that even if you are not into sport bikes. To me, I imagine it's the equivalent of someone who is into cruisers, starting out on a Honda Rebel and then BAM they REALLY want a Road King or something of that nature, even if it needs work haha.

EDIT: Also, I have no intentions of selling the bike once I have it in tip top shape. The F4i specifically is exactly what I've been looking for in a supersport, and more broadly a bike in general. 5 gallon tank, 45mpg, comfortable enough for touring, yet sporty enough to have some (totally legal) fun. So yeah definitely no intention of trying to make a quick resale off of it.
 

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I have bought a few non-running Hondas and not been burned yet, but my bikes are old and are within my ability to repair. A serious engine problem is beyond my ability, so then it would be a part-out.
Take a battery and jumper cables to the bike and bypass the bike's battery completely. Adapters that actually hard wire to the battery posts are much preferred to get a good connection. The bike should at least crank smoothly. Otherwise, the price goes down some more.

Just figure all the what-ifs and what not and figure out what the thing would be worth at part-out. Not asking prices you see on Craigs List, but about half that. Also be prepared to lose about $500 dollars with a smile on your face and no regrets. Education has its price, and sometimes a used bike can do that to you.

And finally, get that bike running FIRST and do not worry about the looks for now. You see vintage people or the cafe' racer crowd doing cosmetic repairs first [winter project] and then rant and rave at the seller when those hidden problems show up and they then have to throw good dollars after bad. I have never understood those who tear an engine down just because of an oil weep. Probably the best guide and a minor 'tear down" step is to first remove the oil pan and that can reveal in general what condition that engine might be in. Hunks of metal are not good.

I got the disease when I spent 150.00 on a CB360 and heard it start a week later.It was on the road with 270.00 total and I put 15k on it before riding my other stuff a lot more.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot for the advice. I'll definitely strip the bike of it's current fairings if I buy it, and just replace them later. I wonder if my 250's battery would suffice to see if it cranks? There's some risk here but the potential payoff could be nice. In a perfect world, I replace the spark plugs, oil, gas and throw some seafoam in there and it starts up no problem haha.
 

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Most probably the 250 battery if it's in good shape will turn it over. If you can then install the battery and if it doesn't quite work then put jumper cables from a car (not running) on as well to give it a boost. Some fresh gas and it might just fire up ans surprise you.

My stepdaughter's Marauder did that, it was a gift to her but needed work..it had sat a few years in the garage crashed, covered in dirt and rust, looking forlorn with old gas and a dead battery. It ran when it was crashed, that's all we knew. She didn't want to invest the money in fixing it to learn on (it needed new forks, a battery, pegs and a couple of little things) if it wasn't doable. I jump started it to see if it would at least turn..it sounded so good I pulled out the choke and away it went, in fact running on the old gas that was in it and amazingly it ran fine..I think the gas was so old it was pre ethanol which must have helped. Then she bought the parts, I did the work, and she ended up with a darn nice bike with 20,000 miles for $300 in parts and my free labor. I was amazed how good it looked after I washed it and polished all the rust off the chrome..here it is


I wonder if my 250's battery would suffice to see if it cranks? .
 

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Sometimes different batteries have the polarity backwards as to how they sit in the battery tray. Be careful that it is hooked up correctly with the positive and negative posts hooked to the right connectors. You can smoke the electronics if the battery is installed wrong.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Sometimes different batteries have the polarity backwards as to how they sit in the battery tray. Be careful that it is hooked up correctly with the positive and negative posts hooked to the right connectors. You can smoke the electronics if the battery is installed wrong.
I will most certainly keep that in mind, I did not know that actually.

Most probably the 250 battery if it's in good shape will turn it over. If you can then install the battery and if it doesn't quite work then put jumper cables from a car (not running) on as well to give it a boost. Some fresh gas and it might just fire up ans surprise you.
Here's hoping, yeah? My current bike was bought at an auction for $600 and it needed absolutely nothing to be road compliant. The former owner probably dropped it, cracked the front plastic fender, and insurance considered it "totaled".

So the general consensus seems to be that if when I hook a battery up to it, if it cranks, then there may be some hope. If no response at all, the issue probably runs deeper than fuel injectors and some old gas haha.
 
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