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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got my endorsement this year and have been riding a 1985 Rebel. Love that bike but looking to upgrade. Found an 03 Spirit 750 for $1500. Wondering if that sounds like a good price. 34k miles. Same owner for 12 years. Have small dent in tank and a bit of surface rust but otherwise looks good from the pics. Going to see it on Friday. What say you?

 

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Welcome!

Not knowing the market in your area, that seems like a good price to me. I would recommend checking a few surrounding areas on Craigslist and compare similar bikes to get an idea of what other folks are asking. If the bike is in good condition and you like it, go for it!
 

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Hi Patty,

Welcome to the MC Forum.

I'm also in Chicago, NW side, and have been watching the local market for mid-size metric cruisers. I can tell you that the usual price I've seen being asked for Honda Shadows of around that age is more like $2500 to $3500. That price is low enough that I'd personally start to wonder if there was some sort of issue. Remember to check out the paperwork carefully and make sure the numbers match and everything is in order.

Honda's are well made and reliable in general, and it's a relatively mild mannered, slow revving and water cooled engine design, so your chances of running up to and over 100K miles is quite good, but at 34K, the mileage is sufficiently high to make a person want to check out all the mechanicals carefully. Hopefully you are competent in checking things out, or have a mechanically inclined friend who can do that for you. Engine and drive train are the big money items.

One can find a lot of very low mileage, good condition bikes in our area, because the short riding season, and the relatively high average income ensure a lot of bikes spend most of their lives pampered in a garage. I regularly see ten and twenty year old bikes with less than 20K, and sometimes less than 10K on them, coming up for sale on the used market. That said, there's no reason a bike with 34K or even 60K can't be an excellent choice. Just have to check it out carefully.

If there was one rule of thumb I'd offer you, it would be to be more focused on the suitability and condition of the bike and less on the dollar amount. It's easy to spend a lot more than $1500 pretty fast if an engine or transmission needs a rebuild.

Good luck and happy riding!
 

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Welcome to the forum!!!

I'm roughly 45 minutes Northwest of the city in McHenry County. :)

I've purchased a lot of bikes that had prices that were too good to be true. My favourite is a fully restored CBR600F3 for just $1k. A few months ago I even bought a third gen 4.0 4x4 Ranger with limited rust for just $700. Just make sure the title matches the frame and it rides well. If it does, enjoy your score! We're entering fire sale season as well as people figure they'd rather offload a bike than store it. :D

If you want any help checking out bikes or a riding buddy, I'm always down for that! I ride year round so even this blast of cold we're having hasn't stopped me. :)
 

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I checked that price against what I see around the DC area and it appears to be (perhaps) a bit low, but generally in line... bikes with under 15000 miles seem to list for $2000-$3000. I'm one of those who is a bit suspicious of a an older, low-mileage bike -- they may be good, or they may have been forgotten in a storage shed for a couple decades and then polished up for someone who buys it; not realizing rings are shot and/or tubing and rubber items/seals are on the verge of failure due to disuse (disuses kills var more recreational engines/machinery than over use...). I like to see at least a thousand miles a year on a bike -- minimum for very casual riding, at least the bike is getting some use, but then you simple have to ask whether it has been ridden regularly... Anyway the Spirit 750 are a well known quantity, and generally known to be solid bikes...

A friend of mine had a VLX (the 750s baby brother) and he rode that sucker all over the place (Carolinas, VA, MD to PA) for many years -- about the only maintenance he pulled on it was to air the tires and an occasional oil change...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice. It's in the Rockford area so I think that would bring the price down a bit. All the other ones I saw were $2000-2500. She says she has maintenance records and is selling because she's on disability now. I'm going to be checking it out myself - I'm not very experienced with bikes but am a bit mechanically inclined. I do have a good friend who wrenches on bikes regularly and has helped me with the Rebel. He has given me advice and I have a good list of stuff to look at. (I uploaded the list below - let me know if you'd add anything.) I'm somewhat confident in my ability to judge - enough to risk $1200-1500 anyway. How it runs is key of course.

I'm a bit nervous about the increase in power over the 250. :-D I'm going to be careful to start out slow.

Miss Mercedes - are you in the "Women Riders Motorcycle Group USA" on Facebook? I am looking to find some area women to ride with next summer. (I don't mind riding when it's a bit cool, but not all year! :p )
 

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The 750 Shadow is a good bike. I wouldn't be too concerned about the power. It builds up slowly and is very manageable. Yeah, it will have more power than a 250, but it's very manageable.

With a windshield, saddle bags and a luggage rack, I traveled cross country on my 750 Shadow, but I did ride the state highways and back roads a whole lot more than the interstates.

You can ride interstates with one if you like, state highways and back roads were just my personal choice. :)
 

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Thanks for the advice. It's in the Rockford area so I think that would bring the price down a bit. All the other ones I saw were $2000-2500. She says she has maintenance records and is selling because she's on disability now. I'm going to be checking it out myself - I'm not very experienced with bikes but am a bit mechanically inclined. I do have a good friend who wrenches on bikes regularly and has helped me with the Rebel. He has given me advice and I have a good list of stuff to look at. (I uploaded the list below - let me know if you'd add anything.) I'm somewhat confident in my ability to judge - enough to risk $1200-1500 anyway. How it runs is key of course.

I'm a bit nervous about the increase in power over the 250. :-D I'm going to be careful to start out slow.

Miss Mercedes - are you in the "Women Riders Motorcycle Group USA" on Facebook? I am looking to find some area women to ride with next summer. (I don't mind riding when it's a bit cool, but not all year! :p )
That list is awesome! My system is fact checking the seller's claims in the ad. If it's advertised as runs, rides, and has a matching title, I'll definitely check those. If it doesn't run, I'll confirm the title matches, everything is there, and the engine turns over.
Everything else I can figure out as I go along. :) Out of the 15 or so motorcycles I've purchased (most of them I sold) since June of last year, only one of them was in a condition where I couldn't really fix it. I used to not always check the VIN on the title either until I ended up with a Kawasaki with a title that didn't even match the model it was. Not a mistake I'll make again!

Sounds like you've been riding long enough that you can handle the power bump. :) I moved up from a 250 to an 80s 1100 after just a month so that was fun to get used to! You'll also notice how much bigger the bike will be and how it throws weight around.

While I am looking for other riders to roll with as well, I am not a member of any women's only rider groups. Admittedly, I don't meet the 'must be a natural born woman' rule some of those groups have. That and I don't like stepping on toes or upsetting people because of that status.
 
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just think about the hipster on a 10K triumph. even if it winds out being junk you will be ahead of the game. you are doing it right. as for the checklist. look at the oil in the oil fill. check color and smell. it should not be burnt. take a short test ride to check the gears. non running shadows can be had cheap. been thinking about buying one myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That list is awesome! My system is fact checking the seller's claims in the ad. If it's advertised as runs, rides, and has a matching title, I'll definitely check those. If it doesn't run, I'll confirm the title matches, everything is there, and the engine turns over.
Everything else I can figure out as I go along. :) Out of the 15 or so motorcycles I've purchased (most of them I sold) since June of last year, only one of them was in a condition where I couldn't really fix it. I used to not always check the VIN on the title either until I ended up with a Kawasaki with a title that didn't even match the model it was. Not a mistake I'll make again!
I bet not! She said it just had a tune up and runs great. We'll see. I'll definitely run down the list.

Sounds like you've been riding long enough that you can handle the power bump. :) I moved up from a 250 to an 80s 1100 after just a month so that was fun to get used to! You'll also notice how much bigger the bike will be and how it throws weight around.
I sure hope so. It's only been a few months. 200 more lbs and 500 more umpf. :-D I've been really pushing the 250 and she's pretty old (85) so I thought I'd better trade up sooner rather than later.

While I am looking for other riders to roll with as well, I am not a member of any women's only rider groups. Admittedly, I don't meet the 'must be a natural born woman' rule some of those groups have. That and I don't like stepping on toes or upsetting people because of that status.
I doubt it would be a problem in that group. :)
 

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I'll repeat....
Check the number on the title against the vin number on the bike. Make sure that the title goes with the bike.
That will be a heck of a nice bike if it pans out.
Good luck!
And welcome to the forum!
 

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I bet not! She said it just had a tune up and runs great. We'll see. I'll definitely run down the list.


I sure hope so. It's only been a few months. 200 more lbs and 500 more umpf. :-D I've been really pushing the 250 and she's pretty old (85) so I thought I'd better trade up sooner rather than later.


I doubt it would be a problem in that group. :)
I guess it won't be a problem in that group! :) I swear that clause was there earlier today but it isn't now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The 250 Rebels aren't really fast no matter the year. But the little bikes teach a lot about control that will translate to bigger bikes. Mine was a 2005 and it did maybe 80mph at best and it wasn't exactly fast getting there. My daily bikes (this 1982 GS 850G and 1980 Honda GL1100) are old enough to be my parents!


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Went to see the bike. It was rougher than I hoped. She had it in Florida for 5 years outside. The salt air has corroded and rusted it quite a bit. Took her for a ride and promptly ran out of gas. She had to get me, get a gas can and fill it up. Then it didn’t want to start for a while. Finally got it started and I took it for a ride. It is definitely bigger and more powerful but handled pretty well. The lady is smaller than me so it gave me confidence. Ran great when she had gas! ?

I wasn’t sure if I should make the decision on my own but I thought I’d lowball her and see what she said. Offered her $1k, she countered at $1200. Offered $1100 and she accepted. She had just put $1k into it so not sure why she accepted. Maybe just wanted to get rid of it. (She can’t ride because she was in a bad car accident and is on disability now.) I figure it was worth the risk.

I’m pretty excited and feel like I did a good job on checking it out and bargaining. I think I had an advantage due to the running out of gas thing. ? I don’t get to take it home until next Sunday. I’m totally antsy cuz I want to ride but I have other obligations. ? She will take some elbow grease to get in nicer shape but hopefully not too much money. I’m hoping it’s mostly surface rust.

So much adulting!! ?
 

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Went to see the bike. It was rougher than I hoped. She had it in Florida for 5 years outside. The salt air has corroded and rusted it quite a bit. Took her for a ride and promptly ran out of gas. She had to get me, get a gas can and fill it up. Then it didn’t want to start for a while. Finally got it started and I took it for a ride. It is definitely bigger and more powerful but handled pretty well. The lady is smaller than me so it gave me confidence. Ran great when she had gas! ?

I wasn’t sure if I should make the decision on my own but I thought I’d lowball her and see what she said. Offered her $1k, she countered at $1200. Offered $1100 and she accepted. She had just put $1k into it so not sure why she accepted. Maybe just wanted to get rid of it. (She can’t ride because she was in a bad car accident and is on disability now.) I figure it was worth the risk.

I’m pretty excited and feel like I did a good job on checking it out and bargaining. I think I had an advantage due to the running out of gas thing. ? I don’t get to take it home until next Sunday. I’m totally antsy cuz I want to ride but I have other obligations. ? She will take some elbow grease to get in nicer shape but hopefully not too much money. I’m hoping it’s mostly surface rust.

So much adulting!! ?
So you are saying you took advantage of someone on disability correct???


:devil::devil::devil: You did fine. But I do hope you didn't pick up junk from the nether region of the fuel tank when you ran out of fuel. When you get it I think I'd put a healthy dose Seafoam or Berryman's or Star Tron or whatever your favorite fuel treatment is and go for a long ride. Might be wise to do that for a couple more tanks since it sat for quite awhile but no need to run the tank down for those. Just ride normal but do ride. Good luck on the rust. The chrome pieces should clean up with some extra fine steel wool. Paint just plenty of elbow grease should work.
 

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When a person gets disability they can not have much more income and having a bike, especially an older bike, can become expensive if anyone else works on them very very quickly. Grats on the find! Mrs M is up there close to you would be a good buddy to have close to you, she is sharp on bike sense. :smile:
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So you are saying you took advantage of someone on disability correct???


:devil::devil::devil: You did fine. But I do hope you didn't pick up junk from the nether region of the fuel tank when you ran out of fuel. When you get it I think I'd put a healthy dose Seafoam or Berryman's or Star Tron or whatever your favorite fuel treatment is and go for a long ride. Might be wise to do that for a couple more tanks since it sat for quite awhile but no need to run the tank down for those. Just ride normal but do ride. Good luck on the rust. The chrome pieces should clean up with some extra fine steel wool. Paint just plenty of elbow grease should work.
:surprise: She wasn't mentally disabled so I'll trust that she was capable of making her own decision on whether to accept my offer or not. If anything, I took advantage of her possible guilt over my running out of gas on the side of the road! :wink2:

I will put some treatment in the tank when I pick it up. It will be about 1-1/2 hour home so that should get it worked through.
The only thing that might be a bit of a pain is that she said the reserve gas setting didn't really work. My buddy said we could replace the petcock and should fix that issue. Oh, I also want to change out the speedometer and odometer. The decal is peeling off and the glass over the odometer is frosted.

I appreciate everyone's advice.
 
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