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I'm going to buy or consider to buy a used bike for my first. If you were going to buy a used bike, what would be the maximum miles you would consider, if everything else was just right for you! Beautiful color, perfect engine size, right size to fit you, feels great. How many miles is too many? Thanks for your help!
Kind Regards,
Charlie 47:coffee:
 

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That's going to depend on the brand, type and condition of the bike!

15,000 miles in "good" condition is going to mean very different things for a sport bike and a cruiser... a Gixxer might have been run into the ground at that point (if it was ridden very aggressively) while a Victory or a Gold Wing would just be good and broken in.... :)

and most other bikes would be somewhere in between...

Just my opinion. I'm sure others more knowledgeable will wander by.

I'm going to buy or consider to buy a used bike for my first. If you were going to buy a used bike, what would be the maximum miles you would consider, if everything else was just right for you! Beautiful color, perfect engine size, right size to fit you, feels great. How many miles is too many? Thanks for your help!
Kind Regards,
Charlie 47:coffee:
 

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Depends on the bike's operation and maintenance record. How was it treated, and was maintenance done on time with premium materials.

And rje58 is right, some bikes will just laugh off say 15,000 miles. Others will be passed consideration.

As an example. In Australia, I bought a second hand 13 year old Honda ST1100 with 120,000 km on the clock, that's 75,000 miles. Those bikes have an oil change period of 15,000 km/10,000 miles and with regular maintenance should be good for a quarter million km or more. So I was confident to buy it, and 2 years later, with another 32,000 km/20,000 miles added, I sold it for 80% of what I bought it for in a quick sale.

So it completely depends on the make and model of the bike, how it's been treated, and how it's been maintained. How long is a piece of string?
 

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Depends on the size of the motor on the bike.

250cc I wouldn't buy anything with more than 5000 miles. You might get a bargain, but stuff is simply worn out.

750 cc I'd want under 10,000 miles, no matter how well it was taken care of.

1200cc and above....depends mostly on how well the bike was treated by the owner. I'd prefer a one-owner bike, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 30,000 mile bike IF it was A) stock, B) all the factory maintenance (valve adjusts, etc) had been done, C) religious oil changes, etc.

Cars or bikes, I won't buy anything that has been "chipped," "tuned," modified, "Stage III", dyno-tuned, etc. Too often it has been done wrong and the engine has been run rich or lean for thousands of miles.

example: My first Kawasaki Concours, information display was telling me I was getting 72mpg. Yeah, No! The aftermarket tuning system installed by the PO had richened the mixture up so much the factory ECM, reading the oxygen sensor, had to narrow the injector pulses to bring it back to stoichiometric and honestly believed it was now getting 72mpg. Unplug all that nonsense and it accurately reports 40-50mpg. I'm sure PO told everyone how much additional power and mileage he was getting as the result of his $300 plug in box.

By the way I've got a "2 Brothers 'Juice Box'" for a Concours for sale....$150...or best offer. Plug and play. Programmed PROPERLY it might do something for someone....
 

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Service history is the most important consideration. I disagree with the thought that a small bike is "used up" with milage, especially 5K. A well maintained bike doesn't "wear out". I've never understood the notion of keeping miles low to enhance resell value. That's like not having "relations" with your girlfriend so she'll be in good condition for the next guy she ends up with.
 

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Quoting what Wade said and I strongly agree with him:

"Cars or bikes, I won't buy anything that has been "chipped," "tuned," modified, "Stage III", dyno-tuned, etc. Too often it has been done wrong and the engine has been run rich or lean for thousands of miles." I could elaborate on this but just picture ol' Bubba, tuning his bike from a magazine article, while he drinks his Beer and munches on some Pork rinds:p

Use your head and inspect the bike from top to bottom--look underneath the engine for any damage or leaks. While you are laying on the ground, look for evidence of a fall/ slide out, which will be apparent on the bottom of footpegs, frame, center stand and the exhaust system. Do the front fork seals leak? It's common on some older bikes.

Obviously, ask about maintenance intervals. Here's a big one: Have the valves been adjusted? Have the seller prove it by a dealer repair order. Some will say that they did them their selves, so take a magnifying glass and look at the bolt heads on the 'Valve covers,' and you can readily see if a wrench has ever been used on them. I bring this up because a valve adjustment if you can't do it yourself can cost from $100 to much, much higher.

If the chain is clean and the rear sprocket in in good condition, the bike is clean, runs well without you having to repair something for it to do so, then you are probably okay.

By the way, I have known of little 50cc Honda step Cubs that were like new at 40,000 miles and a friend had a 1976 Yamaha XT500 Dualsport that had 65,000 miles on it and only had to have a few plugs, tires and chain/ sprockets. There isn't a bike out there that shouldn't easily go way past the 100,000 mile mark if cared for and not abused.

Have fun and be super careful!

Sam:biggrin:
 

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Depends on the size of the motor on the bike.

250cc I wouldn't buy anything with more than 5000 miles. You might get a bargain, but stuff is simply worn out.

750 cc I'd want under 10,000 miles, no matter how well it was taken care of.

1200cc and above....depends mostly on how well the bike was treated by the owner. I'd prefer a one-owner bike, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 30,000 mile bike IF it was A) stock, B) all the factory maintenance (valve adjusts, etc) had been done, C) religious oil changes, etc.

Cars or bikes, I won't buy anything that has been "chipped," "tuned," modified, "Stage III", dyno-tuned, etc. Too often it has been done wrong and the engine has been run rich or lean for thousands of miles.

example: My first Kawasaki Concours, information display was telling me I was getting 72mpg. Yeah, No! The aftermarket tuning system installed by the PO had richened the mixture up so much the factory ECM, reading the oxygen sensor, had to narrow the injector pulses to bring it back to stoichiometric and honestly believed it was now getting 72mpg. Unplug all that nonsense and it accurately reports 40-50mpg. I'm sure PO told everyone how much additional power and mileage he was getting as the result of his $300 plug in box.

By the way I've got a "2 Brothers 'Juice Box'" for a Concours for sale....$150...or best offer. Plug and play. Programmed PROPERLY it might do something for someone....
You sir are passing on many good bikes with preconceived and unrealistic criteria of used bikes. My 185cc Twinstar had 14,500 miles on it and was in super road ready condition when I sold it.

And last I knew( I moved ) it was still giving it's new owner many more trouble free miles. It isn't the number of miles but how well they were cared for getting those miles. And it is rather easy figuring out if a high mileage bike is still fine.

I actually prefer a higher mileage bike for the simple reason you know it hasn't sat which causes a whole other set of problems. There isn't a black or white answer to used bikes. Use your eyes and ears but definitely keep an open mind.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You sir are passing on many good bikes with preconceived and unrealistic criteria of used bikes. My 185cc Twinstar had 14,500 miles on it and was in super road ready condition when I sold it.

And last I knew( I moved ) it was still giving it's new owner many more trouble free miles. It isn't the number of miles but how well they were cared for getting those miles. And it is rather easy figuring out if a high mileage bike is still fine.

I actually prefer a higher mileage bike for the simple reason you know it hasn't sat which causes a whole other set of problems. There isn't a black or white answer to used bikes. Use your eyes and ears but definitely keep an open mind.:thumbsup:[/QUOT

That Sir, sounds like some A1 Texas common sense!I appreciate you sir!
Have an awesome, blessed week!
Very Kind Regards,
Charlie47:coffee:
 

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Miles.

There are many cruiser type bikes with 30 to 40,000 miles on them. Most will run well over 100,000 miles. If you start with 40, and it runs to 100, that sounds like 60,000 miles for you. At 5000 per year, I think you should get 12 years and probably mush more. By the time you have put that many miles on a bike, you will know all about it.
Electric connections corroding and brakes needing servicing, are often more common and bigger issues as a bike gets older, than the engine.

I am set for life with the four running bikes I have. And I have spare engines for two of them.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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--

What no one has mentioned is price. If you can buy two identical condition bikes, but one with 20,000 more miles, but at half the price, it's probably a better buy. One of the big things about Harleys, for example, is that you are often paying for the name while a Yamaha may be in better condition, but at one-third the price.

Like always, it doesn't really matter if it's the "perfect" bike, it most likely won't be your last one, and you can't know exactly what things would make the bike more perfect until you've ridden one or two for awhile. More important than color or exact engine size is overall condition, price, and how it feels when you are on it.

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I concur with the other guys; you got a lot of good advice here. Something we often do is, maybe there are some bikes on Craigslist that you are interested in, you could post the links here and we can look at the ads and tell you what we think. We all have our little tricks from past experiences. For instance, last Summer l posted the link for a bike l was considering. Critter saw the ad and his immediate reaction was, "I am concerned that there are several pictures, but none are of the left side." I was so busy nitpicking at what l did see to think about what l didn't see. Sure enough, when l got there it had been dropped on the left side.
 

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I have a Victory Touring Cruiser with 66,000 miles on it, I'm confident it'll see well over 100,000 miles.
 

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Oil change records, the most important of all. Even more important than mileage.
If the guy's been changing the oil at 3,000 miles or before, good. (May take some heat for that one, don't care what the book says).

With regular preventative maintenance small bikes last as well as big bikes.

If the previous owner kept maintenance records, that's a better bet than the guy that tells you it's so good it doesn't need maintenance.

Ask if the bike does good wheelies. If it does, walk away. Same with burnouts.
Take a look at and smell the oil that's in the bike. If it's black, thick and smells burned, keep searching.

Mileage on a well maintained bike: Up to 30,000 ~ 40,000, no problem. Beyond that you're getting into highish mileage on most models.
You can expect to be changing steering neck bearings, maybe swingarm bearings and shock linkage bearings sometime soon.

Inline fours seem to last a little better than big twins and big singles, but only a little.
Liquid cooled lasts better than air cooled most of the time, as long as the owner understands forward movement is required for cooling.

Mileage is not as important as service and lack of abuse. But oil and filter changes, that's the biggie.

Note: My experience is limited to: Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oil change records, the most important of all. Even more important than mileage.
If the guy's been changing the oil at 3,000 miles or before, good. (May take some heat for that one, don't care what the book says).

With regular preventative maintenance small bikes last as well as big bikes.

If the previous owner kept maintenance records, that's a better bet than the guy that tells you it's so good it doesn't need maintenance.

Ask if the bike does good wheelies. If it does, walk away. Same with burnouts.
Take a look at and smell the oil that's in the bike. If it's black, thick and smells burned, keep searching.

Mileage on a well maintained bike: Up to 30,000 ~ 40,000, no problem. Beyond that you're getting into highish mileage on most models.
You can expect to be changing steering neck bearings, maybe swingarm bearings and shock linkage bearings sometime soon.

Inline fours seem to last a little better than big twins and big singles, but only a little.
Liquid cooled lasts better than air cooled most of the time, as long as the owner understands forward movement is required for cooling.

Mileage is not as important as service and lack of abuse. But oil and filter changes, that's the biggie.

Note: My experience is limited to: Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki.
Guys I appreciate all your help. The Bike I'm looking at is a Kawasaki
1996 Red/Black Vulcan 1500. It has 20,980 miles. It looks brand new, has bags. This Is one I'm looking at. It doesn't have a windshield. How important is a windshield to you guys? Thanks again!
Very Kind Regards,
Charlie47
 

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Guys I appreciate all your help. The Bike I'm looking at is a Kawasaki
1996 Red/Black Vulcan 1500. It has 20,980 miles. It looks brand new, has bags. This Is one I'm looking at. It doesn't have a windshield. How important is a windshield to you guys? Thanks again!
Very Kind Regards,
Charlie47
If you intend on putting some miles on it, then a windscreen/shield would be suggested. Just doing short trips around town then not so much. But 200 - 300 miles and you'll want something up front to help. There are those that say it isn't needed but it is for me. Every bike I've owned either had one already or I quickly installed one.
 

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Window

Windshield or windscreen. I have one on each of my bikes. Depending on shape, will determine the top speed. More bulky can mean more buffeting. It is a compromise. I have bar mounted windows on two bikes and they work fine. My 79 XS11 is a cruiser type bike and similar to what you are looking at. It came with a frame mounted Vetter fairing. I did not like it, and replaced it with a bar mounted window, which is lighter and smaller. For this bike I prefer the bar mount. They cost about $100. With a bit of engineering a light weight frame mount could be built.

I also have an XS1100 with a full Vetter fairing including lowers. I have not ridden this bike yet, but I am sure it will be slower, but more sheltered than the XS11. The bikes are basically the same with a different tank and cosmetics.

Some BMWs probably have the best fairings for protection and speed. IMO, fairings are an area that most manufacturers could improve on.

Unkle Crusty* Did you notice above my math got you riding til 80?
 

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You can always get a windshield later.
But suggest you try it with and without. I actually enjoy the feel of the wind and taste of the bugs.
 

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40-50 years ago I would have told you only sissy's have windshields. Now I know better. Short hops fine, 100 + miles, get a windshield
 
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