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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All, I'm looking at getting my first bike. I really like the look of classic bikes with the flat seats, and like the old Honda CBs and BMW R series, but that poses a few concerns as 1. I'm tall and am a little concerned about seat height. but more importantly 2. I worry about the older bike's reliability. I think I would optimally go for a BMW R60 or K75, but have read conflicting reviews of their reliability. I understand to fix them can be very expensive which is a main concern. I'm not exactly a gear-head so I don't plan on being able to work on it myself unfortunately. Anybody have any reviews or recommendations you can share with me? Especially pertaining to the older 1970s-1990s classic looking bikes. Thanks a lot! :thumbsup:
 

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Reliability is going to be directly related to how well the bike was maintained over the years. Some people keep them pristine and others neglect them. It's best to take someone with you that knows the bike well.
 

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I have to agree with Dodsfall even a great bike will fail if treated badly. best to know the history of the bike or to plan on doing lots of work on it.
 

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It all depends. It can be good or bad. An old bike, but with all knew rubber, new caliper seals & boots, new fork seals, new gas lines, new brake lines, new diaphragms in carbs new tires, basically, that would be a new bike, or just as good for less money.
No rust, no corrosion, new battery, rebuilt fuel pump, stator, etc.
But if not, you may have to do some or all of those things, depending on how old the bike is.
Sometimes you can a find a bike where all that was done, but they want to sell it.
The bottom line is ... shop around.
dc
 

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Is there a particular bike you are looking at?

Its hard to find the older BMW's you mentioned that haven't been restored and gone through. Most of the time with BMW's if it looks good, it is. But not always...

As for the CB's / CL's, they are very reliable, but if they haven't been treated well, then you could have some issues.

For the most part, (and this is a VERY VERY general statement) if the bike looks good and runs good when you go to look at it, then you probably won't have many issues.

If you do decide to go look at a bike via craigslist or something go ahead and post a link so we can see the bike ourselves. Of course we won't be able to comment on the reliability of the engine.

One major thing you want to be sure of when you buy an older bike is that the compression is good on it. If it is a hard kick, then that is a good sign.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was looking at the following:
sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcy/1690487478.html
sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcy/1687124817.html
sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcy/1688393365.html
Thoughts? I preffer the look of the old BMWs but if they wont be reliable i will go with a newer BMW or Honda.
 

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If you're willing to learn how to wrench yourself, the airhead BMWs are supposed to be among the most over-built and simple machines ever made. Decent ones can be pricey, but in certain places there are big BMW followings and older models are fairly easy to find.

Here in Atlanta we have a huge BMW scene due to having very good dealers that support old bikes. My guess is SF is similar and that you can find guys who will show you how to adjust valves, change tires, etc.
 
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