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I went to this dealership today. The owner is retiring and closing the shop. They are clearing out their inventory at reduced prices. Im looking to get my first bike but my MSF course is at the end of the month so I bring my older friend who has been a rider for a long time to test drive the Shadow. This bike is a 2002 with 16000 miles for reference.

He comes back from the test drive and said the bike was not good, "It had no ass. I couldnt get up into 4th or over 50mph". He said that it had no power and whenever he tried to give it gas while shifting up it wouldn't go.

Now the mechanic jumps on the bike to see what he is talking about. He gets to the driveway of the shop and immediately turns around. He said that they just put a new carburetor on the bike and that the Jets just need adjusted and that's why it's misfiring. He said he would call me tomorrow once they do that and get it up and running.

Now I like the look of the bike but this whole thing really turned me off from the bike. What if they get it going right tomorrow but I have more problems with it down the road. I know this is a risk buying any used bike but does his explanation make sense? I know nothing about bikes. Is it possible that all the bike needs is a little adjustment on the carburetor?

Thanks in advanced.
 

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I went to this dealership today. The owner is retiring and closing the shop. They are clearing out their inventory at reduced prices. Im looking to get my first bike but my MSF course is at the end of the month so I bring my older friend who has been a rider for a long time to test drive the Shadow. This bike is a 2002 with 16000 miles for reference.

He comes back from the test drive and said the bike was not good, "It had no ass. I couldnt get up into 4th or over 50mph". He said that it had no power and whenever he tried to give it gas while shifting up it wouldn't go.

Now the mechanic jumps on the bike to see what he is talking about. He gets to the driveway of the shop and immediately turns around. He said that they just put a new carburetor on the bike and that the Jets just need adjusted and that's why it's misfiring. He said he would call me tomorrow once they do that and get it up and running.

Now I like the look of the bike but this whole thing really turned me off from the bike. What if they get it going right tomorrow but I have more problems with it down the road. I know this is a risk buying any used bike but does his explanation make sense? I know nothing about bikes. Is it possible that all the bike needs is a little adjustment on the carburetor?

Thanks in advanced.

I think it's very possible that the carb is causing the problem.

You said it was a good deal, but didn't mention the price. I'm curious about that so we can tell you if the deal really is a good deal.

Honda shadows are pretty bullet proof. I wouldn't let that issue scare me away from a good deal. I have a 1994 Magna and I bought it as a non running bike. I knew I could get it running. Turns out it was just the battery. The guy sold me the bike as a non runner and at a non runner price. For $30 for the new battery, the bikes ran perfect for me for the year I've had it. And, I'm probably never going to sell it.

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@Brandon Leeroy, "Now the mechanic jumps on the bike to see what he is talking about. He gets to the driveway of the shop and immediately turns around. He said that they just put a new carburetor on the bike and that the Jets just need adjusted and that's why it's misfiring " This would be one of those red flags for me, they installed a new carburetor and didn't adjust the jets, or couldn't adjust the jets!! I would have little faith in a shop that would install a carb and not adjust it, or not probably adjust it. Seems like they never test drove the bike. Good Luck with it.
 

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@Brandon Leeroy, "Now the mechanic jumps on the bike to see what he is talking about. He gets to the driveway of the shop and immediately turns around. He said that they just put a new carburetor on the bike and that the Jets just need adjusted and that's why it's misfiring " This would be one of those red flags for me, they installed a new carburetor and didn't adjust the jets, or couldn't adjust the jets!! I would have little faith in a shop that would install a carb and not adjust it, or not probably adjust it. Seems like they never test drove the bike. Good Luck with it.
You beat me to it. A shop that does half-assed work isn't a shop I'd trust to buy a bike from, or work on mine. Chances are it'll be fine, but what other corners were cut? And really; why would it even need a new carburator? I'd move on

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I think it's very possible that the carb is causing the problem.

You said it was a good deal, but didn't mention the price. I'm curious about that so we can tell you if the deal really is a good deal.

Honda shadows are pretty bullet proof. I wouldn't let that issue scare me away from a good deal. I have a 1994 Magna and I bought it as a non running bike. I knew I could get it running. Turns out it was just the battery. The guy sold me the bike as a non runner and at a non runner price. For $30 for the new battery, the bikes ran perfect for me for the year I've had it. And, I'm probably never going to sell it.

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Sorry. I should have said it is $1500
 

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I went to this dealership today. The owner is retiring and closing the shop. They are clearing out their inventory at reduced prices.
He said that they just put a new carburetor on the bike and that the Jets just need adjusted and that's why it's misfiring.
What if they get it going right tomorrow but I have more problems with it down the road. I know this is a risk buying any used bike but does his explanation make sense?
The dealer is retiring, so whether he's good, bad or indifferent is immaterial, he's out of the picture. You are buying or not based on the merits of the bike alone.

16K is low mileage for a 2002 Honda Shadow. It should go at least 100K if properly maintained.

I am pretty dubious that the replaced the carburetor story is true. For one thing, I'm pretty sure that model year 750 Shadow has TWO carbs. If I offend anybody here, I'm sorry, but my experience with mechanics and dealerships has me placing them somewhere between lawyers and used car salesman on the veracity scale. He knew the bike was misfiring, he told you something that most people would find reasonable. They are gonna fix it. That's all that matters.

I don't see where it matters if the mechanic told you the truth or a lie, the dealers goal is to be out of business, he's not going to be there. Any bike may or may not have any problem at any given time. Honda's are about the most reliable motorcycles out there, and Shadows have an excellent reputation. That said, things break, things wear, things go out of adjustment, things can be fixed.

I'd say if the bike runs good when you go back to test it again, it's all good. Have your friend give it a good wringing out, and if he pronounces it good, (in private), that puts all the cards are in your hand to get an excellent deal. 1) Motivated seller, he wants the bike gone. 2) Buyers market, I don't know where you are, but here it's winter, and nobody is thinking about buying motorcycles, except you. And 3) the ace card, you have lost confidence in the mechanical reliability of the machine, and you know the dealer won't be there to stand behind it. The only POSSIBLE way he will be able to convince you to buy it is to come down on price.

I'd be riding out of there on that Shadow, with half my money in my pocket, a free steak dinner, and a date with the guys granddaughter. Just kidding, but hopefully you see what I'm saying.

And $1500 is a very good price. That bike in my area, in season, would be more like $2800 - $3500, assuming it's in good cosmetic and running condition.
 

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Yeah, the dealer and mechanic have no motivation to do anything top notch. The mechanic will be looking for another job so you might have an independent source there for future problems. If that puppy runs good tomorrow, I'd have no problems buying it. Especially if you liked it. I'm assuming(I should never do that) that you have also at least sat on the bike and it fits nicely. Those bikes do fit a very wide range of body types. If so, I'd give it a go. It's no worse than buying from a private individual so it's no more riskier than that. Once you leave you are on your own in both cases. I'd go for it myself.(y) (y) (y)
 

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He comes back from the test drive and said the bike was not good, "It had no ass. I couldnt get up into 4th or over 50mph".
Funny true story:
We were 200 miles from home attending a motorcycle event. When we started for home one of my riding buddies bike acted just like you described.
Two professional mechanics were riding with us.
(This was before I started my new carrier as an HONEST, hard working, HONEST, professional, HONEST, educated service tech, JOHNNY).
Anyway...
They, or even we, decided the main jets in the carburetors must have somehow gotten plugged up and there was no use in working on it while on the road if it could be avoided.
So 50~60 MPH for 200 miles heading home.
The next day the bikes owner, getting ready to do carbs, removed the fuel tank only to find a business card covering the air intake for of all things; a company that did on the road rescues for stranded riders.
The card must have been placed at the seat/fuel tank then slipped down and covered the air box air intake.

All that just to say that somebody might have left a rag or something near the air inlet and the mechanic just made an "on the spot" wild guess.
And your mistrust of the shop/service tech is the reason why you don't make on the spot wild guesses...

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You just reminded me of Howard. Left a grease gun near the battery of a bulldozer. Over the weekend, the hinged seat fell down, and nudged the grease gun that shorted across the battery and created quite a fire.

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The mechanic will be looking for another job so you might have an independent source there for future problems.
And if you need another independent source for future problems, I have a couple of ex-girlfriends I can recommend.

(This was before I started my new carrier as an HONEST, hard working, HONEST, professional, HONEST, educated service tech, JOHNNY).
....... And your mistrust of the shop/service tech is the reason why you don't make on the spot wild guesses...
I've met a couple of honest mechanics, and I wouldn't be surprised if YOU are in that group Semi. I've met a few greasy ones too.

It's human nature to want to offer an explanation that makes one sound like they know what they are talking about, which is probably why, after my buddy marked his tires before asking for tire rotation as part of a service visit, the manager told him that the reason the tires were where they started was probably because TWO guys had first rotated them, then rotated them back. It could happen!

I'd be willing to say it's more the owners/managers than the mechanics who are the source of the bad reputation, but policies like paying the mechanics a percentage of the service work they bring in, does in my opinion, promote some questionable practices.

removed the fuel tank only to find a business card covering the air intake for of all things; a company that did on the road rescues for stranded riders.
That reminds me of when, years ago, a kid in the old neighborhood got a job with the hardware store. Joe got so good and so fast at setting glass, the manager told him he could do all the glass pane replacements and that the store would pay him a flat $5 a window.

It wasn't long before people all over the neighborhood were finding that some vandal had tossed a rock through one of their windows. Luckily, there was a card in the mailbox with the hardware store's number.
 
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