Username: Password:

Author Topic: Help Me Buy a Bike  (Read 7222 times)

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Help Me Buy a Bike
« on: February 26, 2015, 10:55:29 AM »
Well, maybe.  I have a friend visiting early June and we are headed to Americade.  He lives to far away and there are no good rental options in the area (Boston) so our plan is to buy a cheaper but decent bike and then resell it after the rally.  We are also looking to have his bike shipped from Seattle area.  So I checked CL and found four bikes to consider.


Before I list the bikes I should let you know that he is a beginner rider but with decent weather in the Pacific Northwest he can hone his skills a bit.  Here are the bikes.


2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500.  In good shape, road ready with newish tires, chain and somewhere around 7k miles.  $3000


2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650.  In like new shape with 4k miles.  $3500


1992 Honda Nighthawk 750.  Fair shape with some add-ons like wind screen.  $1950


1984 Honda Nighthawk 700s.  Looks to be in pristine shape, all stock, 11,000 miles.  $2750




The Ninja 650 is a really good deal but I already own a Ninja 650 so I wouldn't get anything out of it and I am the one buying the bike.  Plus it's green too, just like mine.


I really like the Nighthawk 700s but that is spendy for such an old bike no matter the shape.


Any thoughts?

Offline RJ CB650

  • Contributing Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 795
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 82 CB650sc
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 03:35:41 PM »
To just ride?  Probably the 92.  The parts easier for what is needed and the S is expensive because peeps be wantin them.  Hitting collectible area with that

Offline RobbieAG

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
  • Bike: ST1100, ST1300
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 04:26:16 PM »
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500.  In good shape, road ready with newish tires, chain and somewhere around 7k miles.  $3000

- Good bikes but a new chain at 7k is a red flag; probably wasn't maintained. Also sounds a little pricey.


2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650.  In like new shape with 4k miles.  $3500

- Sounds too good to be true - CL scam?


1992 Honda Nighthawk 750.  Fair shape with some add-ons like wind screen.  $1950

- Definitely too much for a bike that old in "fair" condition. See how much he'll take for it.


1984 Honda Nighthawk 700s.  Looks to be in pristine shape, all stock, 11,000 miles.  $2750

- Sounds nice, but I don't know if I'd want my newbie friend riding it.


If the 2012 650 is legit, I'd go for it, especially since you're already familiar with it. Also if there are any extra farkles on it, you could take them for your bike before you sell it.




2002 CB750 (sold), 2001 ST1100, 2005 ST1300

Offline RJ CB650

  • Contributing Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 795
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 82 CB650sc
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 04:49:57 PM »
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500.  In good shape, road ready with newish tires, chain and somewhere around 7k miles.  $3000

- Good bikes but a new chain at 7k is a red flag; probably wasn't maintained. Also sounds a little pricey.

Yeah, that is pretty odd for a chain "somewhere around 7k" is really wierd since any rider would pretty much know...

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650.  In like new shape with 4k miles.  $3500

- Sounds too good to be true - CL scam?

It is so "too good to be true" I wouldn't waste my time even looking.  If even just usable should be probably 2k more than that that...  A new one is 8 grand here before any taxes.  But heck, if it was still in condition for what it should be at 4k mi, I would spend up to six.

Edit:  That said, it could be something as simple as "Took it in the divorce and selling it cheap for spite/so she don't get much"

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2015, 05:19:58 PM »
Here are the CL links to the bikes.


It's a 93 Nighthawk 750, not a 92.
http://capecod.craigslist.org/mcy/4861981355.html


The 84 700s.  I was way off on the mileage.
http://providence.craigslist.org/mcd/4865901566.html


The Ninja 500.
http://providence.craigslist.org/mcy/4906319029.html


The Ninja 650.
http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/mcy/4902753111.html


I think with the 650 the owner wants to simply pay off the balance of the loan.


I'm open to other bike suggestions.  Trying to keep it around 3k and have fair resell to recoup most of the money.

Offline RJ CB650

  • Contributing Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 795
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 82 CB650sc
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2015, 08:10:28 PM »
right side picture, taken at a different time for the 650.  Could be a guy like me who goes to the same photo spot when in the mood?  You are right he could just be needing to sell, and sell it fast.  Wouldn't hurt to check it out.

The S is a vendor.  A bit more than going market value as result.  Without documented history, the words are all fluff.

Both are viable, but it will depend on the time of run and style of bike wanted.  The 93 is fully photographed at the same time.  Selling pics so is pretty legit.  2K for a solid and probably documented history on the bike, could be worth it.  Saving a few hundred bucks and needing to spend twice what you save to get it running...  It is a solid bike.

So the 93 for sure check out, is a good and solid bike plus reliable if legitimate sale.  The 650 ninja is still the "if it is too good to be true..."

Offline Rakillia

  • Dedicated Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1535
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 84 CB700S
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2015, 08:18:22 PM »
I agree.  The 93 looks in good shape and probably has some room to negotiate.  Also keeping in mind your friend is a beginner.  It would be your cheapest option.  The 650 is worth checking out but does look a little shady.  The 700 is defiantly out.  He's a dealer and is probably going to want to sell above $2k which is going to be really hard to get back out of it. 


I would vote the 93 simply because if you can get it for $1800 you shouldn't have a problem getting it back out.

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 09:02:50 PM »
Right now I'm torn between the 93 Nighthawk and the 07 Ninja 500.


Agree with you about the 700s, I've just always been partial to that bike.  I think you are right about the Ninja 650, however, it is winter so maybe they were summer pics.  Either way, something fishy about that one.


Here is one more curveball.  I let my friend ride my Ninja 650 and I ride this one and then sell this when done.
http://worcester.craigslist.org/mcy/4840670419.html


I'm taking off for a trip for a few days.  If I don't reply soon it's not that I'm not interested I just may not have a lot of internet.

Offline RobbieAG

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
  • Bike: ST1100, ST1300
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 07:24:26 AM »
I do think the Ninja 650 is the best deal, but for your purposes the 93 750 makes more sense. It's the cheapest (try to get it for $1500), looks to be in decent shape (love the blue!) and will sustain the least damage if something happens (no plastics). I think you should have some kind of agreement with your friend that if something does happen, they'll be responsible for the damage or loss of value.

I think if you get the VFR, you'll end up keeping it and selling your Ninja.
2002 CB750 (sold), 2001 ST1100, 2005 ST1300

Offline CountryG

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Nighthawk
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 08:33:56 AM »
No brainer.  the 650 is the best deal if in good shape.

easier to sell, less chance of down time


Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2015, 02:49:37 PM »
Thanks for the link on best used bikes, RJ. I think we all know what good bikes Nighthawks are. If decent shape it's a rock solid machine. You can say the same for the Ninja 500. Both solid dependable bikes.

Robbie, you are so right about me keeping the VFR, not a bad thing.

As far as ground rules my friend will pay up to $600 difference in the resell as that's what it would cost for him to rent.

Offline nhawk57

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Nighthawk 750
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2015, 07:42:13 PM »
Each is worthy of consideration but based on the info you have now, the 750 seems to be the safe choice.  Not to mention the comfort factor given there will be some miles to cover on the trip.

Offline DesignFlaw06

  • *
  • Posts: 815
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 2006 Yamaha FJR
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2015, 10:16:30 AM »
I can only speak from experience. I would say the 93 Nighthawk. A buddy of mine was looking at these early spring last year. He had 4 sell out from under him before he could get there to take a look. One guy sold it while he was on the phone with him. You should have no trouble selling it, especially if he is willing to take a $600 dive on it. And if he is new, that is the least amount of liability. It can survive a fall better than the others. But see what you can do about the price.

Stay away from the 84. You'll have a harder time selling this.

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2015, 11:00:47 AM »
Looks like operation buy-a-bike is a go. Just got the quote for round trip shipping his bike and it's $1500.

I'm traveling right now but when I get home next week I will see if either are still available. One of the other reasons the Ninja may be better is he is only riding a CBR250 currently. The size and weight of the Ninja may be better for him.

Can't believe Serena is down with this plan. What a keeper.

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2015, 07:56:25 AM »
I'm going to check out the Nighthawk when I get back home. Previously I owned a 650, what should I look out for on a used 750?

Offline RJ CB650

  • Contributing Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 795
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 82 CB650sc
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2015, 08:36:21 AM »
The nighthawk design is pretty solid.  Nothing special I can think of specific to that bike.  Just the usual things.  Chains, brakes, odd engine noises, carb condition, etc.

Edit:  Even on a quick buy and sell.  If going to ride only for a weekend, if the tires/chains/brakes are bad, only takes one mile to kick you in the ass.

Offline RobbieAG

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
  • Bike: ST1100, ST1300
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2015, 09:31:17 AM »
I'm going to check out the Nighthawk when I get back home. Previously I owned a 650, what should I look out for on a used 750?

One thing to watch out for is the tach that stops working on many 750s after around 25k miles. Not a big deal, but it would affect the price (buying and selling). Since you're only keeping it short term, things like tires, chain and sprockets and maintenance items like that are more important because they're expensive and you're wouldn't get most of your money back on them. Other than that, just standard bike buying.

EDIT: Great Podcast about buying used bikes (language may be offensive).

Here's a checklist I've used.

Motorcycle Buying Checklist

1.   Title – check for salvage title and that VIN matches (Nighthawk 750 on neck of frame)
2.   Always begin the check procedure with the bike cold
3.   Bring a flashlight
4.   Any service records, manuals, tool kit or original parts if some were replaced? When was last maintenance done? When were valves last adjusted (Nighthawk N/A)
5.   Go through “TCLOCS”
    a.   Tires and rims (for dents or other damage)
    b.   Controls all work
    c.   Lights and electronics
    d.   Oil and other fluids (brake, coolant etc.). When were they last changed?
    e.   Chassis – check suspension bounce
    f.   Stands – side and center. Is there a stand cutoff switch?
6.   Check inside of gas tank for rust or milky substance and check the cap which should have the same key as the ignition.
7.   Chain and sprockets – should be no side to side movement. If there is, chain and sprockets will have to be replaced @ $500. Check for proper adjustment – ¾ - 1” slack
8.   Forks – run finger down part that goes inside fork – if any oil, seals are shot.
9.   Check a spark plug (Nighthawk should be an NGK if original)
10.   Check battery and connections
11.   Check all cables, wires, brake lines etc.
12.   Check under rear fender for rubber (sign of burnouts)
13.   Check seat for rips and that it can be lifted properly
14.   If bike has a center stand, spin the wheels and check bearings
15.   Check for any leaks
16.   Start engine (check choke operation) and check for hard starting
17.   Idle – Nighthawk should be 1100 +- 100 and stay steady
18.   Check throttle that it works freely and snaps back properly
19.   Check for engine smoking
20.   Frame – check for straightness and signs of welds – peeling paint
21.   Check charging system with a multimeter – should be 13-15 volts with bike running
22.   Check brakes in neutral that they’re firm and stop the bike. Check pad wear.
23.   Check clutch (friction zone) for smoothness
24.   Check for exhaust leaks and for equal pressure out of both pipes
25.   Any flexibility on price? What’s wrong with the bike? Money back guarantee? Warrantee?
2002 CB750 (sold), 2001 ST1100, 2005 ST1300

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2015, 10:23:09 AM »
Thanks, Robbie.  That's a great list.  I didn't do half that stuff when I bought my previous Nighthawk, I got very lucky and picked a good one.


RJ, even though I'm going to be reselling the bike I may keep it around longer than the week ride to Americade.


Another question, I'm drawing a blank on decent yet older bikes.  Something sporty or standard... even adventure style would be okay as long as it isn't too potent a bike for a newbish rider.  Not interested in cruisers at all.


I've looked for Versys, VStrom, SV650, GSX650F, FZ6R, Ninja 650 (500), Bonneville (Scrambler, Thruxton) and the Nighthawk and a few Suzuki GS models.  Really want to stay in the 90's and more current though if the right bike came along I would consider.


I've contacted the owner about his 93 Nighthawk.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Offline RJ CB650

  • Contributing Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 795
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 82 CB650sc
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2015, 12:36:54 PM »
Think that is pretty decently covered from bikes I can remember from the 90s.  90s and early 2000s was sort of a dark age.  There were nice bikes, that that was when things got seriously niche.  That link I gave earlier kinda covers it well and what I know.  From honda, only decent 90s I can think is ye good ol air cooled nighthawks.  Triumph will be looking at a bit newer.

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2015, 06:07:05 AM »
Anyone familiar with the Kawasaki ZR750?


http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/mcy/4919010571.html

Offline RJ CB650

  • Contributing Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 795
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 82 CB650sc
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2015, 07:31:45 AM »
Cannot say that I know much, but it is actually a classic sport standard.  Similar in principles to the 919, hawks, etc.  IIRC, that is a sport model since I thought that was a naked bike.

That might not be a bad find if in good condition.  I was curious so just quick researched.  If one area of concern and to check.  Is carbed, but fancy electronics with the carbs?  Eight valve engine I read for good mid range.  6 gallon (almost) tank but a five speed so range would depend on it's gearing?

From my standpoint, not a high demand bike which is why priced lower, but would be something comfortable and predictable while still fun from the numbers.

Offline skatehawk86

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
  • Bike: 96 Nighthawk750
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2015, 09:30:57 AM »
Dan, a friend of mine had a zr750 s with the ninja like fairing. It was ok. Questionable cold starting. Then the brakes went out and the insurance totalled it.  Idk if poor maintenance on his part but the bike only had 25,000 on it. It was an 03. Also not much at all in aftermarket.

Offline Dan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
  • Bike: Versys 650 LT
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2015, 10:31:12 AM »

The owner of the 93 NH sent me some close-up photos of his bike.  It's the one with 12000+ miles on it.  I'm a bit deflated as it seems in rougher shape than the other photos suggested.  He hasn't been deceptive and clearly stated in his ad about the surface rust.  Take a look at these photos and let me know what you think?




















The front tire looks to be in bad shape but that could just be the lighting.


Not trying to be too picky but even my 84 Nighthawk didn't have this much surface rust.  Maybe because he lives out on the cape.


Thoughts?  Worth pursuing?

Offline brittles

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 385
    • View Profile
  • Bike: '84 CB700SC
Re: Help Me Buy a Bike
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2015, 03:30:01 PM »
That surface rust is nothing IMO. The majority of it would come off with some elbow grease.

Might just be the angle of the pic but are the handle bars and/or risers bent?

 

Copyright © 2006 - 2015 Nighthawk-Forums.com
All Rights Reserved