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Picking My First Bike

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:31 pm
by NewKid
Hello everyone I am Knew here and I am asking for all of your assistance in deciding what my very first bike should be. I am about to turn 21 and I am a Mechanical Engineering major. Of course I am looking for a great bike to ride but for me half of the fun will be learning about the bike and learning to do my own maintenance. I don't have a lot of experience working on engines and things like that but I have plenty people around me and I am excited to learn. I have been looking at a lot of different bikes and as I find more I will post them on here so you guys can tell me what you think. Here are two that I have found and I am interested in. Im worried about their ages. Is something that old a hazard or will I be okay as long as I take good care of them?

- One is a 1985 Honda VT700 Shadow 700. The exterior looks in great condition and this is what the bike shop has to say about it "Up for sale we have this 1985 700 Shadow. This bike has 31,000 miles on it and runs very well. It has aftermarket pipes that sound great Both tires are not new but are serviceable as well as it has a newer battery. This bike is not a show winner, but it runs very well and seems to be very dependable. "

-The other is a 1987 Suzuki GS450L and the shop has this to say about it "Up for sale we have this 1987 Suzuki GS450L. This bike has 10,000 miles on it and runs very well. It has a new battery and a very nice seat. The paint on this bike is not the greatest, and there is a dent in the tank (pictured) , however the rest of it is good. The motor is clean and runs strong. Everything on this bike works as it should and it is ready for the road. "

Re: Picking My First Bike

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:36 pm
by blues2cruise
:welcome:

Re: Picking My First Bike

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:02 pm
by Honey Badger
Older bikes are cool projects, if you will need your bike for reliable transportation, I'd steer away from an older bike. Mileage is a factor, but the main factor for any older bike is how well it's been taken care of historically. If a previous owner just left it sit, or rode the crap out of it without taking care of it, and the dealership gave it a bath and slapped on a couple shiny parts, you may experience a lot of buyers remorse.

A bike that has been sitting will need most if not all seals and such replaced as they could have dried out. Check the age of the tires, if they are close to 6+ years old, they are not safe to ride on.

Personally, I'm not going to freak out over some scratches and marks from being ridden/used, but I WILL freak out if the engine is messy/dirty, the maintenance history cannot be described or is sketchy, if I'm finding little things wrong at first glance (such as chain tension) I'd question the previous owner's other abilities to properly care for their bike, if electrical systems have been messed around with too much, etc.