Bought my first motorcycle. Yipee!!

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by freakshow10mm, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Well, after watching eBay for a weekend, I won the final bid on this bike. 1981 Suzuki Bandit GS450L. It has 14900 miles on it and looks to be in pretty good condition. There is a crack in the left rear blinker lens, and it said the rear tire is great, but the front is a little weather checked, so I will replace it for safety's sake. Not a big deal. Everything else is good looking.

    I think I paid a little more than I should, but I really wanted it. I think it should have gone for closer to $850 900. I picked it up for $1050, which isn't really that bad. I am leaving in a little bit to go down to Oshkosh and pick it up with my dad. I am going to store it at his place until my GF's dad come down in two weeks with a trailer and bring it up to MI.

    My dad wanted to give me his 84 Honda Sabre 750, but I felt like it was too much engine for me to start off with. I feel better with less than 500cc-class for a year or two to get my wings before I drop a couple grand on a Shadow VLX 600.:)

    I was in the market for a Honda Rebel 250, but this one was half as much. I sat on a Suzuki in town and it really fit me well. I didn't ride it cause I don't have my endorsement yet, taking the class in July. Insurance quote from Progressive is only $17/mo liability only. Not too bad.

    Here is a eBay photo. I will post more when I pick it up. How did I do?
     
  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Actually, old bikes are "in" right now, so you'll be uber-cool! Congrats!
     

  3. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Thanks. Next time I go up to MI, I will get my temp permit so I can start learning how to ride.
     
  4. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    Good starter bike.

    I don't know how much the little GSs are based on the big ones, but if they are anything like the GS1100 or 1150 in engine design, then it should be built like a tank and should last you quite a while.

    Welcome to 2 wheels. You'll never regret it.
     
  5. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Well, just got back from making the deal. Couple minor problems. No more pics yet. Prolly be another couple days.

    I went down to Oshkosh and picked up my dad, then went over to the storage unit where it is to pick it up. We waited about 5 minutes and then the seller came. He just got back from the battery store with a new battery, as the ad said new battery installed, so he swapped it out for the old one. Took longer than he thought, I guess Suzuki likes to bury the battery good. Not a problem, things happen. It also idled a little low so he tinkered a little with it and put it closer to where it should be.

    He stated the left rear blinker lens is cracked, just a couple dollar fix from the cycle salvage, like in the ad. Upon closer look the four posts that hold the blinkers on are loose and wobbly, looks like it will just a turn of a nut to tighten up and rid the play. We also noticed the front blinker housing is chipped off enough to let water in, another junkyard fix no big deal, but we thought to mention it to the seller. Whatever, the bike is 24 years old, things happen, not a big deal.

    He forgot the title at his house a couple blocks away so my dad took the bike home and I followed the seller to his house to get the title and chit-chatted with him a bit. He was selling it for a friend. I thanked him and told him that I would leave positive feedback in eBay and he said he would do the same.

    The problem came when I got to my dad's house. He started the bike up by giving it a little throttle and said we should look into getting it fixed if we can. He then asked me to see if the headlight is on. Negative. Check the brake light. Negative. No turn signals, except the front left turns ON but doesn't blink. Hmmmmm. So we shut it down and my dad gives the seller a call ( he has 30+ years more experience buying/selling things than me )stating the above problems with the lights and also noticed when he went over railroad tracks, the front fender seemed to tap the tire, looked like two bolts were missing, and notified the seller accordingly. We thought something might have gotten jingled around with replacing the battery, maybe he forgot to hook up a wire or two or moved something around and shorted out or whatever. So the seller says bring it over and I will fix it, like the ad stated, it will be sold as road ready, and I will keep my word. Good enough.

    I follow my dad over to the seller's house. Wouldn't you know it, having no lights, he gets pulled over( that is the closest I have been to getting pulled over is my dad right in front of me) about halfway there. My dad pulls over and I pull over behind the officer, about 20-25 feet behind the cruiser with my hazards on. My dad tells the officer what is going on and why there are no lights, we just bought it, taking it to the seller's house so he can fix it, blah, blah, blah. The officer, who looked pretty young, comes back to me and says " Your father said you have the title on you. If so, may I have it?" I said yes here you go. He returns to his squad car and checks things out.

    He gets out of his cruiser about two minutes later and gives my dad the title and I see a pink slip. I am thinking " JFC, that is pathetic." The officer then returns to his cruiser, turns off his lights and my dad takes off and I follow him. Well after we dropped the bike off at the seller's house, I asked if that was a citation he got, he said just a warning. He said the officer understood about the lighting situation and said it was good that I was following my father for safety. The warning was for driving an unregistered vehicle with the previous owner's plate on it. Kind of like a you should know better thing. OK I understand that, sure.

    The seller felt really bad for the trouble we went through and stuff, especially my dad getting pulled over. He said he would fix the lighting stuff and get a new front tire, tighten up the blinker housings, and get a new lens for the rear and new housing for the front right one, on him; basically fix all of the complaints. He felt pretty bad. He is going to run it over to my dad's when he gets it all fixed, he doesn't want to have my dad get into anymore trouble over this.


    My dad says the bike shifts very smooth, the brakes grab very good, and the bike rides real nice. He said he was a little reluctant me getting this bike, but after he himself riding it, he said I made a good choice and he thinks it will fit me better than his Sabre 750 would. Says other than the eletrical thing, good buy. I think he was as excited as I was.

    So that was my first experience buying a used motorcycle.
    I enjoyed it as well as learned a lot. Also, my dad gave me his old leather jacket he bought in 1974 to wear as my first cycle jacket. The very same one he wore when he crashed his bike in '75, so it is a proven life saver. No visible damage to the jacket that we can tell, no scratches or anything. He also gave me a "coupon" for a new helmet of my choice ($500 limit) and pair of riding gloves on him for my birthday present( I will be 24 on 5-18). My dad is famous in the family for "coupon" presents of things he wants to buy, but should be picked out by the user, such as my bowling ball and shoes. Family tradition, his dad did the same thing.
     
  6. norton

    norton

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    Just a couple of hints about buying a used bike.
    1. Never fork over money without getting a clear title at the same time.
    2. This is very obvious in your case but, always check the simple things. Start it, check all lights, turnsignals, horn, high beams, kill switch.
    3. Make sure it will idle and runs without choke. If you can't fix it yourself, carb rebuilds by mechanics are expensive.
    4. Check the chain. Is it stretched. If it needs a new chain, it probably neeeds new sprockets too.
    5. Take it for a test ride. If the seller won't let you, walk away.
    6. Listen to the engine run, and be aware of unusual noises. Bike engine repairs are expensive. Actually nothing about bikes are cheap, no matter how old they are.
    Suzuki's from the 80's were kinda notorious for having carbs that were jetted very lean.

    I remember my first bike. What a thrill. Have fun with yours.