What to look for in used bikes? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2002, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question What to look for in used bikes?

What do you look for in used bikes? I looked at a 97 F3 that had scratches on the left side engine cover, but all the plastic was spotless. The seller, second owner, said the scratches were there when he bought it. Also, when you released the clutch, even in neutral, front of the bike vibrated more. I took it for a ride and the engine seems to run good to me except for the clutch vibration, but what do I know? The forks look straight, but they are kind of hard to see without pulling the fairing off.

What else can I look at to see if it has been wrecked? The owner says he has only had it since April, that kind of worries me too. Please help.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 12:11 AM
 
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Don't know much about F3's, but how many miles? Why is the seller selling (or at least what does he say?). The vibration doesn't sound good. What happens at speed? Does it get worse, stay the same, or get better? Can you have a Honda dealer service person take a look? It may cost you a few bucks but could be money well spent. If the seller refuses to let you do that, run. If the engine cover is scratched but the plastics are clean, the bike could have been wrecked, the plastics replaced but the engine cover left alone due to $$. Unless F3's are known for this type of vibration (I doubt it), be weary.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 02:59 AM
 
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hmm..hard to say..

The vibration would make me nervous, but what does "the front vibrated more' mean? Is this your first experience with bikes? Most bikes change sound and vibration when the clutch plate is released. I agree, the best bet would see if a local bike shop would take a look at it for you. As far as the vibration goes, you could probably just show any mechanic and he could tell you if it was normal or not. F3 Plastic is easy to come by (even used stock OEM) so if the case cover is scratched, i am sure it has been down. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be a good bike. just get it looked at first.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 03:10 AM
 
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Back to your question

Oh, as far as things to check on a bike- first, start with the basics, like a car. Oil, brakes, tires, general appearance. Look at the chain, is it clean? Grab the chain where it is on the back sprocket, right in the middle (where swingarm ends) If you can lift the chain away from the sprocket teeth, the chain must be replaced. this can not be tightened out of it. Even if the chain is loose, it will be tight where it is inner-locked with the teeth of the sprokets. If it is not, it means the chain links are streched, and new sprokets are probably needed as well. That is routine maintenance, but replacement should be refelected in the cost. Also, try compressing the suspension. Does it spring back properly? Forks don't bind? With the bike running turnm handlebars lock to lock. Feel okay? Bike RPM's don't increase at full lock? (pinched/bad throttle cable) Also look for damaged or bent rims. Ask if tires have ever been plugged. Do a line of sight at the back end. Sub frame straight, everything look even? Just a few suggestion, and I am sure others will think of ones I am forgetting! Good Luck!!!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 03:19 AM
 
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Clutch noise

Is the F3 the last of the steel framed CBR's? If so then it's the same engine as the Hornet 600 that my girlfriend has. Stormin' bike. The clutch does not actually vibrate the engine but there is a definite change in sound on the bike when you pull the clutch in. It is noisier when out than in.

I was concerned about this but after talking to other Hornet owners I've discovered it's normal. If this is the sound then don't worry. If there is definite vibration tho' then be alarmed.

As regards new plastics with scraped covers then if the seller won't let you take the plastics off to inspect the rest of the engine and frame then walk away. If he has nothing to hide then he ought not to complain - after all, given the state of the cover it is a reasonable thing to ask.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question

The vibration sounds like what Robski described. I am going to ask the seller if I can have a Honda dealer look at it first.

To answer Fasthawks questions, he says he is selling it to buy a boat. He could just be a "summer biker", or there could be something wrong and he is trying to unload it. He has only had it 4 months.

The tires need to be replaced. They look like the orginals. If the tires are orginal, I am pretty sure the brake pads are too. The bike has 6,600 miles. The chain looks a bit rusty also. I did not check the tension of the chain.

The frame looks straight from behind and the suspension action seems OK.

Lets say the seller agrees to let me have a dealer inspect it. Assuming it needs brake pads, tires, a chain, and maybe a cluth adjustment or new clutch, can I tell him I want that deducted from the price of the bike? Is that reasonable? He wants $4,500 now as is.

Thanks for your input.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 08:28 AM
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In my opinion that is perfectly reasonable to have that deducted from the price of the bike. The main thing to remember when buying anything (especially from an eager seller) is that you HAVE the money and he WANTS the money. A very powerful tool when negotiating the price of anything. Make him an offer (reasonable of course), and if he isn't interested then leave him your name and number and tell him to let you know if he changes his mind. There are plenty of bikes out there to be had. Good luck!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2002, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank You

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. That bike was in too rough of shape for the price he wanted.

The good news is that I found an 99 F4 that is in perfect condition with only 2,200 miles! I just closed the deal today and I am going to bring it to the dealer for a tuneup, oil change, inspection, etc this week.

Thanks again for the advice.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2002, 03:56 PM
 
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Thumbs up Smart move!!

Awesome, You will be way more happier with the newer bike! Excellent choice by the way. Go Honda!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2002, 11:13 AM
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Thumbs up

Great bike! My wife has a 2000 F4 and LOVES it!! Good luck and ride safe!!

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