buying used...maint. ?'s - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2003, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 184
buying used...maint. ?'s

alright...i've been searching...have found nothing real specific so far...maybe i'm dumb.

anyway...buying used...i will be spending between 2-3k, looks like i'll be purchasing a bike with some miles...alot of major question is, what major maint needs to be done on higher mileage bikes? how much more extra money can i realistically figure to spend once i get the bike...i know about negotiating/deducting certain things from the cost of the bike such as tires and stuff, clutch asembly if needed as well. what i'm asking though is, depending on the miles, 15-20k or so, what do i NEED to make sure has been taken care of on the bike? i don't wanna drop 2.5k and then find out i got major engine maint. to take care of as well...preferably i want to buy used from a dealer as well. i've got a few good local shops that i will be heading to soon.

thanks for any and all it websites to be directed to or input.
dbo is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2003, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 41
the 2-3k range will get you a early 90's sport bike with around 15k miles. I've seen ones in decent condition that really only need new plugs, wires, a battery and some gas treatment. Maybe tires and chain, but generally small things that can be easily fixed. If you know what you are doing, you could also check the carbuerators (sp?) and valve shims. If the bike is runing well and not smoking when you check it out, you are generally in good shape. My first bike was an 82 with 18k miles on it, and I drove it until 25k miles with the above basic maintenence. It wasn't a $3000 bike though.

Good luck in your search.
polevaultedcat is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2003, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 184
thank you, your help is greatly appreciated...early 90's, 15k miles is exactly what i'm looking at...if those items you listed are all i happen to need, what maint. (engine-wise) will be required in the foreseable future?...i'm thinking of riding this bike for about 2-3 years atmost before i upgrade to a newer model 600.
dbo is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 41
I bet if you made sure everything ran smooth when you bought it, and gave it a good tune-up, then you could really go 2-3 years with basic maintenence. Oil change, and maybe tires if you ride enough.
polevaultedcat is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2003, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 27
Here are some tips...

If you're primarily worried about the motor, see if you can take it to a shop to have a leakdown test performed ($50 - $100). This will measure the general health of each combustion chamber by pressurizing the cylinder, and measuring how fast it leaks. 10% or better (less) is ideal, up to 15% on high mileage would be acceptable, anything more means it's getting weak. All cylinders should leak down about the same. If there is excessive leak down, you can usually see right then whether it's valves or rings or both - that means $$$$.

But some other things to look for include:

- look over the general condition - is it clean, does the chain have lube on it, is it adjusted correctly. Is there oil weeping past the fork seals.

- have someone hold the bike, and hold each wheel and shake side to side, there should be no play in the wheel bearings. The wheels should roll with no rough spots.

- check brake caliper mount bolts, drain plugs, and axle pinch bolts for saftey wire drill holes. If it's been safety wired, it's been on the track.

- if the tire sidewalls are cracked, they're toast. If the edges of the tread are blue, that means they've been heated up pretty good at one point, and may not have the adhesion they should. Check the wear patterns for cupping in the front (under-inflation). Make sure there are caps on the valve stems - centrifugal force can cause the valve cores to unseat at speed and the tire to lose air.

- check the chain for kinks, loose rollers - it shouldn't squeak or rattle.

- pull on the chain on the back of the rear sprocket - if you can see half a tooth, it's toast.

- check sprockets for hooked teeth.

- is the coolant the right color (usually green), and does it have any oil or rust in it.

- is the brake fluid in the reservoirs clear and light colored. They shouldn't be milky (water) or dark (old).

- does the suspension operate smoothly, does it sqeak or click (it shouldn't). Does the rear shock have any rebound damping left.

- when pushing on the front with the brake on, the steering head should feel rock solid.

- how much brake pad is left (front and rear).

- any oil leaks on the engine.

- how does the engine sound (when cold and warm). Some engines have some funny sounds to them, but there should be no rattles (cam chain), or knocks (main or con-rod bearings). Light taps may mean a need to a valve adjustment.

- does it rev cleanly, or does it miss (crap in the carbs, bad jetting).

- do they have receipts for work.

- does it have the stock exhaust or an aftermarket. Aftermarkets are great for power (if installed correctly and jetted), but create more noise, and usually corrode faster.

And finally - when you get it, yes change the oil with a brand made for bikes (Honda, Yamalube...), and I recommend the manufacturers oil filter over an aftermarket. Way too long a post - have fun and good luck!!!!!
skidmarx is offline  
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