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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question Considering an older bike... help

This could get a little long, so bear with me.

I have been wanting to get into riding for a while now, and I have been looking for a good starter on a budget. I found an older (1981) Suzuki GS850 for sale near me for about $400 and I have a few Qs. First I'll quote the ad:

"Great motorcycle. Priced low due to need for repairs to make road ready. Great history on motorcycle (search on Google for Suzuki GS 850).

Last driven about 2 years ago. Gas started leaking around the top of the engine around the carburator. I am not mechanically inclined, so could not give you better information than that."

There is other bike-specific info here:
http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/suz...850_l_1981.php

Now for the questions:
1 - What would reconditioning most likely involve?
2 - If I do go look at the bike, what should I look for? Deal breakers?
3 - Does the bike sound like it is worth the effort?

I will be doing any work myself. If it's going to take more than a couple hundred or excessive amounts of time to fix than I don't want it. Reliability isn't really important, but I don't want a bike that will turn into a money pit. I just want something cheap that I can use to learn the ropes and drop without kicking myself. TIA for any feedback or answers.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 10:26 AM
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Check Ebay for parts availability. Bikes in that range can actually no longer have parts for repairs, a major problem unless there's an online community with parts bikes available.

Presuming it hasn't run in a while, I'd guess the gas tank is rusted and may or may not have a leak. The carbs will have to be cleaned, probably, and the fuel filter changed. Oil and filter change. Brake and clutch fluid changes and cable lubrications. Not sure about how the wheel or swingarm bearings might have survived, but I doubt my '84 has ever had them repacked, so perhaps a non-issue. Check out tires and have some idea what those will cost, presuming their size is still available.

As was just noted in another thread, look for dents in the frame or misalignment in teh subframe.

That's off the top of my head.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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It does look like there is adequate market support. Could the fuel leak the seller mentioned be as simple as old or worn hoses?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 11:09 AM
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Sorry, the tank comment was NOT intended to tie with his comment about a fuel leak. It'd be hard to guess where its coming from. Perhaps gas is in the air box, or there is something as simple as a fuel line leak. Or maybe the tank is the actual culprit. There's certainly other reasons, I'd guess, too.

Is it too far to just go over and check it out?

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Dragging knee is for the track, and dragging tail is for the lot. --Kane Friesen

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Anywhere's too far when you're stuck at work

I'd like to go check it out, but it probably won't happen for a couple days.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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Also you will be looking at NEW tyres & being an old girl it is going to be hard to obtain the tyres & parts.

In '89 we were finding it hard, from our m/c shop, to obtain parts for bike in the '81 & '82 bracket unless the bike was a big seller & sold new up to late 80s.

You could be in for a ghastly figure I am sorry to say. Still if you have the tools & have the patience WELL it is up to you.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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I've got a bike for sale. It has new EVERYTHING. The alternator went out on me about a month ago. I keep the battery topped off every 3-4 days with my battery tender and it's just fine. Starts right up first push of the button every day. I ride this bike nearly every day. I have owned it for 16 years. It's a great starter bike, and it's not something you'd cry about if you dropped it (although I might).

The only thing I can think of that it could use (besides an alternator) is a seat cover. It just started splitting on me about a year ago, but the foam underneath is in good shape still. I'm done sinking money into this bike. I've got well over $3,000 into it over the years.

$700 and it's yours, or, $1,000 and I'll fix both the seat cover and the alternator.

Oh yeah, tires have less than 500 miles on them.

How far away is the Woodlands, TX to Albuquerque, NM?
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