is this a good buy? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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is this a good buy?

Hey, first time poster here that is currently riding a 1986 Yamaha Radian 600. I was looking at the Vulcan 750 as my next bike. Anyway, there is a guy near me selling a 1994 Vulcan 750 (I think) with only 2800 miles. He was asking $2400 and said in the ad it was negotiable. is this a good buy? I have to wonder why it has such low mileage, and the fact it's probably been sitting in a garage for 15 years how well it runs..

I guess I'll have to look at it to be sure. What do these things usually go for? http://images.craigslist.org/3nc3ka3...95f8531a82.jpg That's the picture of it. That's a 750 right? He didn't mention the size.

Last edited by Skelly; 08-05-2009 at 02:53 AM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skelly View Post
Hey, first time poster here that is currently riding a 1986 Yamaha Radian 600. I was looking at the Vulcan 750 as my next bike. Anyway, there is a guy near me selling a 1994 Vulcan 750 (I think) with only 2800 miles. He was asking $2400 and said in the ad it was negotiable. is this a good buy? I have to wonder why it has such low mileage, and the fact it's probably been sitting in a garage for 15 years how well it runs..

I guess I'll have to look at it to be sure. What do these things usually go for? http://images.craigslist.org/3nc3ka3...95f8531a82.jpg That's the picture of it. That's a 750 right? He didn't mention the size.
yea ,that is a 750 and it is a nice looking example and very low mileage I would want to here it run at least,if he is one of those guys that gets it out once or twice a year rides it and services it ,I would like to own it ,the problem with the lower mileage old bikes is that they can have the rubber inserts on the engine balancers start to deteriorate,but if the price is negotiable it could be mint for the price too pay close attention to the inside of the gas tank for rust and make sure it will run with the choke off after it has been warmed up,It won't hurt to look and make him an offer if you like what you see.




If you see it on my bike I did it
VROC#30324
92 vn750(sold)
Current ride 05 1500 Classic FI
lovin' the new scoot



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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 06:23 AM
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That's a decent place to start negotiating. If it's been sitting and won't start it will likely need a carb rebuild. I just did mine and people on here will help you. But the shop cost on that would be (help?) at least $500 I would say. You can use that to negotiate the price down!


Current VN: 03 VN1600A

Past VNs: 92 VN750A, 98 VN1500A

Future VN: 94/97 VN1500A basketcase/bobber
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 07:38 AM
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Yeah, I'm with these guys. Make sure it wasn't sitting. Check the rubber engine mounts but also check where the turn signals attach to the bike. That's made of flexible rubber and will deteriorate faster than other materials on the bike. Check for rust on the gauges and for any rust under the bike or up near where the exhaust pipes connect to the engine. At the age it is with the mileage it is, definitely make sure it was garage kept. If we had the full Craigs List ad it might be easier for us to help...
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 07:40 AM
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Having recently purchased my 96 with 6K miles, I would say the previous advice is good. For me, the three main criteria are 1) has it been dropped (dents, dings anything bent?) and 2) running condition & did the PO take care of it, and 3) mileage.

Physical and running condition is really everything. With few exceptions I'm not too interested in something that's been dropped or has more than a minor scratch. I take good care of my stuff I want to know the PO did the same.

For that particular bike, if the tires and battery are new and runs great I would say its a great deal. Start offering lower for bad tires, battery and running condition.

1996 Vulcan 750
1980 XJ650 Maxim
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 08:19 AM
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Nice bike, Looks like you might get a good one there.

"Show me a man who makes no mistakes, and I'll show you a man who doesn't do things." Theodore Roosevelt."

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Current projects - 1986 VN750 & 1988 EL250
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Several problems I may have:

1. I'm not a very mechanical person, so I would probably end up taking it to a shop if it's a hard fix.
2. I live in an Apartment Complex so I have no real place to work on it anyway.
3. Since I live in a Apartment Complex I would have the bike in the parking lot. I worry that if the bike is in great shape I may ruin it. Even with a water proof cover on.

Of course when the Season is over I would move it to storage somewhere.

Last edited by Skelly; 08-05-2009 at 09:23 AM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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I went ahead and talked to the guy on the telephone. Apparently the bike was garage kept the whole time. I asked if the bike needed anything to do to it and he said no. That doesn't instill the confidence in me, because I asked the guy that I bought my first bike from that and I got stuck on the side of the road the first day I rode it. I had to replace the brushes cause the charging system wasn't working. Needless to say I wasn't very happy, but that's life and I've learned from that.

Anyway, I asked why it had such low mileage and he said he had another bike he rode. Part of me wonders if the Odometer was tampered with or replaced and he's trying to pass it off as being that low. Maybe I'm just being too negative, but I had problems with honesty from the first bike I got. He also said the tires are new and that he's going to get it inspected in a few days. I'll probably take a look at it and if I feel uneasy at all I might just pass over getting it.

Edit: I just noticed that it looks like it's missing mirrors for some reason and a license plate. Makes me wonder when it's last been ridden.. Here's a link to the Ad with more pics.

Last edited by Skelly; 08-05-2009 at 08:17 PM.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 10:00 PM
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To answer one of your concerns mentioned above--no, if you live in an appartment complex, you can still buy and enjoy the bike without ruining it. You'll just need to buy a quality bike cover--and use it, religiously.

You'll also need to keep the bike waxed/polished, to keep rust at bay. Other threads exist on this forum that explain in more detail how to do this.

If the odo reading has any credibility to it at all, the bike has had a life as a "garage queen" and thus has had a lot of "sit" time. Your inspection will need to look for signs that this "sit" time was also neglect time--or not.

As mentioned above, use a flashlight and a dentist's mirror to check the inside of the gas tank for rust. You don't want to replace or repair a rusted tank right from the "get-go".

Also, remove the right side cover, and shine a flashlight up under the bottom of the battery box. Look for signs that the battery has leaked acid onto the bike's frame. If acid has attacked the frame anywhere, this corrosion damage is virtually impossible to stop, or fix, from spreading/going deeper and the bike frame is "terminal"...so walk away from the bike.

With these inspection points out of the way, then the others mentioned above are then worth your time and effort. Look for dryrot (cracking) on the tires. New tires will run $250-$400 for the bike, depending on what brand/model you install, and who does it. If the tires are really new (as he says they are), they should look it (no cracking, lots of even tread).

Since the rear view mirrors are off the bike--ask to see them (the original mirrors will be shaped round, at the glass--not square). Their condition (scratched in the right places--or not) will give you clues as to whether the bike has been dropped, or not. Make sure the license plate frame comes with the bike.

Also: ask what else comes with the bike: owner's manual, repair manual (Clymer, or Haynes), spare key(s), repair/maintenance receipts/records, etc.

If you can...ride your current bike over to see the "new" one (assuming it's not too far). Then...ask to ride the Vulcan. If he hesitates, or flat out won't let you....then there's a "red flag" for you....

Other threads exist here on the forum (use the "search" function in the above menus--also look in the "Vulcan Verses") that give other pointers and info on inspecting a used, possible VN750 purchase.

Hope this helps....

'05 VN750



For other bike pix & mods, go to:
http://s1203.photobucket.com/albums/...k/VN750%20pix/
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 10:09 PM
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You can tell how old the tires are by looking at the date code. It will have either three or four digits. The first two digits are the week of the year they were produced, and the last one or two are the year. Four digit codes were first used in the year 2000. For example, 1707 was made during the 17th week of 2007.

My wetcell battery leaked and ate the paint off the frame in a number of places. I treated it with baking soda and water, then wire brushed and sanded it to bare metal and painted it. No more corrosion. If the acid has eaten completely through the frame, that is definately NOT a good thing!

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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