Is this a good deal for a vn700 - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Is this a good deal for a vn700

I ran across a 1985 vn700 on craigslist for $700. Says it runs but has a small leak in the carb. I just had a couple of questions.

Would this be a good first bike for someone who has never ridden before?

Would it be very hard to work on the carb for someone with basic mechanical knowledge?

It was cut down to a bobber, does this decrease value?

There is no odometer would I run into very many problems if this is a higher mileage bike?

What would you pay for it?

Anything I should pay attention to in person like tires, brakes, and clutch.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 09:15 AM
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Honestly if you never rode a bike before I'd suggest getting a smaller bike to learn on, something in the 250-400cc range. You can find used ones that aren't 30 years old for a good price....that have no running or mechinical issues.

After learning the basic skills you can always sell it and move to a larger bike...if you want to.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. The main reason I was looking at it was because of price. I rather drop a $700 bike then a $1500 bike. I just wasn't sure if 700cc was to much to learn on.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 10:49 AM
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I learned to ride on the 750 but I took advantage of the time on my permit before I took the road test.
totally agree with KM, I'd look for something different. No odometer is relying on the seller to be honest.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 11:43 AM
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Some great responses from vets. I'm new to riding also, but, my only piece of input is this...depends on your body size. If you're a smaller person, shorter and maybe thinner, I'd definitely go with a 250. If you're a bigger person (like me, 250, 5'11"), a 250 is too uncomfortable and cramped, and forces you to go up to a 650 or 750. One of the first things taught to me was to sit on the bike. Is it comfortable to you? Reaching too far and have to lean too much? Legs and feet feel good on pegs and shifter/brake? And do you think you could lift it up from the ground on your own when you dump it?

Heads up...carbs are not easy to come by. I've been searching for 4 days now. Relying a lot on prior owner without mileage. Have you started it up? Test ride (if possible) to make sure it shifts gears and doesn't bog down? I thought I just needed new bars and forks...a stalling and set of carbs later, I'm still in garage.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 12:25 PM
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you mentioned being concerned over the lack of odometer. well, that's an issue, but at the age of the bike, the mileage on it really isn't an issue for parts to wear out.

gotta remember, an 85 is 30 yrs old... yea, they built the VN700/750 for 21 years and very little changed so parts are fairly avail (with exceptions of a few), but its gonna be like buying a 30 yr old car. don't matter how many times the tires have rotated (miles), its likely gonna have issues of some sort.

NOW, don't take my 'negative nancy' posting as a scare away, that would be a pretty good deal for it, providing it hasn't been heavily modified in some way (missing odometer leads me to believe its missing speedo as well, possibly the tach and temp gauge as well).

things to watch for on a used bike purchase (regardless of age): Tire AGE (check the DOT code on sidewall), does the battery charge (very important on this bike, take a voltmeter with you to check), and how old is the battery (check date code there as well). Tire age is obvious, safety! don't ride on tires over 6 yrs old. the VN's have issues with stators and regulators (charging system), and they don't like cheapo wet cell batteries (AGM batteries are more expensive, but much better for this bike)

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Last edited by michiganteddybear; 07-16-2015 at 12:29 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 01:27 PM
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First, $700 for a bike with mods and problems with the carbs is scary. You never know if the work was done correctly of half-assed. Also as mentioned, it's 30 years old... unless the bike has been maintained VERY well and work has already been done inside the engine things are going to start to go.... rubber doesn't last forever.

For comparison, I'm selling my 01 vn750 that has a few minor problems to a guy for $500.... probably a couple hundred less than I could, but I never listed it, this just fell into my lap. You can find deals out there if you're patient. The l thing you want is to buy a $700 bike and have to put $700 and 6 months into it...

As for it being your first bike... I learned on the 750... I think if you've taken the class and aren't a speed freak or idiot it won't be an issue.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 04:01 PM
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My nephew took his class at the Harley deal on their new 500cc model a few weeks ago. He had never ridin a bike EVER. Then I got him 650cc which seems to be fine.

As far as carb leak, it's probably just the gasket on a float bowl. Easy to fix.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Just found out its not a vn700. Its a ltd 700.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 12:27 AM
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I had NEVER been on a cycle before I bought my 750. I learned how to ride by reading, watching videos and just getting out there on back roads. To me, not that big a deal to hop on the vn7xx and learn.

That said, as another member said, your size may factor in. I'm 6-3 and 250 lbs. the 750 for me was a little bike and very maneuverable. I happen to think it was easy to learn on and control. I got my permit and rode for 2 months. Then took my driving test. Made a 96. Only deductions were I stalled (stupid carbs) and I stopped too slowly on one of the tests.

The mechanical side, well, it's a risk you take. Again as others have said...30 year old bike. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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