Looking at an 86, <8k miles, <$2k - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Looking at an 86, <8k miles, <$2k

I previously posted this on the general technical forum. Sorry about that. Hopefully this is a better place for it:

This seems like a pretty good deal. Interested in your thoughts, curiosities, and warnings.

I found this bike on Craigslist, about 1.5 hours away. 1986, so the first model year of the actual 749cc engine. All original, with the red and black paint job, which looks great in the photos. No dents that I can see.

The claim is always garage kept. It was owned and well maintained (they say) by a career military officer. This owner bought it two years ago and has decided to stop riding.

It comes with a new mounted Dunlop Qualifier. The pics look good. They claim nothing is wrong with it.

Im afraid Ive gotten myself in too good to pass up mode, so Im looking for your feedback. This would be my first bike ever. What concerns would you have? How quickly would you jump on an 86 with an average of fewer than 250 miles per year, for less than 2 grand. The first thing they said after a text was that theyre flexible on price also.

Thanks,
John
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 09:09 PM
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I've sold newer bikes for much less. Show us some pics.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Good point on the pics. I could have just linked to the CL ad, but I think I tried that once a while back and I hadn't been on the site long enough to do that, or something.

But I'm happy to upload the pics. Here they are.

What gets my attention the most is the low mileage. Sure, I would prefer to to have a model that's 20 years newer, but if I ever see them below $2,000, they're not in very good shape.

Thanks for taking a look.

Since they said they're flexible on price, I'm also interested in seeing how low I can get them. Part of my strategy here is that I'll be able to sell it for more than I bought it for, if it turns out it's not a good fit for me, by just taking care of it and getting it closer to the city.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 10:39 PM
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Looks clean, probably garage kept. Probably ok if the tires are recently new, and not put on 10 years ago. (check date codes) Can't detect any rust or even spider-webbing on the paint.

Early years seemed to get the splines lubed at the factory, so this one may be ok, just due to be serviced, unless they were already done with the new tire.

Take a voltmeter and read the charge voltage. You can pull the right side cover and get the voltage off the starter solenoid. (battery cable)

Flexible on price, so motivated to sell. Might be able to make a good deal.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. They said the rear tire is new, but it couldn't hurt to check.

I've heard about the spline lube issue, but I believe that was around 2001-2002, which jive with what you said. But all 750s (and perhaps all shaft drive bikes) need to have splines lubed whenever you have the back wheel off? Is that correct? Or is that a no-maintenance sort of thing, other than topping off the final drive lubricant (or whatever it's called)?

I agree the paint looks surprisingly good. They do say it was garage kept. If you want to see the listing feel free to search Nashville Craigslist for it. There are only a couple of 750s listed. The other one's in the same price range, but much worse for ware. Like I said, I'm just reluctant to post a direct link.

Thanks for the top about the charge voltage. They say it runs fine and will take you anywhere, but even if it needed a new battery soon, that wouldn't break my heart. If I could check anything with a magic wand, I suppose it would be cylinder compression or something. But again, with mileage this low, and a bike that appears to have been garage kept all these years, it would surprise me if the inside is all gunk'd up. One never knows, though. That's the reason I'm here, asking about it. I don't want to be the guy posting on here in six months, with some sob story about how I've gotta now pay for a $1000 repair that I didn't see coming.

So thanks.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spockster View Post
Looks clean, probably garage kept. Probably ok if the tires are recently new, and not put on 10 years ago. (check date codes) Can't detect any rust or even spider-webbing on the paint.

Early years seemed to get the splines lubed at the factory, so this one may be ok, just due to be serviced, unless they were already done with the new tire.

Take a voltmeter and read the charge voltage. You can pull the right side cover and get the voltage off the starter solenoid. (battery cable)

Flexible on price, so motivated to sell. Might be able to make a good deal.
I had an 86 with dry splines...

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OleDirtyDoc View Post
I had an 86 with dry splines...
Thanks for that. I'll ask about it, and if they don't have a good answer I can use it as leverage for better pricing.
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