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The bike I just got (for free) is from 1994. It needs a new front tire, battery, and seat, is missing a right mirror and rear brake, and many of the bolts are rusty. A lot of the tubes are cracked also and it has a sticky throttle. There's something wrong with the fuel system, but I think it's just clogged jets. It has 40,000 miles on it. Because of the battery and fuel system, it doesn't run, so it may have other issues I don't know about that I'll discover after I get it running, or it could run great, who knows? The body is in surprisingly good condition (besides the many rusty bolts). Is it worth it to restore it or should I just buy a new bike? I should probably specify that if I did get this bike fixed up, I would probably use it for touring.
 

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Chasin' the blacktop
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Sounds like you've got a real crap-shoot there. A couple hundred dollars and a lot of work and you may have a great cruiser, but then you may do that work and find that you have a disaster good only for parting out.

The worrysome part is the fact that the rubber lines are in such poor shape. The bike probably spent a lot of years in the weather and the carb and engine gaskets may need to also be replaced.

Where are you located? If you're close by I may be interested in buying the bike for a parts bike.
Spencer
706-207-1080
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like you've got a real crap-shoot there. A couple hundred dollars and a lot of work and you may have a great cruiser, but then you may do that work and find that you have a disaster good only for parting out.

The worrysome part is the fact that the rubber lines are in such poor shape. The bike probably spent a lot of years in the weather and the carb and engine gaskets may need to also be replaced.

Where are you located? If you're close by I may be interested in buying the bike for a parts bike.
Spencer
706-207-1080
The lines are splitting on the ends, and I'm worried they'll spread. Would lines split from normal wear on the ends? They're all still pliable and don't have cracks in the middle.
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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You do not mention your particular skill level to do any repairs yourself. If you had to pay a shop to do all that you mentioned the cost would be very high and most likely not worth the trouble. You could strip it down and sell the parts and make a pretty good buck to add to any money you were going to spend on a different bike. You could get a lot of cheaper parts like signals, mirrors, etc for a lot less than OEM prices. As mentioned if you give your location there may be someone close that would be willing to look things over for you and give you a much better evaluation of the situation. As far as the rusty bolts are concerned I would try for a used battery in decent shape and then try to get the bike started before spending any money on other repairs. You could do the minimum just to get the bike started and if that works out the rusty bolts could be changed out a section at a time in the future. Forget the suspension and the lights and concentrate your efforts into seeing if you can get it running at minimal cost and then reevaluate things. JMHO Good luck.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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If you're mechanically inclined you should be fine.some things you can use aftermarket.for instance i used a solo sportster seat.aftermarket blinkers etc.i bought mine in pieces and did the starting fluid trick i mentioned in your other post.i have about a grand total in her and have been running her for almost 3 years.
 

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Chasin' the blacktop
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Also on E-Bay you will find tons of old VN750 parts. If the vacuum lines are only split on the ends that may not be too bad. Grab some jumper cables and give her a bit of fresh gas and see if she wants to hit. Be sure to check the oil level 1st.... even better since gas may have leaked down into the crankcase change the oil and clean the plugs before you try to crank her.
 

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Sparky!!!
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8,697 Posts
The bike I just got (for free) is from 1994. It needs a new front tire, battery, and seat, is missing a right mirror and rear brake, and many of the bolts are rusty. A lot of the tubes are cracked also and it has a sticky throttle. There's something wrong with the fuel system, but I think it's just clogged jets. It has 40,000 miles on it. Because of the battery and fuel system, it doesn't run, so it may have other issues I don't know about that I'll discover after I get it running, or it could run great, who knows? The body is in surprisingly good condition (besides the many rusty bolts). Is it worth it to restore it or should I just buy a new bike? I should probably specify that if I did get this bike fixed up, I would probably use it for touring.
you say the bike is given to you, as in FREE? if so even if you put up to $2000 you are still in good shape, if you have to go much more than that then you would be in for a world of hurt.

If this bike were given to me, the first thing I would do is tackle the carb issue, then use a car battery and jumper cables to get the engine to run. Once the engine runs, I would then make a decision weather to go on from there or not. It sounds like 90% of the problem with the bike is cosmetics which can be fixed real easily with paint, or buying the replacement bolts. Price out the parts needed to restore the bike on eBay, minus the tires. and go from there.
 

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Repair or Replace with a new bike.

Toss a coin,and live with the decision. I know I hate paying interest on loans for any vehicle. I think if you own it to begin with, $2000 is not a lot for a classy old bike. As far as rusty old bolts, they still hold it together, and you don't have to worry about getting rust on the bolts on your new rocket,or a stone chip,or a little grind mark here and there, or oops it got wet and Sun baked. Fix it, ride the ass of it,and if you get sick of it,put a sheet over it in the corner,and forget it till the urge hits you to go for a run again. It's free, enjoy it!
 

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I have been involved with/around many levels of restoration for many decades. I currently own 6 'restoration' projects.

Restoration projects are almost never FINANCIALLY reasonable. The same could be said of a number of things. Young blondes, for example.

Money isn't everything. I will stop b4 this post becomes a credit card commercial.
 

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As I too have a bike on the edge of fix or sell. I'll give to my two cents. Find an old battery, any size, use jumper cables for now. Clean and/or rebuild the carbs. rig up a temporary gas tank. Get it running and see what you find. Read a lot on here and report back and ask questions. These guys can give you a lot of help. If it runs good you should be able to fix it up.
Ken
 

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I found out that even free is not always cheap. Some time ago, I was "given" a 1986 Honda Goldwing 1200LTD. LTD means it was fuel injected. Remember this was a 1986 model. Of course I jumped at it, not being one to turn down something free, especially a motorcycle. Long story short, it turned into a 2 year nightmare, and I must have spent close to $2000 on it. I did manage to ride it almost 5000 miles, the rest of the time it was broken down. I have no idea how many hour of work I put into it, but it was a lot. This was time I could have spent riding. I finally gave up, put it on Craigslist for $500, and sold it to a guy who was going to part it out on eBay. He even agreed with me that it was probably pointless to keep trying to fix it.

I would definitely do a lot of checking this bike out before spending anything. The Vulcan 750 is a great bike, when in great condition. I have bought 2 new ones and rode the wheels off them. I used them almost exclusively for touring, because of their comfort and ability to run at freeway speeds all day with no problems. But the Vulcan 750 is a complicated motorcycle, and has several known issues. If you deal with these issues before it is to late, it will likely last a long time. I have 86,000 on my '02, and so far all I've done is replace the automatic cam chain tensioners with manual ones, replaced the clutch friction plates, rebuilt the petcock (ethanol damage) and cleaned the carbs once. I honestly think it might make it to 150,000 miles, depending on how long the cam chains hold out. Ninja 250s (the old style) have made it past 100,000, and usually failed due to loss of compression or a broken cam chain.
 
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