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Discussion Starter #1
Although I provided the mileage on the back of the previous title, I was told at the counter that no mileage certification is required for a bike this old. However, I was surprised when the new title arrived and did not have any mileage listed at all. Should I be concerned about this when it comes to resale value?

I should point out that the mileage on this bike is very impressive. It’s a useful sales feature (8,000 miles on an 86)
 

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They just stop tracking mileage after a certain number of years.

If you want to document it, a pic of the odometer with a date stamp should do it.
 

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In Oregon you don't need an odometer disclosure for vehicles older than 10 years. I never look at the title odometer listing when buying, but rather the vehicle. An older vehicle could have low mileage, but still be a rusted, banged up, and poorly maintained piece of junk. I would prefer to see a older motorcycle that is well maintained, in great shape, and with about 1K miles for ever year it is old.
 

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Odometer. Nobody cares about mileage on the title.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
8,000 miles on a 30 year old bike is not a selling point to me. It means the bike sat a lot and wasn't ridden. So the mystery is how long did it sit unused, where did it sit, and why wasn't it ridden.
That's a good point, of course. It is ridiculously low mileage. The story I heard is that he rode it regularly, but just not very far. Who knows the full truth, though. The in-between owner only had it a couple of years, and he sold it because he wasn't riding it enough. The first owner was apparently a career Air Force guy (retired as Colonel), so riding on and around the base. Hardly ever a long trip. I have his contact info, and I was in the Air Force also, so I'm thinking about reaching out to him just to tell him I have the bike now, and maybe I can get some more back story.

This is a first bike for me and it was pretty cheap and seems to be in good shape. However, I will admit that I haven't take it into the shop yet for a once-over. I'm planning on doing that later in the season.

Thanks for the contribution, though. I hadn't thought about the downside of mileage this low, but that makes sense.
 

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That's a good point, of course. It is ridiculously low mileage. The story I heard is that he rode it regularly, but just not very far. Who knows the full truth, though. The in-between owner only had it a couple of years, and he sold it because he wasn't riding it enough. The first owner was apparently a career Air Force guy (retired as Colonel), so riding on and around the base. Hardly ever a long trip. I have his contact info, and I was in the Air Force also, so I'm thinking about reaching out to him just to tell him I have the bike now, and maybe I can get some more back story.

This is a first bike for me and it was pretty cheap and seems to be in good shape. However, I will admit that I haven't take it into the shop yet for a once-over. I'm planning on doing that later in the season.

Thanks for the contribution, though. I hadn't thought about the downside of mileage this low, but that makes sense.
"However, I will admit that I haven't take it into the shop yet for a once-over" What's a shop?
 

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I don't automatically get suspicious of low mileage. Many people buy bikes and don't ride as much as they thought they would.

I suppose first, I'd look for signs of repeated mechanical work. Bolt/screw heads always tell a story.
 

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You don't need to take it to any shop, just read the Versys and ask questions here. We can all play nice most of the time, lol. Most shops don't want to mess with older bikes anyway.
 

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Motorcycle Shop:
"A establishment created to remove money from owners wallets for work that didn't need to be done, or if needed, to do that work poorly, and to charge 100 times more than if the parts were purchased separately and done at home by the owner."
 

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Yea, I'm with most else about the mileage not being so important. I base my vehicle buys on the current owner. If I roll up on his place and it's a poophole and the condition of his other vehicles(cars,trucks,ATVs) are looking rough. I won't buy. If the persons general vehicle knowledge isn't up to par, I usually won't buy. The whole process is an interrogation. I ask him questions about the bike, get off topic about something else, than come back to that same question a little bit later. That when most people mess up, can't remember their own lies.
I bought mine 2 years ago 2000 with 4K miles. Guy lives around the corner and he was a straight up dude. Every now and than when I catch him outside I'll let him rip it around.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I should clarify what I said about taking my bike to a shop. Good points, all of you. First, let me tell you what I did last Saturday. My pickup truck needed a brake job. I replaced the pads and rotors (just on the rear). I did the job right. It took me several hours (because there's always something unexpected), but it cost me $165 in parts, plus my time. That same job, in my area, costs between $500 and $600. I almost never take my truck to the shop. Actually, any of the four cars that my family has. I have done it, but I hate to do it, and I always try to do the repairs myself.

So, to the bike: It's my first bike and I know very little about them. It's not all THAT different from a car, of course. And when they need a brake job or an oil change, I assume I'll do it myself. But as far as just giving my new purchase an experienced look... I figured it might be a good idea to take it to a shop and have them look at it.

But then somebody in this thread said that shops don't even like dealing with old bikes. I hadn't thought about that, actually. That's a good point, and especially as simple as bikes are, there's no reason I can't assess it myself. I can buy a compression test kit and make sure my cylinders have enough pressure. I can check the alignment of the wheels. I can check the splines and the grease. I can put an AGM battery in the thing. Etc. All in all, it's much simpler than a car. And there are so many things about cars that I still don't understand, that I might already know more about motorcycles than I do about cars, in terms of coverage percentage :)

I do like to tinker, so I probably picked the right bike for myself. I've already been into the electrical system, because I had to replace a turn signal. In fact, I have a couple of extra turn signals, and on Sunday I combined parts from different ones to make the "best of breed" turn signal. The best lens, the best body, and the best wiring :) So I'm coming along fine.

Hey, make sure that side stand is all the way down when you're moving the bike around in your garage. Just sayin'. It's important.
 
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