Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Found one on Craigslist for $1400. The guy told me he would meet me at his buddy's motorcycle shop in San Marcos, I'd pay him the money, and he would pay his buddy to replace the driveshaft right there, and i ride it home.

Does itseem like a good deal? If so, would this be a good bike for me?

I've been riding for about a year and a half, the whole time on my '82 Honda GL500 Silverwing 'til it was stolen. That bike treated me VERY well and I had no problems handling it.

So tell me, guys... Is this a gimmick, or is this ad heaven-sent?


http://sanmarcos.craigslist.org/mcy/2223911323.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
$1400 would be a good deal for the bike but I think this deal sounds funny. I am getting bad vibes on this arrangement, be careful sounds like it could be a set up for a rip off. Is this buddy shop a legitimate shop?
 

·
Old Truck Junkie
Joined
·
4,133 Posts
Yes, to me that sounds like a good deal. That is if in fact, you will ride away with a replaced rear drive and a good coupler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
I may be wrong here, but I seem to remember someone on this forum saying that replacing a final drive is around $1,000. If this is correct, I would be asking myself if this guy would sell his mechanically sound '97 for $400? Seems a bit too good to be true IMHO. It would be a great deal if legit. If you're serious about this offer, make sure you go into it with both eyes open. Just my 2 cents.

John
 

·
Daily rider
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
There's got to be a reason the guy hasn't already replaced the final drive. I'd be leery of this one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,778 Posts
I'd want to go for a look-see before making the deal, and let them know you're not carring the money. Do you know how to tell a good set of splines from bad ones? I'd want to know they were good before I paid any money, and lubed with the proper grease, such as Honda Moly 60. Would also like to know why the replacement parts are on hand but not yet installed. Doesn't make a lot ot sense to me, and I think I'd pass on the deal. Definitely take several friends if you decide to follow through. Security should be paramount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,446 Posts
Sounds funny to me too. Did you ask what else is wrong with the bike? Why can't we see the front end in the pics? All the pics are of small portions of the bike, I don't like it. Yeah if you go, take a couple people with you and, if possible, DON'T bring the cash! Let them know you don't have it on you from the start but can get it once the drive work has started.
 

·
Giggity!
Joined
·
4,307 Posts
You could do the repairs your self. Changing the final drive or the drive sgaft on this bike is pretty easy & most of the parts can be found easily on ebay. The price is good but I agree. Something sounds amiss. It's deffinitly worth checking out though. Just be cautious. The 750 is a great fun peppy bike & there's always one for sale some where.
 

·
Member? ... check.
Joined
·
536 Posts
PhayzeR ... starting to get the vibe here? I'm with most of the rest of the crew. The bike is evidently only about 30~40 miles away, you could go for a look see before progressing the deal to the drive shaft installation. Look the bike over real good electrically and cosmetically, discuss any mods, pull levers, play with switches, hear it run and rev, etc. ... The seller might even let you do a quick compression test on both cylinders, you get the point. Not having the cash on you, and having a buddy or two with you on the first meeting is great advice, I would use caution, and heed this tidbit of sage.

P.S. Oh yea ... you could also review the title. Could be important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Wow! Thanks for all the great feedback, guys! I really appreciate it!

The story I got form the guy is, he had to sell his car to get a truck, and still has payments to make, so he has to sell his broken bike. He doesn't want to sell the bike broken, so once he has a buyer, he is going to order the part.

His mechanic buddy DOES own his own legitimate motorcycle shop in San Marcos.

http://thevroomsanmarcos.com/

He said his buddy at the shop completely rebuilt the engine, which i will discuss in our meeting on Saturday. He told me his buddy owes him some favors, so he is doing the service for dirt cheap.

When I head out there, I'll try to get my car mechanic buddy to come with, and he can check the compression, though I'm sure the guy's shop has a gauge.


Thanks again guys for all of the replies!

For now, what should I keep in mind when I check this thing out? What are some tell-tale signs that a bike has been abused, or that it may be a lemon, and what are some key things I should check aside from lights, hoses, and checking for leaks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Whenever I wanna buy a used bike (I tend to keep few bikes at a time and keep changing them very often), I ask the owner to not fire the bike up on the day of our appointment.

I fire her up myself. See how she starts cold. Then while the engine is not hot yet, I place my ear on the block on each cylinder as well as the crank case on both sides of the bike. Listen for any unusual noise. It's not too difficult to tell a healthy engine apart from ahh, how do you say it, lemon?

Keep the engine running while you do the rest of the following checkings.
Then check the radiator and see if you see any sign of excessive rust or maybe oil in there. A bad radiator or leaking gaskets are gonna keep you from getting on the saddle for a while.

Check all the electricals and the switches.

Check the suspensions. Leak on the forks can be fixed relatively cheap but a leaking rear suspension means trouble.

Get on the saddle and put her in the first gear, then without letting go of the clutch lever, give her a mild but "sudden" twist on the throttle (Something revving her up to 3 - 4k would be good enough) and listen for any click-like sound from the cardan. There shouldn't be any.

Take her out for a spin and try to rev her up. See if she likes it. VN750 is a cruiser that loves to be revved.

While doing around 25 - 30 mph, let go of the handle bar. See if the bike tilts to one side and also if the front end starts jerking. Jerking front end can be fixed relatively cheap but again a tilting bike could be trouble.

Check the brakes and how well they do the job.

Once done with the spin, shut her off, give her about 3 - 4 minutes. Then try to fire her up again.
Shut her off, give her about 10 seconds and then fire her up again.
See how she starts hot.

Let her idle till the thermometer needle is pointing straight downwards (i.e. if it isn't already). The radiator fan should kick in by this time. Check it out to see if it's AOK there.

Shut her off again, pull off the plugs (All of them) and study them. They should be nothing but moderately gray. It's called royal gray around here.

If all the above is "pass" then you, my friend, have a bike in hand that you know would need some touch ups to be a life-long companion. But if you find yourself marking some of them as "fail" and you decide to buy the bike regardless, then you might find yourself reaching for your wallet quite often.


All that said, I just wanna let you know that whatever I wrote up here is just a load of bull crap. At the end of the day, what matters is what your gut tells you and how bad you fall for her.
Trust me, we all have gone by our guts when we bought our VN750s.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
812 Posts
Assuming everyone is honest which may not be the case. Once you pay the money if the shaft replacement doesn't come out right it becomes your problem. The mechanic did the work he's going to keep the money paid. If you don't like his work you're stuck.

My feeling is not to bother your friends and save yourself the aggravation by just passing on this one. The VN750 is a great bike but there must be another one out there that you could be happy with. Keep looking for a solid bike. Good luck
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,054 Posts
I work in San Marcos, live in Kyle, and would be glad to go with you to look at the bike. If the bike is in good shape, but just needs the final drive and coupling, that's not a bad deal, considering those can be had for a few hundred dollars used from a parts bike. If he's talking about ordering a new set, (he must be nuts) but I think you'll know pretty quick if the deal is on the up and up. Let me know if I can help!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,054 Posts
One more thought, I just talked to my son, who has his (my old) 2002 VN750 for sale. He's asking $2250 for it, and although I can't vouch for what shape is is in having sold it to him 2 years ago, I can say it was in excellent shape when I sold it to him. It has a good drive shaft and final drive, with plenty of moly in it though. Just wanted to alert you to this if you are in the market.
I had put new tires (metzlers) on it, new brakes on the front and it has the mustang seat, with protac back rest, a set of saddlebags and rear rack and a traditional style cruiser windshield, plus the nasty loud air horn, all installed by me at one time or another. Has the iridium plugs too. He hasn't ridden it much, might have put a thousand miles on it, if he's lucky. That would put it around 28K I believe, but I'd have to check that... I replaced the final drive at around 10 or 12 K. Has the coil mod and the r/r relocate on it, and the V&H cruisers, again that I put on... One thing I know is he has continued to use seafoam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Wow, again guys, your feedback is amazing. The Honda CX/GL500 forums are nowhere near this actively helpful!

I looked at the bike today with my car mechanic buddy. The shop was huge with tons of bikes. The owner of the shop, David, said he had been working on Vulcans for around 30 years, among all other brands of bikes and ATVs. He personally spoke for the quality of the bike and for the fact that -with regular maintenance- the bike would easily last me another 15 or more years. (I plan on upgrading to a much newer bike in 5-10 years.)

The battery was dead when i showed up, and i felt the engine, so it was a cold start. David said he would replace the original battery with a new one at no cost. When the owner tried to start the bike before charging the battery, I'm assuming the carbs flooded, because the bike backfired a couple times. When the battery was charged, it fired up instantly.

My friend checked the compression on all cylinders. The back two were right at 150, and the front two were 147-148.

Fergy, I wish I would have read your posts before I went this morning, otherwise I would have loved to have an extra opinion... Thanks so much for the offer either way! I appreciate the offer on you son's bike, but I just want something decent to spend my tax return on that will give me my moto-fix, and save me gas money until I can buy something nicer, and this bike fell right into my price range.

The owner ordered a rear final drive shaft off of a '99 VN750 today for $65. I found that out when I called to tell him about the ebay posting, but thanks anyways, Niterider. David will have it installed and ready for me whenever he hears word I'm ready to buy it.


All in all, everyone walked away satisfied today form the meet. I placed a $200 deposit on the bike to hold it to my name, we both signed a contract/receipt with two witnesses, and in two weeks or less, I will sign a title, then will ride my 1997 Kawasaki Vulcan VN750 home to be washed!

And I talked him down to $1,300 :)


So I guess my next purchase would be a new seat... The one on it now looks pretty retro, and I'd like to modernize it a bit, maybe with a wider seat. I'm gonna email David and see if he has any or knows where to find a good used one locally through any connections, but does anyone know what other year models' seats should fit the '97?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,778 Posts
All seats from 1985 VN700-2006 VN750 are interchangable, and equally (un) comfortable. Many folks replace them with custom seats such as Mustang or Corbin. You can also send off the stock seat and have the foam replaced by this guy: http://greatdaytoride.com/Home_Page.php Quick turn around and good quality work reported by those members that have used him. It's the poor quality foam that tends to make so many stock seats a pain in the rear.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top