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El Jefe
04-22-2006, 10:29 PM
I'm thinking of buying an older streetbike, but haven't decided on which (if any) I'd like to get. The alternative is to buy new, but would rather start with something older. Any favorites? Horror stories? Parts/repair problems? I'm interested in bikes from the early 80's to ??? This will be mostly a commuter/around town bike, but I'd like someting with enough power for occasional trips west. I don't want an egg bike, but rather something along the lines of a Honda CB750 or Kawasaki KZ750...nothing smaller or exotic, just a solid bike.

Thx!
CC

Shark Bait
04-22-2006, 11:28 PM
I had a '75 Kawasaki 900. Zero to 60 in 4.0 seconds. Fastest production bike made at the time, except for maybe the 650 triple. It was green. I loved that bike. You could practically idle in 5th gear doing 60mph. That's how I broke my hip, riding that thing. I drank most of a bottle of Scotch one night :boozer: and got on the thing, at night, my helmet had a dark bubble on it (Thank God I was wearing a helmet.) , on an un-lit I-80 overpass in Des Moines, Iowa, I ran into a van from behind. I ran it up to 60mph, shifted into second gear and looked up, and there was this van in front of me. I tried to pass him, but my reaction time was so slow I didn't make it. I clipped the left rear corner of the van. Blew out my right hip socket and broke my right ulna. I passed out and flew through the air. When I came to I tried to get up, but the guys I had hit kept me from moving. The shock had sobered me up. The sticker on the back of my helmet that said, "Helmet Laws Suck" was un-readable. Totaled the bike, the frame was bent. I was a month shy of my 21st birthday, Memorial Day weekend, 1976. Took 6 months to recuperate. My leg was the same length after the accident but I lost blood flow to the head of the femur, so eventually, the bone died and shrank about 1 1/2 inches. So that's why I have a lift on my shoe and walk with a limp. Never been on a bike since.

If I ever win the Lotto I'm buying another one. Damn, I loved that bike. :smokin:

Hulk
04-23-2006, 07:07 AM
Wow, that's a hell of a story. I'm glad you lived to tell the tale.

Beater
04-23-2006, 08:11 AM
matt,
a modern bike that is affordable, and would meet your requirements would be a suzuki vx800.

I just picked up another two wheeler, an 89 fzr600. The problem with older bikes as you mentioned, is not the mileage, but the condition. Pain in the arse stuff like all the rubber needs to be replaced, like fork seals, shocks, gaskets, and such; and a lot of it is no longer in production. I know some good places to look, for a mechanically sound used one if you like.

CardinalFJ60
04-23-2006, 09:58 AM
I had an 83 GS 750e - the thing screamed and always started. IIRC, It was one of the first of the "superbikes" with a smaller front wheel, but not one of those 'crotch rockets' I loved the look of it. It had a small square faring similar to the old "Radian 600's" or NightHawks (*both good choices as well)

The Suzuki was pretty comfy for a sporty style - good for about 2-3 hours then I had to get off and stretch it out a little. I'm short, though, and probably a little small for that bike. I bought it from a motorcycle mechanic who put a Kerker pipe, rejetted it, cammed it, and K&N it...man...it hauled.

If you can find one, they're great.

nakman
04-23-2006, 12:58 PM
I've owned two KZ750's, great bikes. I was on a Kaw forum a while back (when I still had the bike) and this guy's signature was something like "after the nuclear war the only thing alive will be cockroaches and Kawasaki in-line 4's!" I thought that was pretty good..

El Jefe
04-23-2006, 10:54 PM
Thanks, everyone. I'm still trying to figure what I want to get. I'm tempted to just buy new...but I like the styling of the older bikes better than most of the new ones, except for the Triumphs, which are fairly spendy. I'm still leaning towards the Honda and Kawasaki's for first choice. So far, nothing has struck me as being "The Bike", though a guy at work has a really nice CB900F that I could probably buy. Supposedly, it's a ten speed...high/low range. I don't understand that...

Glad you survived that horrific wreck, Chris. If I win the Lotto, I'll buy you that bike!

Chris

Uncle Ben
04-23-2006, 11:18 PM
Thanks, everyone. I'm still trying to figure what I want to get. I'm tempted to just buy new...but I like the styling of the older bikes better than most of the new ones, except for the Triumphs, which are fairly spendy. I'm still leaning towards the Honda and Kawasaki's for first choice. So far, nothing has struck me as being "The Bike", though a guy at work has a really nice CB900F that I could probably buy. Supposedly, it's a ten speed...high/low range. I don't understand that...

Glad you survived that horrific wreck, Chris. If I win the Lotto, I'll buy you that bike!

Chris

Stayed out of this but I have had many street bikes (and dirt bikes) in my younger days. I've had all flavors and Yamahas and Hondas have been my favorites. My three favorites were 81 XS 1100 (Yam), 85 750 V45 Magna (Hon), 79 750 Special (Yam) respectfully. I had a 750 Kowi and a zuki GS 750 and they were both quick as heck but never really bonded with them. The XS 11 was insainly fast if needed but a great cruiser and very smooth. The Magna sounded and ran bad butt and was really smooth too. The Special was far from stock and would wheelie like a dirt bike! :eek: Old bikes are a lot of fun. I will go custom Harley when I grow up....or at least when I start having a midlife crisis.....or one day soon....always wanted one!

El Jefe
04-24-2006, 12:05 AM
I guess I'll know the right bike when I see it. When we were house shopping, our agent told us that when we found our house, we would know right away. Proved true. I think the same will happen with a bike.

I know about the problems with OEM parts. I'm having the same problem with my dirtbike. It's an '83 KTM495, and rubber parts have been discontinued, along with some of the hard parts. There's aftermarket suppliers, used parts, Ebay, and other forums just like with Toyotas, but sometimes I think I'd rather buy something newer and just be able to ride. I have enough toys that need work, not sure if I want another one!

Chris