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    Thread: Question for those that haven't been riding since birth.

    1. 04-07-2012 08:43 AM #51
      [QUOTE=Mk1Racer;76770984]

      While I agree that they are reliable, you're talking about a bike that's over 35 years old. If it hasn't been ridden semi-regularly, and maintained, you're in for some surprises. Gummed up carbs, dried out gaskets and seals, etc. And I don't know of any bike that you can ride for 3-4 years w/o doing anything other than an annual oil change. Well maybe if you ride
      Last edited by pknopp; 04-07-2012 at 08:48 AM.

    2. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      04-11-2012 07:55 AM #52
      Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
      This is why I ride something I can commute on.
      I would ride it enough anyway, but commuting is much more fun on the bike. And I get some helmet time in as a bonus, instead of just a brain vacation in the cage.
      A(u). Klasse A, unbeschrankt, ungedrosselt
      Compared to a British roadster, all Volkswagens are reliable!

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    3. Senior Member FlashRedGLS1.8T's Avatar
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      04-11-2012 09:05 AM #53
      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      Get the mid 70's Honda. They are bullet proof. You can get a good starter bike, say a 1975 CB360 in great shape for $800. You should be able to ride one in good shape 3-4 years without doing anything more than a oil change at the start of the season.
      [QUOTE=Mk1Racer;76770984]

      While I agree that they are reliable, you're talking about a bike that's over 35 years old. If it hasn't been ridden semi-regularly, and maintained, you're in for some surprises. Gummed up carbs, dried out gaskets and seals, etc. And I don't know of any bike that you can ride for 3-4 years w/o doing anything other than an annual oil change. Well maybe if you ride

    4. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
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      04-11-2012 01:07 PM #54
      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      And to think, I noted that he buy a good running bike, not one with gummed up carbs. As I also noted great running 70's CB's can be bought for $800. He's a new rider, he said nothing about wanting to make it a full time ride.

      You can indeed ride one of these bikes trouble free. I've rode my 63 Honda Dream for two years and other than tires when I got it, I've not done a thing to it. I rode a 75 CB360 for two years that I bought for $700. I did nothing to it. I then sold it for $900.

      I would have done the same with the 71 CB750 I bought last year except I was offered more than I was willing to turn down for it. They are very reliable and cheap.
      Quote Originally Posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T View Post
      I rode a '73 CJ360 for 2 years and did nothing more than change the oil. The idea is not far fetched.
      I'll ask both of you the same question, how many miles a year did you ride these bikes?
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      That implies she had pants on to begin with. I think we can all agree that pants are not a given.

    5. 04-11-2012 04:38 PM #55
      The OP stated that he wanted an old Japanese bike to go on a "jaunt" on. To go out and get lost. Not ride every single day to work.

      If the OP is interested in an old Japanese bike, that is what he should get as there is nothing worse than getting something you don't really want.

      I mainly ride the same way the OP states he wants to. I go on a "jaunt" when I feel like. I take an extended ride when I feel like it and sometimes on nice days, I'll ride to work.

      While I certainly can, I do not like to work on what I ride. I like to be able to get on and ride when I feel like it. A once over in the spring is about all I do. Unlike the Brit bikes I've had I never touch the carbs once set. I've added a performance exhaust and still not touched the carbs. Tossed the old air filter and put on a new efficient one. Never touch the carbs.

      If the OP decides riding is not for him, he will have no problem getting his $800 back or thereabout. Insurance is cheap. 50-70 mpg. Tires are inexpensive. Just make sure it has solid pipes or be willing to live with aftermarket.

    6. Member nhbubba's Avatar
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      04-11-2012 05:48 PM #56
      I don't know if any of you UJM advocates are speaking of experience from the days of pre-ethanol gas. But the game has changed, in my experience.

      The shelf life of the ethanol doped stuff is like 90 days. For most of us in the north, that's easily an off season. Therefore care needs to be taken with the fuel when winterizing. We need to use fuel stabilizers and treatments periodically or the fuel components WILL go to ****. I speak from experience. I managed to gum up the carbs in a motorcycle manufactured in 2001. Old carbs that already have a few decades on them are even easier. (Again, experience: we have a '78 Honda in the family.)

      Also, here in rust country, rust takes old bikes out of circulation. Fewer bikes in circulation means fewer people familiar with repairing them. Fewer people stocking parts for them. Fewer people to turn to for advice and help.

      So the questions are:
      - Can you find a clean 70's UJM from a seller you trust took care of the fuel system?
      - If you have troubles, are you sure you can get repairs done or even parts?
      - Are you confident you could find a parts bike if you can't find new replacement parts?

      Or would you rather have something newer, nearly as cheap, and just as much-or more likely *more*-fun?

      That's not to say you have to go EFI. All I'm saying is that I would lean to something from the 90's or early 2000's. Something like an SV, an Kawi EX parallel twin. One of the Suzuki GS bikes (Katana, Bandit, etc). One of the many Honda offerings.

      But as always, YMMV.
      Last edited by nhbubba; 04-11-2012 at 05:51 PM.

    7. 04-11-2012 06:06 PM #57
      Again, if you get a CB in nearly any configuration, parts are easy to get. You can even buy brand spanking new pipes if you wish from the dealer. They are just pricey.

      I also noted that the OP should make sure he buys a well running bike. Not one that has sat with old gas in it for 22 years.

      I put side cover engine gaskets on my 71 CB750 last year. Not because they were bad but because I simply wanted a look inside. I bought the new gaskets at the Honda dealer. The dealer could no longer get me a key for my 63 Dream and I had to go to a locksmith but I've also not had to actually use it either. Repop headlights are now available for Dreams or it's a fix it yourself deal for $15. CB headlights are just a common headlight.

      If the OP hadn't mentioned wanting an old Japanese bike I wouldn't bother, but he stated that is what he wanted and for what it seems like he wants to do, there is no reason why he shouldn't.

      There are CB specific forums all over the net. They can tell you exactly how many turns of the screw to set your carbs. (buy one well running and you have plenty of time to learn)

    8. 04-11-2012 10:32 PM #58
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      I'll ask both of you the same question, how many miles a year did you ride these bikes?
      I'm with them on this. The only maintenance my bike required to run safely was a valve clearance adjustments. I did some preventative stuff, just because. 4k miles, through the winter, no issues.

      Seen a few UJM's brought back to life in the last year or so. CB750, 10k miles no issues. XS400, 2k miles without anything but a carb cleaning.

    9. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 08:59 AM #59
      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      The OP stated that he wanted an old Japanese bike to go on a "jaunt" on. To go out and get lost. Not ride every single day to work.

      If the OP is interested in an old Japanese bike, that is what he should get as there is nothing worse than getting something you don't really want.

      I mainly ride the same way the OP states he wants to. I go on a "jaunt" when I feel like. I take an extended ride when I feel like it and sometimes on nice days, I'll ride to work.

      While I certainly can, I do not like to work on what I ride. I like to be able to get on and ride when I feel like it. A once over in the spring is about all I do. Unlike the Brit bikes I've had I never touch the carbs once set. I've added a performance exhaust and still not touched the carbs. Tossed the old air filter and put on a new efficient one. Never touch the carbs.

      If the OP decides riding is not for him, he will have no problem getting his $800 back or thereabout. Insurance is cheap. 50-70 mpg. Tires are inexpensive. Just make sure it has solid pipes or be willing to live with aftermarket.
      He also said it was going to be his first bike. I don't know many people where their first bike was their last bike (unless they stopped riding after the first bike). I've had several bikes over the years.

      I don't doubt that you can find well maintained, nice examples of mid-sized 70's UJM's, that will be dead reliable. But you're going to have to look harder for one than you will a 90's mid-sized UJM. If you look at my original post in this thread, you'll see that I agree that the 70's bikes are cool.

      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer
      Don't get me wrong, 70's bikes are very cool (and seem to be all the rage these days), but give your new hobby a fighting chance. There's lots to learn when you're just starting out, don't let 40+ y/o technology sabotage that. You want to be riding now, not tinkering w/ an old bike, or worrying that you may get stuck somewhere. Pick up an early 90's standard and learn how to ride. Once you've got most of the basics out of the way, start looking for the kind of bike that you want.
      Being new to bikes, the OP isn't going to know what to look for in a 70's UJM. Given the popularity of them, you've got people dragging them out of barns and garages, cleaning them up a bit, and getting decent money for them. Unless the OP has a friend that knows these bikes, he could easily wind up w/ something that may look good, but have hidden issues. That's not to say that that possibility doesn't exist w/ a 90's bike, I just think it's lower.

      If the OP could find a nice 70's CB450 or XS500 in good shape, that's well maintained, I'd certainly recommend buying it. There are just less of them to pick from than a mid-90's CB500/GS500E/SR500 in good condition. And the price is going to be about the same. I'd probably go w/ the Honda or Suzuki over the Yamaha, just because they're twins rather than a single. I think either of those is a great first bike, and should have less issues than their older brothers.
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      That implies she had pants on to begin with. I think we can all agree that pants are not a given.

    10. 04-12-2012 10:37 AM #60
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      He also said it was going to be his first bike. I don't know many people where their first bike was their last bike (unless they stopped riding after the first bike). I've had several bikes over the years.
      O.K.

      I don't doubt that you can find well maintained, nice examples of mid-sized 70's UJM's, that will be dead reliable. But you're going to have to look harder for one than you will a 90's mid-sized UJM. If you look at my original post in this thread, you'll see that I agree that the 70's bikes are cool.
      They are easy to find. The bigger point is the OP (who has seemed to have maybe changed his mind about wanting to ride) said he wanted an older bike. If he said he wanted a newer sport bike, I wouldn't try and lead him in a different direction.

      Being new to bikes, the OP isn't going to know what to look for in a 70's UJM. Given the popularity of them, you've got people dragging them out of barns and garages, cleaning them up a bit, and getting decent money for them. Unless the OP has a friend that knows these bikes, he could easily wind up w/ something that may look good, but have hidden issues. That's not to say that that possibility doesn't exist w/ a 90's bike, I just think it's lower.

      If the OP could find a nice 70's CB450 or XS500 in good shape, that's well maintained, I'd certainly recommend buying it. There are just less of them to pick from than a mid-90's CB500/GS500E/SR500 in good condition. And the price is going to be about the same. I'd probably go w/ the Honda or Suzuki over the Yamaha, just because they're twins rather than a single. I think either of those is a great first bike, and should have less issues than their older brothers.
      I have no idea.....Are mid 90's bikes giong for less than 1K?

      http://youngstown.craigslist.org/mcy/2929887852.html

    11. Member nhbubba's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 10:55 AM #61
      Awe!

      My first was a '78 CB400. Had a lotta good times on that thing. Ours was orange.

      Stay the hell away from the Interstate with that thing. The bow wake off an 18 wheeler is deadly when you're on something that small and under powered. That bike is TALL too. I say starting on that thing is part of why I feel so at home on my new V-Strom.

    12. Senior Member FlashRedGLS1.8T's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 10:59 AM #62
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      I'll ask both of you the same question, how many miles a year did you ride these bikes?
      About 8,000-9,000 miles. 350 mile weekends (in spring/fall) and some short daily commutes

    13. 04-12-2012 12:53 PM #63
      Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
      Awe!

      My first was a '78 CB400. Had a lotta good times on that thing. Ours was orange.

      Stay the hell away from the Interstate with that thing. The bow wake off an 18 wheeler is deadly when you're on something that small and under powered. That bike is TALL too. I say starting on that thing is part of why I feel so at home on my new V-Strom.
      Yes, the small displacement bikes do not belong on the interstate but I'd recommend a new rider stay off them anyway. I've rode for years and don't care for riding on the interstate.

    14. Member nhbubba's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 07:57 PM #64
      I've rode for years and find it the most direct way to work.

    15. 04-12-2012 08:36 PM #65
      Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
      I've rode for years and find it the most direct way to work.
      Sure. LOL

    16. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 08:41 PM #66
      Quote Originally Posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T View Post
      About 8,000-9,000 miles. 350 mile weekends (in spring/fall) and some short daily commutes
      You put 8k-9k miles a year on a '73 CJ360???
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      That implies she had pants on to begin with. I think we can all agree that pants are not a given.

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      04-13-2012 07:35 AM #67
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      You put 8k-9k miles a year on a '73 CJ360???
      Yes. Spring and fall weekly commutes between college and my home town, mixed with light weekly riding while on campus and during the summer.

      My buddy did the same thing with his '74CB360...better bike than my CJ.

    18. 04-13-2012 07:47 AM #68
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      You put 8k-9k miles a year on a '73 CJ360???
      You can but........ If someone lived in Southern California and wanted daily transportation I wouldn't recommend an old bike. Again though, I'll note that this isn't what the OP stated.

      If one was of the mind though.......it's not all that hard to find a 6,000 mile mid 70's bike for relatively little money. It's not riding that is hard on a bike, it's sitting. One could ride such a bike with relatively little work for 2-3 years. Granted 30,000 miles and these old bikes are getting pretty tired. For what they can be bought for it's not cost efficient to completely rebuild one (unless you are talking 750).

      You sell it for parts and get another for $1000. Super cheap, fun transportation.

    19. Senior Member Mk1Racer's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:35 AM #69
      Quote Originally Posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T View Post
      Yes. Spring and fall weekly commutes between college and my home town, mixed with light weekly riding while on campus and during the summer.

      My buddy did the same thing with his '74CB360...better bike than my CJ.
      Impressive, to say the least. That kind of mileage is stout on a cruiser (or it means you have no job and just tour all the time), much less on a little buzz bomb like a 360 twin.

      Quote Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
      You can but........ If someone lived in Southern California and wanted daily transportation I wouldn't recommend an old bike. Again though, I'll note that this isn't what the OP stated.

      If one was of the mind though.......it's not all that hard to find a 6,000 mile mid 70's bike for relatively little money. It's not riding that is hard on a bike, it's sitting. One could ride such a bike with relatively little work for 2-3 years. Granted 30,000 miles and these old bikes are getting pretty tired. For what they can be bought for it's not cost efficient to completely rebuild one (unless you are talking 750).

      You sell it for parts and get another for $1000. Super cheap, fun transportation.
      Just for the record, I scoured the local craigslist in my area, and couldn't find any 70's UJM's in the $500 - $1500 price range w/ the exception of a '74 or '75 Hondamatic. Did see several mid 80's bikes in the 450-550cc range though. And yeah, I guess the mid-90's bikes are a bit more.
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      That implies she had pants on to begin with. I think we can all agree that pants are not a given.

    20. Member turbinepowered's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 04:47 PM #70
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      Just for the record, I scoured the local craigslist in my area, and couldn't find any 70's UJM's in the $500 - $1500 price range w/ the exception of a '74 or '75 Hondamatic. Did see several mid 80's bikes in the 450-550cc range though. And yeah, I guess the mid-90's bikes are a bit more.
      This. So far this forum is pretty poor at ballpark estimating the average price of something in my area. Those 70s bikes in my area that are
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      There is an area of a normal brain that lets the owner know the object works and needs to be left alone. Not all of us have it. It is like being colorblind.

    21. 04-13-2012 09:23 PM #71
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      Just for the record, I scoured the local craigslist in my area, and couldn't find any 70's UJM's in the $500 - $1500 price range w/ the exception of a '74 or '75 Hondamatic. Did see several mid 80's bikes in the 450-550cc range though. And yeah, I guess the mid-90's bikes are a bit more.
      http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/mcy/2943393208.html

    22. Senior Member FlashRedGLS1.8T's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 11:52 PM #72
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Racer View Post
      Impressive, to say the least. That kind of mileage is stout on a cruiser (or it means you have no job and just tour all the time), much less on a little buzz bomb like a 360 twin.
      I won't lie, 2 years of that did me in.

    23. Member Cubster's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 01:09 PM #73
      Guys I really appreciate the input...good to hear different perspectives and experiences. Still looking and have been hanging around one of my riding buddies more. Found this...thought for price and condition it would be manageable.

      http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/mcy/2937146298.html

    24. Member nhbubba's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 02:11 PM #74
      For $1200, I would think you should be able to do better.

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      05-01-2012 05:11 PM #75
      Quote Originally Posted by Cubster View Post
      Guys I really appreciate the input...good to hear different perspectives and experiences. Still looking and have been hanging around one of my riding buddies more. Found this...thought for price and condition it would be manageable.

      http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/mcy/2937146298.html
      Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
      For $1200, I would think you should be able to do better.
      The funny thing about those FT500 Ascots is that they have a nice cult following as it is rare to find a street-based single cylinder motorcycle like that. It is probably worth the money as a decent bike to start on and then resell when you are finished with it.

      Basically that motor is a vintage-correct XR500 motor complete with the compression release and is actually fun to ride.

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