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Old 07-22-2011, 09:15 PM   #1
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Thinkin' about picking up a bike (1991 Honda CBR), help?

A buddy at my work mentioned selling his bike after I told him I was interested in a cheap one that I could toy around with. I know almost NOTHING when it comes to motorcycles, but tonite I went with my friend that has a 99 CBR, who I trust much more than myself, and had him test drive it.
  • The body has been repainted all black, it has some dents and scrapes.
  • My friend said it shifted kind of hard, but didn't know if it was because it's a 1991.
  • It has ~27,000 miles.
  • It has a Yoshimura pipe.
  • My friend pointed out that the chain was a bit rusty and should be changed.
  • Seems to die if not charged (he said there isn't an alternator, but will do just fine if left on a trickle charger, which he does)
  • New battery, year old tires, new headlight.

How much would a 1991 Honda CBR F2 like this be worth? I feel confident that I could refresh the body myself, that's not a problem. It's my first bike and I don't want to start with something real pretty anyway. I just want something that will last if maintained. Any known problems or things I should look for?

I feel like I could talk him down to $650 or $700. Would it be worth it? I'm in college, and I would need to get my motorcycle license (heard that's about $300). Maybe I'll just ride with my temps ($30) for a while. I gotta learn to ride first though!


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Old 07-22-2011, 10:54 PM   #2
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well first things first. take an MSF course! best money spent and most of them supply bikes for you to use. do this before buying a bike so you can find out if it's something that will work for you before you buy something you can't ride.
About the bike; if you can get it for 700 it's not a bad deal, but it will need some work. the charging issues is gonna be a problem. if there isn't a charging system on it then it isn't gonna run long and you will most likely get stranded somewhere you don't wanna be. will def need to replace the chain and sprockets if it's rusty (looking around 150-200 for parts plus labor). mileage is ok for its age. the honda motors are good as long as it has been taken care of. as far as body damage on it, see if you can find out where it came from. never know what the bike has been through in the past. if there is body damage make sure the frame and subframe are straight and don't have any cracks in it.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
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As stated, take the msf course if you haven't all ready. Now, there are a whole bunch of things to check....not just rust on the chain....check this site for a fairly comprehensive list of things to check.

http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:14 AM   #4
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It's a 20 year old bike so finding parts is going to be a pain in the butt. Sounds to me like its going to need some work. If it's shifting hard I would suspect a transmission problem. Personally I'd find something newer but that's me.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:37 AM   #5
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Honestly, avoid it like the plague.

Its very old, its got alot of miles on it, and from what it sounds like, hasnt been treated too well.

remember, bikes dont take miles like cars do, 27k is equivolent to 150k on a car, sure its got more life left in it, but its not something that you particularly want to invest into.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:40 AM   #6
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30K on an F2 isn't bad. They where one of the more reliable bikes of the era. Have a '92 with 37K sitting in the garage right now. Has never had the valves or carbs adjusted and runs just fine. Starts first time every time.
For a beginner bike they are good.
Parts are still plentiful and cheap.

The rough shifting could be either the clutch needing adjusting or the trans is dry.
If it's beat maybe they dumped it on the shift selector and bent the arm, or it just jumped a spline.
If you Google I bet you can find a manual for it, or microfiche.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:45 PM   #7
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^^ yeah, but there are thousands of better deals out there. i just saw an 05 ninja 500 go for $1600 with 1200 miles on it.

a 07 gsxr for 2800..


why you would spend $600 + repairs on an old bike is beyond me.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipp View Post
well first things first. take an MSF course! best money spent and most of them supply bikes for you to use. do this before buying a bike so you can find out if it's something that will work for you before you buy something you can't ride.
About the bike; if you can get it for 700 it's not a bad deal, but it will need some work. the charging issues is gonna be a problem. if there isn't a charging system on it then it isn't gonna run long and you will most likely get stranded somewhere you don't wanna be. will def need to replace the chain and sprockets if it's rusty (looking around 150-200 for parts plus labor). mileage is ok for its age. the honda motors are good as long as it has been taken care of. as far as body damage on it, see if you can find out where it came from. never know what the bike has been through in the past. if there is body damage make sure the frame and subframe are straight and don't have any cracks in it.
I know it's been laid down, but that doesn't bother me. I feel like for around $700, I'm still getting a deal. He said he would include a helmet, jacket, and gloves for an extra $200. I want all of those before I even ride, but is that a good price? I'm expecting that the chain and charging system need work, but that's fine. Before I buy, I'm going to bring the bike to a local motorcycle shop and have them look it over. I have friend's that are into bikes and work on them, themselves, so I probably wouldn't have to pay for labor on things like the chain/sprocket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereus78 View Post
As stated, take the msf course if you haven't all ready. Now, there are a whole bunch of things to check....not just rust on the chain....check this site for a fairly comprehensive list of things to check.

http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html
Thanks for the tip and the link, great!

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Originally Posted by Sayer View Post
It's a 20 year old bike so finding parts is going to be a pain in the butt. Sounds to me like its going to need some work. If it's shifting hard I would suspect a transmission problem. Personally I'd find something newer but that's me.
It's a very popular bike, parts are not hard to find. From the sounds of, the transmission is fine, could use an oil change, but other than that, it's just how it is. The point of picking this up would be for the deal, so I don't exactly want to find something newer. I feel like this bike would be a great fit for me, for many reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperThreat View Post
Honestly, avoid it like the plague.

Its very old, its got alot of miles on it, and from what it sounds like, hasnt been treated too well.

remember, bikes dont take miles like cars do, 27k is equivolent to 150k on a car, sure its got more life left in it, but its not something that you particularly want to invest into.
Yes, it's a 1991, but it should last. 27k isn't equivalent to 150k on a car, but I know they're not equal. It'd be a toy and not something I need to rely on, and I figure worst possible scenario, I could re-sell it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iminhell View Post
30K on an F2 isn't bad. They where one of the more reliable bikes of the era. Have a '92 with 37K sitting in the garage right now. Has never had the valves or carbs adjusted and runs just fine. Starts first time every time.
For a beginner bike they are good.
Parts are still plentiful and cheap.

The rough shifting could be either the clutch needing adjusting or the trans is dry.
If it's beat maybe they dumped it on the shift selector and bent the arm, or it just jumped a spline.
If you Google I bet you can find a manual for it, or microfiche.
That's the reply I was waiting for, thank you. Hit the nail on the head in many areas from what I've heard. The trans could use an oil change, but I've been told it just feels like an older bike. I can look into the shift selector, bent arm, or spline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperThreat View Post
^^ yeah, but there are thousands of better deals out there. i just saw an 05 ninja 500 go for $1600 with 1200 miles on it.

a 07 gsxr for 2800..


why you would spend $600 + repairs on an old bike is beyond me.
If you can find me an 05 Ninja 500cc for that price, let me know. In my area, sellers are asking $1,200-$1,600 for 1991 CBR 600's. Repairs shouldn't be that much either.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperThreat View Post
^^ yeah, but there are thousands of better deals out there. i just saw an 05 ninja 500 go for $1600 with 1200 miles on it.

a 07 gsxr for 2800..


why you would spend $600 + repairs on an old bike is beyond me.
because old bikes are fun.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:23 PM   #10
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27,000 miles on a 91 bike is low. It's barely been ridden at all, which is bad for a carbureted engine. My friend have a 04 FZ6 with 64,000 miles, another friend of mine have a 09 R6 with 22,000 miles, my 06 CBR600RR have 15,000 miles.

I would suggest taking the MSF course (like most have said already) to learn how to ride - properly. Then test ride the bikes yourself, sit on it, see if it fits you (flat footed-usually gives you more confidence).

If the guy takes his bike to a shop, talk to the mechanic that worked on the bike. They can pretty much tell you if the bike is worth buying or not.

as for the gear, avoid buying a used helmet, and buy a helmet that fits you perfect (too tight will be uncomfortable, too lose it will move around from the wind). The rest of the gear you can buy used (jacket, gloves, pants, boots)

I'd say pass on this bike and go for a 250cc or a 500cc motorcycle. It will be cheaper on insurance (250cc bike-$100 a year for full coverage, 600cc bike-$700 liability only. This is based on what i pay, just for example), better on gas, much more forgiving than a 600cc or larger sportbikes, and with so much demand for entry level bike when you decide to upgrade you can sell it for almost the same amount that you paid for.

http://bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/ - some useful info
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