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I have been riding for a year. My first bike - an '83 750 was perfect. Except for the fact that I've been tinkering with it for 75% of the time that I have owned it. For the past 2 weeks I've been down - and trying to figure out how to fix an electrical problem - and wondering "what next". I am at the point where I'm wondering if it is worth putting any more time or money into this bike. I don't have much time - and even less money. I have to have a vehicle for daily commuting, and would love to have a bike. Here's my question for those of you who have been doing this a lot longer. If I buy another used bike - is there a "safer" age than an '83 that will have less constant maintenance? If I get a new bike - will I get 20,000 miles out of it with scheduled maintenance and not too many of the crazy issues I've had with this bike? Or is a motorcycle, by definition, a machine that is having need of constant tinkering and fixing?
 

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The older bikes need some loving attention, no doubt. The newer ones, need less.
If you need to ride more and "rub" less, I think you should consider a newer bike.
Nothing wrong with older bikes, if you love giving massages.
And I am sure some will chime in about older bikes that need nothing. It's the exception.
Dan
 

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older bikes usually need more maintenance, newer bikes usually need less. my 06 vtx has over 30,000 miles and hasn't had any out of the ordinary maintenance issues.
 

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I enjoy tinkering with my 83 but plan on picking up a larger/newer bike in the spring. I’ll probably keep the 83 as I have always loved that style of shadow but I would like something that needs less attention. I figure when you’re spending more time and money on maintenance then the bike is worth, it’s time to part it out and buy something that is more reliable/newer.
 

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If you have any Credit Unions nearby, talk to them. I was surprised to find my local C.U. was offering 4.9% on "summer toys" that includes bikes and boats. On a 3 year loan on $5,000, the total interest is so small it's not worth paying off early.

I think newer bikes are pretty trouble free and yeah, 20,000 miles with mostly just maintenance is pretty easy on the new ones.
 

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Newer bikes need scheduled maintenance but are for the most part very reliable.

If you buy another used bike call around, some places may offer a warranty. I got a 60 day 5k mile warranty from a privately owned shop on my 04 VT1100 when I bought it....didn't need it though and the bike, never needed any unscheduled maintenance.

Also remember; like aircraft, the more a bike sits the more likely it'll experience an issue.
 

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Newer bikes as a rule require very little other than oil changes, normal maintenance, tires etc. I ride a 97 Shadow Spirt 1100 with 48k mikes & it has been as dependable as a hammer. change the oil every 3-4 thousand, just put my 2nd air filter & set of plugs & changed the coolant. I find that keeping my bikes in a garage makes a HUGE difference in longevity & maintenance. No rust, plastic & rubber lasts way longer, few rodent problems better paint. So if I was looking for a later model I would sure look for one that was garage kept.
 
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