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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!
So I am 29 and took the MSF class a few years ago and never followed through with a purchasing a bike. Long story short, after spending a few months living in Guatemala this year I decided to by a bike upon returning to the US.
My grandpa offered to hand me down his ‘03 ST1300 for super cheap with only 43k miles on it. But after riding and asking around it I decided it is too much bike for me to risk without much more riding experience. I have no more than 10-15 hours of experience riding.

after looking at the lot and deciding against financing a bike, I started looking around and found that in my price range there are several VTCs for sale around my budget range.
I am looking an ‘86 VTC 500 Shadow with 13k miles on it tomorrow. It was posted for $2k. The guy has had it posted for almost two months and will take $1500 for it. I noticed there are some tears on the seat and he says that it has a few cosmetic dings on it but all looks good. I will see if I can get a few hundred more knocked off the price. My buddy is a motorcycle mechanic at one of the most reputable bike dealerships in town and is going to take a look at it with me.

Any suggestions or anything I should know before looking at the bike? What are common problems with this bike I should look for? Is it a good purchase if everything checks out? Is it a good bike for a newbie? Etc...anything geles I should know?
Thank you for your feedback and thanks for adding me to the forum!

here are some pictures
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884C7FD4-94C0-4399-AA4D-0662E20BBEDF.jpeg
42E95FE0-4286-4BEC-93D5-0F339173450B.jpeg
 

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2001 Valkyrie I/S
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Welcome to the forum. Just be aware that parts can be hard to find for older bikes. I wouldn't expect an older bike to be in any other condition but dinged up a bit. biggest concern would be how it runs. an 86 with only 13k has sat around a lot and that's usually the worst thing for a bike things dry rot and fall apart so look it over carefully, hoses, cables, bushings, tires etc. Good luck and report back to us.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes. We will definitely take a look at all of that stuff. Thanks for the tips. Supposedly it was owned my a motorcycle mechanic most of its like until recently. The guy who owns it now says it runs fine and he is just not finding enough time to ride it but that it was in great condition when he bought it and very well maintained. But you never know. I did get it negotiated down to $1200 so far which made me happy because it shouldn't be worth any more considering the few dings it has and such. If we find more wrong with it that has not been disclosed I will try and negotiate it more.

We noticed some leakage on the bike that looks like it could be fuel from the petcock. But the owner claims there is no leak and that it is from when he disconnected the fuel lines recently because he thought something was going on with the bike. Turns out he forgot to switch the reserve tank or something. We will see tomorrow.
 

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84 VT500C retro bobber
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The vt500 is a great bike! Light and nimble and great on fuel. One thing to note as a new rider is that it is surprisingly fast. They are capable of a 1/4 mile in under 14 seconds which is faster than even some of the later 1100 models.


According to the August 1983 Cycle World, 0-60 time was 5.3 seconds. 1/4 mile stats were 13.64 seconds at 93.65 MPH. Measured top speed in 1/2 mile was 104 MPH.

Bigtwin numbers.
I coppied this from a post I found on this forum. Motorcycle Performance Data and Specifications - Motorcyclist Magazine):
  • Shadow Spirit 1100: 13.86 @ 94.1 1998 Honda Spirit Side Right View Photo
  • Yamaha Royal Star Venture (1300 v4): 13.66 @ 93.1
  • Yamaha Road Star: 14.44 @ 88.9
  • Kawasaki Mean Streak: 13.43 @ 96.7
  • Kawasaki Vulcan: 15.27 @ 87.9
  • Honda VTX 1300: 13.72 @ 94.5
  • Honda ACE Tourer 1100: 13.21 @ 92.2
  • Harley Softtail: 14.51 @ 90.9
  • Harley Road Glide: 13.93 @ 93.1
Dont underestimate that little guy, it can get you into trouble just as quickly as the big boys. Take it from someone who crashed his last year.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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VT500 is a great beginner bike due to the reduced weight plus if its a bit worn you will feel less badly if you drop it. I would ask grandpa to hold onto that ST1300 because you may enjoy that in a year or so. Maybe make sure the ST1300 is stored properly.


G.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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Yes. The ST1300 is basically mine. They are saving it! And it is garage kept. My uncle will ride it every few weeks to keep it running
Great! The only thing I would suggest is that often proper storage is better for the bike than short rides so if ridden more than 20 minutes that's good but short rides, or just running the engine, are not very beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah that definitely makes sense. My uncle has been riding for about 40-50 years and is pretty knowledgeable about motorcycles. More than me at least. But he is also kind of a hard head so if I try to tell him that he is going to look at me like I think he is an idiot. And give me a lecture about how I should not tell him how to maintain a bike. Lol.
When it comes to bikes with him it is normally a one way conversation which is why I come to the forum. But yeah, up until now the bike has always been cared for well. I trust they will take care of it for now.

I am pretty excited to start riding a little. I am heading over to pick up the 500 in about 30 minutes. It’s about a 90 minute drive
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Picked up the bike it is in great shape. It needs a new Petcock, new tires due to rot and the right from blinker is knocked loose. Gauges work, all lights work as well as blinkers. It is just starting to show signs that the fork seals need replaced but just the beginning. I should be able to get it up to pretty good shape with 3-500 bucks. I will get dealer wholesale on any parts and labor will not cost me much. Could of knocked it down a few hundred more. But decided to pay the $1200 and call it a day.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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Tires will be a priority. Is the fuel valve leaking or just inoperative. I am wondering if fuel valve can be removed and use Teflon tape around the threads to reseal? JBWeld is my goto for busted turn indicator bracket.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tires will be a priority. Is the fuel valve leaking or just inoperative. I am wondering if fuel valve can be removed and use Teflon tape around the threads to reseal? JBWeld is my goto for busted turn indicator bracket.
I agree on the tires! It is stored at my grandparents house until the Petcock works fine it has three positions. On, off, and reserve. But it has a small leak. You might be able to see in the picture. This is from a lot of time sitting. The guy disconnected the fuel line because he forgot to switch to reserve and thought something was wrong and that is when the leak started. I bought it from a 19 year old kid who has had it for a year and only put 300 miles on it. Moving to Colorado for Air Force academy or something. Although I am pissed because I noticed that the 13k is not actual mileage. Ok the title in the fine print is claims an odometer discrepancy warning. The kid says he didn’t know and I actually do believe him he didn’t seem to know much about the bike. My mechanic spend about 45 minutes checking everything on the bike and said it was a good buy and I didn’t even realize to look at that part of the title as I was more focused on making sure it was motorized right. Anyway here is the petcock and turn signal. You can see it also needs the fork stabilizer replaced.
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