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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, I know I'm not asking about a Shadow, but lots of great people on here and I value all of your opinions. So, I am looking at 2 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomads. Both are 2001 1500's. The first is NOT fuel injected, it is all stock except for the chrome racks that go on top of the hard bags to guard them, and has only 5,000 miles on it. Yes, confirmed 5,000 miles. I was very concerned about the low mileage with a bike of this age and being carbuerated, but I had a good friend and his buddy that owned a Nomad go check it out and the bike looks pristine and started right up and sounded "perfect" as they put it. The original owner bought it in 02 and owned it til 2010. Only put about 4500 miles on it in 9 years. 2nd owner bought it in 2010 and at the same time bought a 2nd bike. He ended up liking the other bike more so he sold the Nomad to the current owner (a good friend of his from work), who has owned it for the last 3 years. All 3 owners were older gentlemen, current owner is 70 and original owner was about the same. The current owner said he doesn't ride it because at his age it is just too heavy for him. My only worries on this bike are that the bike hasn't had but 500 miles put on it in the last 5 years. But the current owner says he starts it up regularly to keep everything lubed, and I would think being carbuerated, if there was going to be a problem from the bike sitting so long, the carbs would be the first thing affected and it wouldn't start and run so perfectly. He did just replace the front and rear tires and put a brand new battery in it, however, the fluids have not been changed in the 3 years that he has owned it (again, he hasn't put but about 300 miles on it in that 3 year span.) When he went to have the tires and battery installed a month ago at the local dealer, he asked the dealer to do a full tune up as he was getting ready to sell it. The dealer told him he couldn't find anything that needed to be tuned up. Tires and battery and good to go. Said it was like a brand new bike.

The second bike is also a 2001 Nomad. It IS fuel injected. Also has V&H Dual Bagger Exhaust and K&N Air intake as well as a Dyno-Jet Power Commander III installed. He bought the bike 7 years ago from a dealer and everything was already installed when he bought it. The bike has been re-painted, but is in great shape cosmetically and runs great. However, it does have 33,500 miles on it. He rides it regularly, but has upgraded to a new bike so doesn't need this one anymore.

So my question is, do you all think I will encounter any problems with the lower mileage bike? I put about 15,000 miles a year on my bikes so the lower mileage to start with would really help in the long run. And if there shouldn't be any problems, I would basically be buying a next to new bike that is completely stock and I can customize it any way I wish. But if you all think I should be concerned that this bike will have problems with the lack of mileage put on it, I will go with the other one. Both bikes are within 200 bucks of each other as far as price goes.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks.
 

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You didn't mention purchase price, but that is key in this case. Plan to put aside a grand to take care of anything that might come up with the low mileage bike, and reduce your offer by that much. Honestly, if they were both priced the same and I knew for a fact that the higher mileage FI bike was well maintained, I'd probably go for that one. If the low mile bike is low enough in price to cover any thing that needs to be done, then it would be worth considering. Bad things happen to machinery that just sits for years and years. My Shadow was a similar low mileage bike that was 18 years old when I bought it, but I paid a ridiculously low price for it and I put another grand into it to get it roadworthy. For what I paid, it was totally worth it.
 

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Depends on price.

I bought an old 2007 Shadow Spirit 1100 recently with only 1,100 miles on the clock.

The original owner was convinced it was perfect. I knew better.

So far I have:

Changed the oil and filter (people often think only mileage matters and ignore age)
Changed the coolant (this is ignored by most people on most bikes)
Changed the gear oil (see oil comment above)
Bought new tires (the tires on it were 8.5 years old)
Rebuilt the forks (seals were toast)
Cleaned the carbs (don't care if it sounds ok, clean it anyway; there WILL be some buildup in there even if you cannot hear it or notice it YET)

Bottom line:

If the low miles bike needs minimal maintenance go for it; you should only be scared if you have to pay someone ELSE to do the work

If the higher miles bike is significantly cheaper consider it

Miles don't mean a whole lot on a cruiser that is well kept; especially if it is highway.
 

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Thanks. The lower mileage one I have talked down to $3900. The higher mileage one is at $3800.
Well, my opinion is that if you can't get the low mileage bike's owner to come down in price get the FI bike and have a nice summer, or keep shopping. Around here if you can come up with another $2k, you can get something like this. 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad
 

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Also consider if you plan to do power mods or change out the exhaust; if you HAVE to have those things the higher miles bike is saving you another grand there alone because he already did that stuff.

Anyone asking 3800 or 3900 is probably open to more like 3500 all said and done.
 

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If I had to choose between the 2 I would rather have the lower mileage carb. They are both 14-15 years old. The fuel injection probably books higher (and would be more desirable if everything else was equal) with all the extras but most people don't add performance mods on their bikes to ride like a little old granny. I would also rather have the factory paint. The lower mileage bike also has new tires and battery. Both bikes will probably need maintenance due to age but the higher mileage bike may need additional maintenance if it has not already been done due to mileage.
 

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I would probably go for the lower mileage bike, I almost always like the older bikes better. But for you, buy the one that you like, it's like my dad always said about antiques (we owned an antique shop) only buy what "you like" because you might have to keep it!
 
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