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Help with buying a bike/ whats this worth?

This is a discussion on Help with buying a bike/ whats this worth? within the Craigslist/Ebay forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; What's a good price to pay for a Honda 1976 CB550 complete, "running" but cylinder 1 and 4 not firing. Basically a clean bike that ...

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Thread: Help with buying a bike/ whats this worth?

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    Member alwaysavocado's Avatar
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    Help with buying a bike/ whats this worth?

    What's a good price to pay for a Honda 1976 CB550 complete, "running" but cylinder 1 and 4 not firing. Basically a clean bike that will need some engine work, and has some new parts, overall very clean. And clean non op title? $900? I'd be tearing it all down anyways for a first build. I prefer a twin but this looks like a nice bike!

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    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysavocado View Post
    What's a good price to pay for a Honda 1976 CB550 complete, "running" but cylinder 1 and 4 not firing. Basically a clean bike that will need some engine work, and has some new parts, overall very clean. And clean non op title? $900? I'd be tearing it all down anyways for a first build. I prefer a twin but this looks like a nice bike!
    I can't even begin to unpack all the things wrong with these sentences.
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  3. #3
    Member alwaysavocado's Avatar
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    You dont have to. All I asked for was what people think it's worth for someone who is learning, on a budget, and is buying his first bike.
    Thanks for being so supportive. Are all of your 23,276 posts this nice? That was actually a rhetorical question, I wont be reading your replies.

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    Senior Member irk_miller's Avatar
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    No more than $600. I thought Geeto's response was pretty amicable.

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    Senior Member woodsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysavocado View Post
    What's a good price to pay for a Honda 1976 CB550 complete, "running" but cylinder 1 and 4 not firing. Basically a clean bike that will need some engine work, and has some new parts, overall very clean. And clean non op title? $900? I'd be tearing it all down anyways for a first build. I prefer a twin but this looks like a nice bike!
    Why don't you look for someone's deserted project. There are three 550 choppers, in different stages of in-completion, for sale around me now. It's likely the same where you are.

  7. #6
    Senior Member irk_miller's Avatar
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    He's right. I just bought a complete, but in pieces, 550 chopper for $400.

  8. #7
    Senior Member XB33BSA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysavocado View Post
    What's a good price to pay for a Honda 1976 CB550 complete, "running" but cylinder 1 and 4 not firing. Basically a clean bike that will need some engine work, and has some new parts, overall very clean. And clean non op title? $900? I'd be tearing it all down anyways for a first build. I prefer a twin but this looks like a nice bike!
    well 1-4 down is likely ignition
    but it is not running
    you would need to get it running and tuned and ride it so that you can get a feel for the bike
    its just a parts bike as it is 400 is top dollar maybe 500 $1 per cc

  9. #8
    Member alwaysavocado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XB33BSA View Post
    well 1-4 down is likely ignition
    but it is not running
    you would need to get it running and tuned and ride it so that you can get a feel for the bike
    its just a parts bike as it is 400 is top dollar maybe 500 $1 per cc
    Thanks guys ! I appreciate it! Im a car guy, Ive had old school Vespas and worked on 2 wheel projects before but this is something I keep educating myself on before buying.
    I'll keep an eye out for something further along and "abandoned" project status, or running. Unless it's a deal I can't pass up.

  10. #9
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    As XB said, the problem is most likely NOT engine related. More than likely, it has a bad coil, a broken wire to the 1-4 coil, or a bad set of points on the 1-4 circuit. This should take about an hour to diagnose, and fixed fr around $50 in parts.

    Since you havent filled out your bio, I am left to guess where you are. Since you mentioned "inop" status, and you have "avocado" in your screen name, I am assuming you are in CA. If the a cert of inop has, in fact, been filed and it has a title, registration will be easy. If that is not the case, the only saving grace would be if it hasn't been registered in over 7 years. It used to be the case that registration info would fall off the DMV files after 7 years, and you could file for a lost title for $12. If it is not off the DMV computer, then you will pay for ALL the back registration.

    If it were me, I'd have all the above information in my back pocket. I wouldn't mention it to the owner. I'd offer him $500 because it doesn't run "and I don't know what it will take to get it running". If he can't provide the inop cert and a title, it'd be $400 (ONLY if the last reg date on the plate is 8 or more years old), because "Man, that could cost me $500 just to get it registered".


    You DO NOT need to tear the bike down. Regardless of what you have seen on TV, that is NOT the correct way to build a bike (specially a first build). PERIOD. That isn't even how they do it on those TV shows. The correct way is to get it running and riding well, then let the bike tell you what needs modifying. They just don't show that part.

    And BTW READ THIS FIRST
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccitycafe View Post
    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

    My GS550 Build Thread

  11. #10
    Member alwaysavocado's Avatar
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    Thanks! Lots of help and pointers. Ive built so many cars, the last few Chevy's I had were rust buckets so I was accustomed to just going down to bare frame and build up. But for a first build, or in general that makes sense for a bike, get it going, then start adding based on personal pref. and what works best for the bike. I've started adding some info to my profile, good detective work on the avocados... haha... yeah I am in California.

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