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Been lurking forever, trying to find a good deal to get into Café Racers. Found this gem on Craigslist, just wondering if you guys thought it was a good deal and how to tell which exact model it is. The guy said he bought a truck from an older gentleman who threw in the motorcycle in the bed of the truck with the deal. He said it doesn't turn on but he has never touched motorcycles and has no idea what's wrong. GET THIS. He told me to make him and offer, and I got him to agree to $100. Tell me that this is a good deal and how I can tell whether this is a 550/750 etc.
Also, anything specific I should look for? I'm a 20yr old amateur car mechanic, never worked on motorcycles but my dad has.

He said it is a 1980 Suzuki and that's all he knows.
Pics: 00L0L_euM5mqD6BEE_1200x900.jpg 00g0g_jSJuclhuaMH_1200x900.jpg
 

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How hard is it to get a title in your state? Get that taken care of before putting another dime into it.
 

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$100 for a titled frame isn't terrible...

The motor is highly suspect, who knows how long it's sat without headers - leaving the cylinders open to the elements.

If I bought, I'd get a running GS1000 motor and drop that in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
$100 for a titled frame isn't terrible...

The motor is highly suspect, who knows how long it's sat without headers - leaving the cylinders open to the elements.

If I bought, I'd get a running GS1000 motor and drop that in it.
Any ideas on where to find a running motor?
 

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It wouldn't be a good deal if he paid you $100 to take it. Its a parts bike at best.

If you held a gun to my head I would guess a 1980 GS850G based on the tank and a few other cues (Edit: it could also be a Gs1000G - either way still a shaftie). That would make it a shaft drive motorcycle which means it's practically worthless as the usual GS 750-1000-1100 parts interchange doesn't apply here.

If you had a nice 1980 850G that you couldn't get a title for, then $100 for a title'd frame to swap everything over is a good deal. As a project bike for a performance motorcycle? run the other direction.
 

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It wouldn't be a good deal if he paid you $100 to take it. Its a parts bike at best.

If you held a gun to my head I would guess a 1980 GS850G based on the tank and a few other cues (Edit: it could also be a Gs1000G - either way still a shaftie). That would make it a shaft drive motorcycle which means it's practically worthless as the usual GS 750-1000-1100 parts interchange doesn't apply here.

If you had a nice 1980 850G that you couldn't get a title for, then $100 for a title'd frame to swap everything over is a good deal. As a project bike for a performance motorcycle? run the other direction.
Okay, so bottom line, I look up vin numbers and everything, if it's a 850g/1000g, don't buy it. Is it worth it if it's a 750-1000?

I'm really just trying to get into project bikes and figured this would be a good starting point. The first picture looks like it has a chain on it... Not sure though. I'm going to look tonight. Gonna take some better pictures and tell him I'll get back to him tomorrow.
 

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...
I'm really just trying to get into project bikes and figured this would be a good starting point...
Buy a single cylinder motorcycle, easy to ride, easy to fix, easy to everything actually they just aren't big wide fat and fast in a straight line like an I-4,
that would be a Great starting point.
 

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Buy a single cylinder motorcycle, easy to ride, easy to fix, easy to everything actually they just aren't big wide fat and fast in a straight line like an I-4,
that would be a Great starting point.
honestly, I've been looking on my craigslist, (Dallas, TX) and can't find any that are beat up for under $1000 that aren't junk. I don't want to buy a $3000 already built one, I want to build it myself. Just figured this might be a good starting point since I'm sure I could make my money back on it.
 

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the 850 shafty is a very poor choice to try to make something it aint
i cannotr think of any cafe-sporty possible jap shafties
if you want a cafe style bike and a shafty get a bmw or moto guzzi
if you like the idea of a monoshock get a monoshock bike ac single or twin is what you need sr500 or gs500 twin or kawasaki ninja 500
no matter what if you get a 1980 or so bike you are looking at 1000 -$2500 to get it on the road
how much riding and wrenching on motorcycles do you have ?
if it is none you better stay with cars because you will never ride ,you are not even interested in riding just chasing a look so youi can be cool as a sheeple can be
 

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honestly, I've been looking on my craigslist, (Dallas, TX) and can't find any that are beat up for under $1000 that aren't junk. I don't want to buy a $3000 already built one, I want to build it myself. Just figured this might be a good starting point since I'm sure I could make my money back on it.
The cheaper the bike, the more expensive it generally is to get road worthy.

Buy the best example of the bike you want that you can afford, and buy a bike that has a strong aftermarket.

If you're a novice motorcyclist, buy something on the newer side and maintain, ride, and do light customization on that. That way you can at least get your feet wet before winding up with a box of parts in the garage that will never get finished.

Something like a used RE GT Continental, Triumph Thruxton/bonneville, or W650 is a good choice if you want a vintage look/feel but modern quality.

If you do a lot of city riding, a Honda Grom is super neat.
 

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honestly, I've been looking on my craigslist, (Dallas, TX) and can't find any that are beat up for under $1000 that aren't junk. I don't want to buy a $3000 already built one, I want to build it myself. Just figured this might be a good starting point since I'm sure I could make my money back on it.
Hate to break this to you but your 100$ parts investment has been partially dismantled and left outside to rot because it was broken and uncared for :| that's not a good start point for somebody who doesn't have extensive experience, that's about as junk as it gets.
 

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Okay, so bottom line, I look up vin numbers and everything,
Look up the vin numbers? the neck should have a plate on it that looks like this:
s-l300.jpg
Which will tell you exactly what it is. If the plate is missing, then just read the serial number off the engine, it will start with the model and displacement, no need to go looking anything up. All G models are shaft drive, so just look at the left side of the rear wheel and if it is shaft drive then it's a G. It's not an L model because it is not a factory musclebike/crusier


if it's a 850g/1000g, don't buy it. Is it worth it if it's a 750-1000?
I am saying that unless you already own another bike that needs parts off of that one, don't buy it. Period.

I'm really just trying to get into project bikes and figured this would be a good starting point. The first picture looks like it has a chain on it... Not sure though. I'm going to look tonight. Gonna take some better pictures and tell him I'll get back to him tomorrow.
Any old bike will be a project. You can't fight entropy. Here's the thing: japanese bikes are cheap to buy because parts for them are expensive. A 4 cylinder engine requires you to buy 4 of everything to fix stuff, and they are mechanically complex, so they aren't cheap to fix when allowed to decay into that shape. Just the bearings for that engine alone will cost you several hundred dollars, it isn't a chevy. And there is going to be some machine work necessary, and while the japanese companies are usually good about parts, this is assuming you can find oversize pistons and rings. There is no real aftermarket for these bikes, parts even if you can get maintence parts, are scarce. Financially it just isn't worth it.

honestly, I've been looking on my craigslist, (Dallas, TX) and can't find any that are beat up for under $1000 that aren't junk.
I don't like this statement because it infers that the bike you are looking at isn't junk. It's very much junk.
I don't want to buy a $3000 already built one, I want to build it myself.
how do you jump from $1000 to $3000? You said there are $1000 bike on CL, and you don't want to spend that. Well if those $1000 bikes run without problems - then that's money well spent and you can focus on other parts of the bike that are neglected and also actually do custom work.

Just figured this might be a good starting point since I'm sure I could make my money back on it.
You are very much wrong about this. That bike won't make you a cent unless the price for scrap in your area will pay you more than $100 for it. Seriously, it needs too much expensive stuff. Also, get this stupid notion out of your head that you can make money on it. You can't make money on anything that far gone while "learning" at the same time. Maybe if you found a good deal on a runner you could but honestly even then you kind of have to know what you are doing to be able to flip bikes and you aren't there yet.
 

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If you haven't bought it don't. If you did try selling sell it for the 100 you paid. Reset and start again. If you've never ridden or worked on bikes buy one that runs and ride it before trying to build anything. That experience it key to building a bike. jmho
 

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You would be better off looking for something like this: https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/mcy/d/classic-suzuki-650-twin/6677065944.html It even has wire wheels and manuals etc. You could offer $15-1800 and may be riding home.

Maybe not this particular bike but something along these lines. It's a simple twin and runs, with low mileage. You could ride it and enjoy it some before you started any modifications. That way you have a base line of knowledge about how the bike runs and rides, so you know whether your mods screwed it up or not.

I wouldn't want to take on that $100 project and I have built cars and motorcycles from the ground up and know what is involved. It's much more than it looks like.

In the end you will probably spend more getting the $100 bike to the point of a $2K running machine anyway.

Good luck.
 

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I don't know what's more insulting - that you recommended a Tempter or that there is someone in Texas with the balls to ask $2100 for a tempter. LOL.


OK OP, let's look at your CL:
here's an awful lump of shit that runs and you can spend some time unfucking the previous owner's horrible mistakes:
https://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/mcy/d/1973-honda-cb500-four/6678273829.html

I don't know how hard it is to get a title in your state, but this is still better than that suzuki junkpile:
https://texoma.craigslist.org/mcy/d/1970-bsa/6673194589.html

see how low you can get this guy down, I sold a nice one of these a couple years ago for way less than this:
https://easttexas.craigslist.org/mcy/d/1976-honda-cb750-ss-obo/6677477408.html

Also, you live in Dallas, go down to Big D cycles and ask the guys if they have heard of a cheap OIF triumph project or something. Best deals are always word of mouth.

As the old saying goes - you gotta pay to play. Something tells me that you don't have $1000 to drop on a cycle, which is unfortunate because it would cost you well over $1000 in parts to get that GS shitpile running. Not even nice - just running. If you don't have the money, then buying a pit to burn whatever money you do have in isn't going to help you. Save it up, put together some savings and buy something worth the money you are spending.
 
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