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Discussion Starter #1
I am sure I'll get shit on for this one too, but I did get some good advice after wading through the brow beating.

Has anyone heard of Justin Cycles? Justin's Cycles Reputable?

They have a a cb750 on sale for $2800 - cb 750 cafe racer tracker

Seems like what you guys recommend I look for: a fully functioning bike, not a ton of badly done custom work, no clubman or clipons and something I can drive right away.

Thoughts?
 

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reputable? i don't know.

As far as badly done custom work....eh.....there is work that is done poorly in quality and there is good quality work that is poor in design. In the case of the cb750 that you posted here there is a mix of it on that bike but you kinda have to know cb750s to spot it.

poor in design:

- the lack of a rear fender. The fact that he cut the frame and welded on that shitty hoop so you can't even put one on is troublesome
- the cheap pod filters
- no performance upgrades
- sideways plate and small non DOT tailight. - yeah you are pretty much asking to get pulled over and a nightstick jammed up your rear.
- the seat, not comfortable at all.
- no blinkers

Poor in quality:
- the pod filters (again). <---these are usually a tell tale about a shop that is just building something that looks good. it is very difficult to get a cb750 right with stock carbs. the bike is a 77 or 78 so it has the better carbs with the accelerator pump but still - I would be leery of any shop selling a bike with these on.
- The taillight and sideways plate.
- the seat (it is ill fitting)
- the tires - they look old, very old.
- no blinkers


Things I would want to know if buying a cb750 SOHC:
- last time the swingarm busings were greased/replaced. If replaced: bronze or stock
- charging system gone through? regulator and rectifier output?
- neck bearings? timkin or stock ball?
- oil pressure (should be 30-40 psi at idle).


also $2800 is A LOT of money for an undesirable year (77-78) bike dressed up to look older and with faux patina on it.
 

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I posted this in another newbie thread but intended it for you:

This is your first bike. So here is what you want your first bike to do:

-start every day reliably
-have everything work on it
-have turn signals (all the bike you posted so far do not).
-be comfortable to ride

cafe racers aren't really a first bike. There are riding habits you need to devlop and being wadded up in a ball on top of an old bike doesn't promote that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is quite useful. I can identify most of what you are speaking about, but how can I identify a good quality pod filter?
 

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forget #1 you are wasting your time.

#2, the cb550 is actually a good beginner choice. looks to be well kept, seller seems honest and took care of it. Those "gas stains" are actually the paint fading in the candy coat (70's hondas are candy painted) revealing the green base - every single one of them I have seen that color has done that, it's normal. Price isn't bad either, I would expect that bike to sell somewhere around $2500.

Really there is no such thing as a "good" pod filter. Like anything in a system the parts have to be matched to the rest of the components. However, I consider the only passible ones to be eithe K&N brand (and they will say K&N on it) or UNI brand filters. Those made by emgo or anybody else are shit (except maybe cycle exchange).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the feedback. Now I at least have an idea of what I should be looking for and a price range.

As for the Pod filters, and I am sure many other things, just because it looks better doesn't mean it will ride better.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Now I at least have an idea of what I should be looking for and a price range.

As for the Pod filters, and I am sure many other things, just because it looks better doesn't mean it will ride better.
Seems impossible in cali but you should really find something with stock air box...otherwise you will have a mess trying to jet it right and you just need to be riding this summer...not messing with carbs...
 

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vintage bike prices are kind of all over the map - you need to be saavy to understand them. SOHC hondas (cb750 69-78, cb500/550/650 1971-1982) aren't the deals they used to be. Personally I wouldn't pay $2500 for a cb550 because as a rider the bike just isn't worth it to me, but there are others that feel differently. Meanwhile an 8valve GS750 (1977-1982) are leaps and bounds a better bike and usually half the money but are firmly planted in the superbike era of motorcycles.

honestly, for a new rider an old bike is a nightmare. When I learned to ride all these 70's bikes were 15-20 year old junky used bikes that nobody wanted. Most were cheaper to buy another than to fix the one you had, and the pool of nice well kept motorcycles was a lot larger. Now those same bikes are 30-40 years older and the pool of nice ones is much smaller. If I were you I wouldn't buy an old bike I would buy a 10-20 year old well kept bike and learn to ride and then a year from now get an old bike as a second bike.

If you can't be disuaded - buy a beemer. seriously BMW airhead. Anything with R in the title (R80, R90, r100, r75/6, etc). Why? BMW people tend to on the whole take better care of their bikes. Plus the thing is like half an aircooled VW to work on and all maintenance is nearly intuitive (the oil filter sucks but that's about it). Is it possible to get a bad one? you bet. But chances are if it is on the road it is probably being well looked after. A well sorted R90/6 should cost you about the same as that 550 and it is really a better bike.
 

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Venice CA... you are hard pressed to find sensible folks there. Its an area with major hipster-infection going on and many of the folks with too much money. I moved away from there 11 months ago and had farewll coffee at the Deus Venice ah those yellow bubble visors and other super trick vintage accessories folks were carrying. Safe riding gear? nobody.

My recommendation - if this is the 1st bike:
Ninja 250.
Seriously.

my standard reply -below most applies.

do you have any experience? how big are you? how much money are you willing to spend (lose).

If you have very little or no experience I would man up and and accept that you will need smaller and maybe not so cool short term bike. Reasons are listed here:

1. You will learn faster on small bike. Really. Were you to spend 1st 1000-2000 miles on small bike you will be better rider at 5000 miles than if you went straight for a big bike. I use miles instead of months as there are a lot of "riders" who have ridden twice a year for 5 years. Small bike is easier to handle in parking lots, easier to pick up when you drop it, less intimidating generally. Its much better to learn on a bike where you quickly feel like the master. Real learning starts only after that actually. (added now: This Ninja thing will be just a phase, but it will teach you a lot, about riding and your own taste etc. trust me you will have a blast on it. After this phase you are SO MUCH MORE educated to buy a bike of your dreams or one that is a step towards that).

2. Cheap common bikes (ninja 250, rebel 250 or other smaller starter bikes) hold their value great. You can buy a 2500$ ninja 250, put 2000 miles on it and sell it after 10 months and only lose 0-300$ on depreciation. Parts are cheap too should something break.


3. You are likely to drop your bike. If its used older beater its no drama and less $$ to learn the hard way.

4. As a new rider (especially if younger) insurance costs a lot (like a big chunk of the bikes value). When you buy a 2000-3000$ bike you don't need full coverage and adding scratch is not going to ruin its value.


I would consider a more neutral bike (so called standard) as they are good to learn on. Once you have put some miles you are much better educated on what kind of riding you actually enjoy. Maybe more of a tourer is your thing, or you fall in love with having more speed and control, or maybe back roads are calling for dual sporting (gravel road oriented bikes).

Don't let other peoples ideas dictate you into (or away for that matter) any particular style of biking. Get a bike, ride and decide for yourself. (ADDED NOW: ITS ALL FUN - don't worry about looking cool, your smile will add to your charm and ANY bike is cool + in Cali you have canyons, desert camping, sun through the year, lanesplitting allowed...)

But again read my list esp. #1 is true - we have seen the fools with giant Harleys struggling with the weight and being visibly uncomfortable - or the sports bike guy who slams on gas on straight but can't take a corner at all in fear of all the power. (Added now: or the guy who buys vintage bike for the looks but ha no clue of how to wrench/has no time/place and the bike either sits or is a hole to pour money into)

You will learn faster on a small bike. Trust me. Then if you ride quite a bit you might be ready to switch to your dream bike in half a year or maybe even sooner - but do the start right.


bikes:
Buell Blast, Honda Rebel 250, Ninja 250 , etc. Dual sports are a serious option, they drop well, in CA you have tons of fun places to discover - check advrider.com to find local buddies to ride with. If you insist on more power honda hawk nt 650 or suzuki sv650, gs500, ninja 500.


Last:
You need good gear. Search discussion here but full face helmet is a must. Chicks will not see you smile when you wear it but its better to have a jaw to smile with once you get to the bar. Boots, and gloves are also a must. (not just sturdy random boots - actual riding boots). Pants would be too but they are the least practical of the main gear (at work etc.).


 

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As al long term CB fanatic (since I got my first one at a garage sale in 1992 for $160) I would add this advice- when getting your CB add in the cost of: carb overhaul @ 150$ PER CARB if done at a shop, 35$ at home (I go the shop route. I hate working on carbs and I have the money to do that) just get them rebuilt if they are at all questionable: better than farting around with them every wekend to get them balanced at best or burning a valve at worst. Add to that swingarm bushings ($50 if you do it yourself, $100 at the shop) fork seals ($20 at home, 80 at a shop) rear shocks (they are almost always shot, but an easy home job on a bike with a centre stand.) $150 at home. Tires.. well as much as you want to spend really but I would say $250 is the floor on that one for two tires mounted and balanced. Add to that tools and gear and I would add $1800 to the cost of any used 70s era bike, this is in addition to a full tune up and probably new coils, spark plug wires and ignition (I would go with a dyna S electronic ignition and coils... but that is because I am old and have adjusted enough points for one lifetime) . Now you may have some tools, a leather jacket already, or get a bike that doesnt need all that at once. Some things can be done in staged (not the tires, brakes or shocks just get them done first). But you can see why a lot of folks are steering you away from these bikes.

What you need is an old guy bike: old guys tend to take care of their shit. An old guy who does is own maintanance will learn to take it easy on his machine because th harder you ride it, the longer you wrench it. Generally old guys like that dont live in the city, they live in the suburbs and exurbs where a large shop is affordable- get ready to put some miles on getting your ride and you will get a better machine.

I will use my last 750 as an example. I live in Portland Oregon (also the land of chopped and dropped cb's) and for my 40th birthday I bought myself a bike:


It was $1800, and about 100 miles away. The guy drove it only in the summer and kept it garaged on blocks to save the tires. The tires were OE from the dealer 1982 and not cracked but hard as rocks. New Avons made that bike soar. the guy had all the stock parts labeled in a box: Always ask for parts, this guy brought out boxes including new plugs points and condensors and every stock part removed for the fairing labeled. <-- this is also a good sign because it shows that the on a man is orderly and works on his stuff in an orderly way. For instance all the wiring mods for the fairing were done to the fairing not the harness, making removal and reinstall a pleasent morning's puttering. I have spend a long hard day doing the same thing on a bike where the wiring was hacked to fit the faring) :



This is after about another 1500. The major work is invisble: pretty much everything above listed. The stuff you see was a couuple hundred at most. Over the next year I spent time and added some bar end mirrors and a 4-1 exhaust. Had the bike for 3 years before I sold it.

Anyway looking quickly in your area I found this:
Vintage 1973 Honda CB750

More than you want to spend but if he had it rejetted he probably had it rebuilt. Too bad he painted the bike and added the pods, I woulda kept the paint and stock airbox but other than that its unmolested.. mostly.. and looks well cared for. I would start looking in the suburan areas around you: Like San Bernidino, OC, etc... take some time to find the right bike. And if your bitten by the CB bug may God have mercy on your soul.
 

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As al long term CB fanatic (since I got my first one at a garage sale in 1992 for $160) I would add this advice- when getting your CB add in the cost of: carb overhaul @ 150$ PER CARB if done at a shop, 35$ at home (I go the shop route. I hate working on carbs and I have the money to do that) just get them rebuilt if they are at all questionable: better than farting around with them every wekend to get them balanced at best or burning a valve at worst. Add to that swingarm bushings ($50 if you do it yourself, $100 at the shop) fork seals ($20 at home, 80 at a shop) rear shocks (they are almost always shot, but an easy home job on a bike with a centre stand.) $150 at home. Tires.. well as much as you want to spend really but I would say $250 is the floor on that one for two tires mounted and balanced. Add to that tools and gear and I would add $1800 to the cost of any used 70s era bike, this is in addition to a full tune up and probably new coils, spark plug wires and ignition (I would go with a dyna S electronic ignition and coils... but that is because I am old and have adjusted enough points for one lifetime) . Now you may have some tools, a leather jacket already, or get a bike that doesnt need all that at once. Some things can be done in staged (not the tires, brakes or shocks just get them done first). But you can see why a lot of folks are steering you away from these bikes.

What you need is an old guy bike: old guys tend to take care of their shit. An old guy who does is own maintanance will learn to take it easy on his machine because th harder you ride it, the longer you wrench it. Generally old guys like that dont live in the city, they live in the suburbs and exurbs where a large shop is affordable- get ready to put some miles on getting your ride and you will get a better machine.

I will use my last 750 as an example. I live in Portland Oregon (also the land of chopped and dropped cb's) and for my 40th birthday I bought myself a bike:


It was $1800, and about 100 miles away. The guy drove it only in the summer and kept it garaged on blocks to save the tires. The tires were OE from the dealer 1982 and not cracked but hard as rocks. New Avons made that bike soar. the guy had all the stock parts labeled in a box: Always ask for parts, this guy brought out boxes including new plugs points and condensors and every stock part removed for the fairing labeled. <-- this is also a good sign because it shows that the on a man is orderly and works on his stuff in an orderly way. For instance all the wiring mods for the fairing were done to the fairing not the harness, making removal and reinstall a pleasent morning's puttering. I have spend a long hard day doing the same thing on a bike where the wiring was hacked to fit the faring) :



This is after about another 1500. The major work is invisble: pretty much everything above listed. The stuff you see was a couuple hundred at most. Over the next year I spent time and added some bar end mirrors and a 4-1 exhaust. Had the bike for 3 years before I sold it.

Anyway looking quickly in your area I found this:
Vintage 1973 Honda CB750

More than you want to spend but if he had it rejetted he probably had it rebuilt. Too bad he painted the bike and added the pods, I woulda kept the paint and stock airbox but other than that its unmolested.. mostly.. and looks well cared for. I would start looking in the suburan areas around you: Like San Bernidino, OC, etc... take some time to find the right bike. And if your bitten by the CB bug may God have mercy on your soul.

If you are going to spend that kind of cash dont buy that 750....if that is what you are willing to spend go buy one of geets bmws.
 

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If you are going to spend that kind of cash dont buy that 750....if that is what you are willing to spend go buy one of geets bmws.
Whatever... ride what you like. I find BMWs just dont make me smile... also parts for BMWS tend to be higher and I tend to stay away from old shaft drive bikes. The cost of new sprockets and chains is nothig compared to a shaft rebuild. Also lots of those shaft parts are getting harder to find. OTOH CB parts are for the most part stii readily available because between 1969-1978 they made 400K CBs. Not all parts are interchangable, but many are.
 

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Im just saying that 750's have inflated in price to the point of being ridiculous for what you are getting. I have a dohc 900 and love it. Im sure Id love a 750, but not at that price...you can get SOOO much more bike for that. (and yes I realize its an SOHC)
 

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I think many of the 80s DOHC Cbs are great sleepers... but I like a kickstart on my aircooled rides. You think thats crazy, the reason I got out of VW busses is that a rolling project now sells for what I used to get a complete bus for a few years ago, and water cooled vanagons (worst motor ever IMHO) now sell for 10-20K$.

My advice was simply if he really wants a SOHC CB go in with your eyes open.
 
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