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Discussion Starter #1
First of all i am new to the forum. i am in the market for a bike to make into a cafe racer. however, i haven't owned a motorcycle since i was a teenager racing dirt bikes. so i was hoping for some help from you guys.

i found this on craigslist: http://columbia.craigslist.org/mcy/261447937.html

is this an ok bike to work with. i haven't found out what all is missing yet but i noticed a few things by looking at the pictures. is this a reasonable price? any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Travis
 

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Seems kinda steep to me, but I haven't been in the market for an old Bonneville in quite a few yrs.
 

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i paid 650 for my 650 about 15 years ago. it was all there but needed everything. it was a good deal. 2k seems high. unless the motor is fresh, or all the parts are good.

just my opinion. i dont know much about those 750's

je
 

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also, i did basincally the same thing. dont forget, those british bikes require a lot of specialized wrenches and tools. and before you buy it, make sure you have a good source for parts and a good shop nearby that specializes in brit stuff. otherwise you life might end up being taken over by mail ordering, and making phone calls and wishing you hadnt bought it.

the nice thing is if you can make that run, you can probably get just about anything to run.

id look for something a little easier. for a first bike.

jc
 

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A couple questions; How much of the work are you comfortable/competent doing yourself? How much money do you want to spend, and for what?

Whether you choose a Honda or other Japanese brand, or a Triumph or other European Brand will in large part determine the potential amount of time and money spent to make it what you want.

Either way, for your first shot at it, I'd choose a complete bike that is running, or "was running when parked". (although I'd be cautious of the latter)

Some of the basic work is relatively easy, handlebars, seat, tune-up stuff etc. But if you have to learn how to make an engine run, especially a 40 year old engine, the less exotic, the better. The only thing about that is, some of the early Japanese engines are in fact "copies" of some fairly exotic Euro engines, the only saving grace being that there are so many of them that there's usually someone around here that knows what's what.

FR
 

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It's been my experience that stuff for old british bikes may be twice as expensive, but it's also twice as easy to find. British bikes seem to have been built with higher quality components and the fit & finish is much better. That said, I've yet to find a Bonneville or Commando parts bike for sale cheap. Often you can find a complete japanese parts bike for less money than the cost of the part you're looking for.
 

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my experience is that there are plenty of places to get british stuff. when you look at the parts , in cost comparison, there are plenty of japanese parts that are waay overpriced. amd parts you can only get from japan. or, you cant get them at all. the british stuff has been popular alot longer it seems, so there are plenty of good places to get good repro british parts. the problem is, you cant jus head down to your local triumph dealer to get them. like you can with honda, or suzuki, or yamaha parts. so you need to have either a local place you can trust, or spend alot of time on your computer or on the telephone. the british stuff ive found is not hard to work on. the factory books are pretty good. almost caveman like. but there are fasteneers that take special sized wrenches. b.s. wrenches, or imperial, or whitworth, and the threads arent like anything you use now. so in addition to having to buy alot of parts, and bolts, youll need special wrenches too. things like seats, or pipes, or headlights, gastanks, etc....all about the same price.

jc
 

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i should add, there is nothing cooler than riding a british twin.

jc
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i am confident i can make repairs and im not worried about the money in the long run. i am worried about getting the parts. this is a project bike. i love making broke things run good again. at this time i own a 97 Jeep Wrangler and a Jeep Comanche. i do all the maintenance on them and the comanche needed tons of work done on it to make it road worthy. i am hoping that a bike will be easier because i don't need the room to do a complete tear down. thanks for the suggestions. i will pass on this one and look for something cheaper. the seller is dead set on 2K. i am not going to pay that much even though he said there should be enough parts to complete it in his garage for that price. the only thing he said was not there is an exhaust system. it would have been nice to start it at least before doing a complete rebuild or restore. thanks again to you all. i love this forum.
 

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Do you know what condition the engine is in? That's a fair price for that bike, even if the engine needs a rebuild. I'd approach him with an offer of $1500, and maybe you'll walk away with it for $1750. But even at $2000, that's not bad.

The T140's are 750's and have a great 5 speed gearbox, probably the best Brit gearbox ever made. Plus, the frame is light and handle rock steady, plus you have the disc brake setup on the front, and this bike looks to be an excellent candidate for a cafe bike. And let's face it mate's, true cafe bikes are British as that's where the whole Rocker thing started to begin with, not that Japanese, Italian, etc, bikes don't also work well, but there's a lot to be said for a big rorty Brit bike in cafe mode. Besides, the value on the British stuff is only climbing, they're a good investment. Parts availability is excellent, better than when they were new, and all the old problems they had, back in the day, now have modern solutions making these bikes dead nuts reliable. I road raced and flat tracked T140's, and the only bikes that got by me weren't Japanese, they were British.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, buy the Triumph!!

BTW, if you're having trouble finding anything for it at all, let me know [email protected] and I'll head you in the right direction. The engines in them are tractor simple, most of the fittings are metric, but buy a set of wrenches and sockets, British Standard, for around $160, and you'll be all set, these along with a T140 manual.

There's lots of glass and alloy seats and tanks for them, keep in mind that you'll need a tank specifically for a T140 because of the wide backbone (oil in the frame). I even know of a company that will bend you a set of sidepipes into mega-mufflers (sweet looking and sounding). I ran a set on my road racer.

Good Luck!

Dgy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i decided not to buy it. he doesn't have an exhaust to fit it and has no idea if it runs. im skeptical of that for the price. i looked at another for 1500 and it was just rusty but ran somewhat shotty. he sold it to the first guy that looked at it. not a big deal i will probably buy a CB750 or keep looking for a triumph. thanks for the advice anyhow.
 

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Be VERY careful about buying with no title. Call state police & find out what you hoops can expect to jump through BEFORE you buy. If he had the title once, he should have little or no trouble getting a new one. Sort it out first. I speak from firsthand experience. I'm not a cb750 expert, but price looks (almost too) good & that bike does look sweet. It's even my favorite color.



Edited by - judeyramone on Jan 16 2007 10:10:03 PM
 

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I don't care how nice it is, for a non-stock cb750 without at title I usually don't offer more than $1000. But that is me and NY is not fun to replace missing titles. IF he had a title I'd say that $1900 is a good price for the bike. Talk to the owner and see how hard it is to replace the title. As for a beginner bike it is all there and it runs and looks like it doesn't need anything, which is what you want. Don't worry it is still an old bike and there will be plenty to fix as you use it, but for now this is about how complete you want something.
 

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i'll assume from the craigslist urls that youre in SC like me. i'm getting ready to try and get a title on a cb450 that i got for free without one. hell if you can deal with a bike that needs an assload of TLC i'd give ya the 450 for a couple of hundred. it's all there it's just been sitting for a long LONG time. i'm in columbia btw

some people are like slinkies, basically useless but they still make me smile when i push them down the stairs
 
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