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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody. I was wondering if some people with more knowledge than I (know nothing) could help me with a craigslist ad. Honda cb450 cafe
I like the look of this cafe bike. It would be a starter bike for me... something to tool around my small town. Speaking of small. I am 5ft tall and wondering if it is possible to lower these bikes. Im not looking to spend a fortune but don't want to ride the streets on a rinky dink scooter either. Just looking for something fun to get started on that is no fuss.

Thanks for helping a girl out.

Honda cb450 cafe.jpg

Honda cb450 cafe
 

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I second that sentiment , several things concern me about this bike qualifying as "no fuss" The seller admits it needs new fork seals, which he just happens to have on hand. Why aren't they on the bike?
Truth is the front forks don't run on the seals, they run on bushings that slide up and down inside the lower fork legs which are made from cast aluminum. If the previous owners neglected the front fork maintenance for long enough, you won't be able to keep seals in it because the lower fork legs will be worn out of round. Second thing is all the missing parts, starting with a front fender. Missing a front fender means you get to deal with road spray, even when there is nobody in front of you. I could go on but simply put, this was not a cafe racer conversion it was a chop and paint of a very old bike with no effort or expense towards items that would improve performance or handling.
:I suggest you keep shopping.
 

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First bike?

Ninja 250 or CBR250. And spend as much as you can afford on safety gear. Make sure it all fits properly.

Then ride until you know how.

And enjoy.

Don't buy someone else's butchered up piece of crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone! I appreciate it! Ill keep looking for something that is a better starter and catches my eye.
 

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Fuck your eye. Get a bike that is reliable that you can learn to ride on and not die first, then you can buy all the fashionable old garbage that catches your eye. This isn't a fashion augmentation to your lifestyle - this is a hobby with an increased risk of you dying at the hands of another human being because they simply were not paying attention.

MSF class, real gear (full face helmet, boots, gloves, jacket), and a reasonably modern starter bike like a ninja 250.

Anything else and you are wasting everyone's time on your way to becoming a statistic.
 

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To put some perspective on the price of toys, this is how the bike you were looking at started life:



When it was new in 1985 it likely sold for ~1500$ with a new bike warranty.


A 2013 Honda CBR250R which is now considered a clearance model lists for 3500$ new from the dealer with a new bike warranty -> Honda Motorcycle
…that is a no fuss motorcycle :) add gas, plates, insurance and ride.
 

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I believe I live relatively close to you. I saw that bike this morning. I would avoid it for reasons mentioned. Here is another reason. The guy says it needs fork seals and he has them but hasnt installed them. In my mind, If I were selling a bike I would want it as close to finished as possible to increase the price. If he isnt willing or doesnt know how to change fork seals then what else is wrong with this thing? That is the kind of reading between the lines you need to do when buying these lower priced bikes.

something modern in the 250 class would be a perfect starter for you. Also do you have any tools or experience wrenching? Just keeping a 40 year old bike on the road is a never ending adventure. Buy something newer than 90 and enjoy riding it.
 

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Seriously ? You figure that's a good 574 pound starter bike recommendation for a small 5 foot tall girl ?
Have to agree with this. My wife is 5'1" and 100lbs and she is intimidated by the weight of my Sportster. Whether it's a reduced reach seat or my lepera barebones (both put you closer to the ground than stock) she doesn't like how hard it is for her to hold the bike up at a stop. Granted, her only motorcycling experience is sitting on my bike trying to hold it up...but there it is anyway.

I'm looking at the new Street 500 or 750 for her. Weighing in at 480lbs wet with an attractive price tag.
 

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I can see what attracted you to that bike, but yea, I question any bike modified that heavily by a dude who won't put the fork seals on. That seat hurts my ass just looking at it. Trust me, I recently took my stock Honda seat off for a cooler looking "Cafe Seat" and now my taint goes numb after an hour of riding.

If you're just getting into riding, something newer will be far less distracting while you're getting your skills dialed in.
 

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That cb450 was about 400lbs stock. If you're cool with that, maybe this gs500e might be a decent choice. Looks tidy..
Vintage 1980 Suzuki GS550E Motorcycle Runs Great!

If you arent scared of 2strokes, this rd350 looks damn clean too:
1973 RD 350 yamaha low miles extremely nice

If you got the loot, this thing should be pretty bulletproof:
2009 Suzuki TU250X sale or trade

other finds in your area CL (pretty useless to you though)
VINTAGE DUCATI 450 RT DESMO

1976 montesa cota 348cc trails bike

dope price, but swingarm makes me sad
Suzuki TL1000R 1998

Wish id find something like this in miami. Little love and that thing could look badass.
1974 ironhead sportster bobber

/threadjack
 

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Yup, what most people said.....the bike in the OP has AIDS.
Look for something stock. Modern would be better too.

An old stock bike that is perfect will give you enough things to lean about, repair and keep in tune. Dont start with someone elses fuck up.
On the same note, dont start with a stock bike and emulate that BS hipster junk you see on pipeburn and CL adds everywhere.

Learn to ride, and then learn how to IMPROVE a bike.
Dont play dress up.
 

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Seriously ? You figure that's a good 574 pound starter bike recommendation for a small 5 foot tall girl ?
all the really short chicks I know ride one. I mean the sub 5'4" girls. The even make a model specifically for extra short people - the sportster low. Not every sportster is going to work, the nightster and forty eight are unrideable pieces of shit compared to a standard sportster - heavy steering, no suspension travel, extra low seating without much padding.
 

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Something to keep in mind for a rider with a short cycling inseam is the width of the seat. Often, it can make more of a difference than the actual max height since, the narrower the seat the straighter the leg can be and the more reach the rider has to the ground. A light twin like an EX250 or a GS500 has a narrow seat (right up against the tank) and is light enough to handle easily when stopped at a light or at parking lot speeds. Some thick soled riding boots and seat foam shaving make a big difference too.
 
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