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Discussion Starter #1
Saturday, I'm going to go look at a '08 1500 classic. 1400 miles.
It's got aftermarket pipes on it but other than that is pretty much naked. My big concern is the god awful low miles on this thing. Is there any way to fooling the computer to reset the odometer or has the speedo. been replaced? Most of the ones I've seen had 15000-20000 miles.
Anything else to look for while I'm there? Thanks
 

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Technically, yes, it's possible to "lower the miles" by replacing the speedometer on some models. I don't know, specifically, what that would entail for yours (some are not, as mileage is tied to other electronics, like the ECU if equipped). But I doubt that's what happened here. The chances of finding a speedo showing that few miles is as likely as finding the bike you just found.

It's not unusual. Commonly, people buy a bike like that and then never ride it. Especially if it's a little too big or powerful for them. There are a lot of larger bikes, dressers, etc., out there that have hardly ever been ridden because the owner just can't handle the bike. Or is afraid of it.

Ask the owner why the miles are low and get an honest answer out of them. That's only an average of 214 miles a year. Less than 5 hours a year on the road. Chances are, it got all of those miles when new and has sat since.

The biggest issue is all of the wear and tear from sitting. Do NOT let anyone convince you this is somehow worth more because of the low miles. It's not a "low mileage" it's a "sat and forgotten". It's going to need all new fluids (coolant, brake fluid, oil); and likely new tires. Ask about how it was stored. The battery and fuel system components are suspect if not properly stored.

I'll take a bike that's been ridden over one that's been left in a shed ANY day. The wear and tear of a few thousand miles, even 15-20k miles, is nothing compared to the corrosion, rotting, and neglect that sitting does to these machines.
 
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The wear and tear of a few thousand miles, even 15-20k miles, is nothing compared to the corrosion, rotting, and neglect that sitting does to these machines.
Well, other than rust in the fuel tank I think that you are somewhat right for the wrong reason <g>. It is less that sitting produces more wear but more that deterioration that is time related (anything rubber, hydraulic fluids, electrical connection corrosion, etc.) are likely to be noticed and replaced during the same period. So some of the repairs are going to be the same whether it is used or sitting. It is just that you are going to have to do those repairs all at once as opposed to over a many year period.

Go through the service manual and plan on doing anything that is time triggered (i.e. once a year, or "XXXX miles or YY months, whichever comes first) as well as all fluid changes including flushing the brake lines, flushing and cleaning everything in the fuel system, and changing the filters. Oh, and new tires.

I went through the same situation with a '95 that had been ridden a few times then put in the garage for almost two decades. I spent a couple of weekends of my time plus about $1,000 in parts and service but in the end had a bike that was essentially new.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is it still the five year rule on tires?
After 5 years they start getting....icky?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been looking for a 900 but it looks like everyone goes bigger, plus in mind the rear suspension is better
 

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Saturday, I'm going to go look at a '08 1500 classic. 1400 miles.
It's got aftermarket pipes on it but other than that is pretty much naked. My big concern is the god awful low miles on this thing. Is there any way to fooling the computer to reset the odometer or has the speedo. been replaced? Most of the ones I've seen had 15000-20000 miles.
Anything else to look for while I'm there? Thanks
I just stumbled upon a 1999 HD Heritage Softtail with less than 10k miles on it. That's about 625 miles a year average. That means it has sat. A LOT. turns out the guy that bought it was afraid of it and just putted around town on it. His wife wouldn't set foot near it, so it mostly just sat.

The problem with a low mile bike is the sitting, which can cause its own problems. Rubber rot in tires, battery fail, congealed fuel in the lines, filter and injectors, rubber bits decaying, breakdown of fluids. just be aware that a low mileage bike can need a lot of attention to get it fit to ride again.
 

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I would check the antifreeze. If it's black I'd walk away. I bought a old car once that would overheat. Turned out the owner never changed the antifreeze for 17 years and it corroded the cooling jackets in the engine. The rust inhibitors only last so many years in antifreeze.
 

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I would check the antifreeze. If it's black I'd walk away. I bought a old car once that would overheat. Turned out the owner never changed the antifreeze for 17 years and it corroded the cooling jackets in the engine. The rust inhibitors only last so many years in antifreeze.
+1 and it should be changed regardless. It's due, even if it isn't used it will break down.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep, After about 3 years the oem stuff gets thick and boy does it ever smell.
Simple enough to do, they usually only hold a couple quarts.
Usually notice the fan doesn't cycle quite as often or as long. Thanks for all your advise.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well , I bought it, sunday.
Spent most of sunday cleaning it up. It's been in a garage and he said covered too, but they had cats and it smelled of cat.
Got most of the fluids changed, down to flushing the antifr. and servicing the rear shocks.
I'll post a pic. or two up here in a day or two.
It's got Van & Hines true duals on it and it's a bit loud for me. If anybody knows anybody that might be wanting to trade for a stock exhaust system, I'd be interested.
Thanks for all your help.
 

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Well , I bought it, sunday.
Spent most of sunday cleaning it up. It's been in a garage and he said covered too, but they had cats and it smelled of cat.
Got most of the fluids changed, down to flushing the antifr. and servicing the rear shocks.
I'll post a pic. or two up here in a day or two.
It's got Van & Hines true duals on it and it's a bit loud for me. If anybody knows anybody that might be wanting to trade for a stock exhaust system, I'd be interested.
Thanks for all your help.

Looks like you're going to have to update your signature. Keep us up to speed on how she runs and get those pics posted. I just got me an '05 1500. Love it. And I came from a 2002 750 Vulcan. Big change FYI. Take it easy at first.
 

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Contrary to popular opinion it seems I have been riding for over 40 years and most always buy used and always with low mileage. I have had to change all the fluids, ( my choice ) and clean out any old gas and check for rust, change plugs, fuel filter, and a couple of dry cables and battery but if garage kept it should be fine. I have NEVER had an issue other than as above and it was always well worth it to me because if they have 20,000 miles you never know if it was maintained properly. As for tires, inspect closely and if the tread is still good with no dry rot and they are holding air then you can forget about that 5 year rule as I have ridden many, many miles on tires 5+years old as have all my friends that I ride with and no one has had an issue more so than driving on brand new tires. Just my 2 Cents here but if you want to spend money for new tires by all means go ahead. They may be more apt to fail but I have never in my personal experience ever seen it happen, dry rot is the key here if they have any at all change them.
 

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Contrary to popular opinion it seems I have been riding for over 40 years and most always buy used and always with low mileage. I have had to change all the fluids, ( my choice ) and clean out any old gas and check for rust, change plugs, fuel filter, and a couple of dry cables and battery but if garage kept it should be fine. I have NEVER had an issue other than as above and it was always well worth it to me because if they have 20,000 miles you never know if it was maintained properly. As for tires, inspect closely and if the tread is still good with no dry rot and they are holding air then you can forget about that 5 year rule as I have ridden many, many miles on tires 5+years old as have all my friends that I ride with and no one has had an issue more so than driving on brand new tires. Just my 2 Cents here but if you want to spend money for new tires by all means go ahead. They may be more apt to fail but I have never in my personal experience ever seen it happen, dry rot is the key here if they have any at all change them.
Where I live, if bikes aren't properly winterized, over time you can quickly get pitting on the cylinder walls, for starters. Just parking them in a garage is no guarantee they have been properly maintained, either. :)
 

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Where I live, if bikes aren't properly winterized, over time you can quickly get pitting on the cylinder walls, for starters. Just parking them in a garage is no guarantee they have been properly maintained, either. :)
So how does having lots of miles assure any better results? Sorry if it looks great for the mileage and runs out ok your and you can see where it has been stored your response is completely invalid. As I stated my opinion is my own but it has worked for me on several different bike purchases and was just trying to let others know low miles does not a bad deal make.
 

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So how does having lots of miles assure any better results? Sorry if it looks great for the mileage and runs out ok your and you can see where it has been stored your response is completely invalid. As I stated my opinion is my own but it has worked for me on several different bike purchases and was just trying to let others know low miles does not a bad deal make.
A older bike bike ridden regularly is nearly always going to have far fewer problems than a newer year old that sits all the time. I don't know anyone who won't tell you otherwise. Seeing where it has been stored doesn't tell you HOW it has been stored. For instance, can you say for certainty that things like this were done to the bike each year?

http://www.bikebandit.com/community/guides/how-to-winterize-your-motorcycle

I'd guess not. Unless perhaps you have X-ray vision. :D

And notice, nowhere did I say an older bike with low miles is a guaranteed problem. I said the CAN have those issues.
 

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Reminds me of buying used boats. When the owner cannot tell you the last time he had it out you know it's been a looooong time. I'm only interested in their used stuff when they've actually been using it. Romans used the term "sat and forgotten".

Congrats on the buy, 4getful2.
 

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A older bike bike ridden regularly is nearly always going to have far fewer problems than a newer year old that sits all the time. I don't know anyone who won't tell you otherwise. Seeing where it has been stored doesn't tell you HOW it has been stored. For instance, can you say for certainty that things like this were done to the bike each year?

http://www.bikebandit.com/community/guides/how-to-winterize-your-motorcycle

I'd guess not. Unless perhaps you have X-ray vision. :D

And notice, nowhere did I say an older bike with low miles is a guaranteed problem. I said the CAN have those issues.
That 15-20k mile bike ridden regularly may have never had an oil change or for that matter any fluid change not to mention how it was ridden what fuel was used and the list goes on and on. I still say looking at and riding as well as asking for any service records is the best choice. The more the miles the less life left no matter how it was maintained, as for anyone telling you otherwise just go to any dealership you want and see what they say as well as what the price is for low miles vs higher mileage. :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yep, the dealers want almost brand new prices for low low mileage prices, no matter what year it is.
 

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as for anyone telling you otherwise just go to any dealership you want and see what they say as well as what the price is for low miles vs higher mileage. :wink2:
Yeah, because no one has ever been ripped off by a dealer, ever. :D

Even so, a low mile bike sitting in a dealer's showroom has likely been compression checked, inspected and serviced, unlike that 21 year old bike with 8k on it that has sat in Uncle Bob's barn for 15 of those years. Buy it if you want. I'd pass, because there are literally thousands of bikes out there to choose from that are more likely not going to end up being a project. Are there any guarantees? Nope. Are there probabilities? Yep.
 
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