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My friend is offering to sell me his 2006 Kawasaki vulcan 500 for 900$ It needs a new battery and oil change and has 24k miles on it. the bike has been dropped a couple times but only damage is a broken mirror. I have ridden it several times and love it. Also I am new to the vulcan and was wondering if it has any quirks. I currently own a honda reflex and the alternator went bad.
 

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Just doing a quick search that seems pretty good. Both Nada and KBB put it between $1600-2000. But that is for excellent condition, you would have to decide what shape it's in.

There are also quite a few on cycletrader, mostly 2009 models with less miles, but they are asking $2000-3000 for those.
 

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According to NADA, that's a pretty fair deal. You're not stealing it, but your friend isn't stealing your money, either. Given the condition you describe, it's maybe a US $900 to $1300 bike, depending on where you are in the world. I'd guess you'll have like one, maybe two hundred bucks in expenses to get it roadworthy. Motorcycle oil is a bit more expensive than car oil, and you definitely want motorcycle oil for that bike, since the clutch swims in oil, plus you'll want a filter and a filter wrench and, well, you know how money leaks out of your wallet in an auto parts place.

Nothing but the mirror got messed up in the drops? That's pretty lucky.

How well does it start when it's cold? See much black, blue or white smoke out the tailpipe when it fires up? Each of those is a potential problem, especially that blue stuff. That means it is burning oil. (Calmly but briskly walk away.)

You might quiz your friend on just how faithful he/she has been with those oil changes. Whenever someone tells me, "It's in great shape, just needs an oil change", I always find myself wondering, "Hmmmm ... I wonder how often they've been late with their oil changes?"

Ask when the valves were last adjusted. If they say, "Valves ....adjusted?", you'll want to either get that done or learn to do it yourself. I don't know the service interval for this bike, but "never" isn't the right answer. Your bike does not have hydraulic lifters, so the valves need to be adjusted now and then. Not a huge deal once you learn how to do it, kinda spendy if you have a shop do it.

How'd the battery die? Has the bike been stored for a long time? That's often how batteries end up going off to battery heaven. There are other problems that can occur with prolonged storage, like water -- then rust -- in the fuel tank, and gunk in the fuel pump and carbs. Solvable problems, but nice to know what you're getting into, right?

It's chain drive, and those want regular cleaning and maintenance. So take a good look at the sprocket wear as well as the chain. If you don't know how, there are YouTube videos on checking both.

How old are the tires? There's a date code on them, google "DOT date codes" to learn how to read them. The most common guideline seems to be anything over six years is iffy -- be safe, get a new set if those are oldies.

When did those brake pads last get changed? Any grooves worn in the rotors from worn out brake pads? How old is that brake fluid? More than two years and it's supposed to be changed -- it accumulates water. Stopping is GOOD, we like stopping.

Gauges and lights all work?

That's all I'm coming up with for warning signs of potential unexpected expenses -- at least those that you can check for.

Hope it works out for you!
 

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Just doing a quick search that seems pretty good. Both Nada and KBB put it between $1600-2000. But that is for excellent condition, you would have to decide what shape it's in.

There are also quite a few on cycletrader, mostly 2009 models with less miles, but they are asking $2000-3000 for those.
I've never really understood those NADA numbers. When they say "retail", I've always assumed they meant, "from a dealer." I may be mistaken, though. I know I've never paid close to their numbers when buying from individuals.
 

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My friend is offering to sell me his 2006 Kawasaki vulcan 500 for 900$ It needs a new battery and oil change and has 24k miles on it. the bike has been dropped a couple times but only damage is a broken mirror. I have ridden it several times and love it. Also I am new to the vulcan and was wondering if it has any quirks. I currently own a honda reflex and the alternator went bad.
Biker bill b the 500 man,as trainer said,maint records are important,not a bad deal,fine machines those 500s,gotta post a pic:smile2:
 
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