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Discussion Starter #1
My son (35 yrs old) is looking to get back into riding. He hasn't ridden for a while. He spotted a Suzuki GSX R600 and I said no, no, no. I found a pretty reasonably priced VN800 that I think would be a better fit. We are going to look at it tonight. Anything I should look at in particular? The guy did say it could probably use some carb work.
Thanks in advance.
Ozzyn
 

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The most common problem with a used 800 is faulty petcock. You need to do a little detective work and ask if there are any repair / maintenance records and how the bike was stored. A good question would be when the valve clearance was done last, It should be done every 6,000 miles and look at the brake fluid if it's dark in color and they say they took excellent mechanical care of the bike you know to question just how the bike was maintained. If all you need to do is change the fluids and petcock along with a carb cleaning. You should have a pretty good bike. They are known to be bullet proof. Good luck and don't rush into a bike. I've been looking at CL for a new ride and have seen some good bikes sit for weeks as the price dropped.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Ron. I spoke with the guy and he really couldn't tell me much about the maintenance on the bike. It is just shy of 20,000 miles. He lives about 60 miles away so I can't just pop in until the weekend. He is asking $1600 but said he isn't married to that price. The question is can I get a good enough price to be able to fix any issues or am I getting into a money pit.
 

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Ozzyn,

There are no easy answers on this one. Sight unseen, age and care of the bike, what you're willing to get involved with?
As we've all heard before if it sounds too good then it is. 20,000 miles on a 800 is nothing, there is a member here who put over 100,000 miles on his and I think it is still on the road. Keep in mind a low mileage poorly maintained bike is going to need TLC to get it road worthy.
What are others asking for a similar bike in your area. How much do you want to fix for your peace of mind before riding and what will it cost? Does it make better sense to pay more for a bike that is ready to ride? Only you can answe that. You'll know what's right when you see it. Good luck.

Ron
 

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I purchased my 99 sight unseen on ebay from a pawn shop almost 150 miles away. I had the option to cancel when I went to pick it up. It needed some tlc but mostly cosmetic. It started right up, didn't smoke or knock and the clutch seemed in good shape. So I went for it and its been a great investment four years later. Oh I paid 1800 at the time. It's a good starter bike for anyone. Easy enough to work on and simple to mod it to your own style. Aftermarket customizing parts are beginning to get scarce but I figure another 5-10 years before they will get rare. Hope this helps.

The two best improvements I made were changing the stock sprockets and chain and especially changing the seat. The stock seat is so horrible you can't stay on it for more than 30-40 minutes at a time. Changing the sprocket ratios to something better suited for highway speeds really makes a difference in how hard the engine has to work.
 

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I bought my 98 with 6k on it in 2013 it had sat most it's life it was my dads bike that he got new, so I knew the entire history of it and he is great when it comes to matanance. It ran like crap when I got it but I was able to get it right with little work. My advice in a low mile bike that's been sitting 1: change the fluids including gas 2: trear the carb apart and clean it ( while your there richen the feul mix a bit the lean pop from the factory sucks ) 3: Check tires to see if they need to be replace 4:check valve clearance 5; get on bike and ride

I have pretty much done all one can do performance wise on my bike I love it it's tons of fun and a solid bike for a good price
 
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