I bought my girlfriend a used 2012 V-Star 250 a year ago. It had about 600 miles on it. It now has close to 4,000 miles on it. She struggles to keep up on hills and freeways (and the curves, but that's not the bike's fault.) So I'm looking to upgrade her ride.
I really like the EN500 concept; sport bike motor instead of a narrow v-twin. I also considered looking at Suzuki M50s (2005-2009) but I think they might be too heavy for her (and they are more cruiser-like.) So I decided to only look at Vulcan 500s.
I've looked at 1/2 dozen so far. One 2007 had only 950 miles on it! Asking $3,200. But it had been left out in the rain with terminal rust and corrosion, and would not run off idle. PASS! I looked at another that also had a bit of corrosion (engine, spokes, etc,) lots of scratches (black shows everything!,) and damage on the mufflers from improperly attempting to remove stuff that got melted on them. Some had 16,000 to over 20,000 miles on them, and were not well maintained. Yada, yada, yada... ALL of these were described as "excellent condition!" WTF?
I actually only rode one of them. It had about 14,000 miles on it with ORIGINAL (squared off!) tires. It handled like POO! And it felt like the rear shocks were shot as it did the pogo stick ride. How long to the shocks last on these bikes? Age or mileage??
From photos of many that showed up in my searches, I saw a lot of rust and corrosion, and it seems that if the bike tips over, the tank gets crushed in. It is a w-i-d-e tank! I'll be looking to add crash bars...if anyone makes a good one.
I even started to look out-of-state, but they have to have at least 7,500 miles to be brought into CA as "used" no matter how old it is!
SOOO...I have one more to look at in a few days. 2005 (blue) with 1,000 miles on it. Yeah, I'm thinkin' the carbs are all gummed up, battery dead, and 10 year old tires. I asked for high resolution photos...and it DOES look good for 10 years old! He had the fuel system and electrical system gone through, new battery...but original tires (he says they look fine, and not aware that they are 5 years overdue for replacement.) There are no accessories on the bike and he's asking $3200 (NADA=$2500, KBB=$2200.) I may be able to negotiate on tires. It has Exedras on it. What should I replace them with?
Are there any other concerns I should look at with this model? Known problems (read about the battery connections)??