Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

i have just completed my MSF course and will be taking the written exam soon to get my M1. I have started to look for motorcycles online. I really like the 900 custom although i haven't sat on one yet I just love the look. I want to try both the classic and custom out before i make a decision. I found a bike online, 2008 900 custom for 3,699 with 53,641 miles on her.

Is this too many miles for the model yr?

Is the price to high or too good to be true?

What should I look for when buying a used motorcycle? Should I go dealer for the warranty or go private for that good price?

I would like to know everyone's thoughts and or experiences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
Where are you located?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
Price is decent. These 900's are everywhere and don't have much resale value.

If well maintained 53k miles isn't bad. A lot of that is going to come from how much riding you intend to do and how long you intend to keep the bike. If you really want a big touring bike and are just hopping on the custom to get your "sea legs", and will be trading it in in a year, the miles are no problem. Same if you think you'll just be putting a few thousand miles a year on. But if you're going to be putting 15k+ a year on it, then you'll be hitting six digits in just a couple short years. There's a member on here with well over 200k on his 900, but it did have some valve repair work done at 150k.

One of my biggest concerns would be to VERIFY maintenance. That it had valve clearance adjusted at the correct intervals, and proper oil changes / maintenance. If you can't verify that it's had the valve adjustments, walk away. That's an often neglected maintenance item on these bikes and with 53k miles without adjustment, there's a good chance you'll have premature wear on the valvetrain.

If it were me, I'd spend a few bucks more for something with fewer miles. You shouldn't have any problem staying around $4k with low miles. If maintained properly, it'll probably go much, much longer than that. But there are just so many of these 900's around, that I would think you can find a better deal. Similar price with fewer miles.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
287 Posts
Ditto Romans' comment about verifying the service records. The first bike I bought (used) had about 48K miles and wound up costing me as much in repair work as what I paid for the bike. It was an expensive lesson but I'll make sure I've got the service history in hand if I ever but used again.

My opinion is that the price is too high for that bike. You will likely get a better deal buying from a private owner. Good luck.
 

·
BOTM Winner, May 2015
Joined
·
740 Posts
There are plenty out there in that price range, with a lot less mileage.. Dealer wouldn't know unless they did the service's at their facility, if it was maintained properly. I do have to say the 900 seem to be a work horse. oil, brakes, batteries, and the every 15k check of the valve adjustment. Be patient, have fun looking!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
775 Posts
@robacycle I would look for something with less miles on it.
You live in South California if I remember correctly. In California prices slightly higher, this being an expensive state to live in. Also these bikes are common in other states. In our state not so much. You will find Hardly-Devidson cruisers, Suzuki and Yamaha crutch rockets in abundance. Vulcans not so much. It looks like we have many, but once you narrow down to your area and price range you will see very few. Especially custom. Around here people that want a cruiser, buy classic if they can't afford Harley, those who want sport bike or street bike buy Busa or Duck or Yamaha.

In South-Cali (100 miles around LA) on cycle-trader I see only 5 Vulcan 900 under $5000. Good condition and low milage will run up to $6500 and it will be around 2012-2013 models. Three V900 Custom in your price range. One with 11,484 miles on it for $3,599. (In Temecula, CA). Sold by owner. Though looking at the photos I would not buy it. First it is Classic and not Custom, (and you are looking for custom) second it has yellow burns on the pipes. Which tells me that this was ridden by a chap that likes to take it to the max. It is a lemon.

The two others are just below $5000 mark with ~14K on them. Sold by dealers. So if you buy that from an owner you will pay at least a $1000 less. Again just looking at photos both of those bikes are not in the shape I would buy them. Looks like they have been laid down judging by the scratches. There are few more choices for Classic available, in better prices and condition, mileage. But still in upper $5K and over 10K in miles.

So low milage (under 10K) with all the maintenance papers for $3500 is a very rare deal around here. I shopped for my classic for 2.5 month before I got lucky with a guy who had one in pristine condition, all the maintenance papers in order, low milage and needed cash pronto. At our prices around here I practically stole it from him. Be patient do not get a lemon - you will hate your life thinking why in the name of all that's holly did I get in to this biking thing.

50K is a bit to much. If it is YOUR bike and you have maintained it, it will run for long time. But you have no idea what the other owner(s) did to it over time.

Definitely ask for maintenance records I would also check Craig's List too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
it has yellow burns on the pipes. Which tells me that this was ridden by a chap that likes to take it to the max. It is a lemon.
Read entire post - good advice. However the yellow burns statement "It is a lemon" I don't quite agree with. I think you mean "gold" colored and a lot of pipes will turn that color just from the AI system, or idling a bit too long with the high idle enrichener engaged. Now I assume the 900' have those circuits.

Would you mind explaining your reasoning?
 

·
BOTM Winner, June 2015
Joined
·
842 Posts
I only paid around 3 grand for my 08 Custom and she only had 11000 miles on her. I'm on the east coast tho, and Cali definitely has higher prices. Like others have said, be patient and don't jump on the first one you see. You may end up regretting it. For higher mileage bikes, you definitely want to verify service records. If it's from a private seller, see if they will take it to your motorcycle guy to have it checked over first. Most dealers won't mind if you have it checked out either. Do your homework. It's better to be well informed than not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I looked around for a while and decided that I would rather buy a brand new bike (2015 900 Classic) and have a payment, than take the chance on a used bike with a lot of miles on it. Everyone has their own way of looking at it, luckily for me I am thankful to be in a place financially where I can do it this way. Good luck with your search.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
775 Posts
Would you mind explaining your reasoning?
Not just yellow - golden. One pipe shows evidence of high heat from blackish to purple to yellow/gold, the other is fine. The paint is scuffed on the side fenders. :eek: It is stated that the bike "was not molested" and had only 11K miles on it. But it looks like it has 110K on it. Mine has 14K on it now, does not look anywhere nearly as used as that one. That one just does not look like a well maintained, well loved bike. Yet the seller goes on and on how "comfortable" it is (stock setup) and how well loved it was. While it looks more of a something that was ridden by an "extreme rider". I do not know all the particular details about that bike but I have seen better for around $4K $5K. Also 11K on the bike. This means valve adjustment is due. Doing it in a shop in Cali costs a pretty penny. So $3,599 for the bike + another say $600 for 12K scheduled maintenance we are at $4.2k in it, now throw new set of skins... Such is my reasoning.

I still maintain, that one has to be patient and shop around to find a decent item in the given price range. Alternatively buy new and eat the depreciation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
775 Posts
@Robacycle
Hey, I just remembered. There is a shipping service for bikes
http://www.uship.com/motorcycles/
Now I have never used it. If anyone ever used it, please let us know you experience. But this might be something to investigate. That way you are not limited to offers in your immediate area and therefore might find a better deal elsewhere.
 

·
BOTM Winner, June 2015
Joined
·
842 Posts
@Robacycle
Hey, I just remembered. There is a shipping service for bikes
http://www.uship.com/motorcycles/
Now I have never used it. If anyone ever used it, please let us know you experience. But this might be something to investigate. That way you are not limited to offers in your immediate area and therefore might find a better deal elsewhere.
I'm not 100% sure on the laws regarding emission regulations, but if the OP lives in California, I'm pretty sure the bike has to be California emissions compliant if purchased out of state. I moved out of Cali before I even thought about getting a license so I'm not an expert, but as far as I know, it has to pass Cali emissions tests.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
775 Posts
In Cali there is no smog check for motorcycles. At lest no yet. They tried to push that through but it did not pass. No emission tests for bikes. The new law that passed in 2010 and was approved by Governator took effect in 2013, and that is basically no modifications on exhaust system, specifically catalytic converter, is allowed on bikes made after 2013. Motorcycles before that year are exempt from the pipe law. (for now). Cars, just pass a smog check and pay out of state fee. There are different standards for cars made in different years. I do not know precise details.

It just that there might be a better deal in California just not in the riding distance for RC. RC is about to get his license, so having his wife take him 300 miles to get a bike and for him to ride it home on our brutal highways is a recipe for a very bad day. But if shipping is an option he might be able to find a better deal further than 50 miles from where he lives and have the thing shipped to him. Might be better off even with shipping charges, who knows... I tried for shits and giggles their quota and it would cost around $400 to ship my bike from LA to SF... Just an idea.
 

·
BOTM Winner, June 2015
Joined
·
842 Posts
Like I stated I wasn't 100% sure. I thought I had read somewhere that before a certain year things weren't regulated as you stated. After I posted I Google'd the regulations and there was so much technical jargon that I just closed the pages out :eek: Thankfully in VA we don't have those regulations except in the larger cities close to DC.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
775 Posts
Yep. A lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, but in the end it is all ends with a small fee. In 08 I have moved from Wisconsin to Cali. Drove my old Chrysler New Yorker. A bucket of bolts. I had no problems registering it in Cali. A year later I sold it for $1500 to a drug dealer in Oakland. I am sure he put $20000 worth of rims on it and is riding around propelled by drum and bass.

Bikes are not tested for emissions, but there is an out of state registration fee.
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/brochures/howto/htvr9
Smog certification from a California smog station is required for the following vehicles:
Gasoline powered-1976 and newer year models (motorcycles are exempt).
Diesel powered-1998 and newer year models that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) under 14,001 pounds (diesel hybrids included).
Natural gas or propane powered that have a GVWR under 14,001 pounds.


So fill out form REG 343. Pay fees and off you go. The do not even look at your motorcycle. Bring just title and money, fill out the from, pay up and go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
A vehicle brought into CA, from another state will need the VIN verified by the CHP or local Law enforcement. The local CHP are all young and are often baffled. The VIN check on my '65 Ranchero took two Officers and two reg books to complete. When asked where the emissions gear was, I pointed to the draft tube and said "it dumps all the crap on the ground". My Vulcan came from Orygun, I had the local Sheriff do the VIN, good man and my former boss.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
775 Posts
No one asked me for CHP VIN verification. All I had to do was pay registration and pass smog check. The Chrysler was 1992 bucket of bolts with a hole in the muffler. The only thing DMV checked is that the VIN on the title = VIN on the vehicle. It was in 2008.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Hello all,

i have just completed my MSF course and will be taking the written exam soon to get my M1. I have started to look for motorcycles online. I really like the 900 custom although i haven't sat on one yet I just love the look. I want to try both the classic and custom out before i make a decision. I found a bike online, 2008 900 custom for 3,699 with 53,641 miles on her.

Is this too many miles for the model yr?

Is the price to high or too good to be true?

What should I look for when buying a used motorcycle? Should I go dealer for the warranty or go private for that good price?

I would like to know everyone's thoughts and or experiences.
The 900 is a great bike no matter which style you choose. In my opinion that's way too many miles for a 2008 at that price, even for California. If you really like the bike offer $2500 and settle for no more than $3000 max...just my humble opinion.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top