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Hey everyone so I passed the MSF course a few weeks back and just got the M endorsement on my license. I wanted to buy a bike now before winter hits and while people are looking to sell.

So I found an 09 Vulcan 500 LTD near me for $1800. It has low miles (less than 3k) and I am told starts up great and has never been dropped.

The owner sent me pictures and it isn't stock anymore. The gas tank badges are gone and it was painted matte black. Also I am told something happened to the tank while it was being painted and it has a small indentation in it.

The owner got ride of the seat and put on a new one so now the bike seats just one.




Now my question is, what kinds of things should I look for when I go to check out the bike? Are there any issues specific for the 500??

Also, how hard would it be to put a stock seat back on there??

here are pics of the bike and I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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I would make sure he has the front fender and the left side mirror before I would consider it. You will want the fender, both to keep the rain or road moisture off you and it adds the the rigidity of the front fork.

Anyhow, the price seems fair, especially for the year.

Make sure it starts from cold and can hold an idle. Let it idle a little bit and check for leaks I'm assuming the 500's have carbs? Take it for a ride and see if it shifts cleanly through all gears and ride fairly slowly. It always seems that most issues show themselves under slow even acceleration. After you test rode it, check all around again for any leaks or damage. Check the chain, is it adjusted well, fairly clean? How are the tires?

My biggest suggestion, if anything seems off, either with the bike or the person selling it, walk away. There are plenty of used bikes out there.
 

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Actually looking at the pics again.....does it have a rear brake light and turn signals? Hmmm. The more I look the more I say walk away and find a nice stock one that someone hasn't been messing with.
 

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Just looked and there is a nice 2002 Yamaha 650 up in your neck of the woods with 14000 on the odometer for $1750 OBO. Had saddlebags and all.
Only looked for about a minute. Down the page a little more was a Vulcan 750 that the owner claims runs perfect for $1700 I think.
Go into Craigslist Chicago then type in your maximum amount you want to spend then hit search
Next go to "high price" first and it looks like there is alot to choose from up there. Saw a neat Suzuki 650 Savage thumper there as well Those are supposed to be bulletproof and a absolute blast to ride.
 

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Just looked and there is a nice 2002 Yamaha 650 up in your neck of the woods with 14000 on the odometer for $1750 OBO. Had saddlebags and all.
Only looked for about a minute. Down the page a little more was a Vulcan 750 that the owner claims runs perfect for $1700 I think.
Go into Craigslist Chicago then type in your maximum amount you want to spend then hit search
Next go to "high price" first and it looks like there is alot to choose from up there. Saw a neat Suzuki 650 Savage thumper there as well Those are supposed to be bulletproof and a absolute blast to ride.
Yeah I am seriously considering finding one of the Suzuki S40/Savage's for my wife if she takes the MSF course in the Spring. They really seem like one of the best options out there for a first bike. Plus, you seem to be able to find fairly new ones with almost no miles for fairly low money. One carb, belt driven, nice and basic, means less work for me :). Being light, more than fast enough and looking pretty nice will be great for her.
 
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