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  1. #1
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    Default buying a used sporty. what to look for?

    im heading up sunday to look at a used 95 1200 custom
    ive only seen one picture of it. it dosent look to bad, has an aftermarket fatbob tank and a hyper charger on it.

    but what are the trouble spots to look for on a used sporty? ive not really been around them a whole lot. its supposed to be a strong runner and the weather is supposed to be in the 50s. maybe ill get to take it around the block.

    any help will be appreciated! and you can watch me cut it up!
    sawzalls at the ready!

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    Evo sportsters are pretty solid bikes they can take a beating and in most cases they were given one. Check to make sure the clutch is grabbing good thru all the gears if your going to keep the belt system check to make sure it is not been rubbing on a oversized tire. Other than that if it runs and there is no missing or ticking then you should be good. Look at the bolts around the engine and see if they look like they have been stripped or any wrenching was done but most of these bikes have been played with by now.

    I have a 99 and have had it from high school and beat it up every summer.

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    Check for obvious leaks at rocker boxes and fork seals. Look for loose front drive pulley. Ask if there have been any Ignition changes, lots of the stock modules take a shit. Bring a voltmeter and check to make sure the charging system is sending 14 VDC back to the battery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daroberts3 View Post
    Check for obvious leaks at rocker boxes and fork seals. Look for loose front drive pulley. Ask if there have been any Ignition changes, lots of the stock modules take a shit. Bring a voltmeter and check to make sure the charging system is sending 14 VDC back to the battery.
    do i check this across the batt terminals?

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    Yes across batt. terminals. Alternator is integral to the clutch shell on that model year. Very expensive part - $400ish

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    Quote Originally Posted by daroberts3 View Post
    Yes across batt. terminals. Alternator is integral to the clutch shell on that model year. Very expensive part - $400ish
    Nope. After 1990 the alternator went under the front primary sprocket..

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    Yes, with the engine warmed up and running, and any constant usage electrical drains (probably just headlight) on.

    Might also want to check the battery resting (with engine off) voltage. Should be better than 12.6, but batteries are cheaper to replace than charging systems.

    Personally I'll never buy a bike without running a compression test (made that mistake once already). Super easy to do, gauge costs $40 or less. Bought a bike a few weeks back that was listed as an 'easy winter fix up' at $1000, and was amazingly clean for the age. Compression test showed one cylinder dead (probably a stuck valve), bought it anyhow... for $200, as a titled parts bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stadger View Post
    Nope. After 1990 the alternator went under the front primary sprocket..
    I stand to be corrected. TY

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    Quote Originally Posted by 53Bash View Post
    Yes, with the engine warmed up and running, and any constant usage electrical drains (probably just headlight) on.

    Might also want to check the battery resting (with engine off) voltage. Should be better than 12.6, but batteries are cheaper to replace than charging systems.

    Personally I'll never buy a bike without running a compression test (made that mistake once already). Super easy to do, gauge costs $40 or less. Bought a bike a few weeks back that was listed as an 'easy winter fix up' at $1000, and was amazingly clean for the age. Compression test showed one cylinder dead (probably a stuck valve), bought it anyhow... for $200, as a titled parts bike.
    Ooo plus on the comp test. Never thought of that. Hafta scare up my gauge.
    What numbers am I looking for?

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    man i got some more pics today and this thing is kinda rough. motor has the white fuzzies all over it. im not so sure, itd better run like a top

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    post the pics and asking price then people will have a better idea of what your working with.

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    this is probably the worst shot. leaky batt at some point
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20140110_101034_416.jpg  

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    this too
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20140110_101041_247.jpg  

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    i hated to start a wiw thread, but im actually on a trade deal with the guy. but what im trading id be luck to get 2500-3 out of on real good day

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    That all will clean up with some work. It looks like the bike spent some time outside. We have one that looks way worse than that, leaks oil from the rocker boxes and get's the shit beat out of it all the time. It still starts every time and runs great. The thing we replace the most on Sportsters around that year are rocker box gaskets and coil's/ ignition. My guess is if it has been rode much they have already been replaced.

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    bought my 89 last year for 2500 with just over 24 grand on the speedo-had bald front tire oil leak and a whole lot of crud. chain was whipped as were both sprockets- but it also fired up with the first spin -has nice comp

    took a lot of elbow grease and a few dollars but she looks sweet-
    just take your time there are a whole lot of these around and with the introduction of the street series i suspect a whole lot more soon

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    Picked it up. Ill get some pics up tommorow and get this the ride back on the open trailer the rain and cinders sandblasted most of the fuzzies off.
    Also this thing is unusually quick anyone recognize this mark from the cyl base?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg  

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    That bike is CLEAN compared to the hulk I dragged home a few weeks ago....the white fuzzy shit and the oxidized crap underneath it will all come off with steel wool or sanding, I sanded mine clean because I'm painting the motor anyway. I used 220 grit to start and will hit it with 320 or 400 before paint, cleaned it up nice and if you're planning on polishing 400 g sanding scratches go away pretty easily altho I go as far as 1000 g just to make life a little easier due to my ancient buffer.
    The other way I have done it is to use my dremel tool and the small stainless wire brushes. Hit the area to you want to clean with degreaser ( I use Zep) and knock off all the heavy stuff and let it dry then go over it with the dremel and all the shit just goes away, its a bit dusty so wear a mask and eye protection, those little wires from the brushes will stick in ya every chance they get......anyway that should get it down to bare metal

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