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  1. #1
    makelearns6
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    Default Standard Japanese bikes from the 70s and 80s as starter Motorcycles

    Hey there guys. I know how to ride a motorcycle, to start, so learning isn't the problem. I've got my license and my safety course behind me, so I'm not looking at buying a first bike, but also one that I can learn to fix up and maintain. I've got minor mechanical experience with cars (switching out parts, oil changes etc.) and some decent experience with small engines (mostly working on snowblowers and lawn-mowers).

    Here's the caveat: my budget in the next five or six years will only permit me to spend around 1000$ on a bike, as I'm in university and expecting to take a masters degree in my program. i still want to have fun, though. I had to sell my 5-speed Mitsubishi Ralliart Lancer to pay for school, so now I want something a little cheaper that I can still have fun with. A Bike seems perfect for this.

    So, bearing in mind that they're all I can afford, and that I fully understand and expect the work I'll have to put into it, would you guys reccomend old hondas, suzukis, and yamahas etc.? The one I'm looking at right now is 700$ and is a Honda 750a from the late 70s, but most japanese bikes in my area (an area saturated with harleys and Choppers) are cheap as dirt.

    Oh, another important thing; My grandfather recently passed away (may he rest in peace) and left me all of his safety equipment for riding. It all fits me, so I've got an incredibly high quality jacket, steel/kevlar boots, gloves, and helmet, so that isn't a worry!

  2. #2
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    I'll jump in here, back in the day Honda's were very popular bikes to chop, a bit later 650 Yamaha's became the bee's knees. I had one of those myself and they do have nice lines once they are hardtailed. There is also a pretty big support group for the Yammys out there.

    Here is one fits your bill https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/mcy...187975529.html

    I rode my Yamaha from Chicago to Arizona and back one summer. They are great highway bikes as long as you don't lean em out too much ( guess how I know this, lol ).
    Last edited by DoomBuggy; 1 Week Ago at 12:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    Asking price ain't sale price (people hate turning down dead Presidents). The 750As weren't bad but there weren't many of them so if something A-specific shits the bed (not particularly likely but you could check on vintage Honda forums) you could be screwed. Yam 650s are solid machines. Either will have old electrics but neither are hard to work on.

    I like that 650 in the advert DoomBuggy linked (if it runs well, I'm not telepathic) and they're easy for a new mechanic to work on and have a large community. They weigh less than the Honda which is a slightly better long distance mount but I'd rather have the Yam in town or for commuting. Bonus, you'll be used to standard shifting instead of the A.

  4. #4

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    Japanese bikes from the 70s and 80s can be very reliable every-day rides even these days. However there are exceptions and they are usually the low-production 'novelties' that some manufacturers produced like Honda with their automatics and the CB900 10-spd or the turbo variants of which all four manufacturers had at least one model in production (probably the rarest of them was the XN85... look that one up). I've owned many of the 'Big Four' twins and fours all of which are exceptional... the XS650 and KZ750E being the most notable. The models from the 80s that were in production for decades into the new millenium are good bets.

    Last edited by Skjoll; 1 Week Ago at 5:29 AM.

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