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Discussion Starter #23
Just got back home. I wanted that bike. Wow, what a looker in person, even better than photos. Couldn’t get the price down enough so I had to say thanks and leave. But if he comes back at me with a lower price tomorrow, I might be willing to come up just because it was so cool, and as advertised.
 

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Sorry it didn't work out for you. Maybe tomorrow, or maybe a different bike. I think a number of us are excited to see what you end up with. I always like seeing different bikes.
 

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I've learned that patience can more times than not bring BETTER results in the end!

When looking for used bikes many times did I find that perfect bike for a great price, only to wait a day or two and when re-checking the post to have seen it "Sold". And then a few days later have something else come up that was much better and at a great price!

I bought the EX I had for $900...should have never sold it.
I bought a V-strom for $2500 that was a tank...but sold it for...
a PRISTINE Honda NC700...

And the list goes on. You just have to be patient and, sooner or later, you'll find a great bike!
 

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For those of you who scan the bike ads, are you finding that bikes are more scarce, and that prices are much higher than normal?

The Chicago market has never been 'bargain basement', but prices are very high right now, and inventory is scarce to say the least.
 

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@ZeroFret In your bike search, have you considered a Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit? (the 600 is OK, but wait for a 1200 :) ).

Here is a relatively inexpensive bike with serious pedigree. It's a simple bike wrapped around a motor, and what a motor! Take an apocalypse-surviving A/O cooled GSXR-1100, and bore it an extra 100cc and give it more torque and friendier power.

Bike has excellent forum support, parts are cheap and plentiful. Reliability is strone axe. Can be anything you want it to be, from a mild-mannered daily rider, or a dragstrip ripping beast.Takes standard tire sizes; 120/70-17 and 180/55-17. Handles well, brakes well. Super easy to work.

I put 30,000 trouble-free miles on mine, and the only reason for a sale is because I go through bikes like kids go through diapers.
 

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For those of you who scan the bike ads, are you finding that bikes are more scarce, and that prices are much higher than normal?

The Chicago market has never been 'bargain basement', but prices are very high right now, and inventory is scarce to say the least.
I continually peruse Bay Area Craig’s List just to keep an eye on what’s happening with prices.

Out here, I don’t really see any major differences in prices overall. As in, I don’t see a rise in prices across the spectrum. Summer normally means higher prices anyway, and this year is no different in that respect.

What is different is the rate of the rise. Normally prices begin to rise in February-March and peak in July as the end of summer gets closer.

This year it seemed prices rose moderately in March but quickly returned to winter levels. I didn’t personally notice the traditional summer increase take hold until June and prices still haven’t peaked like normal.

Also, it really depends on the bike. Cruisers, HD in particular, are mostly in the toilet price wise. Many are much reduced while there are still wildly over priced “customs” too. Cafe bikes and Adventure bikes still command fairly high prices.

Examples of this....I’ve recently seen a 2006 Harley Davidson Road King that went for $23K or so in 2006 being sold with under 20K miles for $8K. In the same 3 pages of ads, a 2015 Ducati Scrambler Cafe has the asking price of $12K. They weren’t much more than that new!

Similarly, you can find 999s for sale between $4K and $10K depending on the model. R spec models are still in the stupid layer of the price stratosphere though.

On average though, you can expect to pay around $3K-$3.5K for a reasonable condition bike from the early to mid 2000s. $4.5K-$5K for bikes from around 2010. $6.5-$8K for 2015ish bikes. This is just in general.

Some bikes, regardless of season or economic down turn still command premium prices. Really just depends on when you buy in the cycle of desireability.

Caught early on and you’ll wind up paying much less than a bike at its peak of that cycle. Catch one on the down slope and you could pay less, just not a great deal less. Look at the rise and fall of prices for a used Ducati Sport Classic.

For a while those things were selling at peak prices on the used market. $18K was not unheard of.....still isn’t as an asking price.

They’re not really changing hands at that level anymore though. I’ve seen prices dropping slowly over the last year or so. Most recently I saw one ad asking $13K. I suspect asking prices will continue to drop. Same for HDs.

Others, though are really starting to rise again. Slabby Ducati 900SS bikes are picking up. Not drastically but definitely rising. 916-996 range have gone up around $1500 in asking price over the last 3 years. Bikes that changed hands for $4500 in 17 are now seeing asking prices closer to $6K.

Just some recent observations HERE. I’m sure the market in other parts of the country is different. There is a massive supply here, but less demand. It’s funny to me that if I look at the Los Angeles CL and the San Diego CL there are fewer bikes than there are up here. You’d have to combine them to get the same sorta numbers.
 

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@ZeroFret in re-reading your Project Log thread...you are a new rider. On that basis alone, I'd dismiss a 490 lb wet GSF1200cc as a "starter bike".
Seek a running EX500 or even a 250 Ninja, affordable, plentiful, light, rider friendly, easy to learn, gain some miles and experience. Be forewarned, any bike purchased may require the usual common investment in tires, chain/sprockets.
A true starter bike is in your best interests at this time. When you feel ready and accomplished....flip it and move up to that Ducati V4 Panigale you lust after. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #30
There’s really been a lot of great points made in this thread, and it’s given me some new perspective on my position as someone on the market for a bike.

But I something that hasn’t changed is exactly what @ducatiman just mentioned. I am a beginner, and I definitely don’t need anything near the world’s greatest performance machine. The plan is to get something practical that handles well, and ISN’T too fast, so I can spend some time honing my rider skills. And then eventually yes, sell it and get something bigger, probably.

Additionally, in my price range, there’s just not that many runners available. At least not currently. That’s where the patience might come in when we hit post riding season. But most of what’s available needs work, so it’s kind of like I’m choosing between a bunch of bikes that need work, just picking the one that needs the least amount of work.

Honestly, I really do think the Zephyr was exactly the kind of bike I should be considering right now. Sure, it might be underpowered, but again, I’m not ready to handle anything with gobs of horsepower. The seller did offer to go down to $1400. I’m tempted to counter at $1300, and make the trip down a second time.

But, ah, patience.
 

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It's funny to look back at our mistakes; I walked away from a bike over $100 once, regretted it ever since. No big deal there's always another bike...

Maybe we learn: A little while ago, I offered $800 for this 2003 EX500, and PO countered with $900. I chewed on my teeth for a few seconds and said: "Deal!"
I rode the bike home with a big smile on my face even though both tires were almost flat, and when I stopped at a light the temp gauge started to climb.
Because of the bike's condition, no pictures were taken, but I could see some work ahead of me. Now: Pictures just posted in "Introductions" section.

I very happy now!
 

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....

But I something that hasn’t changed is exactly what @ducatiman just mentioned. I am a beginner, and I definitely don’t need anything near the world’s greatest performance machine. The plan is to get something practical that handles well, and ISN’T too fast, so I can spend some time honing my rider skills. And then eventually yes, sell it and get something bigger, probably.

....
There's a saying in the word of firearms....the greatest safety device is your trigger finger.

In the bike world....your right hand determines how fast you go.

I do think the Zephyr is a nice ride if you agree on terms....good luck.
 

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If you decide to relook at the Zephyr (for that matter ANY used bike) examine the tires (wear and DATE CODES), chain/sprockets closely. If they are needed, or will be soon...could become a very legitimate negotiating point with the seller.
 

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Patience was urged in previous post about the Zephyr. As was the point that the 550 makes 500cc level power at 750cc weight.

The Zephyr makes about 49 hp. Less than an EX. It also weighs 554 lbs wet. Or about 150 lbs more than an EX.

I don’t see that as advantageous to a beginner. Weight is probably a bigger factor than the lack of hp. That’s why an EX500 or a Ninja 250 make more sense.

If you’re set on the old school style of the Zephyr you might look for a Honda Rebel 250 or 450. Both are relatively small and light weight but offer a low seat height.

Dunno what they change hands for up there but here they’re kind of cult bikes so don’t usually go cheap....but sometimes they do. Back to the patience thing.

Good luck in your search. I hope you find that gem you want....just be patient and don’t rush into a deal you’ll later regret
 

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Honestly, I really do think the Zephyr was exactly the kind of bike I should be considering right now.
I think it's great you walked away to think about it - and good to see you consistently like the bike and feel it's a good fit for you. $1400 is not bad for this time of year and the condition, new rear tire, battery, etc. I hope you go for it!
 

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The Zephyr makes about 49 hp. Less than an EX. It also weighs 554 lbs wet. Or about 150 lbs more than an EX.
In the owners manuals for each bike (2nd gen EX vs ZR550) the EX is 388 lbs dry and the ZR550 is 395 dry. So not a big deal if accurate.
 

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quickie casual wet weight comparo (please, lets not nitpick 2 pounds here and there) using internet source: ultimatespecs.com

250 Ninja #375
Gen 2 EX500 #438
550 Zephyr #454
Bandit 1200 #490
any/all will get near or surpass 100 mph
i'll submit outright weight IS a reality, a practical, pertinent major consideration while speed/HP secondary within the perspective of learning....in a land of 55/65 speed limits.
 

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Another bike worth considering is the Suzuki Savage (later named S40). It's technically a cruiser, but more like a standard. Single cylinder air cooled 650,. They've been in production over thirty years, stone simple and make a great base for a cafe racer (look up Ryca cafe racer kits)
 

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i'll submit outright weight IS a reality, a practical, pertinent major consideration while speed/HP secondary within the perspective of learning....in a land of 55/65 speed limits.
oh yes !! I well remember an old mate drooling over a CBX1100 he had to have one. couldn't get that bike out of his head. so he saved up and bought one. a dream come true. he only kept it 3 months though. why well it took that long to accumulate enough speeding fines to lose his licence. no licence. he lost his job could not get another without it. so the bike was sold to keep him going. be careful what you wish for you may just get it.
 

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In the 1960s, the biggest, baddest bike on planet earth was the Dunstall Norton. A good one would squeak into the 12s in the quarter mile and go probably 120 on top. That was a bike for the expert riders of the day. That is also virtually identical performance to a dead stock EX500. Have riders changed, or the bikes?

650s are sold as beginner bikes. AYKM? Look at the number of Ninja 650 parts on eBay. Tons of them and low prices. Why? Because lots of beginners were sold on them and lots of beginners crashed them - that's why. Kids in the 1960s began on 50s, 65s, 80s and 90s. 125s were a good sized bike. Above that and you were automatically a hero.

Truthfully, a small bike is a win-win in that you can learn to ride on it and once you learn to ride, you can ride the wheels off it and not be going so fast that you scare yourself. In every test of the Honda Grom or Kawi 110, the seasoned (even jaded) testers all state that they were laughing hysterically inside their helmets because they were enjoying it so much. They were racing each other and no one knew it!
 
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