Old bike: Low or high miles better? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Old bike: Low or high miles better?

Hey all! I'm brand new to biking, and looking at an 02 1100 classic with about 4,000 miles on it from the original owner. Question:

If all other aspects were constant, would you prefer an older bike to have low miles (knowing it's been sitting quite a while), or high miles with a good maintenance record? I'm wondering if I would be buying a bike that would take a ton of maintenance to make it a reliable ride (tires, cables, seals, carb?). Thanks much!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 03:01 PM
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I would prefer one that had been ridden bit not worn out. Around 1000-2000 miles a year is what I look for.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 06:06 PM
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I would prefer a machine used lightly but often than one used equally lightly but infrequently. Sitting is the worst unless the machine is very well prepared for storage. Maintenance records will indicate how often the machine is used.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 08:16 PM
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I prefer a low mileage bike that was stored correctly. For long tern storage rull tank with stabill in the fuel and the carbs run dry;. a lot depends on the elements.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 09:05 PM
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02 1100 classic

wow talk about a coincidence, I bought my 02 classic from the origional owner in 2010 with 7000klms or 4000 miles on the odo. lucky for me, he always stored the bike in a heated garage, but only put on about 1000 klms a year. when I stored the bike this winter the odo is upwards of 35000klms or 22000 miles. the only work done at a bike shop was for a valve adjustment and to replace tires when needed. as you can see in my signature i have spent a good deal of money on mod and upgrades, but that was my choice. If the price is right and the bike will pass a safety inspection then dont wait too long or some one else will get a great bike.

02 Vstar 1100 classic
Samson Warloard Ripsaws
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barons ork
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breakaway cruise cont.
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barons DT risers
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by VA_is_for_bikers View Post
Hey all! I'm brand new to biking, and looking at an 02 1100 classic with about 4,000 miles on it from the original owner. Question:

If all other aspects were constant, would you prefer an older bike to have low miles (knowing it's been sitting quite a while), or high miles with a good maintenance record? I'm wondering if I would be buying a bike that would take a ton of maintenance to make it a reliable ride (tires, cables, seals, carb?). Thanks much!
Whatever you decide to do, make sure YOU keep up with maintenance.

Oil changes are the biggie but, TCLOCS is important, too. Be aware of your belt/chain/shaft. Your tires. Your controls. If you do it yourself, get to know people with your bike or similar and bug them about the not so obvious stuff, control cables, etc. Take it to the shop once a year and get to know those guys, ask them to check it over or what needs to be done. Doesn't mean you need to pay them $10,000 an hour to do it. They're riders, too. They wanna be helpful AND now, you're a face, a fellow rider, someone who is gonna get hurt if they let something go or screw up.

Or, if you're THAT guy, become an expert in your own bike. Know what every single bolt is and does and it's torque spec. Do ALL your own maintenance.

It matters what you get. It also matters what you do with it when you get it. A poorly maintained bike isn't necessarily a no go, within reason. You can't 'get back' whatever they lost in lack of maintenance but, if it runs good and shifts good, chances are their lack of oil changes wasn't fatal. If they let brakes go too long, new pads and rotors, their cost, can be negotiated out. Controls can be replaced if you're worried about them.

Modern bikes, someone who put 4,000 miles on it and let it sit for a few years with the old oil in it, that's not gonna be a problem, if ever, until tens of thousands of miles later. Especially if you keep up maintenance.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 06:00 AM
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Thumbs up

In 2012 we bought my wife a 2007 V*1100 Silverado with 9600 miles. It was used regularly by the previous owner. Other than tires it was in excellent shape. Negotiated a little due to the tires and brought it home.
We took it directly to the dealer and had two new tires and a full service done on it. That way we knew what was done and when it was done.
She only rides about 2500 miles per year so I expect the motorcycle to last her another 10 years easily.
Good luck finding a good used motorcycle. Take a knowledgeable friend along to look it over if you're not familiar enough with what to look for in a used bike.
I would try to find one that is bone stock, original intake, exhaust, no major customizing. You never know what a previous owner has done that could wind up costing you some serious cash to repair at a later date.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 09:26 AM
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You may find a good bike either way. I would worry more about condition and how/where it is stored when not ridden. I would buy based on condition. I agree with DoubleD that a bone stock bike is the preferred one to look for. Added accessories that don't change the bike are fine (windshield, bags, floorboards, etc).

When I was looking for a cruiser in the midsized (750) range last summer, I found very few that had not been altered. I stepped away from many that the owners said "sounds just like a Harley". I found and bought a like 2009 V-Star Midnight Custom(that was a leftover when the OR bought it) with 700 miles on it with $1,000 in farkles on it for $3,600. You couldn't tell it from new as it had never been dirty, sat in a heated garage it was perfect for what I wanted it for (second bike to ride locally).
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for your advice! Good things to know and look out for - this one does have original everything, only added a sissy bar, and motor guards. I guess it depends on who you ask, but really, you're taking a risk anytime you buy used. But for the money you save, I think it's a risk worth taking. Reading other forums about less than 1 in 10 Yamaha's having a major maintenance failure helps some as well. I'm pretty fired up about the bike though, so if the price is right, we'll make a deal.

@Danman - thanks for the advice! It looks just like yours minus the batwing fairing, and I love that it's not black on black. Knowing how good these can sound, I think I'll have to put some after-market pipes on it. I figure it's safer (louder) and a good way to learn more about the bike as well.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA_is_for_bikers View Post
Hey all! I'm brand new to biking, and looking at an 02 1100 classic with about 4,000 miles on it from the original owner. Question:

If all other aspects were constant, would you prefer an older bike to have low miles (knowing it's been sitting quite a while), or high miles with a good maintenance record? I'm wondering if I would be buying a bike that would take a ton of maintenance to make it a reliable ride (tires, cables, seals, carb?). Thanks much!
The thing that scares me with bikes like this is how old is the oil in the bike now. Also, how long as it sat what type of issues might you find in the gas tank such as rust or the carbs being stuck. Did the owner take care of the bike and just never rode it or did they have another bike as well. I average 4k plus a year hence why I have another one now as well so I can put miles on it to.

Are the tires still original or not if so are they rotted and shot. Will they hold up to highway heat without blowing. There are so many variables that its crazy. Also, is there any upgrades to the bike that may make you think something wrong that they may be covering up such as botched wiring could be the worst thing to find.

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