Hi from somewhere north of Pittsburgh. We're getting hammered by snow right now. Previous to a year and a half ago, I hadn't ridden for 33 years. Over two years ago, I saw a black classic '83 Honda CM250 Custom (the only year they made it in belt drive) for sale in almost mint condition for $800. I passed on it and after almost a year it bothered me so much that I finally stopped at the seller's house to see if they could contact the buyer so I could make an offer on the bike. It was fall and the economy had gotten even worse. Many an enthusiastic noob finds that riding just isn't for them after all, and will sell after a few fair-weather miles. Quite a few noobs that get hooked the first time out will sell to upgrade.
The seller's wife answered the door and before I could finish what I had planned to say, she said, "Oh yeah, he's still got the bike. It's in the garage if you want to see it. Let me get him." The guy had taken a $25 deposit on the thing and had contacted the would-be buyer three times over 10 months with no results. He sold it to me for $700.
I loved the little thing. 70+ mpg and surprisingly, more than enough low-end torque to keep up with city and back-road traffic. The frame and tank are huge for a 250cc, so (even at 6' 1") I didn't look silly on it. But the peg position made for a cramped posture and the engine is screaming at 55+ mph.
A buddy with a 1500 Vulcan said a 650 v-star would probably be a good fit, so I started looking this past fall after a few hundred miles on the Honda. I found my sweet 650 custom for $3000 on CL a couple of months ago and sold the Honda with it's new battery and moto-sports cover for what I had invested.
I'm not a big fan of interstate speeds. I'm more of a cross-country back-roads guy. This beauty should do me for years to come. It only had 1485 miles on the clock when I loaded it in the van for the trip home. It came with bags, tank strap, windshield, chrome covers, cruise seat, Jardine pipes, jetted carbs, flame grips, LEDs and a new helmet and new studded gloves. Even if the roads are splatter wet, if the temp gets above 46, I start it. It gives me an excuse to sit on it.
I put a composite 6-pic image in the gallery if you want to get a better look at it. I didn't want to duplicate here and take up a lot of space. On a side note, there's a somewhat decked out 650 classic on CL right now for only $2000. Looks like the deal of the decade.
My avitar is a shot of my new pony. My composite shots in my gallery are at: https://www.starbikeforums.com/forums...&pictureid=864
1965 Honda Dream 305cc (Stock, built like a tank and looked like one too. The only bike I ever drove long-distance in a white-out blizzard.)
1972 Honda Scrambler 350cc (Custom paint, extended forks, mild pullback handlebars, padded sissy bar.)
1974 Bridgestone 175cc (Stock. You can laugh, but I got that thing up to 110 mph on a flat road.)
1972 Yamaha 350cc (Stock.)
1965 Norton 650cc (Torn down to each and every bolt and cotter pin. Tank and covers acid dipped. Painted and chromed. Extended forks, pullbacks, new pipes and padded sissy bar.)
1983 Honda CM250 250cc (Stock.)
2003 Yamaha 650cc Custom (Present day)