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motorcyclists?(9 posts)

Sep 2, 2003 7:41 AM
I am thinking seriously about acquiring a motorcycle for commuting purposes. I know little to nothing about these things, and would appreciate any feedback you can give me.

I am looking at a 1982 Honda Nighthawk 750. It is immaculate and has only 11,000 miles. All records, maintenace and owners notes are included. One owner.

Is a 750 big enough for me (200 lbs +/-) and sometimes an additional rider (130lbs +/-) for rides around town, as well as occasional trips of 50 miles or so? Or should I look for something bigger?

Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

rode only motorcycles for 5 yearsDougSloan
Sep 2, 2003 8:03 AM
Motorcycles got me through college. Put over 50,000 miles on them, with 3 round trips from Missouri to California. Lots of fun.

However, you will get wet, hailed on, frozen, sunburned, etc. Keep in mind that unless you have the right clothing for any contingency, there will be some not-so-happy times.

Also, you are defenseless. If you hit or get hit by a car, you will lose.

The 1982 should be fine, nonetheless, if it is in good shape. Maintenance in motorcycles can be costly, as you burn through chains, sprockets, and tires frequently on the older bikes. That 750 probably has around 70 hp, I'd guess, will get you up to around 120 mph if you felt so inclined. Even at 200 pounds and with a passenger, it would likely still clear 15 seconds in a quarter mile. Plenty strong.

Sounds like a nice bike....rwbadley
Sep 2, 2003 8:19 AM
Sometimes a very low mileage older bike will have carburetor trouble because of built up varnish plugging the orifice's.

Make sure it idles smooth and will pull all gears strongly. It should have little or no 'dead spots' through second and third gear. Ten seconds after starting the bike, feel all four exhaust pipes to be sure they are all getting warm. They should all be HOT after about a minute or so.

That bike in very good condition may go for 900-1200, depending on area and other factors. You WILL need new tires if they are original and/or old.

The displacement is plenty big enough for what you plan to do. You should get about 45 mpg for commuting with it. Be sure the bike fits you well, and you are comfy enough on it.

I would resist the urge to go 'bigger'. That bike is plenty big. As a starter bike, it should be about perfect. You may want new rear shocks and new progressive fork springs to deal with the weight and improve handling. Even new the shocks and springs were on the limp side. Or, you can try adjusting the rear shock springs to full preload, and that may help.

Have fun and be careful.....

750cc should do you fine....asphalt assault
Sep 2, 2003 11:55 AM
For your first bike you're better off getting something smaller like that, you'l have plenty of power to pull yourself and a passenger. I can't believe how many guys in their 40s go out and buy a 100ci Harley for their first bike...scary!

Be carful and're invisable, never assume they see you.
Sep 2, 2003 1:10 PM
I have been without net access ever since I asked the question, so I was unable to respond to your suggestions. I'll go look at it tonight with a very knowledgable friend. The owner drained the gas every year before storing it, so varnish should not be a problem. Has new tires, new battery and is absolutely showroom clean. I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks again.

inline, air cooled 4. Good solid bike.dr hoo
Sep 2, 2003 2:56 PM
That's a perfect bike to buy, if the price is right. Big enough that if you put a fairing and bags on it, you could do day trips, small enough to be a good commute bike. I would buy one myself if I found a well maintained one.

Very simple to work on as well, if you want to go that route.
Get A Used BMW R80RTHAL9010
Sep 2, 2003 4:24 PM
I rode this bike in school and into the early part of my marrage. I had Hondas and Yamahas and drove just about all other brands for more than a few miles, including Harleys(Crap for macho Psudo studs w/more money than sense) .

A BMW is the best. They are cost effective and cheeper to insure, owner/riders tend to be sane and more mature. They are very easy to maintain, reliable to a fault. Are smooth running, handle very well are far lighter than they look (mine weighed less than my Yamaha 550 by 75+ lbs) and have no stupid chain to worry about.

An RT model has a full farreing (sp?)that actually works. Has hard saddle bags that will accomadate a helmet and will lock(and are easly detached).

The R means it is an air cooled flat twin model, to satisfy your retro streak. The 80 means that it has an 800cc engine. More than enough for you and a passenger on the highway or around town.

These bikes at just about any mileage are great buys. Their engines are like a cars in that 11k mi would be just about "broken in" but for any other typical bike (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha) half the life or more of the engine is gone already(Harleys are, well see comment above).
I'd have to agree to a point....rwbadley
Sep 2, 2003 7:28 PM
The boxer twins are indeed very nice. And reliable.

The shaft drive is a plus. There are many shaft drive bikes. I have not found the inline fours from the big 4 to have short lifespans. On the contrary, 60k on one is easy to do. The difference being the maintenence involved in drivechains etc. As Doug pointed out, it is easy to go through an O ring chain and sprockets every 20k miles. For most riders this is every 2-5 years. The 150-200 replacement cost is a factor. Also tires at a set every 10-14k (for most commuters) is a couple hundred.

The cost of the Bimmer will most likely be 2500 or so vs 1000-1200 for the other. That extra money will certainly buy a few years worth of accessories and consumables. For a novice rider, I would always recommend getting a 'learning bike' and moving up the ladder as it is warranted. A good starter bike should be easy to manage and not so valuable that if the usual dumpage might occur, a great loss is incurred.

Having ridden for many years, I am certainly appreciative of the engineering and other fine attributes of the BMW. I have been riding a Honda st 1100 for some time now, and that bike is a real lovely machine also. Too bad it was just an improved copy of the k100 ;-)

I'd have to agree to a point....HAL9010
Sep 3, 2003 7:39 AM
Yes on a learner bike. One(sorry if pretensious sounding) should never jump into a "real" bike. A novice will drop an MC a few times while getting a grip in the weight distribution and feel.

but after that is over with a BMW R bike you just wont have to worry about the accessories annd consumables. Furthermore, if you keep it clean, maintained and in basicly good shape, If and when you do sell it, with a BMW you can actually recover MOST of the original purchase price. Like 75 to 85%, not a bad user fee IMO. In fact BMWs after about 10 years tend to appreciate. None of the others will(except Harley, but there's that stupid factor surrounding those bbikes)