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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Looking for an easy to ride, and Fairly comfortable bike. Comfortable to use throttle and clutch would be nice. I’m a novice, have some experience. I had a 600 years back, for a short period. And ridden dirt bikes over the years. I’m going to ride the Easy country roads until I get more comfortable.

These bikes are all in the same price range, very affordable. And all appear to be in good shape.

Hoping I can get some opinions on the models.
Any major issues? Harder maintenance or problems?

1-Kawasaki CSR 1000. 1982 I think. Great shape very low miles. Probably my favorite.

2-Suzuki GS 500E great shape not sure of miles

3-Honda Shadow 600 1993 bobber.


4-Yamaha virago 1998 with gear. To note on this one- it does say “not sure when it ran last”. May be a divorce type of thing as it includes gear but I don’t know. Looks to be in good

5- there’s a lot of the Honda cb 400 type of bikes.And similar models but with b***** engines. Most have a lot of miles though and haven’t been gone through yet.
there were some nice ones but the price goes up fast.
 

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What's your price range/budget? You can get newer bikes for sub-$2000 if you hunt and haggle.

You don't say what size the Virago is. Stay away from the 920s. They have a variety of odd electrical gremlins that the smaller versions don't usually have.

I'd say off hand that the GS-500 and Shadow are more likely to be less trouble, but they are also different styles of bikes. The Honda Shadow is pretty bulletproof in general, but that someone's made it into a bobber could be ok or a disaster, depending on how it was done. I'm not a big fan of no front fender, for example. I ride in the rain and sometimes just travel and get caught in it. It does have a much lower seat height, which may or may not be a factor for you as a self described novice.

The GS-500E is also a generally sold bike. Look at seat height and weight if that matters to you. Note that depending on the vintage, the GS-500E could be an inline four or a parallel twin. Different feel to each one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks you sir for the food info.
You are def correct on the 2k number a lot of nice ones. I just want to make sure I’ll like street riding first.

But I know what you mean, you can also usually get most of your money back on the resale. just going to be patient and find a good deal.


Probably going to look at the gs500e. It is still there and it’s a very clean bike.
I’ll find out the engine specifics.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My other option is I sell my klx 250 enduro, which I really like it. It’s to small for the street for what I want.

But could go to a dr 650 or KLR 650. But sounds like the KLR is a little hard to handle off road. Or I keep my klx and get a cheaper street bike to try it out.
 

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My other option is I sell my klx 250 enduro, which I really like it. It’s to small for the street for what I want.

But could go to a dr 650 or KLR 650. But sounds like the KLR is a little hard to handle off road. Or I keep my klx and get a cheaper street bike to try it out.
I would suggest you keep the KLX250 until you're sure about street riding. It's a solid bike and you really like it. The KLR is tall/skinny but for me, had a different feel to it off pavement, and it's a big single, which is less than ideal for highway speeds of any length. Good luck on the GS500E and post back what you find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Funny you said that. I listed my KLX for about 2 days. Lots of interests and ok offers. Almost took one, but I got cold feet. Lol. So I pulled the listing.

Its a handsome 06, so it has gauges which I really like having. and the look of the plastic and seat on this bike looks great/combo. But the seat is very uncomfortable. I’m waiting to buy a good one until I figure this out.

I am a novice but I can feel it the more I ride, bike is extremely nimble.a lot of power for a small bike ( carb is tuned), I weigh 225,doesn't bother it one bit. It’s really easy to ride.

This is all Probably common for the good brands? I just haven’t ridden many bikes to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Klx aside. I’d like to keep it but money you know. I’m trying to keep it

So back to street bike. I’m having a hard time deciding but it’s fun to look. o_O
there are 2 nice GLs. I’ll get the details on here. twin or single better?

Another thing, I know it shouldn’t matter, but I want to look normal on my bike. I’m 6’ 225 would I look to big for this type of bike?
I have been eye balling KLRs, but only if I was able to keep the klx. Or maybe dr650 could replace my klx and be enough street bike for me?

But I do want to enjoy the ride so I would appreciate opinions please.

I mainly just want to ride to mini store and to relatives house etc. mostly 55 mph average speed. Distance most I’d guess 30 miles each way. I have no Interest in riding the freeway.

I like the sport look I guess I’d call it. dr650 with a half or quarter scrambler look.I like the looks of the older Honda Cb, nighthawks etc. but I think to small for my build.

seems then you kind of have to jump to a cruiser style bike. There are a lot of them available at good prices. but the more I look, I like the sport type.
 

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Klx aside. I’d like to keep it but money you know. I’m trying to keep it

So back to street bike. I’m having a hard time deciding but it’s fun to look. o_O
there are 2 nice GLs. I’ll get the details on here. twin or single better?

Another thing, I know it shouldn’t matter, but I want to look normal on my bike. I’m 6’ 225 would I look to big for this type of bike?
I have been eye balling KLRs, but only if I was able to keep the klx. Or maybe dr650 could replace my klx and be enough street bike for me?

But I do want to enjoy the ride so I would appreciate opinions please.

I mainly just want to ride to mini store and to relatives house etc. mostly 55 mph average speed. Distance most I’d guess 30 miles each way. I have no Interest in riding the freeway.

I like the sport look I guess I’d call it. dr650 with a half or quarter scrambler look.I like the looks of the older Honda Cb, nighthawks etc. but I think to small for my build.

seems then you kind of have to jump to a cruiser style bike. There are a lot of them available at good prices. but the more I look, I like the sport type.
Money is often a concern for many buyers. It certainly has been for me, especially when I was younger and had less discretionary income.

Twin Vs Single - Twins typically have less vibration and more torque, but every bike is unique. What some find horrible vibration, others don't notice. How you ride certainly plays a part in that. For what you're describing, I don't think it will matter. Choose what puts a b***** smile on your face.

I'm 5' 11" and 260 at the moment. I may look a little silly crouched over on a sport bike and it's not all that comfortable for me to have my knees pulled up that high. I prefer standard or adventure bikes, but am comfortable on Sport-Touring bikes as well. Scooters are a non-issue because of the seating position. You get more "that looks fun" or "what a cute bike" than any other comment. A good looking scooter is a chick magnet like a puppy in the park. :cool: Most of the older non-cruiser Japanese bikes fall into the standard configuration. More upright body position than a sport bike and better hip to knee ratio, (knees not as bent). Here is an ok guide to differences - LINK Here is a more concise one - LINK

The DR650 is a dual-sport. Standard seating position, but taller with more ground clearance. I would not consider the Nighthawk too small for your build. It's a great bike and very reliable, not to mention fun to ride. You would probably not enjoy the 250 as much as a larger displacement version, but they made them from 250 to 900cc in the older models. A 550-750 would likely meet your stated needs well.

Do you have a budget in mind that allows you to keep the KLX?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well it’s going to be lean. 4 kids eat a lot lol. I’m going to take the dual sport out of it for now and stick with my KLX.
So looking for an older street bike to start out with or maybe even keep.

I like the older sport bike Honda’s and Suzuki’s from the 80s. Ive been looking for one that’s fairly clean and the right price. Maybe one needs carb cleaning or something like that- I can you youtube. I dont want a project, but I’m ok with stuff like this. But you’d have to trust the seller also.

I found a few clean ones I wanted to ask about. There all around 800. Maybe one is better than the others?

1979 Honda cm400 11,000 miles runs good new tires pretty clean looking bike.

1982 suzuki gs650gl 2,000 miles add says it starts and runs. It’s looks very nice, large dent on one side of tank. I need to get more details though. Just says starts and runs doesn’t say how well etc. but it looks As good as it should with the low miles.

1982 Suzuki Gs 750 4,500 miles says it ran good then sat for the winter. So it looks to be basic cleaning. Hal bought it for a starter bike, realized it was to big then it sat over the winter. Prob not winterized correctly

All 3 bikes look nice and were garage kept. do you know if one is easier to work on/ maybe-less problems? maybe one looks better with a 225 rider?

The Honda obviously less engine I’m not sure if that would make much difference for me. mostly highway driving 50-60 and in town. But I know in the long run it would if I liked and kept the bike. Then I’d have more power to work woth

Honda has classic look almost cafe, but the Suzuki’s aren’t far behind, similar looks.
 

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The base model Honda CM400 had drum brakes front and rear. Up models had disk front, drum rear. Something to double check. Disk brakes are easier to work on and work better in wet conditions. '79 was the first year of this bike. Also watch out for the automatics. They sold the CM400 in a 2-speed auto as well as a 5-speed manual. I'd stay away from the auto. Potentially expensive if tranny issues developed and the auto trans of that era were never as robust as the manual ones. The new tires are a perk, tires can cost you a couple hundred dollars easily. More if you pay to have them mounted and balanced. The CM400 is lighter at just over 400 lbs. This bike runs and would do everything you have talked about just fine.
Apparently there is a big aftermarket for these as well, so you could customize it to your taste down the road if you had funds and felt like it. The parallel twin is a very solid motor too. This size bike has been really popular with the neo-hipster crowd, where they make them into cafe bikes and pimp them out for city use. Should be easy to re-sell down the road if you later decide a larger displacement bike meets your needs better.

Both of the Suzukis are air cooled inline four bikes, but the 650 is disk brake on both ends whereas the 750 is drum rear, disk front. Some of the 650s got dual disks in front as well, which would be a perk. Both of these are about the same weight, just under 500 lbs.

Any of them will do just fine. The Honda is lighter and probably makes less heat too and if you have a disk brake up front, I'd not be too picky about having a drum in the rear. Some smaller displacement modern bikes still have drum rear brakes. The 750 is really more bike than you need for your stated use. The only reason I'd lean to that one is if you really were planning on prolonged interstate travel at some point.

The 650 is sort of the sweet spot, better brakes and good enough power to maintain freeway speeds all day if you needed to. A little smoother engine, shaft drive is nice, no lubing chains or replacing chain/sprockets, (not a big issue for your likely use).

But the Honda has a big advantage of being much lighter and more suited to your stated use. And it already runs and has new tires, so the seller has gone thru it to some degree. If the plastic panels are intact, no leaks from the fork seals or engine, and it has the front disk brake, I'd probably jump on the Honda. Especially if it has solid wheels instead of wire spokes, which means you could run tubeless tires instead of tubes. Not a huge issue, but a nice convenience, IMHO.

If the 650 has decent brake pad thickness, no obvious leak issues, good tires that are not cracking and doesn't need you to spend money on it right away other than cleaning the carbs, it's just a little cosmetically challenged, but is more bang for the buck. Heavier, but not big bike heavy like liter plus bikes.

Ride the 400 and 650 and see what condition they are really in, what controls and brakes feel like and go for it.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The base model Honda CM400 had drum brakes front and rear. Up models had disk front, drum rear. Something to double check. Disk brakes are easier to work on and work better in wet conditions. '79 was the first year of this bike. Also watch out for the automatics. They sold the CM400 in a 2-speed auto as well as a 5-speed manual. I'd stay away from the auto. Potentially expensive if tranny issues developed and the auto trans of that era were never as robust as the manual ones. The new tires are a perk, tires can cost you a couple hundred dollars easily. More if you pay to have them mounted and balanced. The CM400 is lighter at just over 400 lbs. This bike runs and would do everything you have talked about just fine.
Apparently there is a big aftermarket for these as well, so you could customize it to your taste down the road if you had funds and felt like it. The parallel twin is a very solid motor too. This size bike has been really popular with the neo-hipster crowd, where they make them into cafe bikes and pimp them out for city use. Should be easy to re-sell down the road if you later decide a larger displacement bike meets your needs better.

Both of the Suzukis are air cooled inline four bikes, but the 650 is disk brake on both ends whereas the 750 is drum rear, disk front. Some of the 650s got dual disks in front as well, which would be a perk. Both of these are about the same weight, just under 500 lbs.

Any of them will do just fine. The Honda is lighter and probably makes less heat too and if you have a disk brake up front, I'd not be too picky about having a drum in the rear. Some smaller displacement modern bikes still have drum rear brakes. The 750 is really more bike than you need for your stated use. The only reason I'd lean to that one is if you really were planning on prolonged interstate travel at some point.

The 650 is sort of the sweet spot, better brakes and good enough power to maintain freeway speeds all day if you needed to. A little smoother engine, shaft drive is nice, no lubing chains or replacing chain/sprockets, (not a big issue for your likely use).

But the Honda has a big advantage of being much lighter and more suited to your stated use. And it already runs and has new tires, so the seller has gone thru it to some degree. If the plastic panels are intact, no leaks from the fork seals or engine, and it has the front disk brake, I'd probably jump on the Honda. Especially if it has solid wheels instead of wire spokes, which means you could run tubeless t in ires instead of tubes. Not a huge issue, but a nice convenience, IMHO.

If the 650 has decent brake pad thickness, no obvious leak issues, good tires that are not cracking and doesn't need you to spend money on it right away other than cleaning the carbs, it's just a little cosmetically challenged, but is more bang for the buck. Heavier, but not big bike heavy like liter plus bikes.

Ride the 400 and 650 and see what condition they are really in, what controls and brakes feel like and go for it.

Hope that helps.
Yes, that was very helpful information thanks. I was wondering the main differences between the Suzuki models before.
I looked at pics for the brakes. The Suzuki 650 has the front and rear discs. 750 has front discs, and rear drum. Honda does have a front disc option so that is good.

they all have the non spokes rims.
there like an old mag look is how I’d describe them. See lots of them on these types of bikes.
So they can go tubeless?

Now it’s Between the Suzuki 650 and the Honda 400.
I think the Honda being light is a plus for an easy fun bike. And it’s clean and has the front disc.

I agree with you on the resale on the Honda. For a cafe bike, or beginner bike it’s perfect. I looked at pics of it as a cafe after you mentioned it. I think it makes one of the better looking cafe bikes, It transforms well.

But the Suzuki might be a keeper. it looks really clean, and I doubt I would out grow the motor.
It’s nice enough I would invest a little money Into it for suspension/ cosmetic etc.

So like you were just saying, I need to feel them out. Best part is there both fairly inexpensive.

Thanks again that helped a lot.
 
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