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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Call me crazy...

but I'd really like to become a mechanic, and my first personal step to that is getting a fixer upper bike I can fix and then ride.

That bike would be my main one, until I find/fix another one I want to ride.

I have taken auto shop in high school for three years. It was arguably the best program in my area. Because they had us kids fixing actually broken vehicles, as opposed to having just test cars.

for a starter bike, I should probably go smaller (circa 250CC), so that it's harder to drop.

That being said, if I were looking for a fixer upper, what should I look for to fix if I plan on likely turning it for a big profit.

Sincerely, Reed J
 

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for a starter bike, I should probably go smaller (circa 250CC), so that it's harder to drop.

That being said, if I were looking for a fixer upper, what should I look for to fix if I plan on likely turning it for a big profit.
I think you need to clear up some basic misunderstandings first.

A smaller bike is not "harder to drop", it just causes less damage when you do (generally).

Second, your goal of "a big profit" isn't likely to happen unless you just get lucky.

And last, if you really want to ride, you should get a good running bike for that first and then look for a junker to work on.
 

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I think AloRaptor is right about flipping bikes. An extreme example is a 1974 Norton Commando rebuild by Peter Egan and written up in this years November Cycle World. The bike was free but six months later he had invested $5k and countless hours of hard work. A labor of love maybe but profitable I don't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think you need to clear up some basic misunderstandings first.

A smaller bike is not "harder to drop", it just causes less damage when you do (generally).

Second, your goal of "a big profit" isn't likely to happen unless you just get lucky.

And last, if you really want to ride, you should get a good running bike for that first and then look for a junker to work on.
Well, at this rate. Concidering the fact that I want to just learn, have fun and make some moeny let's call minimum wage a "big profit."

Also...

I think you need to clear up some basic misunderstandings first.

A smaller bike is not "harder to drop", it just causes less damage when you do (generally).

Second, your goal of "a big profit" isn't likely to happen unless you just get lucky.

And last, if you really want to ride, you should get a good running bike for that first and then look for a junker to work on.
From my experience, the average 250 CC is much easier to "man-handle" back upright if it's about to fall (of course, even this doesn't work in all situations). Whereas some 600 CC's even will be much harder to man-handle back up if they feel like they are falling. As I even discussed this with my riding instructor whom was a moto-cop fro many years in vancouver.

Second. Maybe I was mislead by this guy: (Sounds like a major part of his business is parting)


Lastly, I stand corrected. I hope to get a scooter :mad: in order to go around town at least, while I fix a motorcycle to ride later.
 

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I think you need to clear up some basic misunderstandings first.

A smaller bike is not "harder to drop", it just causes less damage when you do (generally).

Second, your goal of "a big profit" isn't likely to happen unless you just get lucky.

And last, if you really want to ride, you should get a good running bike for that first and then look for a junker to work on.
My sediments exactly. First things first. If I may recommend, just buy something you can ride and get your feet wet with for awhile. There are just as many shisters out there as there are good deals so go prepared to do business, but don't let your emotions get the best of you (if I may recommend). It might be worth the price of an experienced mechanic to look over the prospective purchase or buying your first bike from a reputable dealership to ride awhile first.

There are allot of very nice older bikes out there needing some TLC that can be had at very reasonable prices. That is something I've got on my bucket list down the road too...maybe buy an old V65 Magna or VT700 Shadow. I love those old cruisers and would like to fix one up some day. But folks still want allot for them...even in terrible condtion sometimes. Finding good parts and fixing them right...well, certainly no money to be made but the experience is often priceless.

Best of luck on whatever direction you decide though.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll have to look into it Larry.

there is a local shop that charges $100 to do a pre-buy inspection. but I'm not sure how good that inspection would do me for a fixer upper.

it'd be good to know what would be expensive to fix, but if the thing won't even run, it makes me wonder if they can even figure everything out!
 

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I'll have to look into it Larry.

there is a local shop that charges $100 to do a pre-buy inspection. but I'm not sure how good that inspection would do me for a fixer upper.

it'd be good to know what would be expensive to fix, but if the thing won't even run, it makes me wonder if they can even figure everything out!
I agree. For a fixer-upper probably not the best idea...but for your first bike to learn to ride on, worth every penny. It's not just the obvious stuff either...it's the safety things. Brakes, tires, steering head bearing, final drive (direct, belt, or chain), etc. that your inexperience may prove dangerous. Or rather, more dangerous than it needs to be. You'll be focusing on riding...last thing you need is to find out the rear brake is locking up (or not working at all). Or lose your rear tire while on a curve. I can think of many possibilities.

In any event, follow your conscience. Perhaps you can grab a friend with basic mechanical skills to go with you? Most of us buy motorcycles based on emotion. Having a level headed friend with some basic mechanical knowledge interested only in your safety might be worthwhile bringing. Just a thought.

Let us know how it goes.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In any event, follow your conscience. Perhaps you can grab a friend with basic mechanical skills to go with you? Most of us buy motorcycles based on emotion. Having a level headed friend with some basic mechanical knowledge interested only in your safety might be worthwhile bringing. Just a thought.
Larry
Well I took auto shop. I have already acknowledged the increased risk of not fixing something properly. Especially on a motorcycle.

I plan on going by the book with everything. Tire pressure, torquing bolts to just the right amount. You name it.

For me the concern is buying something that is already broken. Hopefully that'd be obvious (I.E. bent forks, etc).

In some way, my more immediate concern is getting the garage space, and then looking into what I need to know to not buy a bike that isn't owned by the seller.
 
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