Aren't Craigslist bikes wonderful?!
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Thread: Aren't Craigslist bikes wonderful?!

  1. #1
    Junior Member Gremson's Avatar
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    Aren't Craigslist bikes wonderful?!

    About a month ago I bought a '73 CL350 from a a dude that said he went all through the bike, painted the frame, rebuilt the carbs, and brought it back to life.
    Being inexperienced I believed him and bought the bike thinking that aside from some less then fresh tires, I had a great vintage bike to learn how to maintain.
    After having the tires replaced, the mechanic told me that the wheels are slightly bent, but rideable. I should take care of that eventually, but it isn't terrible. However, my fork seals are shot and leaking oil. They need replacing as soon as possible... Great.
    Today, On my way to the shop to have the seals done, I found the left carb just dumping fuel out while running. I mean, a lot. I know you're supposed to shut off the petcock when it's not running, and I've been doing that. But that was a lot of gas... Awesome.
    Then after about a mile in I heard an intermittent whining sound. It could've been the car in front of me, but it wasn't. The starter decided to engage, and eventually would not shut off. Just constantly turning over. Bad solenoid? Hell if I know... add it to the list.
    Pair that with a speedometer that quit working last week, and a turn signal light that randomly decided to have the nut sheer off and dangle by the wires, I'm feeling some heavy regrets with my purchase.
    I knew that a vintage bike would require more maintenance than a newer one, but I wasn't prepared for it to stack up like this.
    It gets better, right?

    Sent from my SM-T337T using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Senior Member doode's Avatar
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    Don't worry, it does get better. The high point will be when your cam chain tensioner rollers disintegrate and you'll need to pop open the engine...
    Bill H likes this.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Gremson's Avatar
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    I don't even know what that means. I can hardly wait.

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    Senior Member JHunt90's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that man. I stopped taking the word of people when it comes to bike. I got burned twice. Maybe because I purchased both bikes online and couldn't see them in person.

    I have a cb750 with 4 pipes that are rusted through even though the sellwr told and promised me they were good. New exhaust oem exhaust can cost $4000+ while replicas around half.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
    1973 Honda Cl350

  6. #5
    Senior Member Zeek's Avatar
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    thinking that aside from some less then fresh tires, I had a great vintage bike to learn how to maintain.
    Yes, this is what you want to learn on
    Try not to take it to the shop for the small things...like fork seals
    By the time you get it the way you imagined it you'll be quite competent and ready to do it all again

  7. #6
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gremson View Post
    However, my fork seals are shot and leaking oil.
    On my way to the shop to have the seals done, I found the left carb just dumping fuel out while running.
    The starter decided to engage, and eventually would not shut off. Just constantly turning over. Bad solenoid? Hell if I know... add it to the list.
    Pair that with a speedometer that quit working last week, and a turn signal light that randomly decided to have the nut sheer off and dangle by the wires, I'm feeling some heavy regrets with my purchase.

    Sent from my SM-T337T using Tapatalk
    When you consider the number of decades the bike has survived through, this isn't uncommon at all. Fork seals usually need to be replaced during a normal period of ownership unless you only keep the bike a year or two, the fuel leaking may very well be a bad float in the carb and anything that old with carbs will always need attention unless it has been done already in the last few years and ridden regularly, speedo cables aren't real expensive and easy to replace (and the simplest, likeliest cause of that issue), the turn signal coming loose is probably the result of a half-ass re-assembly by the PO's quickie effort to re-sell the bike, and the starter issue could easily be the right handlebar switch in poor condition and the button making constant contact with the handlebar ground (may not be the solenoid). So much of this is to be expected, again, considering the bike's age. I wouldn't feel regrets at this point... I'd accept the challenge, since other than the fork seals what you've mentioned could take only a day or so of work to correct. Even the fork seals aren't overly difficult, just a procedural type of repair that you need to understand the construction of before getting into. Get the factory shop manual from someone here and tackle some of this stuff yourself - don't let the (potential) dealership hacks overcharge you for average to below-average repairs (remember, they know it's a vintage bike too and the markup could very well reflect that).
    J-T, texmish, Rizingson and 1 others like this.
    1973 CL450K5 Brat

  8. #7
    Senior Member Bill H's Avatar
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    I think most of us got stung at least once. I got shafted on the first cb77 I bought.I manged all the repairs my self and three years later sold it at a $200 profit.
    With the help from the folks on the forum you should try to repair it . What you learn may lead you to a great hobby.

    Bill

  9. #8
    Senior Member Rothafella's Avatar
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    Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage bike maintenance Gremson. If you are mechanically inclined, and patient, you can fix most of the issues you encounter yourself. I have paid for some projects, but also have learned a ton to do myself. It can be expensive to procure parts and tools to do some repairs, but once you get the bike running good it should be pretty reliable. I bought my 73 CL350 almost exactly 2 years ago and put about 4500 Miles on it since then (had around 10K when I bought it). It has needed minor attention numerous times and only recently required major attention. Best of luck getting things sorted out! Also, the Candy Panther Gold color, like your bike, was from 1972 I believe.
    Last edited by Rothafella; 04-21-2017 at 11:19 AM.
    1973 CL350 "Claudia"
    2006 SV650 "Sylvia"

  10. #9
    Supporting Member devilclown's Avatar
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    To be fair, none of these things may have been the sellers fault. If the bike wasnt completely restored from the frame up you will find that many, many things will go bad or are bad already. I bring bikes back to life all the time, but just as your seller, I dont completely rebuild them. I ride it for about a year, sell it and find another one. Maybe the difference is I push very heavily on the buyer the bikes age and what I have done to it and how much work owning one will be.

    Unless you paid well above fair market value, dont have regrets. Its all part of the fun owning a 40 - 50 year old bike, think of it as an ongoing learning experience/hobby. Taking it to the shop will cost you loads more than if you do it yourself. Plenty of free info and advise here in the forums.

  11. #10
    Senior Member 76TWIN's Avatar
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    I agree with what everyone has already stated on this thread. In addition to that, if you aren't willing to learn to work on the bike yourself then perhaps owning a vintage bike isn't for you. If you rely on the shops to do all your repairs and maintenance, it will get very expensive very quickly.

    Hell, I don't even trust most of the bike shops and mechanics I've talked with. Most bike shops don't know much about old bikes so...
    '76 CB500T Frankenbike

    Carpe narem.

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