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Is this bike worth 1900?

  • Not worth it.

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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All!
I've been debating getting a bike for the past month or so and have stumbled upon the CL's in my search for a cheaper, scrambler style bike. I've done a lot of reading and it seems that these bikes are great, but the experience depends on it's history and how well they have been taken care of. I am not opposed to working on the bike myself (have no experience working on motorcyles, but am handy and enjoy small projects), but I do not have a garage and would be presumably renting garage space or just working in the backyard on nice days. That being said I would like the bike I get to not need immediate work, and this bike I found seems to be sound mechanically. I am just looking for a bike to ride around town and to work on nice days with the occasional trip out to the country. Was originally considering one of the new Honda Monkeys, but I think I want a little more power for increased range and occasional highway riding. I am going to go look at it on Friday, but wanted some veteran eyes to take a look. Also wondering if price-wise this is decent.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2095180804133046
Below is the text from the owner when asked to tell me about the bike and what has been done to it.

Not the original owner I just bought it earlier this summer from a guy who had it for 10 years, before that it's not clear how many owners that have been I do know at one point in time somebody down at SIU Carbondale had it stickered in 1982 I believe so other than that it's only got 80 about 8700 original miles on it runs well when I got it it was a little rough some dry rot tires and some some lines and whatnot so friend of mine that works on small engines and bikes and I replaced all the lines and filters that needed to be replaced I think we haven't replaced the clutch cables and brake cables that they're still okay they just don't look great. it rides fine, I just have cancer and I'm not able to stay out and on it very long without having problems, so I thought I'd be able to ride it around the neighborhood and what not but even that's a challenge for me these days. And there's no reason for me to keep it if I'm not getting any better which unfortunately is the case.

He also sent me a walk around video of the bike, linked here:


Any advice on what I need to look for would also be appreciated :)
 

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.........I am not opposed to working on the bike myself..........
That's a good thing with any vintage bike, because you WILL get to work on it, most likely.

That said, it looks like an exceptionally clean K5.
$1900 is approaching the top end, IMO. He may have to wait a while to get that - depending on your location.
Prices tend to be higher in Kalifornia and on both coasts, lower in the midwest.
 

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That's a good thing with any vintage bike, because you WILL get to work on it, most likely.

That said, it looks like an exceptionally clean K5.
$1900 is approaching the top end, IMO. He may have to wait a while to get that - depending on your location.
Prices tend to be higher in Kalifornia and on both coasts, lower in the midwest.
Thanks for the response! We are in the midwest and he has had it on the market for two months. I would have to drive about 2 hours to go get it so I think I am gonna see if he is willing to budge a couple hundred bucks to accommodate my travel time and the fact I'll probably be swapping the brake and clutch cables if they look as bad as he is indicating.
 

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The paint and chrome headlight ears say this is a 1973 CL350K5, not '71. That said this is a very nice clean original bike. $1900 is a very decent price for it. Notice that the bar levers have the black rubber ends on them? Those are original and get destroyed when a bike gets laid down, so I'd say this bike has never been laid down while riding. I'd buy in a heart beat.
 

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If this is the bike you want I wouldn't hesitate to buy. Great original shape, I'd say 19 is a fair price for what you're getting. Don't ask him to come down just because you have to drive a bit to get it, not his problem. I think you'd both be happy right around 1750
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If this is the bike you want I wouldn't hesitate to buy. Great original shape, I'd say 19 is a fair price for what you're getting. Don't ask him to come down just because you have to drive a bit to get it, not his problem. I think you'd both be happy right around 1750
You were right on the 1750! Seller said he'd part with her for that as long as I don't turn it into a cafe racer :p I assured him I would never due that to such a pretty bike haha. Do any of you have tips of what I should look for when I go see it Friday? Also should I be concerned not being able to ride it? I don't feel comfortable as a beginner, so I will see if the owner can do a few laps shifting through the gears for me and then have my brother-in-law whose experienced working on motorcycles check it out for me when I bring it home.
 

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Try to get your brother in law to go with you if you can. Usually you can judge a bike pretty well based on the character of the seller. Trust your gut. It looks in great condition, just keep an eye out for leaks, strange sounds, stripped bolts, cracked rubber and anything that appears to have been messed with. 1750 is a nice deal on that bike for sure. Congrats.
 

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Try to get your brother in law to go with you if you can. Usually you can judge a bike pretty well based on the character of the seller. Trust your gut. It looks in great condition, just keep an eye out for leaks, strange sounds, stripped bolts, cracked rubber and anything that appears to have been messed with. 1750 is a nice deal on that bike for sure. Congrats.
He is 6 hours away unfortunately. Headed to my hometown for Labor Day though so I'll trailer it to him.
 

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You could easily put $1900 into a bike you bought for $500 so I'd say go for it.
 

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Well what a **** show this trip was. Rented a uhaul trailer thinking I was definitely gonna get this bike. Showed up and the guy wasn’t home. Neighbor said he went to put some gas in it, which pissed me off cause I thought he drove it and wanted to see a cold start. So we drove down to the gas station to see it and catch up with him towing it on a trailer. Follow him back to his place and a bout a half mile from his house he hits a bump and the bike topples. Gas tank slams against the wheel well and gets a crease in it. Tears the seat. Apparently the guy hadn’t started it since July and it wouldn’t start this morning. He said it’s been a pain the whole time he’s had fit. Complained about the carbs and having to hit the engine to get it going. Back wheel was old as the new rim had loose spikes. The body looked great, but engine was leaky. Said he was done with it. Probably would have given it to me for a couple hundred, but I’m not interested in a project bike. Anyone wants one should get in contact with the guy. Now I get to tow a trailer across three states all weekend. Yay.
 

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Oh man. That's really something else. I'll have a few beers for you later.
 

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I didnt catch what part of the midwest your are in? The bigger shame is, depending on where you are , you could have went to the big swap meet in davenport Ia and found something there.

No one mentioned it already, all of the problems you encountered is super common with used bikes. I dont know why, but people selling them usually dont disclose all the problems it has until you show up and find them in person. I have found this to be true virtually 100% of the time.
 

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Here's a couple of "hard rules" I have when buying a vintage bike. 1. Never have someone deliver it part way or all the way. Go get it yourself with proper conveyance. I had a similar case of a bike dropped damaging parts I couldn't find for a couple of years. He wouldn't budge on the previously agreed on price either. Some people have no safe method of hauling or lack the knowledge of properly tying down a bike. 2. If they say they haven't started it yet (usually a flipper) tell them not to attempt to run it or you won't buy it. It's more likely they will damage something in the process that will cost you more money than the risk of buying a non-running bike. Likely damage could be anything from breaking side cover tabs to burning up wiring or worse yet, not realizing it needs injection oil etc. I buy a lot of bikes and there are enough idiots out there that you need to protect yourself from.
 
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