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Discussion Starter #1
A few years back, browsing craigslist, one could find gems in need of restore and TLC for decent prices. Particularly stuff like CB750s (both SOHC and DOHC), Nighthawks of all sizes, KZs, Yamaha Maxims and Secas, even the odd XS650 in that sweet $500-$750 range, but no longer!

I mean come on guys, a Nighthawk of any size, or an XS650 (particularly ones all chopped up and not stock anymore), is not exactly a "rare bike". Now though I'm not seeing even 70's CB550 4s for under 3K. I have yet to see an XS650 of any condition this year for under $5000.

I've found a few deals on bikes that run but need work, but generally only the most common vanilla Honda offerings. People just want insane money for old Japanese stuff. If I'm gonna spend several grand, I'm gonna get a Harley (much as I resist) because at least it has value and rebuildability.

THese old JApanese machines though are my favorite, and I like finding examples that sat and can be made to run, but I'm not spending multiple thousands on a bike that isn't even rare, even if it's vintage. People are crazy these days.

Sorry, just broke and bummed. Can't complain too much though, My 1985 Nighthawk 450 I ride was free, just needed a battery and tires.

/rant
 

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The vintage craze has been gaining momentum for a few years now and I got re-involved a little later than I wish I had - and I was one of those who had to pay $1900 for a good used 450 just 2 years ago. If I had started this project a couple years sooner, I'd have saved some significant money on both the purchase and the parts I bought as well
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The XS650 fad is the worse IMO
I now see ads like this on CL daily

https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/mcy/d/1972-yamaha-xs650-modified/6732000817.html


Ask yourself this. Why spend $7500 on this bike when you can have nice classic Norton for less

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/mcy/d/1975-norton-850-commando/6730055371.html
That is a RUINED XS650 IMO. I just want a rustbucket XS650, always have, but a good KZ750 Twin would do too, just a big twin road bike with an old fashione kickstarter. I don't wanna get all crazy and make a bobber, just a stock rusbucket would do. My only plans might be some semi ape bars and cables to make it work, but no way I'd hard tail or chop that frame up, sacririlige IMO!

I'll be admned if I'm gonna pay over a grand for a common old Japanese machine, that parts can be hard to find for. I guess I will have to wait for the hipsters to give up on vintage Japanese, or get lucky.

I do have an '81 XS850 Triple just picked up at a junkyard. Cool bike, but needs some work to run, but I got an extra couple engines and TONS of parts if anyone is looking.

I actually have a 1974 Yamaha TX500A as well needs some work (think XS500 before the official name and without the squared tanks and panels), but cool bikes but not the XS650 I want. If anyone would be interested in a TX swap for a projext 650 LMK, Engine has 10K turns over fine (never run since I've had it though) and is only missing the points cover (though it may be findable) and of course, no DOL record.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I see a fair amount of CB's in good shape under 3k and some have been for sale for quite a while. You can ask any price you want but you gotta find someone willing to pony up for it.
Yeah thing is, I still see enough Nihgthawk 550 and 650s for under 2K, that's what I'd get if I was buying a runner. Common bikes, but plenty of power, reliability and damn near maintenence free. I had a 700S, though I didn't like the sportbike wheels, great on hghway at speed, but I prefer more standard geometry. A 650 NIghthawk would be idea. Plus I love the nighthak line and if I ever have my little way I will own one of each model someday. Got the 450 for now ( my second, though I suspect I may have owned same bike before).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I actually saw an 82 Bonneville for fairly reasonable money (or so I would think, around 2K), are those hard to find parts for? (I imagine very?) It was a runner, but from all I've read, they're nowhere near as reliable as similar year Japanese machines. I don't mind working on my bike, but I wanna ride it without isses msot of the time, and I certainly don't wanna have to have parts machined.

If I was to go non Japanese, I think Triumphs appeal to me more than Harleys.
 

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I actually saw an 82 Bonneville for fairly reasonable money (or so I would think, around 2K), are those hard to find parts for? (I imagine very?) It was a runner, but from all I've read, they're nowhere near as reliable as similar year Japanese machines. I don't mind working on my bike, but I wanna ride it without isses msot of the time, and I certainly don't wanna have to have parts machined.

If I was to go non Japanese, I think Triumphs appeal to me more than Harleys.
The older Bonneville's are no worse than XS650 as far as parts availability.

And I'm not much into Harleys either, just don't really like the look of most of their bikes, especially the newer ones.
How THIS however would be a nice HD to have

 

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I bought my xs650 10 years ago for $400,all it needed to run was battery and gas,no missing/chopped parts.:)
 

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I started with Triumphs.. progressed to Harley's then hondas and funny now back to Triumphs..
vintage Triumphs are fun but be prepared to deal with issues!!! Every day I work on my wife's cb450 I am always amazed as to the workmanship and attention to detail to even the smallest details. As for Triumphs... 180 degree difference! AND carful as to the year of the motor 67 was a "bastard" year (like VW)...most parts are interchangeable but some are year spacific. also, TOOLS! Harley=standard Honda=Metric. Triumph=Whitworth.. that INCLUDEDS threads also!
I think 70 or 71is when they were changed from Whitworth.. now your looking at transmission changes 4 to 5 speed then later from right side to left side shifting a few years later...
I had looked through a magazine.. saw a triumph bobber, looked online and was hooked!! I discovered all the nueances of the bike the hard way!
Dan Patterson of "Angry Monkey Motorcycles" builds some BEAUTIFUL "handbuilt English deathtraps".. I'm in the process of building a 56 pre-unit "tribute" bike similar to his builds..
Oh another point.. yes, you can get some Triumphs reasonaly cheap.. but if your lookikg at a Pre-Unit build...your gonna need a few piggy banks.. they make hondas look "affordable"..
Sportsers on the other hand seem to be plentiful and dropping in price bigtime
 

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I watch CL closely.. I occasionally see some nice deals. I grabbed a CL175 for $300 earlier this month. I saw a 76 750 in ok shape with title, for $200 last week. I also saw an sohc 750 chopper (no title) for FREE last week. There are definitely deals. I can't tell you how many bikes I've passed on because I didn't have time to do the work or even pick it up. about 6 months ago I passed on a nice low mile CB175 for $800.. my friend got it and did some work and sold it for $2,400.

The only model that I rarely seem to see deals on are 400's and 550's. I recently had the chance to pick up a 350f and 400f package deal for $75.. but passed because it was above my skill to restore them. I also saw a 550 in purple asking $2,000 a few months back that I'm kicking myself for not buying now.. and another 550 in emerald green asking $1,700 I saw the year before that.. Two summers ago there was an old guy with a 74 750 in sunburst orange with all sorts of cool period mods, like a genuine aftermarket seat, (can't remember the name but its the desirable one). He wouldn't sell it to anyone who he didn't like... he was only asking $2,500. I always regret the ones I don't buy.

Anyways I guess the point is that the deals are out there, you just have to be diligent. If you're reading this and still thinking the prices sound high.. well there's inflation, and then the market I'm in. If you're 250 miles out of OKC and a pack of smokes is $3, we live in different worlds.

A CB200 that was asking $1000
00707_cX8y3vkuM1z_600x450.jpg
A CB450 I got for $600
IMG_6275.jpg
The CB175 I passed on
00m0m_kNDrAoZXUe4_600x450.jpg
The $75 package deal I passed on
IMG_6635.JPG
The $300 CL I just bought
IMG_7115.jpg
A fairly nice CL that is still for sale asking $700 but the guy is a tool and difficult to communicate with
00i0i_l0WM24I767D_1200x900.jpg
A 350f that was asking $1,500 and had a "cold cylinder"
00o0o_cKzXF2ARVSM_1200x900.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well my 1985 CB450SC Nighthawk, was free, just needed tired and a battery (still needs a chain gaurd) and licensed. Still riding the bald back tire (I know!) but only locally and I am kinda crazy like that, plus over 25 years MC experince plus been on bicycles since I was 5, so kinda a prodigy on two wheels. Just have to do things as I can afford.

43880413_10217891146420016_9040728556887343104_n.jpg

The XS850 looks like a fun project, but some few missing parts, nothing should be too hard to find. Got two seem to be good engines and one dead.
 

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Seems to be an abundance of Hondas in the Seattle area.. I've seen some nice "deals" but shipping cross country kinda kills the deal.
 

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Yeah, the old Harley K model is a nice bike, simple, basic and classic with a great look. the northwest must have a ton of older Hondas still around from all the stuff you guys find on CL up there... not that way here, you find more of the next-to-junk bikes that guys want top vintage dollars for

and the V65 above just confirms what I mean... I bought my V65 exactly 5 years ago here, not original paint and nowhere near as nice as that one looks, for $2300 and it was one of only 3 I could find in the area
 

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I'll be admned if I'm gonna pay over a grand for a common old Japanese machine, that parts can be hard to find for. I guess I will have to wait for the hipsters to give up on vintage Japanese, or get lucky.
The only problem with waiting the hipsters out is that all of the bikes will have cut up frames, no fenders, and no original parts.
 
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