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Look at the sticker on the headstock (the part of the frame that holds the bearings that the fork rotates on); it will tell you the exact day Honda cranked it out. Square gauges? Late 70's. Round gauges? Not a CB650.



My first street bike: '71 CB350. Rode it through college (year round in Kansas), and had a blast. Totally pinned, it would indicate a buzzy, frantic 90 mph with my 180lb ass in a full tuck.



Caveats: I paid $350 for it ( a fair price for both buyer and seller), put in new points, plugs, and battery, and rode the snot out of it. Sold it after three years of oil tight, tireless service for $500. For comparison, my rommate's brand new Sportster (1998), leaked oil from day one. No worries, the mechanic said they all do that...



The drum brakes on old bikes suck. If you guys live in an urban area with intense traffic, get your wife a newer bike with real brakes. Honda Hawk, Kawasaki Zephyr 550 (watch for oil leaks), EX500, Buell Blast. Some great suggestions have already been made. Any of these (well, not the Hawk in San Francisco, nor the Blast), can regularly be found for under $2000 in decent shape. Just ride until you're bored, then step up a bit. I'm currently an MZ Skorpion Sport Cup with a 660cc single and plan to take a few more steps before GSXR1000.....



If you guys love the nostalgic look of the 70's faux Triumph Bonneville Japanese stuff, pay as little as possible, freshen the rubber and fluids, and have a great time, just at a mellow pace. All old bikes need are smooth, easy inputs and regular basic maintenance to remain trusty friends for years. Pass on a fixer-upper though; parts are rediculous for most.











 

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Bravo. Those seem to be fun, light, and cheap to run. Don't forget the MSF course....Everyone should do one at least once.
 
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