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Raj's Dilemma

Raj is facing what many newbies face; a percieved bargain. But is it?

This bike has a Kelly Blue Book value (average selling price, in perfect running order, at a dealership) of $2410. But this bike will need:

-Tires. Sure, there's lots of tread, and maybe the sidewalls aren't cracked, but you need to replace them. More than 5-6 years old=replace!

-Fluids. You need to replace them all. Dirty--even slightly dirty oil with 900 miles (assuming a break-in service)--motor oil has corrosive acids in it that break down internal surface parts and perform other mayhem. Brake fluid is no good after sitting two years, and I assume this is the original oil. Same with coolant and speedometer fluid.

Battery: It's a paperweight after two years, unless it was on a trickle charger.

Gas: you need to have the tank cleaned out and checked for rust. A good radiator shop can do this, but you need to drain the gas and dispose of it properly.

Clean and lube the chain, and all other lubrication points; lever pivots, brake caliper sliding pins, etc.

Title: Did he register it or register it Planned Non-Op (I don't know if that's just a California thing; it's $20 a year and it just keeps the bike on the books without legally registering it for use on public roads). If he just let the reg run our three years ago, you could be looking at $500 to register it.


Tires: $300 w/labor and tax

Service: $300 minimum

Battery: $40

Reg: $100-$500

We're looking at a grand plus whatever your friend wants. You can get a nice, clean, nice-running late-model EX500 for $2800-3500. He paid $6000 otd for the bike ten years ago; if he's like most first-owners, he'll squeal like a pig if you try to offer him KBB less refurbishment: $1500.

If he says OK to $1500, he is a friend doing you a nice favor. If not he's a greedy d%$# trying to take advantage of your newbie-ness (and you can't be a squid until you actually have a bike to ride!).

In any case, take the MSF course first and then make sure you fully understand what you are getting into with whatever bike you buy. The Ninja 500 is a great bike; that's a good choice.


Gabe Ets-Hokin

Senior Editor

[email protected]
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