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What I'm looking at is a Bobbed 1981 CX500.

I've been wanting to get a motorcycle for quite some time, but have only been seriously looking to buy for a few weeks. I wouldn't be opposed to something a bit newer or sportier, but I also really dig the look and style of certain bobbers. This one currently has 16,000 miles and the seller was asking $1500. The lowest they're willing to go is $1450.
I like the idea of having a bike I can get my hands into and learn the maintenance, but I'm concerned about the age, and I don't feel I know enough to determine whether this is a reasonable price to pay or not. Also, I don't know if this makes any difference, but apparently the seller buys older bikes regularly to bob them and then sell them.
What do you think? I'm open to any advice.

https://imgur.com/a/S5qpI
 

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It looks good like it was converted nicely... Don't know much about bobbing... Book value is 900 to 1400 on that make/year... plus or minus your local amount... Ask the seller if he did anything major to the engine... in 15,000 or so more miles it would possibly need a new cam chain, the mechanical water pump seal and the stator should be done with that as these are engine out items so you save doing the three at once (called the triple bypass on here). If these were done that's a big plus. You can use a dental mirror to inspect the cam chain. Otherwise keep good oil changes and these engines go a long, long time... 100,000 and more... Look at the DOT stamp number to see how old the tires are, keep them under 7...

If you like it, the CX look, this is a very unique engine and this forum has a ton of great people, there is a kinda cult following for these machines. They are popular to cafe, bob, restore, or whatever else one desires... You wont go wrong with a CX...
 

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At 15,000 miles as long as the speedometer is correct it shouldn't need anything related to a triple bypass. That would be something more for a 45,000-50,000 mile bike. But if anything did go wrong that involved engine out it's well worth replacing that stuff to know it's done.

Unless you really like that bobbed bike and it's reasonably price in your area I wouldn't buy it. Nothing on it screams being special besides maybe the paint. The exhaust looks like someone added 12 inches to the stock pipes and hopefully slip in mufflers. The frame looks chopped behind the shocks and that's easy to do with a welder along with the seat looking like someone just folded over a lump of vinyl.
 

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I just mentioned that if it was done, that would be a big factor in the sales price... and if it wasn't done that its roughly/nearly half way to it... and that those are the only big items to do on the motor...
 

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Whatever he does just remember the there are a lot of sellers that lie. If they say they did work on the engine the gaskets better look new which in most cases means they're green.

An example is if a person says they did carb work on the bike and they didn't use an ultra sonic most likely the carbs aren't clean.

Just like if they say the tires are just like new if they aren't under 5 years old they are expired for safety concerns. And yes I've seen new tires from cx's with low mileage that looked to have all their tread. And they were junk.

Just ask questions and if you get a feeling that the person is full of it or a hack use your discretion.
 

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Whatever he does just remember the there are a lot of sellers that lie. If they say they did work on the engine the gaskets better look new which in most cases means they're green.

An example is if a person says they did carb work on the bike and they didn't use an ultra sonic most likely the carbs aren't clean.

Just like if they say the tires are just like new if they aren't under 5 years old they are expired for safety concerns. And yes I've seen new tires from cx's with low mileage that looked to have all their tread. And they were junk.

Just ask questions and if you get a feeling that the person is full of it or a hack use your discretion.
I agree 100%. If they can not show me receipts, I figure it's a lie... and not the kind of receipt you can forge easily... I keep all my receipts and create maintenance records in books for all my cycles (and cars)... I pull out one of my record books for a car or motorcycle that I'm selling and the prospective buyers usually always meet my price happily... I'm an anal retired pilot, so I log everything I do to anything... every drop of gas, every tank, oil, washer fluid, whatever...
 

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Unless you can take apart a bike, fix it, and put it back together, you should buy a nice clean, un-modded one.
 

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That is not a bike for a beginner,IMO. Don't let "eye-appeal" blind you to actually riding it. I actually wouldn't say a GL/CX is an "ideal" "beginners" bike although they are good bikes all around and it's not the worst choice for a first in its stock form

... I mean, look at that seat! .... and where are the turn signals? Nice paint if it doesn't wash off with gasoline. More experience on your part required, I think
 

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Depending on what state you are from, that bike may not even be road legal, with the turn-signals and mufflers missing. Lord only knows what other modifications he's made to that thing. It's obviously intended to be used for racing, so there's no telling what state the internals will be in.

I'd steer clear, unless you intend to strip it and rebuild from the ground up. For your first bike, don't buy anything you can't put your hands on and take for a test ride.
 
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