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Discussion Starter #1
First off, Hello all. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to ride (and own) motorcycles. My parents were never okay with idea, well I at the ripe age of 20 years old I decided that I was ready. Over the summer I got my license through the MSF and then had some financial set backs, then I had recently had money left over form my student loan and have been working while attending my local CC (I work at KTM N.A :D) I talked to my folks, while still not okay with it they have come to terms with my passion, and I bought a 81' Cx500 C.

She cost me $550 + $50 for the delivery charge (he offered and I gladly accepted). She is being dropped off tomorrow so Ill post some pictures. I feel I got a pretty good deal, she runs, all electricals works (minus there being no battery, we jumped it), it started on the 3rd try with the choke (it's cold up here in Ohio), I have yet to test drive it, but he claims it shifts and drives pretty well, The front brake does not work (he is not sure why so he drained it), Tachs do not work (except the temp gauge), the dash lights work, tires are a bit rough, but they're from '06, gas tank looks pretty decent, forks don't leak and didn't seem dead when I pushed down on them, it revves and goes back to idle quick and smooth I will be turning her into a cafe/brat kinda thing. that's all I can think of right now..


Now my question is, besides messing around with it and probably taking it for a quick spin around the block. What is my first step about maintenance? I was probably going to order a battery, bars. then diagnose the front brake and then order the parts for that. I do have a cousin that is a Harley tech + a floor supervisor/manger or something, and a friend who's whole family rides and does his own maintenance. He suggested I change spark plugs and oil and look into a carb rebuild kit.


I apologize for the text blocks and if I forgot anything. Also thanks for reading, any advice, and for letting my look through all the past posts so it's easier on me :D and yes that's my puppy!
 

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I'd go here
Factory Service Manual - CXGL
and just start with a tuneup/routine maintenance pages to get used to where everything is and what tools are going to work.

The new wiki ain't quite done yet, but meanwhile ,there's a ton of stuff you can read up on beyond the manual.
 

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Depending on where you are in Ohio, there might be some forum members in your vicinity who could step up to help you out. One thing you'll discover is that these bikes are very durable and if the various old parts aren't actually broken, they can generally be fixed/renewed without spending a lot of money, especially if you can do the work yourself.

+1 with nolimitz on fixing the front brake as first priority!

PS Is that a beagle in your avatar?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Fix the front brake before you ride it round the block. Please
I'd just be going around quick ;) I live on a little side street, so I wouldn't be doing anything over 10 mph really.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Depending on where you are in Ohio, there might be some forum members in your vicinity who could step up to help you out. One thing you'll discover is that these bikes are very durable and if the various old parts aren't actually broken, they can generally be fixed/renewed without spending a lot of money, especially if you can do the work yourself.

+1 with nolimitz on fixing the front brake as first priority!

PS Is that a beagle in your avatar?
That's really cool, i'll remember that. Also he's a straight up mutt lady I originally got him from said he was a Lab/Collie Mix, as he has grown that has shown to not really be the case. He looks like a Beagle/Whippet/Collie/Lab Kind of mix. Here's another pic of him IMAG0232.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Id probably only go up and down the street, because it will be dark by the time I get home from work. Plus I live on a side street and with the no front brake I'd probably stay under 10
 

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Where are you in Ohio (out of curiousity)? I'm hoping to pick up my first bike (an 80 cx500) this weekend and I'm near Athens area. I just signed up here on the forum this week -- glad to see another buckeye getting a bike as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Where are you in Ohio (out of curiousity)? I'm hoping to pick up my first bike (an 80 cx500) this weekend and I'm near Athens area. I just signed up here on the forum this week -- glad to see another buckeye getting a bike as well.
Just outside of Cleveland. Got my bike from someone in Akron.
 

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Running without the battery is not good for the electrical system.
 

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Speaking of electrical systems, if you don't have one, get yourself a multimeter (volt, ohm, ammeter) from Harbor Freight or equivalent. Some of the first checks you'll need to make on the bike require electrical measurements, and you really can't live without a meter. Doesn't have to be an expensive one, Harbor Freight has them for something like $10-20.

You said you work at KTM US - would they let you borrow tools, or work on your bike in the shop? That could be very handy.
 

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Just outside of Cleveland. Got my bike from someone in Akron.
That may be good since Chilimac mentioned north eastern Ohio folks on here. I recently interviewed for a job and looked at moving to the Sandusky area, but it wasn't for me (the position - I've always liked the town). I'll be following the advice you get here as well, since I know very little about bikes at this point.

Brendon
 

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I will add REPLACE THE TIRES before you go anywhere on it. And I will repeat what was said about the front brake...you need more thn that rear drum to stop at any rate faster thsn "liesurely".
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Speaking of electrical systems, if you don't have one, get yourself a multimeter (volt, ohm, ammeter) from Harbor Freight or equivalent. Some of the first checks you'll need to make on the bike require electrical measurements, and you really can't live without a meter. Doesn't have to be an expensive one, Harbor Freight has them for something like $10-20.

You said you work at KTM US - would they let you borrow tools, or work on your bike in the shop? That could be very handy.

I have since gotten a battery and got the thing running, but I will defintley get a meter then. As for KTM I just work in the warehouse packaging parts :/.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I will add REPLACE THE TIRES before you go anywhere on it. And I will repeat what was said about the front brake...you need more thn that rear drum to stop at any rate faster thsn "liesurely".
Yeah I replaced the battery again today (got a dud the first time) rode it just down the street and back to check the shifting (all seems good). What would you recommend for tires? I tried looking around on here and couldnt really find much. I am going to try and do front brake diagnosis tomorrow and see if I can figure out why it's not working.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That may be good since Chilimac mentioned north eastern Ohio folks on here. I recently interviewed for a job and looked at moving to the Sandusky area, but it wasn't for me (the position - I've always liked the town). I'll be following the advice you get here as well, since I know very little about bikes at this point.

Brendon
Cool, well maybe we'll have to get a little group ride going in the summer/spring!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Running without the battery is not good for the electrical system.

I ended up not running it the other day, but have since (after a first dud-battery) gotten a battery. But thanks for the tip.
 

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Cool, well maybe we'll have to get a little group ride going in the summer/spring!
Mark your calendar for next August 7-19, when the 2015 edition of the Amish rally will take place near West Milton, PA. It would be a short and pleasant ride for you, and you'd meet a group of the forum's Usual Suspects. Just search this forum for "Amish" and you'll get several years' worth of threads. Some of us consider the Amish rally to be the twisted twins' answer to the notorious Sturgis rally for the Harley crowd. Amish is a lot more laid-back, and MUCH cheaper. And the crowd that attends is on the order of 20 old guys as opposed to 30,000 loonies at Sturgis.
 
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