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Old 03-16-2014, 06:04 PM   #1
Mustapha
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Question [Beginner] Fix old bike or buy a used CPO/new with $4k cash

For my first bike, I have $4k cash set aside this autumn. I have zero riding or mechanical experience other than changing my car's tires/air filter, however, I've signed up for an MSF course.

I have 3 options: 1) spend cash to buy a well-kept Suzuki TU250x, CBR250, or Ninja 250; 2) finance $5-6k for a new or CPO CBR300/Ninja 300; or 3) fix my brother's 03 CBR600 F4i. I'd love any advice from veteran owners with my budget and being a novice.

The issue with option #3 is I've no idea how much work the bike needs or its service history*. It has 22k miles and 2 previous owners who may have ridden it very hard. It looks old. If I could spend up to $1000 to overhaul it and make it like a well-maintained F4i, I would. However, I might be mistaking its dingy appearance with a need for an overhaul.

*I used to have a used European car. It became a money drain because everything in it was too worn, and it wasn't well maintained by previous owners. Mechanics said it wasn't worth overhauling. After buying a like-new CPO car, life's been better.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:17 PM   #2
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Invest your savings into a new motorcycle of your choice. It will be under warranty and you won't have to spend $$$$$$ to fix up an old bike if it fails. Technology changes every year, so why not take advantage of it. Just my 2 cents but I hope it helps.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:20 PM   #3
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Wait till winter and get double the bike for the money.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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Does the cpo come with an r2d2 unit?
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:29 PM   #5
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cbr 250 or ninja 250 sounds like the best option. Motorcycles in my opinion are luxury items, and I wouldn't ever finance one. the 600 is a old bike and its annoying to have a older bike sometimes that is more likely to have issues then a newer more maintained one.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:31 PM   #6
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the f4i is one of the most bulletproof sport bikes ever. IMO
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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With zero riding experience I would be certain riding it is for you before moving forward. On that note... If your brother is going to give you the f4i? haul it over to motorcycles unlimited and let them go over it for you . If it takes $1000 to have a reliable bike, why not? Save your money and get you something new later down the road. Or option 1, get plenty of ride time then get what you paid for it back.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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If it's free or super cheap, f4i and ignore cosmetics but fix/replace anything needed and/or take it to motorcycles unlimited to get checked out, f4i's will last forever if maintained. If not buy a good condition ninja 250/500/650 or sv 650 cash for well under 4k and spend the rest on quality gear.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:14 PM   #9
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Guy, getting a low cc bike will not teach you more than you can learn from a 600cc. It's like buying smalls shoes to grow into "quick"
I will say that it sounds like you're a responsible guy and you'd be at a better point buying new than dealing with headaches, ordering and researching parts which is time consuming and you'd still be at a disadvantage with the older .
Find a 2011-2012 new somewhere, you have almost 50% of a down, so it will be easy negotiating. Good luck with your purchase.

.. dont forget to take MSF, and ride for a month or 2, then sign up for a track day.
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:59 PM   #10
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If you want new save up and pay cash. DO NOT finance a bike.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your help. Motorcycles Unlimited is the kind of place I was looking for. If the F4i costs more than $1k to overhaul/service through them, I'll go with option #1 for the riding experience and reselling with little depreciation-loss.

I would disagree with you, Lucar. Nearly 75% of veteran riders have suggested a 250/500/650cc for me. I realize this issue gets beaten to death in every bike forum, but consensus says the smaller bikes teach you better fundamentals and limits. Motorcycles are dangerous in a country filled with texting, distracted drivers. 6-12 months on a smaller bike before progressing to a larger one may be expensive, but it will diminish the risk.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:05 PM   #12
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A smaller bike teaches you a lot about trusting tires, and counter steering. I'm faster on the 250 at the track most days. It has less mass so I can go faster through turns. Take your time to make a decision though. No need to rush your first purchase.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:10 PM   #13
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From the pics the F4i doesn't look bad.
Does it currently run?
Bring it by and I'll do a visual inspection and test drive at no charge and let you know if it's a viable option.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:16 PM   #14
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Another option might be to take your brothers bike, assuming he's giving it to you. Put the least money into you have to, to get it running and learn to ride on it a little. Maybe take the msf.
Then sell it, put the money with what you have saved. That should get you another thousand or so, then you should easily have enough to buy a decent new smaller bike or a good used larger one.
By then you might have a better feel for what you want.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:24 PM   #15
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You can find a good 250 with in your budget. Check local dealerships for a 2013 with no miles.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:01 PM   #16
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i would never go new for your first bike you can find a good bike for 2k easy and you wont feel as bad when you inevitably drop it
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
From the pics the F4i doesn't look bad.
Does it currently run?
Bring it by and I'll do a visual inspection and test drive at no charge and let you know if it's a viable option.
I appreciate your generous offer, Patrick. Yes, it runs. Unfortunately, your shop is 25 miles/35 minutes away from my house. After this week's MSF course, I'll remain wary of that distance with such a powerful bike. Perhaps I can arrange delivery of the bike to your shop or ask my brother to ride it for me. I hope to see you by the end of the month.

Last edited by Mustapha; 03-16-2014 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:49 PM   #18
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Where you at? I might be able to help get it there.
I'm in Pearland.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustapha View Post
I appreciate your generous offer, Patrick. Yes, it runs. Unfortunately, your shop is 25 miles/35 minutes away from my house. After this week's MSF course, I'll remain wary of that distance with such a powerful bike. Perhaps I can arrange delivery of the bike to your shop or ask my brother to ride it for me. I hope to see you by the end of the month.
Waiting to witness another rape...
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #20
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I'll solve your dilemma. I'll give you a grand for that F4i without even seeing the pictures or knowing it runs & you can put that towards whatever newer bike you want.
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