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 Price Opinion 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 2:59 pm
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Post Price Opinion
Hello all,
I own a Suzuki GZ250 and want something just a little bigger so I'm thinking of purchasing a 2004 Vulcan 500 with only 116 miles on it. It runs and the cab has just been cleaned. He is asking $2500 for it. What do you guys think about that price? Is it fair? Thanks for any advise!!
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Tue May 19, 2015 3:10 pm
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Location: Toledo Ohio
Post Re: Price Opinion
First I'd instantly subtract 300 dollars for new tires. Motorcycle tires that are 11-12 years old if not dry-rotted will be hard and dangerous to use IMHO. After about 5-6 years the rubber hardens and the tires become less grippy especially on damp/wet pavement. After the second time my front tire slipped sideways while turning on damp pavement I decided to put new rubber on before I went down! I wasn't turning aggressively either. I think my tires were 5 years old at that point.

I find that low of mileage with the bikes age highly suspect. Did the seller purchase it brand new? It would be very easy to buy a speedo from a salvaged vehicle with low miles and swap it out. It might be a good idea to do a vin check. I've never used this site but a quick google search brought up http://vinfreecheck.com/motorcycle-vin-check I'm sure there are probably better vin check services out there. If it truly only has 116 miles there should be practically no wear on the front rotor and brake pads. I would think you'd be able to look down from the top and see plenty of brake pad plus the groove that goes down the middle of it.

KBB says $2,110 for retail price on a 2004 (at least for my zip code). With motorcycles that old though value can be highly subjective to how the bike was maintained and stored. It's hard to tell from just a picture. If everything is legitimate with the bike and it's otherwise pristine, $2500 isn't unreasonable but a little high IMHO. If I were buying the bike I would probably offer at most $2000 for it since I'd be replacing the tires first thing.

Another thought I just had. With a bike that has been sitting for so long. Carefully inspect the area of the fork that the fork seal slides across for any pitting/corrosion of the chrome. I can tell you from experience that any pitting no matter how small will shred the fork seals in short order. You will either be replacing fork seals every few hundred miles or spend over $300 in just parts to replace the inner fork tubes to fix it right. I learned this lesson the hard way when buying a 10+ year old bike.

If you do buy it, change the oil when you get it home. Who knows when or should I say if it's ever been changed.

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Wed May 20, 2015 1:34 pm
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Price Opinion
A bike enthusiast bought it from someone who bought it new, rode it for a bit and then put it away in a garage. The now owner resurfaced the inside of the gas tank since it had old gas in it. He has changed all fluids and the tires are new. I did look at it and it looks brand new but the big reason I didn't buy it is because it would sputter a bit when accelerating and at high rpms. He had to buy a new carb for it so my thought is that it has a mixture issue.
What do you think would cause the sputter? I otherwise liked the bike but idk if I want to put the time in to fix the sputter if nessisary. I didn't look at the forks but it felt smooth while riding it. I told him I'll think about it. He doesn't want to budge on the price cause he says that he is just trying to break even. I might be able to get it for $2200 if no one else buys it. What do you think? Thanks!


Fri May 22, 2015 3:11 am
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Location: Toledo Ohio
Post Re: Price Opinion
It is normal on an en500 for the bike to stumble and have a flat spot when accelerating after sitting for so long. If it's just varnish from gas evaporating in the carb it usually clears up after a few tanks of gas. I would suspect this bike may have corrosion in the carbs especially since the gas tank had corrosion issues. In my experience in this case (I just went thru this with a ls650) that the carb has to be disassembled and the corrosion cleaned and all jets replaced with new. Then it will run like new!
I personally would shy from anything bike that needed a rust fix coating applied to the inside of the tank. I've heard too many horror stories of the coating breaking up causing carb issues.

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Mon May 25, 2015 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Price Opinion
I just reread your post. A "new" carb should not have any issues if it has the proper jets in it. I assume "new" means used off ebay since an actual new one is ludicrously expensive. I'm not sure what you mean by sputtering at high RPMs. If you mean at full throttle, I've never heard of an EN500 doing this.

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Last edited by Triangles on Tue May 26, 2015 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mon May 25, 2015 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Price Opinion
If you do buy this bike see if he will give you the old carbs for free. They might be worth tinkering with. Also you can check when the tires were manufactured. It's encoded into the DOT information on the tire. It's usually in the form of WWXX where WW= week manufactured and XX=year. I have seen it be only 3 characters for '09 and older where the 0 is dropped from the code. eg. 449 = 44th week of '09.

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Tue May 26, 2015 4:18 am
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Post Re: Price Opinion
Tomcat13t wrote:
Hello all,
I own a Suzuki GZ250 and want something just a little bigger so I'm thinking of purchasing a 2004 Vulcan 500 with only 116 miles on it. It runs and the cab has just been cleaned. He is asking $2500 for it. What do you guys think about that price? Is it fair? Thanks for any advise!!
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Hi, from Canada,in November we bought a 2005, with 5400 miles for $2600 can. and a 2007 with 4300 miles for $2600 can. And yes thats miles not Km, mine is an american bike, I converted :lol: Both were in great shape, although mine is better, guy scared the pants off himself and wife said gone, the other a young woman, moving province and new baby, we think we did well, both passed safeties here in Ontario, no problem, I agree tires, bigger expense, thank things I worried about, brake pads etc. Love the way both of these started cold, goodluck, just saying what we paid for ours, Happy Happy, although first lightening and rain storm last in dark, got home at midnight had a small scotch and all is well, rookie gaining experience everyday. Love my vulcan (Belle)
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Sun May 31, 2015 4:57 pm
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