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All you 1st gen riders - should I do it?


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Still waiting to get my '07 running right, just waiting on the rebuilt carbs.  Of course, that gives me time to be looking at things I probably shouldn't be looking at, like this!  For $1200, seems like a fair enough deal to try out the 1st gen for comparison.  Any thoughts on what to look or watch out for?  Of course, it looks too good to be true, so there's that....

1983.jpg

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If you have the extra scratch, I'd say go for it. I wouldn't go more than $1000.00 USD unless it is in really great shape as far the plastics go. The seat is a non issue. I'm sure I have one stashed somewhere. If the plastics are intact and not held together with duct tape and hope, everything else is fixable. I'm always leery of a PO that claims the carbs are "rebuilt", unless they are a long time member here or at XJbikes. com. Most riders have no idea what is actually involved with a carb rebuild.

If you've never ridden an 83 XVZ1200 in good mechanical condition, you are in for a treat! They have more power and jump off the line than most bikes half their weight. They handle like a dream at 100 mph and are darn nimble at parking lot speeds. If the seat height was 4" lower, they would be the perfect touring bike.

 

I have an '83, an '86 and an '06. I will say the '06 is more comfortable for me as a vertically deficient individual, but the '83 out performs the '86 and the '06 in every way mechanically.

Edited by luvmy40
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Thanks.  Yes, I've learned the hard way to leave the carbs to the pros!  (haha, no more carb work for me!).  The ad pics aren't the greatest, so hard to tell condition of plastics.  I see one area that has either scratches, cracks or just a light reflection.   I've reached out to the seller to get more info on the bike. 

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My wife hasn't exactly said no, she just asked how she's going to fit her car in the garage with two motorcycles.... Oh, I'll find a way. 

Just talked to the seller, came his way via a will.  It had been sitting since ~2007.  He took it to a local shop for the carb rebuild and new tires.  He did the brakes himself.    He said the battery light stays on, so needs the resistor mod (no big deal) and says the temp gauge runs right up to red before the fan kicks on.  I've read on other threads that is normal for an '83, yes?

He said the body plastics are in like new condition, no cracks.   Another picture showing the seat, etc in very good condition.

00z0z_2bgfgLW7X1Mz_0CI0t2_1200x900.jpg

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So, spent the last hour, or so, reading about 2nd gear and cracked frames on '83.   2nd gear thing kinda sucks but can live with that when it goes (if not already).  Is that more or less a sure thing & just a matter of time?  Any lucky '83 venture lottery winners out there who have not lost 2nd gear?  I'm guessing not, based on the nature of it.

Now, for the cracked frames.  That doesn't just kinda suck.  Don't think I could live with that.  How big of a problem was this?   I would not be looking at taking this bike on as a project. 

@cowpuc I know you're the guru of guru's on this bike and would love your take on the cracked frame issue. 

I suppose that if it came down to it and the frame cracked on me at some point, I've got a parts bike and could probably recover a good portion of my original purchase price, given the very good condition of the rest of the bike.

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You could make your money back just with the plastics if they are truly 100%.

My comment on the seat was based on the first pic which looks to me like the passenger seat cover was torn off. Must be something laying on it.

I still wouldn't trust the "rebuilt" carbs. They may be fine, but I've seen too many cases of the local bike shop doing a superficial clean up and maybe a bench sync and charging several hundred dollars for their "Rebuild".

My '83 still has second gear and a solid frame and she was beat when I got her. The odometer is around 50k miles now but after tearing the top end down at 30k and seeing that every valve was super tight, I'm thing the odometer was rolled over 100k. If I'm remembering correctly, the 2nd gear thing usually shows up around 60k mi. The frame is going to depend on storage and how much wet weather riding has been done.

All in all, if she starts easy, idles with no "choke", and doesn't bog or back fire WOT, AND the plastics are as good as claimed, I'd seriously consider it. They are one of the best bikes out their in their class.

Edited by luvmy40
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Personally, I'd jump on it.  Looks clean for a 83.  My 83, now has 46k miles, no second gear issue 🤞 yet, I've never touched the carbs or valves, and only ride it mostly 2-3 hr local leisure trips.  Lucky I am taller, so it actually fits me very well. I've considered upgrading but honestly can not find anything that rides like her.  Personally I am not a foot forward cruiser type, more a foot under rider type. Maybe ask for a copy of the shop bill, they might have made notes of recommended service. 

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I'll add this from owning 4 1st gens, one being an 84 MKI. When they are proper tuned, they should scare the crap out of you with how quick they are for a touring bike. I'd love to another 1200 for just my around town running around bike.

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Awesome,  Thanks for the responses and feedback!   This group is really amazing!

 

I'm oscillating between extreme excitement and extreme caution.  There are some things in the seller story that don't quite add up.  Like, he can't remember the name of the shop that did the carbs and he claims he put $3k into getting it running, but then the wife said no.  Ok, maybe that last part is completely feasible....  Seller also mentioned he doesn't ride, did some of the ancillary work (brakes, etc) himself and has basically let it set since he did all that.  

Its just over an hour away, so I'm searching out a reputable shop in the area that I can pay for a consult/inspection either before I make the trip or at the same time.

Edited by circa1968
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15 hours ago, circa1968 said:

My wife hasn't exactly said no, she just asked how she's going to fit her car in the garage with two motorcycles.... Oh, I'll find a way. 

Just talked to the seller, came his way via a will.  It had been sitting since ~2007.  He took it to a local shop for the carb rebuild and new tires.  He did the brakes himself.    He said the battery light stays on, so needs the resistor mod (no big deal) and says the temp gauge runs right up to red before the fan kicks on.  I've read on other threads that is normal for an '83, yes?

 

He said the body plastics are in like new condition, no cracks.   Another picture showing the seat, etc in very good condition.

00z0z_2bgfgLW7X1Mz_0CI0t2_1200x900.jpg

I have had my 89 since 2006 and it has never been stored inside the garage. It has its own landing pad of 24 x 30 patio stones with a vapor barrier under it ( before that I just parked it on a sheet of plastic). I cover the tires then put on the all weather cycle cover by Guardian. I also run out an extension and plug in my battery tender. Leaving garage available for other purposes.

With regards to second gear if it has failed, I would NOT consider it a deal breaker and turn my nose up at it because it. But I would maybe use it as a bargaining chip. I generally shift 1-3-5 when I am just riding in leisure mode anyway, using all 5 gears only when I want to really stretch that pony out to get up and move. I call it my sport mode.

312251232_20201228_132747(Small).jpg.b2eae26ea09db1f27a31c1fb5b76bf67.jpg

 

Edited by saddlebum
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A bike that old is going to have some issues that involve you working on it.  If you don't want to fix a few things, don't buy it.  Don't expect to buy an old bike like that and expect trouble free riding because it ain't going to happen at first.  It appears to be a great deal for the price if you want an 83.  

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12 minutes ago, BlueSky said:

A bike that old is going to have some issues that involve you working on it.  If you don't want to fix a few things, don't buy it.  Don't expect to buy an old bike like that and expect trouble free riding because it ain't going to happen at first.  It appears to be a great deal for the price if you want an 83.  

True enough but with only 27,000 miles on it (if that is honest millage) I cant really see it needing much short of brake hydraulic work and carb work if it sat for a long time. Either of which I would consider minor in the scheme of things. But then I do all my own work, It would be a bigger issue if you had to pay someone to do it. If it was a Canadian bike close to were I live I would seriously consider it.

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Things like fork seals, noisy speedometer, leaking clutch slave cylinder, corroded spark plug wires come to mind.  None of those are deal breaking but it would be prudent to do a compression test on the engine if one wanted to be more confident of the engine condition.  If I wanted an 83, I would buy the heck out of it!

Edited by BlueSky
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Yeah, I'm not under any impression that a 37 YO bike wouldn't need a variety of things, like you listed, to be taken care of in short order.  I can either handle those or handle paying for them.  My big concern is getting into something major as I don't want a big project.   I have spoken with a shop nearby the seller and they can do a thorough inspection and give me their assessment for a very reasonable price.

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When you look at the big picture of a riding season ...If your budget allows buy a good ready to go ride ....Only thing this once have spent the money , it may turn out to be a major investment  ..Can you then recover the cost ..either in a riding season that is worth the cost and it does not matter what the cost is ...Many of the earlier models with some repairs and if maintained can provide you with much the same enjoyment through out the season ...Yamaha over all the years has been building a great product .For myself I will have a total investment of $4000..and I know the bike is good to go . I have been able to recover my investment in that price range by selling it right around $3000..to.. $4000

Edited by larrydr
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When it comes to a "carb rebuild", even if it was done right, you do the rebuild and then store it improperly and it still needs a carb rebuild even if was only driven home from the shop. From what I have seen the only reason these things need a carb rebuild is cuz the owner does not know how to properly store it in the first place. A 3 year old carb rebuild is ZERO value.

 

The hard part is telling the owner that he wasted all the money he spent on the carb rebuild if he rode it home and parked it.

Edited by Flyinfool
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On 12/27/2020 at 6:38 PM, circa1968 said:

Still waiting to get my '07 running right, just waiting on the rebuilt carbs.  Of course, that gives me time to be looking at things I probably shouldn't be looking at, like this!  For $1200, seems like a fair enough deal to try out the 1st gen for comparison.  Any thoughts on what to look or watch out for?  Of course, it looks too good to be true, so there's that....

1983.jpg

 

21 hours ago, circa1968 said:

So, spent the last hour, or so, reading about 2nd gear and cracked frames on '83.   2nd gear thing kinda sucks but can live with that when it goes (if not already).  Is that more or less a sure thing & just a matter of time?  Any lucky '83 venture lottery winners out there who have not lost 2nd gear?  I'm guessing not, based on the nature of it.

Now, for the cracked frames.  That doesn't just kinda suck.  Don't think I could live with that.  How big of a problem was this?   I would not be looking at taking this bike on as a project. 

@cowpuc I know you're the guru of guru's on this bike and would love your take on the cracked frame issue. 

I suppose that if it came down to it and the frame cracked on me at some point, I've got a parts bike and could probably recover a good portion of my original purchase price, given the very good condition of the rest of the bike.

WOWZY WOW WOW WOW AND A DOUBLE WOWZY WOW WOW WOW,, THAT IS GORGEOUS!!! Hey Circ, a quick National search thru Craigslist shows that in Vacaville? If that is true,, I just drove right past it getting home from the kids LOL..  We got Birthdays coming up in January,, if I have time and you would like me too, once back out there I would be glad to take a peek for you. Been a longgggggggggggg time since my unskilled/untrained/amature eye seen one that clean. Noticing some things about it, I have a gut feeling you are looking at the real deal!!

Couple of things,, and this is just from my little bit of experience with the breed and because you asked,,, I would not be concerned with the frame UNLESS you see rusting in areas as a result of powerwashing. Your climate, assuming I am talking about a California bike, is just not conducive to such.  The tranny issue that @Condor mentions though,, yeahh,, Jack nailed it.. Like it or not,, all 83/84 and even some 85's WILL loose 2nd gear.  There was never a recall on 2nd as far as I know,, but what do I know LOL. I do know that, from my perspective,, I wouldnt care.. Quite frankly,, that breed did not need a 2nd gear.. Other concerns would be it probably has not had the updated Stator or Water Pump.. Those are both a must do. Also, concerning things that go bad just from sitting.. You WILL need to upgrade to Progressive fork springs IMHO.. I have personally seen those Ink Pen springs Mom Yam put in there OEM sack out just from sitting,, I know,, sounds nuts and it probably is just my luck but just being honest.  Lots of other stuff,, brake caliper pistons to clean up, fluids to swap and on and on.. Another thing that comes to mind from my restoration days,, you will want to get a chance to start it when it has sat for a couple days and listen carefully to the camshaft/top end right at start up. I have experienced several times Cams smudging in their journals due to not being pre-lubed after sitting for years and then being started up dry.  Oh man,, I could write an essay on this,, I wont bore you..

Anyway,, WOWZY WOW WOW WOW,, that is purdy... 

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Thanks for weighing in @cowpuc!!  Yes, its the Vacaville bike - now don't go buying it out from under me!  Haha!   Assuming it lived most its life near Vacaville, yes that's a pretty warm & dry climate so I'm feeling a little less concerned about the frame.  And not too terribly concerned about 2nd gear.   Was not aware of stator or water pump issues, but not feeling too afraid to tackle those.  Fork springs, yeah that makes sense, so I'm game for that too.  At this point, I'm just waiting to hear back from the seller to take the next step and go see it in person.

@Flyinfool, yep I'm assuming another carb rebuild will be in order, unfortunately.  Best case, I get the nice surprise that its not needed, at least not urgently. But in any case, I'm factoring that in.   If I'm ultimately into it for $2-3k and I have a super clean touring bike ready to rip, snort and roar for another 100k+ miles, I think I can live with that!

Cowpuc, if it works out, would love to have you stop in and check her out on your next trip through the area.  Heck, stop in and say hi, either way!

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 Dont gotta worry about me buying it out from under you brother,, my bike buying days are wayyyyyy gone. Cancer kicked me to the curb. Now if it were a 1967 C2 Big Block roadster Vette,,, well,, that may be a different story LOL.. Nahh,, I wouldnt do that either...

Where you at out there Circ? There are numerous club members in that area,, well,, within the State of California, that may be able to take a peek. Lots of them far more knowledgable than I.  Thanks for the invite though, if nothing more than to meet another club member and get a peek at such a pretty scoot!! 

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Sorry to hear about the C.  You're still kicking, so I'm hoping that means you've managed to kick it back.  I'm in San Jose.  Look forward to the opportunity to meet ya & other fellow Venturerider members.  I'm not much for the online social media stuff, shun it really, but this group is different.  I like it!

Well, seller stopped responding to me and the ad is deleted.  So, I guess someone smarter than me didn't dilly-dally around and jumped on it.  Win some, lose some.... Back to lovin' on the '07 baby girl!

Thanks for all the inputs, I know more about what to look for and watch for on the next one that comes along!

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