Author Topic: Prospective owner with questions  (Read 548 times)

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Offline Erestyl

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Prospective owner with questions
« on: October 01, 2017, 12:06:42 am »
Hello everybody, first forum post here! I'm looking at a ZG1000 as a second bike, moving up from a Vulcan 500. My Vulcan was an excellent learning bike, but it had some hidden maintenance issues (never had a valve adjustment in 56,000 miles  :-[) but when they asked $1000 for repairs, I turned to Craigslist.

I found this: https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/mcy/d/2002-kawasaki-concours-only/6316996639.html. A 2002 model with 27,000 miles on it. I met with the owner this morning and test rode it around a few city blocks, and I was impressed with the model but something felt off about it. It also had some issues, like a bald rear tire, bubbling paint below the fuel tank, and the engine just... sounded weird. I'd never heard the sound of a Concours engine before but it sounded off. I insisted on an inspection and he declined, saying he had four other people interested in buying it and it would be a waste of time. He also didn't have any maintenance records for it and wasn't aware that hydrolock was an issue with Concourses. Well, I'm glad I held off because this afternoon I saw this one:

https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/mcy/d/1992-kawasaki-concours/6323353459.html. 1992 with 42,000 miles. Immediately when I saw it I could tell it's been better maintained. The engine sounds like the recordings I listened to in between, sounds smooth, and after some conversation with the owner I learned that he bought it from a buddy of his who bought it from a buddy of his, had been kept inside 100% of the time, never hydrolocked, never been dropped, and been well maintained. The only issue I could find with it was a patch on the tank where a hole had been welded shut, apparently from a collision (Presumably with a stationary object, because there was no sign of other crash damage). I asked about rust and he said that it had begun to rust on the outside after the collision scraped the paint off, but never had an issue on the inside. He suggested replacing the tank eventually. Other than that, everything appeared to be perfect. He didn't let me test ride it, but I thought that was understandable because we were in the country (high speed limits) and it was raining. Side note, I think the 1992 paint is far more attractive than the 2002 and everything else being equal, I'd get this one just for that reason.

Things I inspected:
  • No cracks on or around the foot pegs to indicate being dropped
  • Seller claims no rust in the tank and I believed him
  • No leaking fluids in the front left fairing
  • Found a manual petcock (prime, on, off) and was told that overflow tubes were present

Anyway, I agreed to return with the money tomorrow morning, and I thought it would be a good time to tell my story on the forum and ask about it. Here are the questions I have thought of:

  • Is there any reason to prefer a newer model over an older one? I actually prefer the pre-1994 instrument cluster, and other than that I'm not aware of any major changes. It seems that being well maintained is far more important than age or mileage.
  • What's the plural of Concours? Concourses or Concours?
  • Should I insist on an inspection or should I trust my gut that this bike has been well maintained and will be a worthwhile investment?
  • Why are people selling ZG1000s for $1500? Is it just because it's 2017, or because the market in Portland in strong, or because it's beginning autumn, or all of the above? If there was only one I might think it was a bad model but there's at least four on CL right now for $1500.

Thank you all for your help, and if you have any other comments or suggestions they are much appreciated!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 12:11:07 am by Erestyl »

Offline works4me

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 12:27:37 am »
" It seems that being well maintained is far more important than age or mileage."

This, more than anything.

As far as price is concerned, 1500 is an honest reflection of the current market.
Maybe 2500 for a truly stunning example.
Anything more is the stuff dreams are made of.

If it's as you've described, you're onto a great deal.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 12:34:04 am »
Not a real reason to buy newer, but Later C-10's had improved front brakes, and better front forks.

$1500 for a 25 year old bike that originally cost about $7000.

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Offline GeorgeRYoung

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 01:01:00 am »
What's the plural of Concours? Concourses or Concours?

Concoursai.

Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2017, 10:54:02 am »
Somebody along its lifetime was a COG member with that cog sticker on the taillight. At least one of the muffler cans was replaced with a late model (2005-2006 I believe) can that has the chrome end cap where the exhaust hole is, as earlier ones are painted black. Looking at the pic again maybe the muffler end is black.
Nice aftermarket seat with backrest, I believe it is a Corbin, some people say it is too hard, it may have flap on the top behind the riders seating area that will expose a slot for a riders backrest. Rifle aftermarket windscreen, that reduces buffeting. If it has overflow tubes you can see them coming off the bottom of the 4 carb bowls.

You can open the gas cap and peer into the tank with a flashlight that you turn on away from or before opening the tank, to get some idea on the condition of the inside of the tank. As you found out on the other one you looked at, you can feel around the bottom edge on the underneath of the tank for bubbling paint just don't push on any bubbles you may find as it might become a leak.

Prime on and off doesn't sound like a aftermarket manual petcock I know of as on would be prime. Are you sure it wasn't on, off and reserve?

On these older models the forks are air assisted, the front rim is narrower, Single piston front brakes.

I don't know if I would buy a C10 without doing the piston height check. FYI, you can have a hydrolock event and not bend a rod AMHIK and you can have a bent rod and not know it by engine sound and performance.

If you are hot on buying the bike you could tell the owner I have xxxx amount of cash and to close the deal I want to check the piston heights. If someone on this forum that lives near you could assist you in it, it isn't that hard but I can see how a seller could refuse having it taken apart for the inspection. If it truly has the overflow tubes installed the person who did that may have checked the piston heights before adding them or had a hydrolock event, bike still ran, and just did the overflow tubes.

Good luck, and now you know more than I did when I bought my C10. I thought, as the seller did too, it needed a new starter while it was actually hydro locked. Fortunately I found COG and read up on hydrolock and after the geyser of gas was pushed out of the cylinder spark plug hole I got it to turn over I was happy and later found that it didn't bend a rod I was happier yet.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 11:12:28 am by Bob_C_CT »
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Offline Jim Snyder

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2017, 12:49:12 pm »
Oh my  Erestyl, you should have been shopping on the forum earlier this week when I sold my C-10. You could have gotten one of the best maintained Connie's on the planet.
"Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug" Get used to it cause thats life !!!

Offline beaucephus

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 02:47:51 pm »
That's a COG sticker on the tail of the '92.  That's a GOOD SIGN!

Offline Grant

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2017, 04:58:46 pm »
Any advice I could give has already been given. I was introduced to the Concours by being given a C-10, I liked the bike enough that I have since bought a new C-14. This coming from a die hard American V-Twin guy the Concours is a great bike. Good luck.
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Offline Erestyl

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 02:49:50 am »
Update, I ended up deciding to go with a Honda Shadow from my grandfather instead, so I called the seller. Long story short, he apparently felt it was too early in the morning and cursed me out and hung up on me. I don't regret not doing business with him, but my grandfather was unable to do it at the last minute, so I'm back in the market again. If anyone has suggestions, I'd really like to find a Concours. My budget is about $2000.

EDIT: Found these:
http://forum.cog-online.org/c-10-emporium/1997-c10-$1200/
http://www.beavertonmotorcycles.com/default.asp?page=xPreOwnedInventoryDetail&id=3109786&p=4&s=Year&d=D&t=preowned&fr=xPreOwnedInventory
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 04:41:26 am by Erestyl »

Offline DC Concours

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 03:42:43 pm »
Why don't ya call that seller tomorrow morning at the same time and say you might be back in the market?

Offline Erestyl

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 05:22:30 pm »
Why don't ya call that seller tomorrow morning at the same time and say you might be back in the market?

Haha I thought about it, but figured I might as well not poke a hornet's nest again. I don't see why he was upset, it's not like he was obligated to answer his phone, or even turn the volume up high enough to wake him up... People are strange. I'd rather buy from someone who will be civil and friendly.

On that note, I found yet another bike to look at: https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/mcy/d/1994-honda-st-1100/6319830864.html. From what I can tell, ST1100s and ZG1000s are almost the same bike, so I figure all the reasons I want a Concours are also reasons I want a ST1100, and answers applying to a Concours will most likely apply to an ST1100 as well. 94,000 miles is a huge amount though, so I'm not quite sure... Is there a "threshold" that you don't want to cross? I've read that these bikes will hit 100,000 but how much with they exceed 100,000? Can I expect the same maintenance-free operation for a bike that loved?

Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 05:49:16 pm »
Bummer dealing with the oddballs on CL, but it goes with the territory (unfortunately on both sides of the sale).

If I were you I would comb through the listings on this site and see if there's anything in the NW area.

You could also wait another month until Portland is well into the rainy season and see if the seller of the '92 has adjusted his attitude. But I wouldn't go much over $1,000 for that bike, and only then after a test.

Maybe go see an ST. I thought it looked too car like, but maybe you'll like it.
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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2017, 05:53:47 pm »
No, the ST1100 and the ZG1000 are not "almost the same bike."

Each have their pros and cons, but if you're not super mechanically inclined, go with the ZG. The straight four is a lot easier to work on, and less technologically advanced than the ST. The ST is fuel injected and is a V4 and has components placed in odd places. Not to say its not a great bike, but it's just a different beast. It sits lower, seat height isnt as tall, and weighs less. The ZG is overall cheaper, but accommodates taller riders better, but has the known ZG buzz. In short, the ZG will be cheaper, and you'll get more for your money.
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2017, 06:08:30 pm »
Don't buy a bike with close to 100k miles unless you personally know the owner. And still I say don't.  Especially when there are many bikes under 30k. I never buy bikes w/ more than 20-25K. In my area that is common.

https://portland.craigslist.org/clk/mcy/d/kawasaki-concours-05/6323132381.html

offer this guy $500. it's been sitting 2 mo
https://yakima.craigslist.org/mcy/d/1986-kawasaki-concours-1000cc/6266682730.html




Offline MichiGlenn

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2017, 07:00:40 pm »
Check the C10 emporium. ILikeEggs posted a one owner '97 in Beaverton OR for $1000. Sounds like what you need
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Offline Erestyl

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2017, 07:05:29 pm »
You could also wait another month until Portland is well into the rainy season and see if the seller of the '92 has adjusted his attitude.

offer this guy $500. it's been sitting 2 mo
https://yakima.craigslist.org/mcy/d/1986-kawasaki-concours-1000cc/6266682730.html

One of the things I forgot to mention is that my old bike was my daily commuter, and bus service is lousy in my area so I need to replace it ASAP. I saw the one in Yakima and liked it but that's just too far to go for me.

Don't buy a bike with close to 100k miles unless you personally know the owner. And still I say don't.  Especially when there are many bikes under 30k. I never buy bikes w/ more than 20-25K. In my area that is common.

I was told that STs have reached 700k before, and 100k is not uncommon at all for them. The current owner tells me he's an ASE master tech so I'm sure that means it's been well-maintained. I've been asking around and been told all over that 100k isn't too much for an ST1100.

Check the C10 emporium. ILikeEggs posted a one owner '97 in Beaverton OR for $1000. Sounds like what you need

I actually was in contact with him and was going to see it today, but he decided not to sell. Sucks for me but it's up to him ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Offline Grant

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2017, 09:32:20 pm »

offer this guy $500. it's been sitting 2 mo
https://yakima.craigslist.org/mcy/d/1986-kawasaki-concours-1000cc/6266682730.html

One of the things I forgot to mention is that my old bike was my daily commuter, and bus service is lousy in my area so I need to replace it ASAP. I saw the one in Yakima and liked it but that's just too far to go for me.

[quote author=DC Concours link=topic=72088.msg614554#msg614554 date=1506971
I was told that STs have reached 700k before, and 100k is not uncommon at all for them. The current owner tells me he's an ASE master tech so I'm sure that means it's been well-maintained. I've been asking around and been told all over that 100k isn't too much for an ST1100.

Some of the best mechanics drive and ride some of the biggest P.O.S's. 1. The last thing they want to do when they get home is wrench. 2 Being broken doesn't scare them because they feel they can always make it run good enough to get home.
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Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: Prospective owner with questions
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2017, 10:15:56 pm »
Thanks for the addition info on your need to get back on two wheels. Urgency can definitely influence your decision.

It sounds to me like the C10 may be one of many options that could work for you and you will certainly find advocates for that bike here. But if your decision is being driven by the need to get something cheap, reliable and available NOW in your local area and if you're not TOO particular about the brand and model, there may be other makes and models to look at.

Some of the ones I personally looked at included the ST, the Yamaha FZ1 and FJs, Honda VFR, and the Suzuki Bandit. All have pluses and minus, and I would argue that all could make fantastic daily rides, as well as the occasional weekend cruiser.

But that said, people are practically giving away older C10s and they are amazingly comfortable and competent. If I were you, I might expand my search and see if someone as far away as Seattle or SF has one and do a fly and ride. Or hit up The Wizard on the Emporium and maybe he can hook you up.

Happy searching and hope you find a great bike.
Dan Breeden
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