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Posted: 4/18/2008 4:27:48 AM EST
I found a Kawasaki Concours for sale cheap, but of course it's cheap for a reason. The ad says it needs forks, a radiator, and pretty much all the plastic. Based on comparable bikes I'm seeing, careful parts shopping would put me money ahead, and I otherwise wouldn't be able to afford this bike. The labor doesn't sound like rocket science, *if* everything is as the ad states.

My biggest concern is spotting frame damage, and making sure I don't get over my head. My first instinct is to look for fractured welds or cracked paint near the yoke and other frontmost areas of the frame. Anything else I should look for?

Is it reasonably safe to assume that the forks took all the impact and protected the frame, unless the bike hit a bridge at 70 MPH? And if there is frame damage, I'm assuming that straightening it would be cost prohibitive?
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 5:39:38 AM EST
I am not a bike mechaice or a slavage specialist but when I hear that the forks need to be replaced I begin to worry about the steering head and the frame. Even if these are damaged they can be fixed but it will require a larger stack of presidential portraits
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 6:46:49 AM EST
I would never buy or rebuild a motorcycle that has front end damge where the forks have been damaged.

The only way that I would even consider it if I had taken the bike/frame to a GMD-Computrack facility to check the frame for proper alingment,

www.gmd-computrack.com/

Link Posted: 4/18/2008 9:06:48 AM EST
I have repaired thousands of bikes in my career and fork damage does not mean frame damage but there is no easy way to tell.

I will tell you this though. Even if it doesn't have frame damage, that is not a bike you will enjoy repairing. Those plastic touring bikes are a nightmare of small plastic parts, fasteners and brackets and putting them together is a bitch.

Don't do it.
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 9:10:49 AM EST
Dont do it. It is never "cheap" in the end. My buddy works at tow yard and I get first dibs on the junk that comes in. I passed on a '07 Kawi ZX600R (or whatever). It has all the plastic damage and the said case. It had low miles. But after sorting out the cost, it simply wasnt worth it.

The other thing about those types of bikes and the ads. Most ppl are only guessing at what all it needs, unless they start really tearing it apart you can guarantee itll need more than what they think it needs. I would pass unless it was free and even then, id simply part it out.
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 9:18:39 AM EST
If you are just doing for the enjoyment of wrenching and have no solid timeframe/budget, go for it if there is no obvious frame damage. It will definately take longer and be more expensive than you think, but in the end could be worth it if you get it cheap, find good parts cheap and plan to ride it until the wheels fall off. One thing to consider if you are doing it to sell later down the line is that it will never be worth very much due to the salvage title.
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 10:13:09 AM EST
Think I'll pass on this one... thanks guys!
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 4:02:46 PM EST
I own a C14 Concours. Its an AWESOME bike and I love it. But there is no way in hell I'd want to get inside this thing and try to do a rebuild. The electronics alone are killer. The damned KIPASS system is based on three onboard computers. Loosing the transponder thingie means replacing the computers and reprogramming. Cost? I've been told its $2500-3000. Everything on this bike is designed by some japanese geek engineer with a fetish for the unusual. and parts are NOT cheap. Not on this thing.

Link Posted: 4/18/2008 4:21:02 PM EST
The bike is an '86 ZG1000... but low tech frame damage isn't any easier than high tech frame damage.
Link Posted: 4/19/2008 6:38:47 AM EST
How much are they asking for the bike?

If the price is right and the milage is low you might buy it as a doner bike and find another that has no crash damage but needs mechanical work.
Link Posted: 4/19/2008 6:43:36 AM EST
In my past life as a MC mechanic, I suggest you pass on this endeavor.

Link Posted: 4/19/2008 7:10:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By mr_camera_man:
The bike is an '86 ZG1000... but low tech frame damage isn't any easier than high tech frame damage.


Pfft. I'd pass even if it weren't crashed. I thought you were talking about the new Connie.
Link Posted: 4/19/2008 7:28:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/19/2008 7:32:21 AM EST by g3_ultra]
I took a front end hit on my 900RR that bent the forks. The frame didnt appear to be

bent, so I put it all back together after getting used forks, radiator and everything else

I needed out of Roadracing World classifieds (before I had internet). When I got it all

back together, I was bolting on the lower fairing and it wouldnt fit. The bottom pointy

part under the radiator hit the front tire. Also, before I got to that point, I noticed when

it was on the sidestand it seemed to lean over a little further than it should. Anyway, I

was leaving to go ride the mountains of NC in 2 days, so I left the lower off and rode it

like that. When I got back, I took it to GMD Computrack and had it measured. That

was when Mike Ciccotto owned the Computrack in Sebastian and Kent Soigner actually

came down from Atlanta to help him straighten my frame. The steering head had been

pushed in I believe it was 39mm. Had it straightened to the tune of $650. It was

perfect after that, but the moral is, it was bent like hell and not

noticeable to the naked eye. Also, that was 10 yrs ago, so I would imagine it would be

more expensive than that now to get it straightened.
Link Posted: 4/19/2008 7:37:40 AM EST
Not trying to discourage you with my last post, just trying to point out that it can be fixed and I found it very satisfying to do so, just be aware that there might be more expense and work involved than meets the eye.
Link Posted: 4/19/2008 8:04:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
How much are they asking for the bike?

If the price is right and the milage is low you might buy it as a doner bike and find another that has no crash damage but needs mechanical work.


It's a 23k mile bike for $500 with new tires, but I don't have the space or money to pursue that kind of endeavor. I had priced out forks at around $150 for used ones on eGay, and the plastics and radiator are everywhere, and I had that in mind when I was budgeting. If having the frame tweaked will cost $600+, then that negated any savings I'd get by doing it this way.
Link Posted: 4/19/2008 8:12:39 AM EST
I bought a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST that had been laid down for my streetfighter project. We discovered both fork tubes were bent.

I found a guy to do the labor for almost free and it still cost $800 to fix. Individual fork tubes from Triumph are $220 a piece.


Pass.
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