What should i offer [on a used bike]

I want to make an offer on a bike that had been sitting same spot collecting dust for from what i can tell has been the better part of two years. It’s a Honda Shadow sabre. This would not be my first bike i had one that i had to sell because of a relocation i really want one again. I have dreams of me riding again still have all my gear. I’m mechanically inclined plan on rebuilding it myself and what I can’t handle I’ll take to a shop. I’m just not sure what to offer for it. Bike is showing some rust on frame and pipes. Other than what i can see i don’t know much about it. What do you guys think. I am aware this will be a money pit i just want to ride again and i would like to rebuild paint and give life back to something.

Since the OP is looking for opinions, let’s move this to IMHO. Title edited to indicate subject.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Knowing the model year would help, as would knowing the mileage on the odometer. The Sabre’s were made from 2000-2007, so you’re looking at 10-17 year-old bike.

If you can get it for less than $500, it would be a good deal.

If it’s been sitting for that long, you are looking at a new battery ($100) just to get it to crank. You might be able to get it running by just draining the gas tank and adding fresh gas with sea foam. That bike has twin carburetors, so you are much better off if you can get them working since if you take them apart, you will have to deal with balancing them. If you can’t get it running by just adding new gas, you’ll have to take it to a shop and ask them how much to rebuild the carburetors.

While you have the gas tank off to drain it, check the coolant level; you will need to flush the coolant system. If it is low, you may have a leak. There is a pipe that runs between the jugs that transfers coolant from the front to the rear. It is sealed by o-rings and if it leaks, you have to pull the engine to replace them. You will want to change and flush all fluids (coolant, oil, brake fluid–front and rear), and new pads, front and rear. I’d guess about $200 for parts and fluids, perhaps 4 to 6 hours of wrenching (or more, depending on how hard you go at it).

You will want new tires, front and back (trust me, you don’t want to ride on old rubber). That’s going to cost $200-500.

These bikes in good condition, with decent tires and less than 35,000 miles would go for $1800-$3500 around here. Your local market may be different. You are looking at close to $800 to get it road-worthy (or more, depending) plus labor. Like I said, if you can get it for less than $500, it could be a good deal. Anything over $1000 and you’d be better off just buying a used one in running condition.

Oh, I have a 1998 Honda ACE Tourer, nearly the same bike but with factory hard bags and windshield. I love it. If I was going to replace it, though, I think I’d look at a model that had fuel injection (I think those started in 2010). Carburetors are a stone-age solution to a problem best solved with 21st-century technology.

Hard to say. Around here, if it was running and in decent shape it would probably be worth somewhere around $3,000 or so. Might be worth a bit more or less depending on the average price of bikes in your area.

The thing is, it’s a rust bucket so it’s not what I would call in decent shape, and you have no idea if it runs or not. How many miles are on it and whether or not it runs will have a huge influence on the price. Most likely, you are just going to need to get a new battery and give the carb a massive cleaning (it’s probably varnished to hell and back from sitting for so long). All of that rust worries me, though. What might look like some minor surface rust might be major frame rot. It might also have been sitting for so long because it’s got some sort of major problem.

Personally, I’d recommend finding another bike somewhere. It’s not like it’s hard to find a decent running bike at a reasonable price these days.

If you insist on putting in an offer on this one, I’d shoot for maybe $1,000. Make darn sure that the rust is just surface rust and you don’t have a major frame problem first though.

I’d look for a bike already for sale, rather than this one. Bikes left sitting like this tend to have lots of issues - not just whatever went wrong that made the owner stop riding it, but owners like this have frequently lost the title, the keys, crucial parts, and yet despite this they invariably think their bike is “rare” and “collectable” and therefore worth about as much as a mint one.

Look at the prices for running Sabres, estimate how much you would spend getting this bike going - carb rebuild, steering head and swing arm bushings, brakes flushed and brake lines and pads replaced, electrics gone through, carbs rebuilt, the bike disassembled so the frame can be blasted, painted, the fork oil drained and refilled with new oil and seals replaced, new tires, probably a new seat cover, maybe some paint. And all that is based on the idea there’s nothing actually wrong with it. When a nice Sabre 1100 is $3k or less?

Instead, buy a running bike (me, I prefer the Magna). While you enjoy the ride, buy something worthy like a Moto Guzzi 850-t3 and restore that to like new. Even if you don’t like it, you can sell it on the cheap to a deserving forum member. Or a BMW R90S (with fairing) would be just as nice (not the orange/silver, not the red/black).