New to riding
August 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm #4159
Hello all. I took an MSF course over a year ago and got my license, but due college bills, could not afford to get a bike. Now I have a full-time job and am looking for my first bike.
I recently looked at a 1994 GS500E that I’m considering buying. It had a few quirks I wanted to research before purchasing. Hopefully some of you knowledgeable folks can help me out.
The owner told me it burns enough oil that he adds a little bit every week. He says because it is an older air-cooled engine, this is normal. It does have 18k miles on it, but is this really normal? Or is there a more serious underlying problem?
It also idles a little rough. It was idling at ~1000 RPMs while warm, but at almost regular intervals the tach would drop maybe 200 RPMs and then jump back up again. Is this simply a matter of cleaning carbs/adjusting idle, or is there a potentially more serious problem?
The owner is asking $1500 firm for the bike, which seemed like it was in good condition for being 16 years old. The price seems fair enough as long as these small problems aren’t indicators of more serious issues.
What do you think? Is this bike worth buying?August 9, 2010 at 2:40 am #28001madjak30Participant
Mine is a 2003 with about 18,000 miles on it, and it doesn’t burn any oil (mine leaks it, but that is a different issue…) Maybe they changed something in the motor to make the rings seat better to the cylinders, but I would be a little concerned that the bike has been abused…you should be able to get a newer one for the same price…it’s also getting to be a buyers market (end of summer is coming), and riders will be trying to sell their bikes so that they can get a new one next season…or maybe take advantage of the end of season deals themselves…
I think I would keep looking…burning oil usually means an engine that hasn’t been properly maintained…
Just my two cents…August 9, 2010 at 3:10 am #28002JtownJJAParticipant
I don’t know much about the oil issue. (A mechanic I am NOT.) But the price does sound high to me, at least in this part of the country. (Ohio)August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm #28007MunchParticipant
Oil burning and rough idle…. def an engine issue. Unless its a 2 stroke engine….and its not. Being that the bike is low mileage high age… I would say the gaskets and seals are hardened and any pressures applied from operation are just bypassing them. Adding some oil every week. You kidding me? Unless you want this as a project rebuild… I would run away from it.August 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm #28008
Thanks for all the input. I think I’m going to stay away from this one. It’s too bad because I like the GS500, but there aren’t many in my area. A taller dual sport is starting to look awful tempting…August 11, 2010 at 9:36 am #28019chetParticipant
end of season try to get it (gs500) for $1200 or less. I just paid 750 bucks for a 94 ninja zx600R.
My ninja I bought last week has 17,000 miles on it mine has a little road rash on one side not really noticeable unless u are less then 3 feet away. The one side blinker is cracked and the choke plastic level is broken. It runs great and is a joy to ride with brand new rubber on it. I used to ride Harleys but needed a change so I got a sport bike.
Right now I see a newer ninja 600 for sale for 1800 from a guy up here that wants to unload it fast so he can buy a bigger bike I think it was 2003 with 10,000 miles on it. Hopefully that helps.November 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm #28815
I looked at another gs500 today (I still haven’t got a bike). The bike is excellently priced as the owner just had a baby and is moving so he wants to dump the bike quick. The bike is in good condition, except for one thing. The bike starts quickly, even when cold, and idles very smoothly but as soon as you apply any throttle, the engine just cuts out. According to the owner, the bike was serviced about 1 year ago, and the gas in the tank is also that old. The bike has been sitting for a few months so he thinks it is just a matter of cleaning the carbs out. It just seems strange that the engine idles so smoothly and then cuts out immediately when the throttle is applied as if the kill switch was hit.
Anyone have thoughts on where to look for the problem?
Thanks!November 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm #28816TrialsRiderParticipant
Almost certainly the problem is old fuel, the carbs will definitely need the old fuel drained from the float bowls and likely a good cleaning of the jets. If you can coax the revs up by using the choke, which is actually a fuel enrichening circuit, that supports the theory. It is either lacking fuel or air so another place to look is the air cleaner, could be the air box is packed full of mouse nest material, I’ve experience that problem myself more than once. Buying any non-running motorcycle is risky unless it has very low milage and you are an experienced wrench. GS500 is a nice bike, so I hope it works out for you.November 20, 2010 at 10:48 pm #28817
If the owner agrees with my offer (lower than his asking price), I’ll be working on it next weekend.
There is almost certainly some risk involved. Given the talks I’ve had with him, I think it is unlikely there is a serious problem with the bike.
I will probably try putting some fresh gas in to dilute the old gas and maybe some dry gas. I’m hoping I can let it idle until it is warmed up and them maybe it will rev. Given that it was about 55 F today, and the bike ran for no more than a couple of minutes, getting the engine warmed up may have something to do with it.November 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm #28820Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
Carbs almost always clog at the pilot mixture area first, so there is a big flat spot just above idle. He should have put a fuel stabilizer in the gas tank before long storage, and ran the engine enough to get it in the carb float bowls. Here is a short discussion about Stabil vs. Sea Foam (I prefer the Sea Foam):November 21, 2010 at 6:47 pm #28822TrialsRiderParticipant
My 2009 F350 Dually was alerting me to change the air filter today, a scary notion considering the filter element cost is $130.00 Once again I discovered an air box completely packed with rodent nesting material. When you store your motorcycle people, make sure you plug the exhaust pipes and put metal screen over the air intakes, every vehicle I ever owned has seen some form of damage by cute little furry critters.
Do yourself a favor and dump the old gas, you can’t dilute sewage, it just makes more sewage. If the gunk actually makes it through your engine, it will end up as burnt coffee looking stuff on your exhaust valves.November 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm #28840
Thanks for everyone’s input.
I bought the bike yesterday. After dumping some fresh gas in the tank, and letting the bike idle for about 30 minutes in 45F weather, I was able to ride the bike home. It still is not running extremely well, but well enough to ride it. The engine sputters a bit until the RPMs get above 6000 or so, then it seems fine. It made for a tricky ride home with all the stoplights, etc.
I put some Sta-Bil in the tank of fresh gas so hopefully that will prevent more gunk build-up until I can either get the bike serviced or work on it myself.
It’s sad that I got the bike at the end of the riding season, but at least I got a good deal on it!
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