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Need Some Advice on Purchasing a Used 2001 XR650R


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First off, here’s my background, because it will give some context: 

Location: Northern Arizona

Weight: 160lbs Height: 6’1”

Riding Experience: 4 years on street bikes until this past Saturday where I test rode my coworkers upgraded 2001 XR650R and an old 100 that had a bore kit and some other upgrades. We rode out in the woods and did a small hill climb with no problem. I currently own a Suzuki 2004 GS500f 

So just to preface this, I know the XR650R is a beast and probably not a “good” starter bike, but I think I’m getting it for a really good deal and it would be a great bike to grow into. It would be a project bike for me and would eventually take it on adventure backpacking trips. He’s quoting me for $2550 for the XR650R with the following upgrades:

-Uncorked engine

-Oversized brakes

-Aftermarket suspension (it’s quite stiff, it would need to be changed to fit my body type)

-Upper triple clamp with stabilizer mounts (I’ll probably buy a Scott stabilizer to install as my first upgrade if I buy the bike)

-Pro taper bars (1-1/8” taper)

-Heavy duty hand guards

-Aluminum skid plate

-4 gallon desert tank with foam insert

-Aftermarket seat (some more padding)

-Custom headlight

-Oversized foot pegs

-Brake light (I’ll want this to get to it be street legal, plan on commuting to work with this a lot)

-New front steering stem bearings

-and more...

I noticed when riding it that when turning the front fork it would sort of “catch” when crossing over the middle. He’s changing out the front bearings and I’m going to test ride it again this weekend. 

So here are my qualms and questions…

       If I go back this weekend and test ride it with the new bearings and it still has the catch, would a stabilizer almost certainly do the trick in smoothing it out? 

       Am I really stupid for thinking this is a good deal?

       Am I really stupid for still wanting this beast (even if it is a good deal) as my first bike? 

Any suggestions is appreciated, thanks!

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You’re going about it the wrong way. If you want it then it’s a good deal. I prefer the seller to not tell me any issues that may keep me from buying it. Then it’s a surprise when I get it home.

Even if I get there and realize it has major issues, I tell myself it’s no big deal and I’ll fix it.

“Oh I see it doesn’t actually have an engine and the frame is cracked. No big deal, I have a welder and I’m sure I can find an engine.”

That seems like a good deal to me and I wouldn’t be worried about the steering if that’s the only issue. I paid only a little less for mine and it didn’t run and had been sitting for 17 years.

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2 hours ago, Euler said:

You’re going about it the wrong way. If you want it then it’s a good deal. I prefer the seller to not tell me any issues that may keep me from buying it. Then it’s a surprise when I get it home.

Even if I get there and realize it has major issues, I tell myself it’s no big deal and I’ll fix it.

“Oh I see it doesn’t actually have an engine and the frame is cracked. No big deal, I have a welder and I’m sure I can find an engine.”

That seems like a good deal to me and I wouldn’t be worried about the steering if that’s the only issue. I paid only a little less for mine and it didn’t run and had been sitting for 17 years.

This is my exact bike buying process. You forgot " sell at a huge loss later to finance the next fantasy"

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Sounds and looks like a decent start for a good price. I taught a bro to ride on a spare 650R, and he’s about your size. Then he bought a XR400, sold the 400, and bought a 650R...he was spoiled by the 650, so the 400 had to go. I see the seller has another 650r, so I’m going to assume he has a decent working knowledge of upkeeping them...that’s a good sign. Steering bearings are easy peasy. Get it

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