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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I've been wanting a TW ever since I started getting into bikes, and now it looks like I'm finally gonna own one!

I know its hard to tell from a few photos, but I know that many of you are pretty experienced and could probably tell me if the bike looks in good nick? He said the previous owner was a 80 year old who's owned the bike for 13+ years

Thanks, any input would be appreciated (photos are attached)
 

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It LOOKS, and I emphasise LOOKS, quite tidy for its age. However, cosmetics are only skin deep and easily sorted. The mechanicals are far more important and more costly to address. You need to take it for a test ride, but if that's not possible, as a lot of owners (me included) are reluctant to allow that, at least listen to it running. Make sure there are no strange noises, rattles, excessive smoking etc. There are a reasonable amount of secondhand parts on eBay, but new parts are quite expensive in the UK. I've found it cheaper to get them shipped over from the USA from Partzilla.
Also check the tyres, if they need replacing again not cheap, especially for such a small bike.
But if all seems good, and the price is right, go for it. It'll put a smile on your face every time you ride it
 

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There are a couple of things the average 80 year old wouldn’t have bothered with – so take the story of the PO with a pinch of salt

Tidy enough, but the mileage is higher than I’d like to see (typically you are looking at rebuilding the top end at 30+k)

Price – about a grand …..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It LOOKS, and I emphasise LOOKS, quite tidy for its age. However, cosmetics are only skin deep and easily sorted. The mechanicals are far more important and more costly to address. You need to take it for a test ride, but if that's not possible, as a lot of owners (me included) are reluctant to allow that, at least listen to it running. Make sure there are no strange noises, rattles, excessive smoking etc. There are a reasonable amount of secondhand parts on eBay, but new parts are quite expensive in the UK. I've found it cheaper to get them shipped over from the USA from Partzilla.
Also check the tyres, if they need replacing again not cheap, especially for such a small bike.
But if all seems good, and the price is right, go for it. It'll put a smile on your face every time you ride it
Hi, thanks very much for the reply - He's just got it through MOT (2 weeks ago) so essentially a 1 year MOT on this now, and I am gonna go and view it this weekend/take a ride on it. He wants £1250 ( I think I could get him down to £1000-1100 though) - do you think the price is OK?. When I take it on the ride I'll keep an ear out for those things you mention - even then is it not maybe a slight gamble? like you don't for sure know what could fail down the line, considering the mileage, and as you said it could be pricey...

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are a couple of things the average 80 year old wouldn’t have bothered with – so take the story of the PO with a pinch of salt

Tidy enough, but the mileage is higher than I’d like to see (typically you are looking at rebuilding the top end at 30+k)

Price – about a grand …..
A grand for rebuild would definitely suck pretty hard.. and you think it's fairly close to that? like is there a good chance it would need one very soon down the line - maybe I should look for one with less on it?

cheers
 

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Well as you know all vehicle purchases are indeed a gamble, but at least the little TW is very simple and easy to work on and a great bike to learn such skills on. See it, test it, listen to it and make your final decision based on what your head is telling you.
If at some point something does go wrong with it there is a wealth knowledge and a great bunch of people on here to give advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also one more thing - My other option is this bike, a 2002 which has done about 13,000 miles (compared to 21500 on the other one), and hes probably willing to let it go for £900, fair bit less than the other seller

Only issue is a dead battery (which he's fixing up), and a loose speedo cable, which means the speedo isnt working (which he said he'd fix)
This doesn't look as well looked after (to me) as the other one, but I know hes replaced a few bits and pieces

Whats your guys' thoughts on this?
Thanks again
 

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Well as you know all vehicle purchases are indeed a gamble, but at least the little TW is very simple and easy to work on and a great bike to learn such skills on. See it, test it, listen to it and make your final decision based on what your head is telling you.
If at some point something does go wrong with it there is a wealth knowledge and a great bunch of people on here to give advice.
great, thanks - as for the mileage, do you reckon it's too high/the other option I've just posted may be better?
Also should a fresh MOT be an important positive factor in my decision?

thank you
 

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An M.O.T gives some peace of mind but bear in mind it is literally a snap shot of the bike's condition at the time it was tested and no more. Also, it is still possible to get 'dodgy' MoTs! Please don't think I'm being negative, just trying to alert you to the possible pitfalls.
Regarding the second bike, I'd be very concerned about the chequer plate on the sprocket cover. If that is covering a hole then it says to me that either the chain has come off and gone through the casing, which could also have bent the output shaft, or the chain has been so loose it has been able to wear through the casing. Either way it's not a good sign and would make me question what else may have been neglected. It's on L plates so that tells you quite a lot.
If it was my money I'd probably still be looking at the first bike, but that's only my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
An M.O.T gives some peace of mind but bear in mind it is literally a snap shot of the bike's condition at the time it was tested and no more. Also, it is still possible to get 'dodgy' MoTs! Please don't think I'm being negative, just trying to alert you to the possible pitfalls.
Regarding the second bike, I'd be very concerned about the chequer plate on the sprocket cover. If that is covering a hole then it says to me that either the chain has come off and gone through the casing, which could also have bent the output shaft, or the chain has been so loose it has been able to wear through the casing. Either way it's not a good sign and would make me question what else may have been neglected. It's on L plates so that tells you quite a lot.
If it was my money I'd probably still be looking at the first bike, but that's only my opinion.
Thanks for the insight, after your comments I am still leaning towards the first, second doesn't seem too well looked after. Regarding the L plates, is that a large negative thing or..? Like everyone has to start from somewhere?

Also yeah I have the plates for both, looked them up on the govt site and it seems to corroborate with the MOT/Tax dates they mentioned - not sure what other info I can get from the plates.
And yeah so he says its been off 3/4 weeks, the speedometer cable I mean
thanks
 

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Yep, we all have to start somewhere. I started on an FS1E many years ago! The thing with L plates, and please don't be offended if you're 17, is that they are generally ridden by 17 year olds with usually little money and little mechanical experience. That usually means poor maintenance and neglect, and I was just as guilty as anyone.
If you download 'Vehicle Smart - Car Check' and input the reg numbers it will give you the MoT and mileage history. It will also tell you what failures or advisories the bike had. From this you can get an idea of how it's been maintained. For example if there are a lot of fails for serious issues I'd question how it's been looked after and maintained. If on the other hand there's just the odd fail for headlight adjustment too high or low, then there's not too much to worry about (but still not forgetting what I said about dodgy MoTs)
 

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Yep, we all have to start somewhere. I started on an FS1E many years ago! The thing with L plates, and please don't be offended if you're 17, is that they are generally ridden by 17 year olds with usually little money and little mechanical experience. That usually means poor maintenance and neglect, and I was just as guilty as anyone.
If you download 'Vehicle Smart - Car Check' and input the reg numbers it will give you the MoT and mileage history. It will also tell you what failures or advisories the bike had. From this you can get an idea of how it's been maintained. For example if there are a lot of fails for serious issues I'd question how it's been looked after and maintained. If on the other hand there's just the odd fail for headlight adjustment too high or low, then there's not too much to worry about (but still not forgetting what I said about dodgy MoTs)
Hi - seriously thanks so much for the number plate lookup thing, it is so bloody comprehensive compared to the government site, I'll be using it all the time from now on, thanks so much .
Also ahaha no I'm not 17 but yeah I do understand what you mean actually, and it does make a lot of sense when looking at maintenance, etc. I will post the screenshots from the 2 bikes to see what you think? Weirdly on the black/grey bike it says part of the mileage history is detected in kms not miles...not sure why

thanks for the help so far
 

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Hmm, that is strange about the kms and also the speedo in the picture is still marked in kmh. The advisory of 'Damage to structure' might be worth asking if the current owner knows what that was as it looks like the speedo has been changed. Also, the levers are straight and the bars are clean and shiny, maybe it's just been looked after or maybe they've been replaced? The fail for the side light is nothing. Even the spoke fail, while labelled as dangerous, is not something I would necessarily attribute to poor maintenance, although it is very easy to check before taking it for its test.
Strange also about the green one having a clean sheet, that did surprise me to be honest.
You'll notice the rear wheel on the grey bike has some rust and the green one has been painted black. The rear wheels on TWs steel while the fronts are aluminum, so rust on the back is not uncommon.
Of course they 20 year old bikes so they will have a lot of history, maybe bumps, knocks and mishaps.
 

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A grand for rebuild would definitely suck
I meant a grand is what the bike is worth - a top end re-build would be 300 to 500

Out of the two bikes, I'd go for the first one - but if I had a real choice, I'd wait to see what comes up next ......
 

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Hmm, that is strange about the kms and also the speedo in the picture is still marked in kmh. The advisory of 'Damage to structure' might be worth asking if the current owner knows what that was as it looks like the speedo has been changed. Also, the levers are straight and the bars are clean and shiny, maybe it's just been looked after or maybe they've been replaced? The fail for the side light is nothing. Even the spoke fail, while labelled as dangerous, is not something I would necessarily attribute to poor maintenance, although it is very easy to check before taking it for its test.
Strange also about the green one having a clean sheet, that did surprise me to be honest.
You'll notice the rear wheel on the grey bike has some rust and the green one has been painted black. The rear wheels on TWs steel while the fronts are aluminum, so rust on the back is not uncommon.
Of course they 20 year old bikes so they will have a lot of history, maybe bumps, knocks and mishaps.
as good a reply I could have asked for! thanks for the detailed input

So unfortunately I'm meant to go view the bike today and the seller messaged me and says the very first viewing of the day had bought the bike..for £1000! I would have even offered £1100 so bit annoyed about that and really regretting it. But thanks for all the help, I'm gonna keep looking at the green one but it doesn't exactly look in great shape...(only 13k miles though)
 

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I meant a grand is what the bike is worth - a top end re-build would be 300 to 500

Out of the two bikes, I'd go for the first one - but if I had a real choice, I'd wait to see what comes up next ......
The second bit is what im gonna have to do, as first is now not an option....
 

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the miles makes it a hard pass for me un less you are an experienced bike mechanic looking for a rebuild project for the high school auto shop class

Theres way too many ultra low miler TW's out there (under 1000 miles and preferable under 100 miles) keep looking and save a lot of time and money wrenching and greasing on a high mile bike
 
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