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How Did You Get Your Free or Cheap Motorcycle? Answered

This question was inspired by 2 post: How to Get a Free Yacht, How to Revive an Old Motorcycle: Save Money on Gas/Fuel! Cheap Ride!, a question Ever Saved a Motorcycle from the Scrap Heap?, and oh yea the economy.

I live in a rural area, don't know anyone with a motorcycle, and my finances (and other people's) could be helped with a free or cheap motorcycle. How did you get your free or cheap motorcycle? If you paid for it how did you calculate how much to offer? Did you have any problems getting it registered? Any other advice you think we should have on this topic?

Thank-you for your help


Also a possible resource I found was Presskr.com it is a search engine for classified ads, so anything that you would look for in a classified, you can search for here. Though the motorcycles I've seen so far cost more than those on craigslist.

hi i from indonesia i need a bike for go to my office to do work because my office is so far from my home..pelase any a cheap bike for me jawa motocycle 1929

Hey i live outside USA exactly at North Africa.I found a cheap bike and i can handle the registration and all the papers done etc...The only problem no one can trust me and don't even let me deliver the item at the right time until now...So can someone help and help to get my BIKE so soon???

i live in a small town in south ga im looking for a free old bike, to fix up but dont have a clue how to find one i looked in news papers on ebay and cregslist i havent worked in over 4 monthes and need somthing to spend time doing .. if you can help me email me at altonguy72@gmail.com

Check the newspapers, ebay, and craigslist. Also check junkyards and motorcycle shops. At the motorcycle shop, ask if they ever get any old, beat-up trade-ins that they can't resell. Also, check at yardsales, auctions and estate sales. One of the best ways is to find someone with a neglected bike in their yard or carport. Tell them you're looking for a project, and wondered if they'd be willing to sell theirs. Occasionally, you'll find the rare person who really just wants to get rid of it. They're the ones that'll sell it cheap or just give it away. Another good way, is to look for other people riding old junkers. Say something like " That's cool. I haven't seen one of those in years. Where'd you get it?" A lot of scavenger/bikers will gladly point you in the right direction. If you get a fixer-upper and need help, just PM me. I'll help you if I can.

Hi my email is que8q@yahoo.com . You said you can help others if they need it on fixing up an old bike . Mine is a 1986 454 ltd. Trying to bring it back from the dead lol. It cranked over with the spark plugs off. was wondering what i need for the starter switch. It looked rusty and very sensitive on and off trying to start. About to see if it fires on spark plug wire. email me if ya like on this subject thanks.

Sorry it took so long for me to respond. I haven't been on Instructables lately. As far as the starter switch goes, the best bet would be to find one from a similar bike off Ebay. Starter switches among japanese machines are NEARLY universal. If you cant find a decent price, I'd try taking the old one apart and clean the contacts and solder any loose wires. Worst case scenario, you might have to go to a Kawasaki dealer. But they'll probably charge a fortune!

Hey Padre! Greetings from Hurricane Sandy. Where have you been? We've missed you around here.

Hey! Hope you weathered the storm. My sis did ok. She was on the 6th floor in Brooklyn. I do need to get back to Instructables! Life has just been so hectic... I'll definitely try to get back around more often!

Do come back to the five and dime. Times they are a changing around ibles too. Brooklyn really is a big condensed place in a soup can. We were lucky to not have the power go out too long or have the house flooded. Run at the gas station for a few days was crazy.

Thank-you for your suggestions, inspiration (How to revive an old motorcycle... post), and offer to help.

I think I saw a question you made about who to work for. This auction on ebay may interest you: 1969 Honda CB Honda CB 750 KO for $6000.00 with 2 days left in the auction, 1969-CB-750-KO-COLLECTOR-QUALITY-HONDA-CB750KO

Do you have any suggestions on how decide how much to offer (or pay) for a motorcycle?

WOW! That's a beautiful machine. I've owned a couple that were about that nice, but these days I just settle for reliable. The price is hard to say. On reliable, yet scruffy machines, I used to basically offer about $1 per cc. So a usable 750cc would be $750 (give or take). An ugly one would be a few hundred less, a nice one would be a few hundred more. But when I deal with old junkers, I usually pay scrap prices. If I can't save the old bike, I'll part it out on ebay to make my money back. If you get a complete (but non-running) bike for $100-$300, you can always get that much back in parts, if the troubles turn out to be too hard to tackle.

Thank-you, I've found what looks like good deals on CraigsList.org, though I have not actually followed up on them.

Also a possible resource I found was oodle.com, it is a search engine for classified ads, so anything that you would look for in a classified, you can search for here. Though the motorcycles I've seen so far cost more than those on craigslist.

That looks expensive - I saw 6000$ on that page. Don't know where you live but this is cheaper
I'd avise looking for this sort of size in the interests of "cheap" and easy to maintain / repair, but this one is costly through being labeled a "classic"



6 years ago

The short answer is I've gotten them from people who've had them in the garage a long time then decide to get rid of them. One for free, another four at $100 or less, etc. Often sitting at the street when someone is having a garage sale, my eyes zoom right in.

The long answer is partially covered in this article.


Hm, I find it interesting that this ad came up...I can't figure out why it did...


I've got "reclaim your brain" (lost by airport baggage-handlers?) L

One time those pesky baggage handlers lost mine for a week... Found it in the bushes near the parking lot... :-)
I actually have an ad related to motorcycles.

I got an internal ad on building one's own Nintendo arcade.

I got mine off of CL for 400 USD and about 50 USD in parts (battery, plugs, filter). the key is to look in the fall or winter when people are getting rid of there bikes because they are done riding or trading up the next year.

I've gotten two, one from a coworker who knew I was a tinkerer and didn't want his kids to have a motorcycle but didn't want to see it go to the scrap heap, the other was my dad's and had been sitting in a barn for 30+ years. Talk to friends, neighbors, anyone with grown children and a barn ;-) You can also post on CL offering to take any non-running bikes away for them, if you find one you want to keep go for it, if not, take it to the scrap yard for them, or sell it for parts.

It was a piece of junk but my dad fixed it and stuff :D At least I think that's what happened with mine, it could have been a different one.

Make sure the vendor supplies paperwork, and check with your vehicle licensing agency about registration (first). L

My friend found one burned-out on a canal bank. The piston did disintegrate after a bit of hard revving, but it was good for an hour or so. He also found another one in the canal, but couldn't manage to get it out...


That is interesting. How did he get the keys? Did he register any of them? Do you have any suggestions on where to find a motorcycle in a canal? I've heard of bicycles being left in various places. The one with that burned out the

"How did he get the keys?" hahahahaha - ah... To be serious, it was only a Yamaha RXS, you get around "keys" fairly easily (particularly if you're only after parts, as he was). The only reasonable suggestion for a bike in a canal that I could make is the Huddersfield broad canal, town-centre and east to Fartown... L

. Check the classified ads in your local newspaper(s). Many will have a web site that you can browse. . Place a "Free (Or Very Cheap) Motorcycle Wanted" ad in a local paper.

Thank-you these sound like good ideas, I give them a try.