I've got a crazy idea.. this will take a bit of explanation.
I have a friend who'd like to get into riding. The thing that has held him back is quite unique, he's 5' on a good day, and used to weigh 80 lbs (little vientnamese fellow dwarfed by even jockeys), he's recently bulked up to 100.
He has the opportunity to learn the basics of riding on some sort of old honda 50 cc and my friend is fixing up a honda 71 or 2 honda cb550 that we're hoping the owners girlfriend and my short friend can learn on.
The thing that got him really considering riding was the honda cb300f, with it's low seat height and option for even lower. Plus the low price of it, he doesn't want to spend over $5k. For me, i like bikes in the under $4k area.. because shit happens, not worth breaking the bank over it. prior to that he didn't think it'd really be possible on a street bike. I know most of you here weren't too thrilled with the new 300, and for versatility i get that. It would be ideal for someone like him tho..
anyways it got me looking into other options, because i don't think the 300 will be that great long term, highway, etc. I found out that the ducati 600s have a seat height of 30.3" weigh about 370 lbs (cb300f is 348) and you can also have the seat lowered, and there may be some options for lowering suspension, not sure if the rear shock is a dog link or swingarm mounted....just looked it up and apparently there are kits to lower them 2"! this is getting close to fitting him. he got really excited about the ducati and is starting to look into it. So first question is, do you guys think that's a bad idea from the get go? i read of similar sized people riding big bikes, but they had years of experience.
we were searching around for ducati's, oo-ing and awing.. he's very much a person who likes fancy exotic best of the best things and he loves the idea.. I had
told him to pick w/e he thinks is sexy and go with it, stop worrying about fit, you can find a way, and there's nothing worse than having a bike you don't actually like.
So i had a few strong craft brews the other night, which really led to all the rest of this...
I found this 2007 monster 695 13k miles complete with ventura racks and luggage (convenient addition because he just moved to NJ from PA and will be traveling back and forth occassionally). The guy wants $3500 for it because it "needs fork seals and some other 'little' things".
Now you need to understand, this is one of my best friends, he's been there for me through the past decade, through anything.. So i came up with this ridiculous idea, that i could go buy this thing. Fix it up, then surprise my friend with it and sell it to him for what i have in it. And finally feel like I have balanced out the debt i owe him for the years of putting up with me and my shenanigans
I'm not extremely skilled mechanically, but i did have my last bike torn down to just a frame and motor. so with some guidance and time i think i could handle it. (yes i got it back together!)
Aside from the obvious ridiculousness, my concerns are typical ducati concerns.. i can never remember which model people say is the ideal one to have maintenance wise.. Also 2007 is the first year of the plastic tanks, i'm not sure how to tell if it has swelled or maybe this year wasn't affected? The guy said he had the 7500 mile service done, it has 13k and is due again at 15k. Also I will check for details, but the other "little thing" is that the front rim is dented.. has held air for the past two years and he has a spare rim he just never put on. which makes me concerned it's not the fork seals its bent fork tubes from possible a collision or pot hole, will try for more details.
So do you guys think i'm totally nuts or that this bike is not a good idea? tell me i'm not crazy!
...or maybe i've just been looking at ducati's too long and they've seduced me
cause i'd sure love riding this thing till he gets it!
edit: i should add that my friend is certified BMW autobody technician, made it through the BMW STEP program, and he just got a job at corporate to be the instructor for autobody guys at dealerships and in eventually take over the STEP program. So he's not too bad with tools.. and if he does have those beginner
he's definitely capable of cleaning it up.