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Sprucing up a bargain find

Old 06-06-2018, 09:07 PM
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Sprucing up a bargain find

Picked up a '98 Superhawk (or is it Firestorm in Canada?) the other day for a pretty good deal. It has been roughed up a good bit (short previous owner did some real hack work to lower it -- including butchering the subframe, replacement in the mail) but runs quite well, and is generally in good shape mechanically (other than the subframe and a bent kickstand, all related to the short PO)

I'm new to this bike, but not bikes in general -- what should I look out for? Only drivetrain oddity is the single aftermarket shorty exhaust (loud!), will this negatively affect the engine? Headers aren't exactly cheap, so I don't mind keeping this one if it all runs alright.

Shifter peg has broken off and is replaced with a bolt, and original is cost-prohibitive, even on ebay -- the guy recommended in threads about this seems to have stopped making them, any alternatives?

Paint is *UGLY* white and chipping. How are those ebay fairing kits? How do the ones with tank covers fit?
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Old 06-07-2018, 05:19 AM
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"Headers aren't exactly cheap"
OEM headers? https://www.ebay.com/itm/1998-HONDA-...AAAOSwXoRa43GC
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1998-97-05-...8AAOSwzQFZ-WuW
And perhaps ask here, might find one available.

"How are those ebay fairing kits?"

Look good from 6 feet.
Often require "fitting" hole making, hole adjustment
Are more fragile then OEM plastics..commonly develop stress cracks at mounting points..more so and quicker if you force, twist, bend to get the holes provided to fit the location of the mounting points.

"Shifter peg has broken off and is replaced with a bolt, and original is cost-prohibitive, even on ebay -- the guy recommended in threads about this seems to have stopped making them, any alternatives?"
Jamie still makes his shifters,you just have to contact him.. BUT Im not sure that helps as I don't know what you meant by "peg" take a picture perhaps or use a google picture search and post that to help us know what your talking about

Last edited by E.Marquez; 06-07-2018 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by E.Marquez View Post
"Headers aren't exactly cheap"
OEM headers? https://www.ebay.com/itm/1998-HONDA-...AAAOSwXoRa43GC
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1998-97-05-...8AAOSwzQFZ-WuW
And perhaps ask here, might find one available.

"How are those ebay fairing kits?"

Look good from 6 feet.
Often require "fitting" hole making, hole adjustment
Are more fragile then OEM plastics..commonly develop stress cracks at mounting points..more so and quicker if you force, twist, bend to get the holes provided to fit the location of the mounting points.

"Shifter peg has broken off and is replaced with a bolt, and original is cost-prohibitive, even on ebay -- the guy recommended in threads about this seems to have stopped making them, any alternatives?"
Jamie still makes his shifters,you just have to contact him.. BUT Im not sure that helps as I don't know what you meant by "peg" take a picture perhaps or use a google picture search and post that to help us know what your talking about
Definitely just the toe nib, where the rubber usually goes. Works fine otherwise, and I could probably rig something up to pass certification, but I figured I'd find out what the aftermarket shifters cost before going that route.

The goal for making it look good is to add more value than it costs me -- Refinishing everything in paint is at *least* another $1000, and if I'm very lucky, that's the extra I'd get out of this bike looking good. Once it's fixed up for roadworthiness, a fairing kit was always in the cards, but I was specifically wondering about the ones that come with a plastic tank cover. Paint on the tank is easily another $300, so ideally to be avoided
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:43 AM
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"The goal for making it look good is to add more value than it costs me"


I wouldn't get my expectations too high... I mean these things aren't worth much to begin with. If you buy a shitbox, no matter how cheap, it's going to end up costing you in the end if your goal is to flip it and make a buck. The bikes I've done that with are the ones that are pretty clean to begin with but have been sitting a long time just need a good cleaning and detailing and general maintenance. Yes I've also bought dirtballs that ran well, but I also do my own bodywork. If you're looking to add value, don't know where to find the parts, and not doing the work yourself you're probably going to be disappointed. Bodywork is more time and elbow grease than cost, and it shouldn't cost you $1000 to get your bike painted. You're going to get what you pay for with Ebay Chinese bodywork. I'd much prefer to find good OEM painter pieces and repair and refinish them myself, then spend a few hundred bucks for a pro paint job.

Again I guess it depends on who is buying the bike. If I went to see a Superhawk for sale and the owner put a Chinese plastic cover over a dented tank I'd probably laugh and walk away... and that's not because I think I'm any better than anyone else but there's a right way of doing things and it's too easy to find a clean original one (bike not tank) for not a lot of money...

I mean if you just bought it to fix it up then that's awesome. Great hobby/stress reliever, etc... But you mentioned "adding value" and "the extra I'd get out of it" so I'm assuming you're looking to sell it for more than you have in it. I could write you a book on cleaning and fixing up Superhawks, bikes or cars in general but I won't put you to sleep.

Last edited by captainchaos; 06-14-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by E.Marquez View Post
Jamie still makes his shifters,you just have to contact him.
I've only got 2 left, and once they are gone that's probably it. That said, these are from a batch after I formally discontinued them so you never know....
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:43 PM
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https://fortmyers.craigslist.org/lee...620979369.html

See this is the sort of thing I'm talking about. This guy wants $7500 for what looks like a real clean RC51. Aftermarket wheels, exhaust, rearsets, etc... Right? Then from about a MILE away I can spot those f#*$ing Chinese fairings he slapped on the side. If the RC51 logos that don't even come close to lining up don't give it away right off the bat, those generic looking "Jardine" and "Power Commander" (at least they spelled them right I guess) sponsor logos that are on real 2004 fairings don't look anything like the real ones do. I mean they're building 5th gen fighter jets but can't get the "Jardine" font right? And then since the bike was obviously dropped who knows what else is wrong with it... I guess he thinks no one will notice the flattened left side midpipe since he covered it with what looks like athletic tape that's falling off...

Probably have a field day with this thing if I saw it in person. Like I was saying there's a right way to fix things...

Last edited by captainchaos; 06-22-2018 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by captainchaos View Post
https://fortmyers.craigslist.org/lee...620979369.html

See this is the sort of thing I'm talking about. This guy wants $7500 for what looks like a real clean RC51. Aftermarket wheels, exhaust, rearsets, etc... Right? Then from about a MILE away I can spot those f#*$ing Chinese fairings he slapped on the side. If the RC51 logos that don't even come close to lining up don't give it away right off the bat, those generic looking "Jardine" and "Power Commander" (at least they spelled them right I guess) sponsor logos that are on real 2004 fairings don't look anything like the real ones do. I mean they're building 5th gen fighter jets but can't get the "Jardine" font right? And then since the bike was obviously dropped who knows what else is wrong with it... I guess he thinks no one will notice the flattened left side midpipe since he covered it with what looks like athletic tape that's falling off...

Probably have a field day with this thing if I saw it in person. Like I was saying there's a right way to fix things...
I'm with you, no one's out to misrepresent anything. I paid less than 1/3 of the going rate of a clean example (in my area), and I'm thinking making things just a little nice looking will make it easier to sell -- heck, not even about making much money, just about being marketable, vs the chilling rattlecan job on the stock fairings. Will probably be selling it at 1/2-2/3 of market rate, with full disclosure, and original fairings included. It's about getting past initial judgement for those who can't see beyond cosmetics right away.

Just like it takes a trained eye to see a barn rusty old barn find Harley from the 40s is valuable, it takes a trained eye to see the mediocre paint job and recognize that it's fixable...pretty-ish fairings make that transition easier, and no on gets ripped off.
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