Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy!

Doing my due delligence here on a bike I am considering buying. Hoping I can get some opinions and answers.

Local to me is a 1997 Triple with 22k miles or so. Current owner had it about 6 months and rode about 100 miles. He said he had it checked by a local dealer who has a Triumph mechanic and they gave it a good bill of health. I'm going to call and follow up with that for sure, but here are the things I found wanting:

1. Plastic cracked just under the seat on the left side. Not a big noticable thing, but what does it cost to get this replaced?

2. Brake pads down to about 1/8" or so, guessing they will all need replacement, at least for my peace of mind.

3. Oil noticable under the left side of motor (looks like a crank case seal or something, I'm not motorhead). Seems to be the exact same place my 91' Kawa Zephyr is leaking. Is this a common thing on Triples? Common on many bikes?

4. Clutch lever broken, so definitely needs a new one. I notice the stock one doesn't have an adjustment wheel. Are there better replacements for this?

5. Rubber on both gear shift and rear brake need replacing. Easy to just get rubber?

6. Grips would probably need replacing.. cost? Easy to do?

7. Neutral and turn signal lamps are very hard to see. I am guessing I can replace those bulbs easily and maybe do something to increase that? Check engine light is very easy to see.

8. Looks like some home brew mod was done to the tail. Black plastic was cut and looks like maybe an aftermarket license plate mount. Not sure what it used to look like. I'm asking the currnet owner for some pics.

Has some sort of CF exhaust on it.. sounds awesome. So PO must have put that on. No idea if it has any other mods, current owner has no idea. He hasn't registered it yet, but he does have a pink slip, he says. I am guessing if that pink slip doesn't have his name on it yet he can just sign it over to me and he never has to pay for registration? I know it's not the best way, but if it's on the up and up and he just hasn't registered, is that ok?

It was a little slow to start the first time, probably just cold. Might need a new battery., otherwise rode excellently.

Any other things to look out for?

Thanks!

[ This message was edited by: whodkne on 2007-01-20 12:57 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Havin just read your post, i would say that there are SO many things about this bike you should be payin attention to that i might pass on it. Brake pads, oil leak, cracked plastic, check eng lite, battery, Clear title...etc... It just does'nt sound real great from where i'am sittin. Just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,971 Posts
How much is it going for. make sure there is nothing nasty on the title (salvage). shame he has only had it a brief time, perhaps you can trace the previous owner. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
On 2007-01-20 17:06, itchin wrote:
Havin just read your post, i would say that there are SO many things about this bike you should be payin attention to that i might pass on it. Brake pads, oil leak, cracked plastic, check eng lite, battery, Clear title...etc... It just does'nt sound real great from where i'am sittin. Just my opinion.
+1
Those old engines will run forever. My old 4 banger had over 40k on it when I sold, and it was ready for 40 more. But, with all the stuff you just listed it sounds like this bike is going to nickle and dime you for a while. A 97' S3 is worth about 3k, with or without problems. There's a 96 Daytona 1200 on Craig's List here for $3250 with no problems. The oil leak may just be a leaking case seal, but it threw up a flag for me. I would keep a sharp eye. Those Triumphs owners are always trying to pull one over ya.!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,196 Posts
97's can suffer fom exploding 4th gear as Stampy mentioned; the fix is a lot cheaper if done before it breaks!
All the stuff you mentioned is minor stuff on a '97.
1/8th inch on the pads? That sounds like a lot! These are bike pads! :-D
You didn't mention how much you were paying - maybe if you'd care to share you could get better opinion as to whether it's a good deal.

For some idea of pricing on parts go to www.bikebandit.com; OEM parts, then follow the links to your bike year & model. They're not really any cheaper than the dealer but the 'fiche system is easy to use & give you pricing guide. Don't quote the part numbers to your dealer though as BB uses their own system.

On the clutch lever, if you get the adjustable lever complete with Perch from an '05+ S3 that will fit.
Or style it up a bit & fit Pazzos which are available as direct fit.
(I actually have CRG's on mine but you need to fit a KAWASAKI perch to utilize a fit for same - do a search on CRG lever under my screen name for details)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi All,

Thanks for the thoughts and info.

It's listed at $4000. I think I can easily get $3500 as that is what he bought it for. He posted that he wanted to get the tax and registration so the total of $4000, but then informs me it hasn't been registered yet. So it's a bit off right there, I think he's just jacking up the price.

At the condition it is in I'd want to get it checked out for the oil. He says the batt died after I rode it this morning. Either way, I'd have him go to the DMV with me to get it registered before I paid him, to make sure that is all clear.

No way to know if the 4th gear fix was done unless the PO would know, is that right? The local place isn't an authorized dealer, so I'd have to take it down a ways to one and have them run the VIN and all.

I'm thinking for $3k it might be a hit. I really wanted black, but I guess it is possible to get it painted if I really want it. I've been watching for months and nothing ever comes up that is newer (not sure the cutoff for the dual headlights / engine size, fuel injection, etc) within 500 miles. I want to spend around $3k so it might be the way to go.

My current ride, Kawa Zephyr 1991, is on the way out and needing some work (oil leaking, front forks need rebuilding). So this might be something to fix up a bit for now.

Here are some pictures and some comments on the problems I noticed:





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Needs a new chain too - that looks rusty!
<BR>
<BR>The most serious issue with a T509 is 4th gear. If it has not been replaced with the latest spec parts it can go bang, completely - the dogs break off and fragments end up in the sump, possibly jamming the gearbox in the process.
<BR>
<BR>This is a motor out job to repair. Unless you are going to do it yourself WHEN (not if) it happens, then you are talking big money at a dealer.
<BR>
<BR>Looking at the cracked plastic and snapped clutch lever it has obviously been on its side. This could be where the oil came from, although it could be the gearshift oil seal.
<BR>
<BR>Grips and lever rubbers are available and easy to change. You can pick up an undertray on Ebay to replace the hacked up abortion on that bike.
<BR>Clutch lever from a modern Z750 Kwak has an adjuster on it, but you need the perch too. Triumph make a small span kit for little hands.
<BR>Replacing instrument bulbs - don't unless you really have to. The lugs inside the clock cases can have a tendency to strip and the bolts just spin round and round.
<BR>
<BR>If I were you, I would wait for a later 955 engined bike. The T509 is ok, but 4th gear is a big worry.
<BR>
<BR>Pricewise I have no idea, as you're on the wrong side of the pond, but if it were in the UK then that would be absolute top money for a private sale mint T509 with a receipt for the gearbox work.
<BR>
<BR>Has the ECU had a new tune loaded for the pipe? If not this could have caused valve damage over an extended period.
<BR>
<BR>If you buy it don't paint it. Those colour plastics are rare and you can sell them on Ebay, buy a black set and have change.

[ This message was edited by: martinyoung on 2007-01-21 06:11 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the thoughts.

I am unsure of the models and years. It seems like '97 is a new model year with the T509, is that right? So what year after '97 don't I need to worry about 4th gear?

I'll email the owner these items and see if he knows or can find out about them.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,144 Posts
I would save my money and look for a 99-01. You can find good examples for 35-4500 bucks, and they have the non exploding gearbox.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
What Speed3 said.

T509 came out in 97 with 885cc FI engine.

955 Speed Triple came out in 99.

I owned a T509 - fortunately for me 4th gear died on the test ride from the dealer. There was no warning, no odd noises or missed gears - it just went.

I now have a 955 and it is a far better bike. Top end is about the same but the 955 has so much more grunt.

Anything prior to engine number 57946 is a possible problem. After this I believe the toughened parts were fitted at build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all, I offered $2800 assuming that 4th hasn't been replaced and that I'd need to make all the repairs I listed. I think that's fair for 22k miles and those repairs.

We'll see what he says. I have to say, finding a S3 in LA area that is 99+ and black is quite hard. Not hardly any listed in the classifieds here or on Craigslist or Cycletrader. I'll keep looking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
On 2007-01-21 16:54, whodkne wrote:
Thanks all, I offered $2800 assuming that 4th hasn't been replaced and that I'd need to make all the repairs I listed. I think that's fair for 22k miles and those repairs.

We'll see what he says. I have to say, finding a S3 in LA area that is 99+ and black is quite hard. Not hardly any listed in the classifieds here or on Craigslist or Cycletrader. I'll keep looking.
Buy a Daytona and stip it and get more hp for less dollars.I saved my self three to four thousand dollars buy doing this.All I need now is to change the rear swing arm(which I probably wont do)
Now I have a 149Hp speedtona :-D :-D :-D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The daytona is a triple with more bodywork? I can sort of see that in the pictures. Is it as simple as removing the plastics? Or more involved?

Any posts or articles on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
That he hasn't registered sounds fishy to me as well. Why wouldn't you do that when you buy it?

Like everyone else, I would say be patient. I think this one is a pass at this time. Too many unknowns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, a bit fishy but I wouldn't buy it without him going to the DMV with me. We'll see what he says about the price. I'm guessing he'll turn it down and I'll keep looking.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top