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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to this site and I have a few questions. This will possible be my first cruiser since I have sold my zx11. I am looking at a 2002 Mean Streak with 25000 miles. The bike is a 2 owner bike without a scratch on it. He is asking $4800. Is this too much? Are the miles too high?
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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I can't comment on the price really, but 25000 miles on a Vulcan Twin is just getting broken in. I wouldn't be too concerned about the mileage, other than how it affects the price.
 

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I paid $6,900 for my 2002 MS 2.5 years ago and it doesn't look like it has depreciated at all. Still worth $6,861 and that price does not take into consideration upgrades, paint work, or additional aftermarket accessories.

In fact, $4,800 is so far under Blue Book I'd be skeptical as to what is wrong with it. Run the VIN for a salvaged title, and ask if you can have it checked out by a 3rd party mechanic. If there's nothing wrong with it, that's a steal.


From Blue Book:
Vehicle Type: MOTORCYCLES
Make:KAWASAKI
Model: VN1500 VLCN 1500 MN STREK
Year: 2002
Cubic Inch/Centimeter: 1500

MSRP(in 2002): $ 10,999
Retail $ 6,861

Average Trade-In $ 5,146
 

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Vegas Vulcan
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You know, that's one thing I noticed about metric cruisers. They drop quiet a bit (about 50% from MSRP) in the first few years but after that the depreciation seems to halt or slow dramatically.

I know my 06 1600 Classic listed for $10,699 and I paid $8200 for an end of the model year bike. I'm sure if I sold it I could get $6k for it easily. I wouldn't expect to get book retail for that's usually for a dealer backed used bike. I didn't pay retail when I bought new so why would I expect retail when selling. I think halfway between retail and trade in is a good price. If I keep it in nice shape for 3 more years I don't think it would drop too much more in value, maybe $1500 or so. From that point, say 5 more years down the road, at the most it might drop another $1500.

I see 11 -12 year old 1500's with 35,000 miles selling for about $3000 and the owners are saying they never had a bit of trouble with the bikes. In the end it sounds like a lot of fun and years of enjoyment for a relatively small amount of money. I see tons of Harley's on eBay trying to recoup their "low depreciation" so they can pay off their upside down loans but no one is bidding. I looked at a FatBoy and the dealer wanted $23k, said it was the only one in stock. I would have to work so hard to pay for that bike I wouldn't have time to ride it. If I was to finance the Harley and pay the loan out, the interest would be more than the depreciation on my Kawi.

In the end, it's a moot point for I don't think I would ever sell my 1600. The next bike I get will be an additional one. I'd keep the Vulcan around as a bike my brother or friends can ride when they are visiting.
 

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frequently disturbs class
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reader's digest version

What are some of the things I should look for or check when I see it?:confused:
f5r- The meany is a nice ride-

Generally look it over for signs of abuse or neglect. It shouldn't leak any fluids including fuel, coolant, or oil. Get down on your knees and look under the bike and look at the gasket lines on the primary cases. dirt is ok. Oily grime is not. Run your hands over the bottom frame members. They should be smooth like the rest of the frame tubes. If they're rough, it could mean the bike was curbed. Ask for service records. Good owners keep good records. Start it cold, ride it until it's hot. It should pull hard off the line, track arrow straight and stop quick, without any protesting. Note any wierd vibes/rattles/etc. Check all the electricals, including the gauges and horn,
Check for play in the steering/head bearings... there shouldn't be any.

Of course, look at the title. Matching VIN and no brands.

Check the VIN for recalls on the Kawi site

These are only some of the high spots
If you are unfamiliar with these bikes, pay a dealer for a presale inspection. They can tell you clearly where the bike stands, and save you some real grief. At 25k, I'm guessing it's due for some new rubber and a valve service? Not major, but not cheap either.

Not sure what part of the country you're in, but 4800 seems a fair price if the bike is ready to rock. If you have some time, you might just find a much newer 1600cc meany with far fewer miles for another 1000-1500 bones.

If you can, ride more than one. You'll notice some differences, and it will give you a chance to concentrate on something besides the awesome initial buzz of riding a meany...

Don't get in a hurry, and good luck to you!
 

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hey we have a 2002 meanstreak also... but then i can't tell you price wise if thats good since ours was a birthday present lol if you get it let me know i have a copy of the service manual for it online and i will send it to you if you would like :)
 

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Ahhh Crap
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I'd also look on the right side of the engine for signs of coolant leakage like dried coolant stains. Look at the driveshaft and at the end of it towards the front of the bike is a rubber boot. Pull down on it a bit and make sure no oil runs out. The 1500's and 1600's all have hydraulic lifters and self adjusting valves so no adjustment is necessary. Is the bike stock? Just pipes or pipes and an air kit? The more a bike has been modified the less I'd be willing to pay top dollar. At 25,000 miles there's a lot of life left in the bike. I have an '03 1500 Classic with over 40,000 miles and there's a guy on the Delphi Vulcan forum with an '03 1500 Nomad with well over 200,000 miles so, that Mean Streak is still a pup. If you can ride the bike, get it up to 50 mph and shift into 5th gear. Whack the throttle wide open and make sure the bike pulls smoothly up to speed. RPM's should increase proportionately to speed but if the engine seems to race ahead of the speed increase, it needs a new clutch spring. Not a big job or expensive but not something to put off for very long. Make sure the brakes work well before doing this. Beyond that, just use your eyes and ears. If the bike has been neglected, it's usually easy to see.
 

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Patriot Guardian
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I am new to this site and I have a few questions. This will possible be my first cruiser since I have sold my zx11. I am looking at a 2002 Mean Streak with 25000 miles. The bike is a 2 owner bike without a scratch on it. He is asking $4800. Is this too much? Are the miles too high?
KBB dealer retail is $6300
Trade-in is $4400.

With only 25k on it, I think $4800 is a very fair price, perhaps even a bit low.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies. I have been using the search feature and I think the bike belongs to a member of this site "streakerman".
 

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There was an '02 on craigslist here about 2 weeks ago. Had 3K on it and the guy was asking $4200 and was willing to deal a bit. But having said that, it was one of those "must sell" ads so he was probably needing to git rid of it quick. This is more typical:

2003 Kawasaki 1500 Vulcan Mean Streak - Christmas Gift!!!

I got mine 02 MS for $4300 in candy gold without any scratch anywhere and it has a lot of chrome upgrades, exhaust, mirror, etc, and the best thing about it was the mileage was ony 1,190 miles.
Of course I got a good deal because the owner was moving to another state, and he also owned 2 other Harleys beside the MS.
 

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Sounds like a winner, If I am not mistaken(and often I am remided by others that I am, which I don't mind as I learn) at 25K isn't it ready for a major service? Friend of mine has a 1600 classic and his was due at 25 not a major monetary spending issue but he is assured of a trouble free next 25K miles.
 

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Patriot Guardian
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Buy it. The 1500's run better than the 1600's. Kawasaki didn't do us any favors making the MS a 1600.
:confused:
Care to elaborate on that?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like a winner, If I am not mistaken(and often I am remided by others that I am, which I don't mind as I learn) at 25K isn't it ready for a major service? Friend of mine has a 1600 classic and his was due at 25 not a major monetary spending issue but he is assured of a trouble free next 25K miles.
Could someone explain more about this? I don't want to buy a bike and take it straight to the shop for service.
 

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Patriot Guardian
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I'll check the service manual when I get home and see what is required at that point.

The 1500/1600 Vulcans have hydraulic valve lifters, so that's a no-maintenance item. I can't really think of anything major beyond:
Steering head check/lube
Swingarm and driveshaft check/lube
And both of these really should be done well before 25k.

Really... that's about it. I'm not aware of anything that needs to have the engine torn into.

I'll see what I can find, but I'm thinking maybe Ojisan's friend may have been mislead by the dealer. Harley's have "major" service intervals at about 10k.

I'll check the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll check the service manual when I get home and see what is required at that point.

The 1500/1600 Vulcans have hydraulic valve lifters, so that's a no-maintenance item. I can't really think of anything major beyond:
Steering head check/lube
Swingarm and driveshaft check/lube
And both of these really should be done well before 25k.

Really... that's about it. I'm not aware of anything that needs to have the engine torn into.

I'll see what I can find, but I'm thinking maybe Ojisan's friend may have been mislead by the dealer. Harley's have "major" service intervals at about 10k.

I'll check the manual.
Thanks I sure would appreciate that. I am new to v-twins and shaft drive bikes. I am coming from a zx11.
 

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R.I.P. Deron Harden
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I've got 35,000 on my '04 and it runs stronger then the day I bought it. No leaks, doesn't burn oil and looks bad @ss!
 

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Patriot Guardian
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The only issue with age/mileage that might pop it's head up is the cam chain tensioners running out of extension, allowing the chains to rub against the spark plug tubes, eventually leading to an oil leak from the tube.

The fix is a set of tensioner extenders... they don't cost much and only take a couple of hours to install. There is a way to pull the cap from the tensioner and measure to see how much travel is left... I don't recall at what measurement the extenders should be installed. Mileage for this? Anywhere over 10k... some bikes have gone 60k without needed them, others have needed them before 15k.
 
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