Originally Posted by Tuna Helper
What are you doing to make it "safe and reliable"?
New tires, usually a few bearings, cables, clean the carburetors, clean the brake system, usually upgrade the brakes to a more modern standard. If I'm planning on keeping it long, cartrige emulators in the forks, new shocks, I prefer have a nice smooth ride. Adjust the valves, test and clean up the electrical system, clean out the gas tank if it's grungy. Replace, grease or service everything else that needs it. Fork seals, whatever. Easy stuff, these are simple machines. I enjoy the work, if you hated working on stuff it wouldn't be a good idea.
I try to buy the ones that look nice, not running, as not running is easier to fix than ugly. I won't touch a rust bucket. Too much work.
It usually comes in at just under $1000 when all is done. I have been doing this for years, buy a dead bike, fix it up, ride it until I'm tired of it and sell it at a small profit.
I prefer the Suzukis because they still sell most parts for the old bikes, but have done other brands as well. Honda and Kawasaki drop the parts quick once a model is no longer in production, not Suzuki.
In something like 400,000 miles I have yet to have any of these bikes leave me stranded alongside a road. Ever.