Author Topic: Talk me down, fellas!  (Read 1077 times)

Grippy

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Talk me down, fellas!
« on: March 05, 2009, 11:32:18 PM »
I'm brand new here (see how shiny I am?) and I need someone to talk me out of buying a pair of FL250s.

The deal is this: I'm planning to attend the Road Warrior Weekend Event in Barstow, CA, in  November. (http://www.myspace.com/roadwarriorevent) I planned to buy a late '70s or very early '80s dirt bike and make a Road Warrior-inspired bike out of it. Then I started thinking about a dune buggy or sand rail, and rediscovered the Odyssey. I wanted one when I was a kid, but never got one. I found this ad for a 1980 FL250:

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/mcy/1059103747.html

I'm supposed to go check it (them) out on Saturday. I have just enough space in the garage for both (though I may end up storing one at the in-laws' house). The thing is, although I have mechanical aptitude and am up for a project, I've never really been an engine guy or car guy. From a practical standpoint, buying these things and then trying to get them both running (not refurbed; just in solid running shape) isn't a great idea. But that's exactly why I want to do it. I've been responsible and made mature choices, and now it's time to do something stupid. :D Plus the more I read about these things, and about how much you love them, the more I want one (or two) of my own. (And if I have two, the wife can drive one, right?)

So what do you say? Bad idea or baddest idea? Do it or don't? Thanks!

PilotHawK

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Talk me down, fellas!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 04:54:39 AM »
Of the odyssey and pilot lines the FL250's are the simplest. As far as his asking price. 2 non-running odysseys. $600....no way. I have bought several that were running when I bought them for less than $500. I'd offer $$200-300 and walk away if he doesn't take it, or offer to haul them off if he pays you to take them. Those look like pretty rough projects to start with. You can easily find something in better condition for the money. I can guarantee you that to go through them and make them "reliable" it'll take at a minimum of $200-$300 for a running machine, much less one that is a questionable runner that hasn't been run in a while. From what I can see in the pictures you're probably looking at much more than that to get one in "reliable" condition.

The learning curve is pretty steep, but the 2-strokes on these machines are pretty straightforward. Be warned now though, if you go through with this you will become infected with the disease!

Grippy

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Talk me down, fellas!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 09:43:52 PM »
Infected? I think it's too late for that, and I haven't even bought one yet.  :shock:

Thank you, sir. That calmed me down quite a bit. I did a wider search and found another several non-runners for under $200.

http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/mcy/1061847326.html

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/ant/mcy/1061393844.html

So let me come at it from this angle: Since I'm just starting out, would you recommend that I buy a complete (or mostly complete) non-runner for cheap, and get my hands dirty learning the machine, or spend more to get a running model? (Around here, in SoCal, I haven't seen any runners for less than $1k asking. But I expect to see prices come down as the economy tanks.) Or would it depend on how involved I decide I want to be?

Thanks.

PilotHawK

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Talk me down, fellas!
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2009, 06:09:21 AM »
Economically speaking, you are better off finding a complete machine. These things will nickel and dime you to death!

FL250's are great machines to learn on, but be aware that they are what they are. Grown up go karts. As long as you are willing to learn and get your hands dirty, are willing to spend several hundred dollars repairing 10-15 years or more of neglect, AND play on a go-kart then go for it. If you want to ride sooner rather than later then go with a running machine in much better shape.

I'm not trying to be a downer, I'm just trying to inject a little reality into the situation for you. If you want a truly capable toy then start looking for an FL350 or pilot. Hell you should even be able to pick up a fairly new china buggy for decent money, and some of those are pretty good, most notably the joyner brand.

Grippy

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Talk me down, fellas!
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2009, 07:14:28 PM »
Thank you again. Points well taken. I know from past experience that if I don't get something that runs now (or with minimal fixing), it will just sit. It's striking that balance betwen money up front and money on the back end that's the trick.

That said, I think I'll just bide my time and keep looking. I'm sure that eventually I'll find an ugly, running 250 (or 350) for a great price that will suit my purposes. And I'll be here with plenty of questions. :)