I am thinking about picking up a 1981 Suzuki PE175. Its $100 and needs a top end. How reliable are these bikes? Most parts seem to be readily available so thats good. Also, what am I looking at for performance?
I can tell you that some parts are hard to find. I have yet to find a pipe/muffler, or a front brake cable. I just bought an 81 three days ago. I spent too much money. Mine looks like a bag of smashed ass holes, but ran, until I rebuilt the carb. now it doesn't. :(
If it runs, the price is right and probably wasn't beat up as bad as this one. You can have some fun on it and not have the worry of bashing an expensive bike.
I thinkI saw your post. I found a front brake cable on bike bandit and if you look hard enough, pipes are still easily found at some vintage salvage yards. And after reading, it seems like they are somewhat reliable. They just arent super speed machines.
Thanks, I tried to find it today, but was unsuccessful. I will call the number tomorrow.
And after reading, it seems like they are somewhat reliable. They just arent super speed machines.[/quote]
Yeah that's what I had read too. I just want something to tool around on. maybe a few woods trails. I just want a cheap bike that will start when i want it too, and get me out of where I take it. It sounds like these are usually good for that.
I use to own a 79 PE 175 and my brother had a 81 175. The 81 had the full floater suspension which was better than my 79 with the dual shocks. His engine seemed to pull better also. They are not a powerful bike but we had a lot of fun with them. They were pretty reliable bikes. I used mine to get back and forth to work in the summers. I did manage to hit 90 MPH with it pinned out on the road 1 time. I am not sure how accurate the speedo's were back then but the front tire was hovering off the road every time I hit a small bump in the road at that speed. You should remove the air box lid to make it run better. The only major problems was the counter shaft snapped in half and it wrecked the left side of the engine casing. My cousin was shifting it while he was wheeling it when that happened. And I did have the clutch basket grenade. The back plate come off and the rubber dampers went everywhere and were chewed up by the gears. That was a long walk home that day. LOL. The clutch let loose because I was riding over a wet log and I fell off and the bike got stuck in the mud with the throttle buried in the ground running wide open I didn't get it shut fast enough. We bought another bike and used the the other for a parts bike. If I have any parts still hanging around in my dad's barn I'll let you know.
For a $100 you can't lose it might cost you another $100 to get it running but it will be worth it IMO. Don't run it too hard because of it's age.
I wish I still had my 79, it would be a great trail bike for my wife.
I personally would LOVE to find a rebuildable '81 PE-175!!
If there's anyone in the Michigan area that has one, PLEASE PM me and let's talk!
As far as you picking one up, consider this (IMHO):
Never buy a vintage bike just because the asking price is low. Rebuilding a vintage bike in most cases can end up costing more than a modern bike, assuming that your even able to find all the parts. Manuals and techinical help is mostly lacking on older bikes too, so you kind of need to know what your doing before you open your wallet.
Only buy or recondition a vintage bike if you've always wanted one of them, or emotionally tied to it in some way ~ ie. it's my dad's old bike, or, this is the bike that I wanted back when I was 17!
There's more good reasons, but don't do it because it has a cheap "buy it now" price tag. You'll be shocked when it comes time to buy parts that no longer exsist...
I had an '84 and it was grenade proof enginewise. The mods I did to make it go were to cut open the pipe and take out the wire mesh, shave the head 0.010" and put fibre reeds on. My nephew has an '82 and he can't break it either.