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Old 08-20-2016, 05:21 PM   #1
zaz
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Default Buying a hornet, tips?

Hello,

I was originally looking at either the hornet or the fz6, since they're both naked bikes with about the same horsepower, and initially went for the fz6 because of EFI. I couldn't find one with a reasonable seller, and am now looking at up to 5 hornets tomorrow, looking to make a final decision. I have not test driven a hornet ever, but have test driven the 650F, the FZ6, a bunch of other twin and I/V 4 bikes, and my current bike is a 1984 honda magna v30.

I am generally pretty good at telling the condition of a bike, and would be doing all the usual checks (fork oil leaks, oil quality/level, suspension tests, tread, making sure the bike is cold so I can start from cold, fluids, etc.). Is there anything in particular I should know about this bike? I am looking at 3 2004 models, and 2 2006 models. As far as I can tell, the dash and inverted forks are the only advantages of the 2006 model.

How much of a power difference am I looking at between the fz6 and the hornet? Is the carb going to be an issue? I have a 4 cylinder bike and carbs can be a pain in the ass sometimes. The 2 I like the most are 2004 black models, and have a large list of upgrades (hindle exhuast, LEDs, battery, tail tidy, suspension, etc.). They both have around 40k kms, and the 2006 I like the most has just 10k kms, almost everything stock. I can post the ads if that's allowed.

So my main questions are, what should I know about maintenance requirements, issues with the model, carb troubles vs EFI, power difference vs the fz6, aftermarket half-fairing (I wanted angel eyes headlights), which of the ads seems like the best call, etc. I am in Canada and all of the ads are in the mid-high $3000s range.

Please let me know if this is the wrong subforum for this question, and thanks in advance!
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:39 AM   #2
Sundog
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

The carbs are generally low maintenance and reliable, but people have troubles with clogged jets from time to time - nothing out of the ordinary. Mine have 60 k miles, I've checked for balance twice with nothing out of spec, and I've had to clean clogged slow jets a few thousand miles ago. It has always warmed up quickly for me. $3000 in USD would be high for a 2004 with those kms, but I don't recall the conversion these days so that may be reasonable. Depends on how well it was taken care of and whether stored outside, and whether ridden on salted roads. If no to those, the kms themselves should not be an issue for this engine.
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

$3000 Canadian doesn't seem too far off the mark. I don't think I have seen them going for less, and in fact in Vancouver here, they seem to go for more. I have 64,000km on mine, and no issues I didn't cause myself.

You will find that if you are in to modifying the bike, the front end seems easier to play with on the 04. Apparently, they added some more stiffness to the frame on the 06, but it seems like a non issue to me on my 04.

There is a lot of debate as to which model looks better between the 04 and 06, so that is something you might want to consider. If you are looking at one with 40,000km they should have had the valves inspected once, although they never seem to be out of speck at that distance.
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

I've ridden an FZ-6 and did not notice the extra power. The FZ-6 is about 50 lbs heavier and definitely feels like it (the weight felt higher to me).

As the other said the carbs are fine. Remember this is basically the most advanced carb ever made...and honestly bike manufacturers are still struggling with EFI here and there.

Not to throw a wrench in but without knowing your budget have you looked at FZ-8s? I've seen some great deals on those and heard a lot of good things.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:31 PM   #5
zaz
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundog View Post
The carbs are generally low maintenance and reliable, but people have troubles with clogged jets from time to time - nothing out of the ordinary. Mine have 60 k miles, I've checked for balance twice with nothing out of spec, and I've had to clean clogged slow jets a few thousand miles ago. It has always warmed up quickly for me. $3000 in USD would be high for a 2004 with those kms, but I don't recall the conversion these days so that may be reasonable. Depends on how well it was taken care of and whether stored outside, and whether ridden on salted roads. If no to those, the kms themselves should not be an issue for this engine.
I ended up getting it! It's a 2004, it was in REALLY good condition. I can't even remember all the tasteful modifications but I'll list some (all original parts came with it): ohlins fork springs, full hindle aluminum system (which I need to fix one of the headers for, it leaks a little), integrated rear turn signals and tail tidy, these really high quality aftermarket mirrors I forgot the name of, LED front turn signals, etc. Has 40k kms on it, braided brake lines, aftermarket adjustable clutch and brake levers, came with about 2.5mm tread on both front and rear, as well as an unused sealed set of brake pads and front tire. Got it for $3800.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlove View Post
$3000 Canadian doesn't seem too far off the mark. I don't think I have seen them going for less, and in fact in Vancouver here, they seem to go for more. I have 64,000km on mine, and no issues I didn't cause myself.

You will find that if you are in to modifying the bike, the front end seems easier to play with on the 04. Apparently, they added some more stiffness to the frame on the 06, but it seems like a non issue to me on my 04.

There is a lot of debate as to which model looks better between the 04 and 06, so that is something you might want to consider. If you are looking at one with 40,000km they should have had the valves inspected once, although they never seem to be out of speck at that distance.
I really did like the look of the 2004, especially in matte black, so I got it! Paid about $3800, posted some details above. Here's a pic: Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by slippy View Post
I've ridden an FZ-6 and did not notice the extra power. The FZ-6 is about 50 lbs heavier and definitely feels like it (the weight felt higher to me).

As the other said the carbs are fine. Remember this is basically the most advanced carb ever made...and honestly bike manufacturers are still struggling with EFI here and there.

Not to throw a wrench in but without knowing your budget have you looked at FZ-8s? I've seen some great deals on those and heard a lot of good things.
Yeah after test riding mine, I noticed little power difference. The lack of a windshield is a factor though. I am in Ontario so my insurance is sky-high. I can't go higher than 600cc, I am now paying $2500 a year for insurance.

Solid points on the carbs/EFI issue, I didn't think about that! Also I heard the fz6 EFI isn't exactly the best anyways.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

Looks good! How does the hindle sound?
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

Wait...did you say $2,500 insurance for a 600cc bike?
As a senior biker (which means at least 25 years old) and some trouble-free years of riding I have to pay 80 EUR per year. Or, in other words: for $2,500 I could ride my hornet for the rest of my life!
Whats wrong with the insurance fees in Canada?
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:38 PM   #8
Gregg599
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

Yeah really, $2500 for insurance?! You've paid for the bike all over again in a year and a half. That's insane!

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Old 08-24-2016, 11:24 PM   #9
zaz
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlove View Post
Looks good! How does the hindle sound?
During a drive-by, sounds like an F1 car! I love it. Although, since it's a full system, one of the headers leaks a little, so I have to get that sorted out soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingbrick View Post
Wait...did you say $2,500 insurance for a 600cc bike?
As a senior biker (which means at least 25 years old) and some trouble-free years of riding I have to pay 80 EUR per year. Or, in other words: for $2,500 I could ride my hornet for the rest of my life!
Whats wrong with the insurance fees in Canada?
Ontario has some of the highest insurance costs in the world. I am a 22 year old rider with a clean record, 1 year of my motorcycle licence. I paid $2500 on a 1984 Honda Magna V30 last year, $1m liability and comprehensive, dropped to $1900 this year, and with the upgraded bike, its back up to $2500 for just 100cc extra. I can't even get insurance on a supersport, since my company doesn't support it. Last year, I got quoted as high as $10 000.... on an '85 750cc bike... which is basically their way of saying "we don't want to insure you, go away." so I had to get a 500cc standard (albeit one with 69bhp lol)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg599 View Post
Yeah really, $2500 for insurance?! You've paid for the bike all over again in a year and a half. That's insane!

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Yep, last year on a $1100 bike, a 1984 Honda Magna V30, I paid $2500 insurance.

Last edited by zaz; 08-24-2016 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:24 AM   #10
Farley121
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

ZAZ, try a quote from Desjardins insurance. They're a broker for Certas. It was suggested to me by a friend who was a new rider, the cheapest I've found myself, as well as a few people I've talked to.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

wait did you say you have 1 million dollar insurance plan? That's sounds a bit excessive. Mine might be $25k or $50k.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Buying a hornet, tips?

More protection needed in Canada. I pay $444 per year.
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