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1988 Honda Foreman 350

2514 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jeepwm69
I’m looking for a little advice from the experts here. I’m going to go take a look at a red 1988 Honda Foreman 350 that is for sale by a private owner today.

There isn’t much known history. Apparently the current owner purchased it some time ago and it wasn’t running. He had the timing chain and the valves replaced by a mechanic along with the rear brake shoes. He told me the valves were replaced because they had a slight indentation in them. It now runs.

What should I look for when I go to see it? I didn’t think that the valves could make contact with anything on this engine? Does that sound plausible?

It appears to be in good shape from the photos I’ve seen and he is asking about $1900 for it. I think that is a little steep as the NADA guide says $1800 in Excellent condition and $1285 in Very Good condition.

Thanks for your help!!!
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Oh, and he doesn’t have the title.
He said that it had jumped time and that was why he had to replace the timing chain and I believe the intake valves.

We need a title to get stickers here too but I’ve never seen anyone check for them in the several years I’ve been riding.
Thank you all for the input! I really, really appreciate it!

I went and looked at the bike and DID NOT buy it. I REALLY wanted to come home with one but it wasn’t going to be that one and not for that price. There were numerous red flags on the play. In no particular order here are the ones I can remember:

No title, bought it from someone a year ago he claims and he never had the title but I knew that going in.

It was running when I pulled up but he shut it off as I got out of the truck. Possibly cold start issues.

He tried to kick start it and it wouldn’t start. He only tried a few times but none the less it didn’t start.

No oil temp light on start up.

All the plastic was rattle canned red. Most of the plastic was stitched together with zip ties reminding me of Frankenstein.

Tires going bad with cracks

Left forward CV book leaking

Some homemade cobbled together exhaust system that was very loud and probably making the engine run lean. Possibly what lead to the other issues he had with the timing chain and valves.

Front brakes were almost non existent.

It seemed to shift a little funny and sloppy.

Gas gauge LED’s were a little intermittent.

Side panels were missing

After a quick test drive and upon stopping the idle kept climbing on its own. Possibly another indication that it was running lean or other carb/adjustment issues.

That’s just the things that I can remember off the top of my head. He said he was pretty firm on the price. Firm or not, I wasn’t bringing that home with me. It might make someone else happy but to me it looked like way too much I would want/need to fix.

Oh well, I’ll just keep looking.

Thanks again for all of your advice!
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Yeah, I’m glad I turned him down. It just wasn’t for me. He apparently sold it to a farmer later in the day.
Are you looking for a good early Fourtrax or are you open to later model Rancher or Foreman?

I have an 86 and a 93 Fourtrax 4x4. I’m tickled pink with both but my hands down fave is the Chili Pepper.

I have 13 work Hondas with the newest an 06 Rancher—it’s a real good outfit.
I’m looking for a good dependable, maintainable, reasonably priced 4X4 to go trail riding on occasion that doesn’t have a standard clutch. I own a 2007 TRX400EX which has been a great bike but it’s ALOT of work to ride the mountain trails in Washington State. I bought it in Texas where there is less mountainous rocky terrain and more gentle hills and tracks.

As I get older the need for speed has diminished and the slower less work required bikes are appealing more.

I’d like to find one that isn’t prone to breaking, is reliable, has a title and that I won’t cry if I scratch it up. Also parts availability would be a plus. It doesn’t have to be super fancy. Just something to go trail riding on that won’t leave me stranded.

I initially was looking at the older Foreman’s because they were built like tanks and they also had a kick starter as a backup. My concern is parts availability like someone mentioned so I am definitely open to options and recommendations. Thanks!
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Oh, what is a Chili Pepper?!!? You lost me on that one.
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