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Discussion Starter #1
I originally posted this in another section but maybe it's better here:

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.

The seller does NOT have the title?

Thoughts?

Thanks for your help!!!
 

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It's all the same, shows up in active topics no matter where you put it. A moderator will be around later and tell you not to post multiple threads for the same thing, and likely merge this with your other post or delete this one lol
 

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No title, well depends on where you live. Sometimes a bill of sale is enough. You can get a Federal trail pass without a registration, so you can still have fun with it. Does it have a VIN? VIN located on frame above the tag.
Does it clatter or knock when running? Does it shift thru all five gears? Does it do reverse? Does the oil light come on momentarily when you turn on ignition? Does neutral light come on, how bout reverse.
To get the fan to come on you would have to drive it in 2nd gear for about 15 minutes, so I don’t recommend that unless the owner would let you.
A new timing chain job runs about $600
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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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You were strong . . . this was not the droid you were looking for. Another bike in better condition for better money will be along shortly. My advice to you, however, is to look for newer bikes because of the ease of still finding parts. A 1988 bike will be tough in this regard and I'd stick to something in the 2000's years if possible.

Even if you can find parts for a 1988 bike, they will be Chinese and built out of "Bullshitterite" . . . a substance that has proven to be not very dependable around here.

Rick
 
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I agree..sounds like it was a basket case no doubt...just keep an eye out as a decent good condition one will pop up from time to time. I've had other newer and bigger ATVs but I always wanted one the original TRX350s and now that I have one, I don't want anything else.

Sent from my SM-G550T1 using Tapatalk
 

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I agree with Rick , the 350 D were a horse of a bike in it's time , if you could find one in good condition for the right price and that's what you want then go for it , finding parts for it can be hard , expensive or even not existing , like starter gears , there were two different ratios and one is very hard to find --- also the ride of the bike , the turning radius and ease of steering will wear you out --------- I would suggest a 300 with a 4x2 kick out a better starting point , there are many after market options for the 300 , parts still available ---- but they are dwindling fast
 
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