The next bike that I looked at, also from Craiglist, was the one. An 1984 Honda Nighthawk 550. The seller was in south Minneapolis. His ad said that it was mechanically sound but "special" cosmetically. That sounded right up my alley: something safe to ride but not overly pretty so that I'll be heart broken if it falls.
I had a good vibe about the seller. He had two kids, was a musician, involved in Art-A-Whirl, and had a Surly bumper sticker.
I drove it around the block on a Monday afternoon. Prefect. It started, was quiet, easy to shift and all the gears worked. The dials worked. It did have a few scratches and it looked like it fell over at some point because the end of the right handle was scratched. The lights worked, brakes worked. Great bike. It even had a skull and crossbones sticker on the side of the tank.
Monday night, I wrote a check for $750 and my amazing wife drove me to south Minneapolis to pick it up. The owner was just putting the windshield on. That was the first thing that I took off when I got home. After the windshield, I took off the skull and bones sticker. Goof Off helped to get the sticky part off the tank.
Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase and can't wait to start riding.
Next post: My First Official Ride