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Thoughts on buying Suzuki VanVan 125 2004?


Jaups20
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Looking to buy my first bike for commuting and longer day trips.


I am thinking of buying a used Suzuki Van Van 2004 as it is local.


Is this the kind of bike I can sell in a year and get my money back?


Is 2004 plate ok?


General thoughts on the Suzuki VanVan?


Anything to look out for when inspecting?


Is 1.3K a good price (has intact MOT)?


Thanks

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Hello and welcome, sounds about right for the coin, the Van Van's usually hold their value well, so as long as it's not looking a total lemon worth getting if that's what you want :thumb:

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Belting bikes. I had one and loved it. The 2004 will be carb, the later fuel injection ones have a line round the bottom edge of the tank.


They are easy to ride, handle brilliantly on our appalling roads, are dead simple to maintain and reliable.


They are as good as possible in factory spec so don't go for messing about with aftermarket exhausts looking for more power. In fact check it is all original. Some aftermarket exhausts can make them guzzle oil.


Only one real mod that is worth doing. Like many 125s they are overgeared. The engine doesn't have the torque to hold 6th gear in any kind of headwind or gradient. You end up taking it to the limit in 5th, going into 6th, then gradually losing speed until you have to drop back into 5th again. So what most people do is to replace the front sprocket with one that is 1 tooth less. That puts the gears into a much better place. It will then hold 6th at above 60mph but hits the rev limiter at 68mph. On the original gearing which in theory gives you a higher max speed they lose momentum at about 55mph.


The standard chain is a bit on the weak side but on a 2004 machine that will have been changed. Some people go up a size but I found just buying a good quality chain in the original spec was fine.


There used to be a VanVan forum but I think it closed down a while back.


There is a 200cc version but it is actually no faster than the 125 as it has 5 gears rather than 6.

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[mention]Gerontious[/mention] ta.


I've got one, a 2011 FI version, but other than much the same as the 2004 one you're looking at.

Most VanVans are people's summer toys, so they tend to be pretty good condition. My impression is that most people buying them want one of those nice-looking ones, so my advice would be to buy one of them, and avoid anything that seems to be less-than-average. That way you'll have no problem when you come to sell again next year as long as you keep it nice. See later, though, about winter commuting...


But there are a few reasons I wouldn't get a VanVan for what you describe. First, they're a bit underpowered compared with other 125s. I am featherlight (about 9 stone) and with me on and no luggage, I can wind the bike up to 50mph fairly easily. Anything beyond that, though, is a gift of the wind, or the hill, or some other happy circumstance. It *can* do 65mph, but only at special moments. Tbh it will fine for commuting in town and on 40s, but you will quickly tire of its underperformance on faster roads.

The other reason is the wheels. Perhaps it's just me, but spoked wheels and commuting don't work well for me. They're a pita to get the pressure gauge in to check the tyres, and when you come to wash them they chew your knuckles off and still look filthy afterwards. Up to you though: no reason for spoked wheels to put you off if you're happy to live with them.

There's one more point you might want to consider, and that the condition of the bike after a winter of commuting (if this is what you're planning). Commuting on salty roads is bad news for any bike: the chrome goes sad, even stainless corrodes. I don't know how the VanVan will stand up - mine only goes out on sunny days - but not many people buy a Suzuki for their unparalleled build quality.

If it were me, I'd get a CG or a YBR. They will weather the winter fine. You'd be able to pick up one in average condition and sell it on next year for the same price. Either will go faster than the VanVan.

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[mention]bonio[/mention] - have you changed the front sprocket as most people do with them? Mine was exactly as you describe until I dropped one tooth at the front. It would cruise quite happily at 65mph afterwards with the engine almost at max rpm so it could hold 6th even up slight inclines and into a modest headwind.

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@bonio - have you changed the front sprocket as most people do with them? Mine was exactly as you describe until I dropped one tooth at the front. It would cruise quite happily at 65mph afterwards with the engine almost at max rpm so it could hold 6th even up slight inclines and into a modest headwind.

 

No I haven't. That's a good call. I think I'll go do it! :thumb:

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You don't give location but if your looking at a blue one near Bournemouth its been sat outside with for sale tag... Every day when the shop opened since late last year...


I fancied one as a 125 but other bikes where more affordable for the 6 months I had 125...

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Hello and welcome, sounds about right for the coin, the Van Van's usually hold their value well, so as long as it's not looking a total lemon worth getting if that's what you want :thumb:

:stupid: Basically this.


Great bikes and hold their value really well, bit like the Varederos.

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