Positive Bike Selling / Buying Experiences

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Rick G, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Jun 8, 2008
    NW GA
    Guy posts an ad. I call within about 15 minutes and tell him I will take it if he can hold it 3 wks with deposit. He said no deposit required, it's mine.

    I showed up 3 weeks later, hand him $100 bills, he gives me bike and title, and all is well.
  2. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

    Jul 27, 2009
    Sonoma, Calif.
    Three of my most recent transactions (two bought and one sold) were at a local independent shop that sells bikes on consignment for a flat $100/month which is a steal IMHO, and all three deals went very smoothly...the two bikes I bought are excellent and especially liked selling that way, they placed the ad on Craigslist and showed the bike so I did not have CL flakes and weirdos coming to my house...a serious buyer w/ cash met me at the shop and bought my bike within a few days. For anyone in the S.F. north bay area the shop is in Santa Rosa http://www.the-motorcycle-shop.com/Home.html (and I have no connection other than being a happy customer)

    Did buy a bike on CL last year and that went well too, the bike was as described, priced very well, and the seller had all the paperwork, parts, manuals, etc
  3. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

    Aug 4, 2007
    Northern Vermont
    I bought my first GS on Craigslist. Bike was in northern WV. I put a deposit, caught a ride with a friend going sort of close by. I showed up with the balance in cash. Seller put me up in his spare room for the night, fed me breakfast and sent me on my way back to VT. Had so much fun that I kept riding till things got dark and rainy, which was somewhere in Maine. Pitched a tent in a field, got up at dawn and rode back to VT and home.

    Altogether a great experience.

    Ditto when I sold my Tiger 1050 on Craigslist. Buyer from MA said he'd be here on Saturday. He showed up with a trailer, inspected the bike, paid, and left happy.
  4. willfreely

    willfreely Elderly Belligerent

    Jan 15, 2013
    Upper Pungo, Va or E Tenn
    Bought my '04 R1150R from a Craigslist ad in Jan 2010 (I always shop for bikes in winter), pastor running it for one of his church members. Original owner, had only put 8400 miles on it. I paid a little more than what I wanted, a little less than he wanted, so in my experience, a fair deal.
    Fast forward 1 1/2 years, economically pressed for quick cash, I listed the slightly farkled bike for more than market value and got a call from a Navy E-6, who said she wanted to learn how to motorcycle. Even after cautioning her it was not a beginner's bike, I sold it to her for the full asking price, sadly.
    Aching for a bike, I scanned Craigslist for months, even though the financial circumstances forcing me to sell had not yet subsided, Then, in December I not only see another R1150R, it is MY BMW. She was listing it, using my original picture from the ad she answered (in all fairness, it was a great picture). Calling her, she first asked if I had copyrighted the picture, as she was concerned about infringement. Talking it over, she admitted it was just too much bike for her. Yes, I swallowed an "I told you so". We agreed on her asking price, $800 less than she had purchased from me 6 months and 250 miles earlier.
    So I am the second, and fourth owner of my bike.:clap

  5. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

    Apr 30, 2011
    My number is nowhere near that high, but my experience here on ADV is identical. I've bought one bike and a lot of other stuff from fellow inmates and sold two bikes to fellow inmates. When I sold my KLR, I didn't even list it on CL. I probably could have gotten more for it and I definitely could've sold it in less than 3 months, but it was totally worth it to sell the bike to another ADVer. Completely painless transactions all round.

    Buying my V-Strom from an inmate was great. PM, phone call to discuss and agree on a price, e-mail with travel details. Seller picked me up at the airport, took me to his place where I saw the bike, which was better than it looked in pics, I handed over the agreed-upon amount of cash, did some paperwork and started my road trip. Hard to argue with that. I've tried to pay it forward when I'm the seller.
  6. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Long timer

    Aug 31, 2012
    Phuket, Thailand
    Since late 1974 I have always owned a bike. I have bought seven, sold two, traded one, had two stolen, and still own two...... and haven't had a negative experience buying or selling.

    I bought my first Honda CB350 of a workmate who wanted to get a Triumph Bonny. A year or so later I was thinking of getting a Bonny myself, so sold it when I came across a guy who expressed an interest in it.

    In the end, a couple of weeks later I replaced it with another, newer CB350, which I saw in the motorcycle shop in my small hometown. I was happy with that for about 18 months, when an oil seal dislodged somehow, and it the engine seized (at about 65 mph). On the road, near a small town, with no access to a workshop where I could repair it myself, I was not inclined to wait around until the local motorcycle shop did the job. I left the CB350 with them, and a couple of hundred dollars, and rode off on a Suzuki TS185.

    I had no great liking for that bike, but it took me the length and breadth of the North and South Islands of New Zealand, doing seasonal farm work. Eventually I went to work abroad. The TS was parked in a shed, and fired up ok when I returned for a few weeks a couple of years later. I headed off for another couple of years. On return, in 1985 I reckoned it was no longer roadworthy. I happily sold it to a wrecker for $70.

    I returned to study then, so bought a year old Honda MB 100 from a dealer for $900. I still own that, albeit now unregistered, and being used off road by some young fellows at home.

    When I went to work in England in 1990 I bought a Yamaha RSX 100 I saw advertised privately in the newspaper. Just a quick inspection, paid the £700 and rode off; no problems. That was stolen a few months later, and I got paid out £500 by the insurance company.

    I spent that on a 10 year-old Honda CB250RS that I spotted at a small motorcycle shop. I got them to put on a new tyre, and sort a couple of other things, and rode off..... no problems. I traveled the length and breadth of the British Isles, and parts of Europe over the next five years, until it too was stolen.

    By then it was time to return to NZ, where I had the MB100 stashed in a shed. The change to unleaded petrol, which goes off faster, meant it took a bit of work to get it going again, but I got it sorted, and used it until I started to work abroad again.

    On coming to Thailand about 10 years ago I rented a motorcycle occasionally. The guy I rented from looked after his bikes well, so I said I would buy one if he wanted to sell. At the end of his busy season the deal was done. For 15,000 baht (about $500) I got a five year old bike that had done 90,000 km.

    Now with 212,000 km on the dial, and an overhaul at 180,000 km (cost 4,500 baht) it is still running well, and should be good for a few more years.

    All in all, plenty of positive experiences, I reckon..... all deals done promptly, in cash.
  7. Rogue_Ryder


    Dec 8, 2005
    Pinewood Springs, Colorado
    Most all of my bike buying and selling experiences have gone well. I've purchased a bike that had a pretty scary flaw (someone didn't put the front wheel bearings in correctly resulting in a catstrophic failure after 200miles on the bike) and I sold another bike that the buyer bitched about the valves needing adjustment after he bought the bike.

    I think for the most part riders are better educated about what they're buying and selling than say car buyers and sellers.

    Twice I've purchased bikes sight unseen, just photographs the fist and the first bike I ever purchased was a Supermoto that I bought off of eBay and had Shipped from FLA, the seller was gracious enough to deliver it to Forward Air and prep it for shipment. I wasn't crazy about the idea but the word Supermoto was not in anyone's vocabulary in south Louisiana at the time (about 10 years ago). That bike was a ton of fun and I put almost 10K on it in the first year.
    After Hurricane Katrina the used bike market in New Orleans was pretty much non-existent so I did a fly and buy for a K-bike up in Charlotte, the seller picked me up at the airport let me test ride the bike before handing over the cash and gave me a ton of extra parts and covers and what not. All that hassle for a $2500 bike! I don't think most people would go through all that trouble to sell so a low dollar item. But with riders we share a common passion so I think buying and selling bikes is a lot more fun that selling cars or trucks.

    My favorite experiences have been doing straight across trades, I've done that 3 times now and it's been a pleasant experience every time, the last guy I swapped with (a KX250 for a 525 MXC) I even went riding with several times and would probably still be going on rides with if I hadn't moved. He even showed me some great trails in CA that'd I'd never had know about otherwise!
  8. ikonoklass

    ikonoklass Kountersteering Krew

    May 5, 2002
    Denver, CO
    I've only had one experience that verged on bad with a guy who showed up from California in a rented vehicle and talked me into test-riding my bike for the $700 cash he had on him as security. He returned from the test ride, didn't buy the bike, but all was right with the world.

    However, in retrospect, this fact pattern should have alerted me that he was trying to steal my bike. He wasn't, but I would probably not deal with an out-of-stater again.

    In the last year, I've sold three bikes on craigslist and bought two with zero problems.
  9. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

    Jul 31, 2009
    Was helping my friend get into riding and selecting a bike. Found a local GS500, with 37k on it. Got to the place, greeted him and he opened the garage. Clean garage, roll away tool chests, nice bench, several immaculate Brit classic bikes, etc. Before even looking at the GS I said "sold". The bike was fine. Friend of course didn't take care of it and let it rot outside after dropping it a bunch of times. Pity.

    Went to the affluent burbs to look at a bike. In the garage matching Volvo's, sealed radiant heat floor. "Sold".

    Happened to run a cross a local guy with a penchant for great restorations. Inside his garage-shop were some really beautiful specimens, not that they were advertised or even for sale. Nostalglia got a hold of me and said, half jokingly "I'll offer this much for this one". He: "Oh, I could take any more than XXX", some 30% of what I offered. A friend to this day.
  10. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    I had to sell my beloved '83 XL600R 2 years ago, since I bought the Aprilia you see in my avatar. I only had room for 2 bikes, and I figured selling the 600 would help with the cost of the Aprilia more than selling the old beater 79 XL250.

    My good buddy has been without a bike for a few years, because he sold his SV650 to fund a home business, but wants to get back into it. We agree that the bike is worth about $1,400, but he will get the friends and family 50% discount, on the condition that I get first dibs if he ever sells it. I load it up, and make the 2 hour trek to his place.

    It was about 112 degrees that day. If you have ever started on of these old thumpers, you know they can be a bear. He tries a few times, and gives me the look of someone who is about to back out of a deal. :puke1 So I give him the step by step instructions to do the "XL technique". He runs through the steps, and whamo! Fired on the first try! Big smiles all around, and he's running it up and down the parking lot.

    He rides it as a daily driver for a year. During that time, his young son became interested in dirt biking, and got a little 110 4-stroke. Eventually, the little guy was giving dad a run for his money on MX tracks, so he decides to upgrade to a 250 2-stroke so he can keep up. Jumping at the chance to buy an XL600 for only $700, I make the trip to buy back the bike. As a double bonus, his co-worker bought my old beater XL250, so my space problem resolves itself, and my buddy has tuned up the XL so it runs better than it ever had!

    Present day: My wife is getting her license, and needs a lighter dual sport with electric start, so I need to sell the XL again. My buddy gets wind of this, and says he may be interested in buying it once again. This is getting ridiculous! I tell you, those old thumpers are addictive.
  11. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

    May 13, 2007
    Hampton Roads, VA
    :cry I still miss my plated XR650R.....sold to finance a six month sabbitical surfing and fishing on the Carolina Outer Banks. :D
  12. wizze

    wizze Wizze = Wise

    Jul 17, 2009
    Jet City WA
    I wanted a DS for years. For my 40th, wife says she will buy me one. I find a 2 yr old DRZ400S on CL for a decent price. I check it out and its flawless. Bike was used by older guy to ride in a field with the grandkids. Needless to say it came home with me.

    Fast forward 2 yrs and I make the mistake of riding a KTM 530. DRZ is great bike but I never realized how fat it was. Started shopping in earnest. I stumbled across a 450XCW on CL 3 hours away with a damn good price. It was just listed within 1/2 hour of me seeing it. I call the guy and talk to him. The bike was 2 yrs old with 14 hrs on it. It was too big for him to ride being vertically challenged. My friend says GO GET IT NOW. I follow his advice and the rest is history.
  13. Qben

    Qben Q

    Feb 17, 2013
    Anacortes, WA
    I had a very positive buying experience with my bike. I was casting a wide net for an 1150GS and found a craigslist ad in San Francisco (1000 miles south of me). There wasn't too much detail in the ad, but the price was right if no red flags turned up. I called and a very nice widow answered. She was selling the bike (her husband's) after he died (non-motorcycle related). She didn't know much about it, but after having her look closely at it and asking very pointed questions I found that it had Ohlins shocks front and rear, nice custom saddle, lots of other aftermarket parts, and full service history from the dealer since new. I told her I'd take it and she said she'd hold it for me so I bought a plane ticket and was there a couple days later. She picked me up at the airport and we had a nice conversation about riding and stuff.

    She had taken it to the dealer and had them go through it carefully to make sure it was all ready for a 1000 mile trip home. At her house, she sold me (at very good prices) a full set of armored riding gear, a nice Shoei helmet, and threw in all the extras she could find. I am apparently the same size as her husband (another nice thing because it told me the shocks and custom saddle were likely set up correctly for me).

    Anyway, I could go on, but suffice it to say that this was a 100% positive buying experience. Oh, and the ride home up the coast was phenomenal!:clap:clap
  14. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

    Nov 27, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I paid a few hundred more for one of my Ducati 900SS's than we negotiated, once I saw the bike. Seller had at least $500 in extras so I still feel like I got a great deal, and he was looking for work and I knew he needed it more than I did. I've only had one really horrible experience buying a bike, a R100RS that turned out to be a /7 with a jury-rigged and badly damaged RS fairing, shredded wiring harness, and would barely turn over by hand much less run on its own. Seller was completely unrepentant and basically admitted he scammed me and told me to f-off. He was a musician from New Orleans, who apparently lost everything he had in Katrina, so I guess karma really works. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
  15. redneckdan

    redneckdan Hold my beer & watch this

    Oct 11, 2008
    Somewhere on da Iron Range.
    Bought an FZ1 from an inmate here last year. Great price, great condition, threw in some goodies after the sale. All around a good experience. Every other engine driven gadet I have bought from people unknown to me as been a shit show.
  16. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice On the Fringe

    May 18, 2009
    Warrensburg Missouri
    I have made several bike deals over the years, and a few from members here. Sold my VTR250 and took it all the way to Ill. Meet up in the wee hours of the morning. Then made a trade for a KLX250 in Tn. on the same trip. Also on that trip picked up a 1988 Hawk GT. All the transactions went really well.

    I did try to find my 950 Adventure here, but ended up finding it on e-bay classifieds instead.

    Sold my Nighthawk-S to a member here as well he is about 5 hours away but still stays in touch as well.
  17. TNkayaker

    TNkayaker Wookin' pa nub

    Jul 8, 2010
    Cleveland TN
    I had just purchased my Beta and my WR250R wasn't getting ridden anymore. I was reading through the WR250R mega thread and saw an inmate about an hour away looking to buy one. I PM'd him with details and price. it was a bit higher than he was looking to spend, but the bike was nice, well worth it. I PM'd him some teaser photos. A couple of days later he drove down, paid my asking price and picked it up. Nice guy, talented rider, and we both got what we wanted. Selling on Advrider is the best.
  18. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

    Jan 22, 2008
    Bought my KLR650 from a CrackList ad on December 31, 2011.

    I asked him to ride it up and down the street a few times to demonstrate that it ran, paid his wife the very reasonable asking price in cash and loaded it up on my trailer. A stellar example of a 100% no-bullshit transaction, and a great contrast to the several other KLRs I TRIED to buy in the weeks before.

    I also got a great off-season deal on my Vee in the ADV flea market from a gent in Michigan. We emailed back and forth, talked on the phone, and I bought it sight unseen for the asking price. The bike was 100% as described -- the guy was honest to a fault. My one regret is that he was called in to work when we were on the way, so I didn't get to meet him in person (his wife handled the paperwork). Probably a good thing -- we would have been yapping for a couple of hours, and I needed to get on the road.
  19. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I cannot abide.

    Oct 7, 2011
    11 ft. AMSL
    I'm not a cruiser guy, but when push came to shove to find some form of transportation to and from work after the 1999 F-150 developed the expected head gasket leak, and I kept missing out on the few little cars that might fit in the available driveway space and that I could afford and want, I scanned Craigslist again for a car. No deals were on, so out of curiosity I checked the motorcycle ads that day (which I didn't normally do - I didn't really want a bike down here in south Florida).

    A 1997 Vulcan 800 was advertised for $600, with 10,500 on the odometer... but not running.

    Well, what the hell - I had the truck with me, and at the end of my shift was close to it, so I went to check it out.

    Long story short, what i didn't know that night was that everything that was rubber was degraded (chain o-rings, Metzler 880 tires - even though they looked like they had new tread, turn signal stalks, you name it).

    The guy assured me it would run well, and had three successive babies and just hadn't been riding it. The carb jets were clogged and the float was trashed.

    I agreed to buy it, so we loaded up the bike into the truck before heading inside to finish out the cash, receipt and title. Once loaded into the truck, though, I had a problem - I didn't have a second tie-down strap.

    The now previous-owner told me to stay on the bike until he came back. He came back with a tie-down that he was using on his last toy - an old jet ski. On the way in he said that he'd like a little for his last good tie-down strap since it was all he had.

    Once inside and sitting on the couch they were expecting less than asking price (of course... who doesn't... especially for a non-runnng bike?). I even think it was them who sheepishly suggested $500 for it - maybe expecting me to counter with $400?

    Instead, I counted out $500, laid it down, then only having $100 bills... laid the last $100 down. The wife asked what that was for. I told them them that if what he said about the bike running fine was true, that I'm sure I'd enjoy it, and that I hoped that the $100 over what they asked me for was enough to cover for the tie-down strap. It was a leap of faith on my part because for all I knew it could have had a blown motor. On the other hand it was an 800cc bike, and a full-sized one at that (Kawasaki basically started making really full-sized bikes with 800cc motors in them when everyone else was making smaller cruisers for the smaller motors... which was fine for women...) that wasn't 1980's vintage for $600.

    So... $600, plus two chains (I bought the wrong sized chain at first based on one single website's wrong info, but kept it anyway in the hopes I'd eventually have a motorcycle that it would fit... which was part of the impetus for buying the EX500, :d ), tires, turn signals, etc.

    The positive thing is that it did run, wasn't a blown motor, and that the bike served me well until I decided to part ways with it. It was never my style, never my scene, and I was never really comfortable on it (in an ergonomic way - as far as pushing it to its limits and doing some amazing maneuvering on it to avoid crashes with traffic that cars caused... I was totally at one with it).


    Anyway, here it is after picking up tubing and a flat piece of bar to create luggage racks for the other bike:


    And, now that I've found it, here it is the day I finally got it running, raced to get a license plate on it, ran out of gas 300 yards from the house, ran back to the house to get a gas can, yada yada yada... after a day like that, and my first day riding in what had been about nine years, I treated myself to pizza - picked up on the bike. Notice the turn signals are still the original ones hanging by their wires. This $600 bike became my daily commuter for, minimally, 320 miles a week, plus anything on top of that for around-town stuff. I have no clue how many miles it has on it now because the speedo stopped working at about 12.5k, and I'm using it so much that I just don't care, nor have to time to fix the speedo cable drive gears in the rear hub.

  20. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras

    Update for another positive experience:

    My buddy got a very new green stickered dirt bike, and didn't want to buy the XL again, so I posted it on Craigslist. Within 2 hours, I got an email from a guy 3 hours away. He arrived at my house 1/2 hour after I got home, put the cash in my hand for a test ride (without me asking), took it for a ride, and we loaded it up. I even threw in an old bike ramp so he could unload it when he got home. Nice guy, easy deal. I miss the old XL already...