How to buy a Motorcycle
I thought that I would add this to the list of thing for the noooob [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
First of all figure out what you want.
This sounds stupid, but I have heard of people walking into a dealer wanting one bike, and riding out on a totally different one, and wondering what on earther happened in the between.
So, decide what you want, and then figure out how much you are going to have to spend.
Lets talk about finance
Cash is the king, and lets face it, most any bike can be bought for under ten grand, so financing is not really essential. Its also a lot harder to finance a bike than a car, because they are harder to repo, and also much more likely to be wadded.
Finance also forces you to have full insurance, something that many newer riders cannot afford.
So, you have your budget.
If you are buying used (and I for one cannot stand the "hit" that I take as I leave the dealers, its a bit more complex than new.
First of all look at the price that is being asked, and take 10% off it.
Then make a physical list of eveything that you can see that is up with the bike. Take it for a test ride. Do not rag on it - remember its not warm, but ride it far enough to get a feel for it. Check that it tracks straight, and that the brakes do not shudder.
Check the gearbox for action, and tryin pulling hard in the lower ones, then back off, and whack the throttle open - if it jumps out of gear - and some do, walk away.
Once you get back to the dealer, update your list.
add up the costs of each and every minor issue, and take that off the price - along with the 10%. This is your base price - you want everything fixed, and you want to be as close as possible to that number too.
Walking away works. If you have the cash, put it on the table [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
If you are buying private, a similar rule applies, but dealing one-to-one is often easier.
Here is MY check list.
1) Overall condition - it should be clean, clean, clean. mis-matched fairing, different color matches etc point to a crash
2) Check the staor cover - is it "rough" if so, its touched the groud.
3) Look at the brake rotors - are they scored ? Did you feel any pulsing ? Thats $500 off please [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
4) Look at the frame, if its polished, there is a posibility that its been dented, welding a frame this way is the only way to disguise a dent. I personally would never buy a bike with a polished frame.
5) look at the tires. Are they melted off the rims ? If so they may be race take offs - this is bad. Or the bike has seen some track action - this is not a really bad thing, but you might want to check to see if its seen any kitty litter action.
There is a real easy way to do this - check the wiring loom - see if the conectors have sand in them.
6) Take a look at the VIN number and the engine number - check that this matches the paperwork. No paperwork ? Walk away (for good).
7) Listen to the seller, if he brags of 100mph wheelies, he is a dickhead, walk away, its been thrashed.
8) Carefully rock the bike back and forth, with the front brake on - any clicking will point to a maladjusted, or worse damaged, head race - this is another bargaining point.
9) Has it got all the accessories ?
Seat hump and passenger seat ? Each one is $60
Manual - $25
Toolkit - $30
Tank prop - $15
10) do you LIKE the mods ?
not everyone likes all the mods that bikes have, do you want to put it back to stock ?
For the haggling, here are a few base prices...
Brake Rotors - $500
Brake pads - $80
Tires - $300
Chain and Sprocket set $300
Its best to take a biker buddy with you, as the voice of reason as much as anything.
Do not be affraid of losing the perfect bike by walking away, you can always send a buddy to see it and furtehr low-ball the dealer, before you go back and take a second look....
[ 01-13-2003, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: fRaGgLe ]