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Hi, I'm purchasing my first bike ('70 Honda CB350) from a private seller, I just had some questions about the transaction process.

First of all, should I give him cash/bills (getting it for $1200), or should I give him a cashier's check? Only wondering because, if for some reason he reports bike stolen after I buy it (preparing for the worst) there's no paper trail if I give him cash, but it's easier for me to just pay cash because my bank doesn't have a branch near me.

Also, I live in Upstate NY, it's winter here and I have no interest in riding the bike until spring. Obviously, just to transfer the registration to my name so fewer bad things can happen, I'm going to register the bike as soon as I can. Do I need insurance on the bike to register it? Because that's a waste of money since I probably won't be on it until April anyway.

Thanks
 

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Gone
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23,907 Posts
You do have a paper trail if you get a signed title from the actual owner of the motorcycle. Check ID to make sure the names match. I wouldn't buy without a legal clear title.

I would suggest meeting with the owner to check out the condition of the motorcycle before bringing the cash. Many potential riders find out too late they have just bought an expensive garage ornament. Parts for vintage motorcycles are often hard to come by, either being overly expensive or impossible to find. Don't fall for the owner saying it just needs a couple bucks to get it running.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Also if you don't want to ride it ask him to and you follow. If he doesn't display the fact it has no acceleration problems or high speed problems then walk away.Only hand over cash when YOU are satisfied and like Dodsfall says, make certain his drivers license matches the name on the title or insist he register it and get it that way but then make him prove it still operates to your satisfaction. Having him ride instead of you isn't the best way because he can still hide things so make sure he understands you want to see it perform.
 

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Swamp Rat Rider
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1,903 Posts
Have Bought and Sold many Bikes .. Best way ever worked for me both ways .. Was Inspect the Bike and Paperwork and be sure are no hangups with either one .. Then Agree to Cash in Hand before Test Ride with the option as long as returned without damage you have the option to Take the Title or Take the Cash Back .. In your case being winter would at least Start in Listen then ensure the Clutch is good by putting in gear and also test the Brakes as well .. Not near as good as a Test Ride but better than just loading it on the Trailer as is ..
 

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Cash is king, you can even have a little leverage with the purchase price as long as you're not insulting the seller with a low ball. But you know, check tires, check for oil leaks, look at cables, hear it run, ride it or have the owner ride it for you a little bit, and have a good day regardless of the direction it goes.

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