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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,

I've been looking in to buying a new bike (mostly cause I can't afford a new one). I was wondering if you guys/girls have requirements when buying a used bike or things that will automatically break a deal.

Will you only purchase from dealerships?
How many miles is too many for a used bike?
Would you buy a bike from the if the current owner was not the first owner?
Would you buy a bike that has been down/ that has minor scratches?


Just a few things I have been looking into so far, I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of other important things about buying a used bike, let me know what you guys are girls look for. thanks
 

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2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
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1) I've only ever bought from private sellers.

2) Really depends on the bike. A Rebel 250 with 20,000 miles might be too much for me, but the Bandit 1200 that I just bought with 21,000 miles is nothing. The 1984 Honda Goldwing I bought has just shy of 40,000 miles and its not even broken in yet.

3) Makes no difference to me. A bike with a single owner is just as likely to have been maintained well/poorly as a bike with multiple owners.

4) You'll find that the majority of bikes have been dropped at least once. Use this to your advantage, however, when negotiating the price.
 

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Buying from a (reputable) dealer can have its advantages, such as the dealer usually going over the whole bike & fixing/identifying any problem areas. Also they might even throw in a small warranty on the bike, which can help you if you're not mechanically inclined and/or don't know motorcycle mechanics very well.

But dealers don't do this for free. All things being equal, you can typically buy the SAME used bike for noticeably less $$'s on a private owner sale versus a dealer sale. If buying privately, YOU need to have good people-skills savvy to "size up" the seller to know you're buying a well maintained bike.

The bottom line is if you're a mechanical noob, then paying extra for the dealer-confidence is probably a smart choice. But if you know your way around motorcycles and are a good judge of character, then buying a bike privately will be a much better cost-effective choice.

I'd say the exact same thing would apply if buying a used car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your answers, I would've thought that buying a used bike at 40,000

Yeah I would prefer to buy my first bike from a dealership cause I'm not very knowledgable, but I much rather keep the price down and buy a used one for cheap. I'm gonna have to do my homework/and bring a friend a long who knows a lot about bikes when I go look at the first deal that looks good.

Dodsfall -great link, thanks for posting that
 

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I just bought my bike last month. I made a list of all the things that were important to me. After looking and looking l had it narrowed down to a few bikes. This time of year is a buyer's market, so be picky. That bike will come along, and you will know it...super clean, well kept, a decent price but not cheap enough to raise a red flag...figuring out what you want is the hardest part. Once you know what you want, just look for the best bike for the money. Miles? Some guys don't care. If l was buying a project l wouldn't care. But for this bike, l didn't want someone else to get the best miles of the bike's life.
 

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Take along someone who's owned a dozen bikes to ride it and look at it with you.

Tell the seller you want it cold when you arrive, not warmed up. You want to see if it rattles, if choke works, battery actually holds a charge... and it should start EASILY.

I wouldn't buy it if the title was in SOMEONE else's name and not the sellers.

If there are lights that don't work, chain stretched, sprockets worn, what ELSE hasn't the buyer fixed or replaced?

I want to know "Why are you selling it?" If their story isn't credible, don't buy the bike.

On the test drive I take it right up to redline in every gear. On one TD the bike a friend wanted to buy started POURING blue smoke as the revs got above 5000. I thought "broken ring!" Fortunately it was just an overfilled gearbox.

"Well, I think your bike is easily WORTH $1900, perhaps even more with new tires, a new seat, etc. but all I have is $1300" is my favorite line. If you physically put your $1300 in Benjamins IN THEIR HANDS I can almost guarantee they will NEVER hand you that money back no matter what and you will ride home on that bike." Don't bluff. Don't take more $ with you than $1300. You've got to be dead serious, THAT IS WHAT YOU WILL PAY.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses guys, very helpful. I found a bike a 98 Vulcan with 28,000 miles for 2000, I will try to talk him down on the price. It looks in good condition in the pictures, my one friend has been riding for quite some time now I'll bring him along to see what he thinks.
 
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