Advice on Buying a Used Motorcycle

May 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Buying Advice

Motorcyclists know the pleasure of driving that few people do. Well, okay, maybe convertible drivers count on a certain level too, let’s face it – it’s not exactly the same. That pleasure is the freedom by being in the open, feeling the wind around you as you journey from one place to another. But before you pack your saddlebags you’ll need a motorcycle that gets you from point A to point B. Not everyone can afford a new ‘Hog’ but buying a used motorcycle might be just up your alley. Keep in mind though – purchasing a cycle isn’t as easy as handing over some cash and taking to the open road.

Years ago if you wanted a used motorcycle you walked into a dealership or searched newspaper’s ads hoping to find someone willing to part with their ‘baby’ and not charge you a small fortune in the process. Today, the rules of purchasing have changed for buyers and for the better.

Finding A Deal

You still have dealers and newspaper classifieds to turn to when looking for a used motorcycle but now there are other factors to consider. Cities all over the world grow larger meaning more people are out there with products to sell. But at the same time, with invent of the Internet, the world seems to have shrunk so that hot deal that’s three counties or parishes away is much easier to snag up thanks to the web.

But before we get into all of that, let’s look at the pros and cons of how you can begin your search:

1. Auctions

2. Dealers

3. Newspaper Classifieds

4. Friend or Acquaintance

5. Classified Web Sites

1. Auctions – You can get great deals at auctions but on the flip side you could get a real lemon. Sure, you can inspect a motorcycle at an auction, and you can even hear it run, but without a mechanic standing next to you to inspect it, you never know what you’re going to get. Auctions are a bit like gambling – sometimes a slot machine pays out and sometimes it takes all your money. A used motorcycle from an auction could turn out to be a prize or a piece of junk. If you’re willing to take the risk to gain something wonderful then auctions are a good source for used motorcycles, or other vehicles.

2. Dealers – Typically you will pay a little more for a used bike at a dealer, but there are many benefits to putting them on your places to shop.  As a general rule the used motorcycles sitting on a dealer’s showroom floor have been thoroughly inspected by factory trained technicians. So you are probably going to get a bike that is mechanically sound. Also, most dealers will stand behind the bikes they sell as they value  your return business and their reputation.

3. Newspaper Classifieds – Newspaper classifieds can also have inflated prices you’ll find with dealerships but it has less to do with inspection fees and more with emotional attachment. Motorcycle riders often love their bikes deeply and that comes with a larger price tag as a result (no matter what the true value of the bike might be). And sadly, even though they have an emotional attachment, not all cyclists take care of their bikes as they should, including things like regular maintenance. So as with auctions you’re never quite sure what you’re getting. Also consider the blind factor of many newspaper advertisements. You could read an ad that says, “Beautiful chopper. Must sacrifice,” but when you get there it’s a rusted 50cc scooter with uneven handlebars. You just wasted precious time on absolutely nothing.

4. Friend or Acquaintance – You’ll get a great deal from a friend or acquaintance, right?! Maybe but then again maybe not. Sometimes a friend will truly ‘sacrifice’ a used motorcycle because they value your friendship. But if you have a problem with their used motorcycle will they take it back? Will they say ‘You broke it, you bought it’? Will they agree to have it returned but harbor silent animosity toward you? And in the end, will you lose a friend over something as trivial as a sale? Buying anything from someone you know, used motorcycle or anything, can be a thorny situation. That’s why it’s best to always use caution and get the ‘ground rules’ for returns worked out well in advance before any money changes hands. Praying that nothing goes wrong and that your friend will stick to their word should trouble arise wouldn’t hurt either.

5. Classified Web Sites – Classified web sites don’t have many of the disadvantages as the above-mentioned sources. You might run into the emotionally attached seller, an overpriced used cycle or something that’s not mechanically up to speed. But the pros of classified web sites, like Buy a Used Motorcycle, have far more advantages.

First, you can actually see pictures on classified web sites and, often enough, more than just one angle. Unlike many newspaper ads or magazines, you’ll know that it really is a chopper that’s for sale and be able to see the front, back, sides, etc. Second, you can view the price along with more details on the used motorcycle itself. Newspaper ads only offer so much space but web sellers are allowed to post more information about the motorcycle such as location, inspection history, cycle history, and such.

When it comes to classified web sites for used motorcycles you get more information upfront, which saves valuable time.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Okay, so you’ve found the best avenue to purchase your used motorcycle be it online, dealer, or friend. What’s next?

First, consider the manufacturers and the models you like. Get it narrowed down to a couple of selections. From that point, do your homework on each one. This means researching used motorcycles via the Internet to get an idea of the price range. You can also look in trade magazines to get a feel for what your used cycle is worth and everything it has – engine size, clutch or automatic, etc. Remember, knowledge is power so the more you know about the bike you’re interested in, the more buying power you’ll have.

If you find a used motorcycle that looks like a good deal and fits your budget ask for the maintenance history and see if you can take it for a test drive. Be sure to notice if it starts quickly, doesn’t sputter and rides smooth.

If all appears okay let the buyer know your thoughts and ask if you can take it to a mechanic for a check-up. Many people skip this step because they think they know best but a mechanic can do a diagnostic check to make sure everything is in good shape. Just because you can’t see a problem doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Asking Price or Haggle – What’s Best?

Some sellers really do ‘sacrifice’ their motorcycles with the price they are offering but others do not.

If someone is only asking a few hundred less than a new bike, definitely try to talk them down by pointing out how overpriced their used motorcycle really is. However, do this tactfully. That means don’t call them a con-artist while waving your finger in their face. It means showing them print advertising for the same make and model. They might be willing to come down in price for their cycle at that point but then again they might not. If the answer is no then simply thank them for their time and move on to another bike that’s in your price range and worth what you’re paying.

When Money Changes Hands

First, If you’re doing an on-line sale remember to confirm the seller’s contact information. Get the sellers name, address and telephone number. An email address alone isn’t enough so make sure you keep their other information around. Before you hand over any money it’s important to make sure this information matches the title they are signing over to you for obvious reasons. Shop carefully though since there are an increasing number of fake escrow services. As with the cycle seller, don’t turn your money over until you’ve fully checked out the service and be sure you understand all terms of the escrow arrangement.

As you see there are many resources for people in the used motorcycle market and any of them can work depending on your wants and needs. Just take some time to examine all your options and you too can be one of the easy riders out there tearing up the roadways without breaking the bank in the process.

We Would Like to Welcome Suzuki of Carol Stream to Our Website!

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under General

We are pleased to have Suzuki of Carol Stream join us on our website. We invite you to check out the motorcycles they have for sale and read about the other services they have to offer.

Here’s a little more about Suzuki of Carol Stream:

Hi, we are Suzuki of Carol Stream motorcycle dealership, we opened our doors December 1st of 2008 and have been doing quite well for a very young dealership. We are the only single line Suzuki dealership in the country, and out of the Suzuki dealerships nation wide last report we came in at 311 of 1200 for sales, and came in 3rd in the region. We stock and carry an array of parts and accessories for pretty much vehicle that we have in stock, from Suzuki Genuine Accessories to companies like Scorpion, HJC, and about a 100 different aftermarket companies. We have a full service department that will work on any make and model that is out there from vintage to current and even some of the exotic models (granted we can order the parts). As far as our sales staff goes we have all been seasoned in the industry and are all motorcyclists ourselves with all of us with 10+ years of riding and safety knowledge and experience. The other nice thing about coming to our shop is that we “PRIDE” in our customer service and will go to every extent to make sure that we provide out fellow riders and even the new ones that want to get in it with the “correct” information and extremely competitive pricing. We don’t run our shop by the all mighty dollar and repetition and referral is our goal. In the up coming season we are going to try and set up some special events to expand our name and reputation and not be just “the motorcycle shop” but a place that our patrons hold a great deal of respect for and to be a place to stop in just to say hi and chat with for a while with no pressure to BUY something every time you cross the threshold of the door and to have our door chime be inviting instead of an OH CRAP who is going to hassle me in here. Please feel free to check out our website at www.suzukiofcarolstream.com and look for us on eBay at SUZUKI_CS for stuff that we are selling on there. Or hell give us a shout on the phone at (630)690-3333 and either Earl, Tim, or myself Matt would be happy to help you with whatever you may need. Thank you for the time you spent to read this and checking us out!!!! Hope to hear from you soon, lets make 2010 a great, safe, and enjoyable riding season!!!!!

Bridgestone BT-023 Tire Review

May 6, 2010 by  
Filed under General

Tires are the only things that touch the ground on a motorcycle. Well, the occasional footpeg too, but only if the tires do their job. And that job, keeping the bike upright on a credit card-sized contact patch, often goes underappreciated. Not by the folks at Bridgestone, however, with the historic manufacturer living and breathing tires since its founding in 1931. Motorcycle USA recently tested the Japanese firm’s latest creation, the Battlax BT-023 tire on the company’s own home soil.

We sampled the new tires on a street ride and closed-course circuit. The street tour took us from Bridgestone’s Tochigi Japan facilities to the Twin Ring Motegi circuit and back, ostensibly to watch the Japanese Grand Prix. Though that Icelandic volcano threw a damper on the GP plans, we still made the scenic route. As for the track portion, our press tour was privileged to be the first journalists to ride at the company’s exclusive proving grounds. Located 10 minutes from Bridgestone’s sole motorcycle tire plant in Nasu, the BSPG proved an ideal controlled setting for tire evaluation .

Read Entire Review

Source [Motorcycle USA]

Using a Girl in a Bikini to Help Sell your Motorcycle

I am not quite sure why we don’t see more ads like the one posted by our member brice_nicholson. He’s selling his 2003 Suzuki Savage 650 with 8K miles for $2900. Nope he didn’t buy an upgrade package, which helps to get more eyeballs looking at your bike. He did the next best thing (or perhaps something better) and that is to add some hot girl in a bikini into the mix.

In addition to the nice pictures, he also has a YouTube video of the women talking about all the features that this 2003 Suzuki Savage has to offer a rider.

We do hope brice_nicholson is prepared for the question “Does the girl come with the bike?”  It will be asked.

Get more information about this 2003 Suzuki Savage.

2010 BMW R1200GS Review

This year marks the 30th anniversary of BMW’s R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure – two bikes that have dominated a niche and carried the weight of BMW Motorcycles on their broad backs. At the heart has always been the Flat-Twin engine design – opposing jugs that became a symbol of the marque and have adapted outside of the GS line to the sporting world. Tuning secrets learned here were transferred back to the Adventure machines, and the Bavarians elected to infuse the proven Boxer Twin with technology from their HP2 Sport.

New cylinder heads are the targeted area with each featuring four larger valves – the intakes are oversized 8.4% to 39mm and the sodium-filled exhaust valves increase by 6.6% to 33mm. Appropriately matching pistons form the new combustion chamber, though the compression ratio inside the 101 x 73mm bore/stroke sleeve remains unchanged at 12.0:1. A larger throttle manifold and revised air intake also contribute to what BMW claims is a higher rev ceiling of 8500 rpm and a 5% boost in horsepower to a claimed 110 hp and 88 lb-ft of torque. An electronic exhaust flap and new muffler internals promote the Boxer thump.

Read Entire Review

Source [Motorcycle USA]