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Has anyone bought a bike (still under warranty) from a private party out of state? Common sense tells me to fly there to see it. I know they can be shipped.

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I wouldn’t buy a bike sight-unseen. If it’s really the one you think you want, then it’s worth a trip out, imo. Ride it back.
 

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I bought a 2001 out of warranty and with 70K miles on it back in 2011. I talked with the seller at length on the phone about it's history and condition and then flew there to buy it.


I was prepared to buy a plane ticket home if it wasn't a good deal, but after talking with the guy, I was pretty confident I would be happy with the sale.


Got a great deal and rode the bike for about 30K miles before I traded it in on my 2013.


I've also driven 5 hours one way within the state (Texas is a big state) and bought a bike. Once again, good communication with the seller made me feel comfortable it was worth the trip.


In both situations, I got an exceptional deal and was glad I decided to pursue it.


PS...your last comment about shipping.... for a Goldwing, fly there and ride home. Way cheaper than shipping. Not sure, but if you are asking if I would buy one sight unseen and pay for it and have them ship it to me, the answer is no. I might do it for a brand new one...but even then probably not.
 

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Has anyone bought a bike (still under warranty) from a private party out of state? Common sense tells me to fly there to see it. I know they can be shipped.

Thanks
I have purchased 2 bikes with out of state titles. One bike was in my state with a out of state title. That was my 09 gl 1800 bagger . I simply took a copy of the title and called the state of title to check for lien amount and after riding the bike closed the deal.
The 2nd bike was out of my state I flew there to ride it and see condition and brought it home. I would never purchase a bike without seeing it. Respectfully
 

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I’ve bought 6 Goldwings / Valkyries out of state. Always have lots of communications with seller before trip. Take cash and drive back or trailer. I’ve done both. Bought both of my wife’s Valkyrie Trikes in FL. Trailered both home. Payment is always my biggest concern. I know when I sell won’t accept anything except cash unless in their bank and watch cert check being printed. Drove my 2009 Goldwing home from CO to VA with no plates. Called insurance to be covered and called 2 different state police and both said it is fine with title / bill of sale as long as I was on die t route home.
Dan
 
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I bought my 2008 back in 2010 from a seller on this board in SC. He sent me lots of photos and we talked a lot on the phone. I sent him the cashiers check and then flew down and rode the bike home. Probably a bit of a risk but I left comfortable with the risk level. Still have the bike with 104K on it 9 years later.
 

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People I know who have bought a used 5th gen, will almost always say the same thing. "That the seller said:"
- it is well cared for
- it is always garaged

Here is what "well cared for" probably means. It lived its life clean and shiny. That it got oil changes, brakes, and tires when needed. In most cases, it never got its proper services. However, if it was regularly service, the owner should be able to provide receipts for a 4,000, 8,000, 12,000, 16,000, 20,000, 24,000 ... etc, mile services.

Some of the questions you might ask:
- how often was the coolant changed ??? A good answer would be something like at least every 2 years or 24k whichever came first. For example, if it was a low milage 2006, the seller should say something like ... "I've had the coolant changed 6 times."
- did you ever experience the rear brake locking ??? If they say yes, that is for sure a Wing that didn't get its brake fluid changed at least every 2 years or 12k.

You should know, for various reasons, it is hard to find a well serviced Wing.
 

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I will not buy a used bike without putting eyeballs on it.
I will not buy a used bike from a private party without seeing a title in hand, and verifying it.

I would buy a new bike from anywhere in the country, sight unseen, for the right price.
 

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I bought my current wing back in 2010 from out of state, I had a lot of communications and over 50 pictures sent to me, and 2 videos he took of it for me. I did fly out and test rode it, before finalizing the sale and riding it home. I would do it again in a heartbeat, as long as the seller was up front and open about the condition of the bike and had no problem sending me pics and even video upon request.

Through the last 9 years, I have made enough friends in just about every state, where I feel that I could ask the closest to that out of state bike to go take a look at it for me. Or you could even ask here on the forum if someone close to it, might be able to swing by for a lookie see.

Bottom line though it is all up to you and how you feel about buying it. If something feels hinky and off about the seller or the bike, don't buy it.
 

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Over the years I have purchased several collector cars from the 40's, 50's 60's, 70' and 80's and have looked at many more I did not buy. I can tell you from experience never buy a used car or motorcycle without seeing it in person. Many years ago I looked at a 1970 Buick Gran Sport convertible with a 455 Stage 1. The photos posted on the Internet made that car look like an 8 or 9 car. When I saw it in person it was a 2 or 3 car.
 

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I have bought and sold lots of bikes long distance and luckily never had a problem. Good pictures, good conversation as others have said.

The last time I sold a bike (2012 lvl 3 wing) to a guy out of state, he flew down and gave me a certified check for the amount we had agreed on minus $500, plus $500 in cash. He looked my bike over thoroughly and paid me. I asked him why the cash, and he said “ when I fly and ride, I always bring the last $500 in cash in case there is something the seller hasn’t disclosed, ie scratches, worn tires, ding, etc. and I need him to discount the bike”

This tactic was a first for me.....but one I may use in the future.

ps.... Before you guys start.....yes I verified funds with the sellers bank before he flew down and I accepted a bank check. It was legit.
 
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fly-n-ride

Ditto on what 2WheelNut said earlier in this thread. I bought an '05 back in 2012 with 21 thousand miles on it from the original owner. After many phone conversations with the owner regarding maintenance etc (I'm a maintenance freak) we agreed that if I fly to N. Carolina, put eyes on it, ride it and don't like it, there's no obligation to buy. I get back on a plane and fly home. But when I got there and rode it, I knew I had to have it. Got a heckuva deal on it, rode it home and still riding it today with currently 105 thousand miles on the odometer.
2WheelNut said he drove across the state of Texas to buy a bike (it really IS a big state). Back in 1988, I rode a Greyhound bus to San Angelo Texas from Dallas to buy a brand new '87 1200 Gold Wing Interstate. It had 166 thousand miles on it when I sold it.
So the "fly-n-ride" concept has worked well for me and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I'm just not ready to get rid of my '05 yet. Still got lots of miles to go. :cool:
 
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People I know who have bought a used 5th gen, will almost always say the same thing. "That the seller said:"
- it is well cared for
- it is always garaged

Here is what "well cared for" probably means. It lived its life clean and shiny. That it got oil changes, brakes, and tires when needed. In most cases, it never got its proper services. However, if it was regularly service, the owner should be able to provide receipts for a 4,000, 8,000, 12,000, 16,000, 20,000, 24,000 ... etc, mile services.

Some of the questions you might ask:
- how often was the coolant changed ??? A good answer would be something like at least every 2 years or 24k whichever came first. For example, if it was a low milage 2006, the seller should say something like ... "I've had the coolant changed 6 times."
- did you ever experience the rear brake locking ??? If they say yes, that is for sure a Wing that didn't get its brake fluid changed at least every 2 years or 12k.

You should know, for various reasons, it is hard to find a well serviced Wing.
Maybe the seller was competent enough to perform his/her own maintenance. Lots of horror stories about riders taking their GW in for maintenance. I read one here just yesterday where an axle nut and pinch bolts torqued waaay beyond spec. If they cannot get torque spec right, I'd lose confidence in their ability to ANYTHING right. I don't need to take my GW in to an, "authorized service provider", and pay big bucks for them to screw it up. I can do that all by myself, and keep the money. LOL

For me, it would come down to impressions of the seller, lots of questions and lots of pix.
 
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Would I buy an out of state bike? Yes and no.

Short answer

Bike advertised by a well known member on a well known forum. YES
Bike advertised on CL or Cycle Trader. Probably not.

I purchased a 2 year old BMW from a well known Iron Butt Association guy (Tom Austin), advertised on the IBA forum. Known guy with a sterling reputation. Flew to CA with $10,000 cash in my pocket. Rode it home to CO. No regrets.

I purchased a 1 year old Triumph with 700 miles on it from a guy in WV. Advertised on a Adventure Rider forum. Sent him 2 cashiers checks. One to the lien holder and one to him. I arranged shipping. It was sight unseen but with 700 miles and lots of pics I trusted the seller. He was a little flaky but overall no regrets.

I sold a 2 year old low mile FJR1300 to a Adventure Rider forum member in WV. He sent me a cashiers check. He arranged shipping. He was very happy with the bike.

I have sold 2 other bikes to long distance buyers on the advrider forum and both buyers showed up with trailers to take them home. They were very happy.

I bought a trailer from a guy in TX from a Craigslist ad. Drove all the way there to find it not as advertised. It was beat up. I was a little pissed. I still bought it and did a frame off restoration myself.

I would have no issues buying a bike sight unseen from another state as long as the seller has a good reputation (and lots of posts) on the forum it was advertised. I would avoid Craigslist and cycletrader private sellers.

As a suggestion. You could post in the sub forum for the state where the bike is and ask if any members would be willing to go check it out for you.
 

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Maybe the seller was competent enough to perform his/her own maintenance. Lots of horror stories about riders taking their GW in for maintenance. I read one here just yesterday where an axle nut and pinch bolts torqued waaay beyond spec. If they cannot get torque spec right, I'd lose confidence in their ability to ANYTHING right. I don't need to take my GW in to an, "authorized service provider", and pay big bucks for them to screw it up. I can do that all by myself, and keep the money. LOL

For me, it would come down to impressions of the seller, lots of questions and lots of pix.
I agree. I DIY all my services. I also keep receipts for parts, and I take lots of pictures.

I think you can tell a lot about the "quality" of a DIYers work by closely examining the bike. If fasteners are missing or gnarled up, or things appear to be sloppily routed, or the interior parts of the bike appear really grime-y, then you have a good idea that DIYer isn't careful.

I want someone to work on the bike who cares about doing things right -- not about doing them fast. When I work on my bike, I'm careful to inspect every fastener I touch. If one of them is starting to chowder, then I order a replacement. If I have to pull a part -- like removing the radiator to adjust my C14 valves -- then I'm going to take a few minutes and clean the bug guts out of the fins, and flush it with distilled water.

I'd trust a bike that was DIY maintained, where everything looked good, and the previous owner had receipts for parts and maintenance logs. Photos of services on the bike would be a bonus. If they did a valve adjustment, and the bike was shim-under-bucket, then I'd want to see a shim map, too.

However, if a owner showed me a dealer invoice for a valve adjustment, I would assume it was NOT done. I'd accept that they PAID for it... But my default assumption is that a dealer did NOT actually do the valve adjustment. I've seen too much evidence that dealers take the money, and skip on the actual labor.
 

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I agree. I DIY all my services. I also keep receipts for parts, and I take lots of pictures.

I think you can tell a lot about the "quality" of a DIYers work by closely examining the bike. If fasteners are missing or gnarled up, or things appear to be sloppily routed, or the interior parts of the bike appear really grime-y, then you have a good idea that DIYer isn't careful.

I want someone to work on the bike who cares about doing things right -- not about doing them fast. When I work on my bike, I'm careful to inspect every fastener I touch. If one of them is starting to chowder, then I order a replacement. If I have to pull a part -- like removing the radiator to adjust my C14 valves -- then I'm going to take a few minutes and clean the bug guts out of the fins, and flush it with distilled water.

I'd trust a bike that was DIY maintained, where everything looked good, and the previous owner had receipts for parts and maintenance logs. Photos of services on the bike would be a bonus. If they did a valve adjustment, and the bike was shim-under-bucket, then I'd want to see a shim map, too.

However, if a owner showed me a dealer invoice for a valve adjustment, I would assume it was NOT done. I'd accept that they PAID for it... But my default assumption is that a dealer did NOT actually do the valve adjustment. I've seen too much evidence that dealers take the money, and skip on the actual labor.
Agree. With dealers, time is money, and if they can cut a corner, far too many of them will. Whereas, with owners, it's usually more a labor of love. However, sometimes the labor of love can reach a point of becoming anal. For example, my bike's PO used to disassemble the plastic in order to, "clean" the backside of the plastics. He spent a lot of time maintaining it, but very little time riding it. It was a 2008, with only 9,620 miles on it when I bought it last year. I fixed that part (lack of use), it now has over 60,000 miles on it. LOL
 
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