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Old 11-30-2010, 01:23 AM
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Default Any tips about buying used?

I own a Rocker and I'm thinking about buying an Ultra for me and the wife. Anything I should know? Budget isn't big, looking to spend around $10,000. Any tips from y'all seasoned bikers is greatly appreciated
Old 11-30-2010, 02:03 AM
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Do a little window shopping for fun here……. maximum=null&R1=0&zipcode=null&radius=25&cond=-1&searchId=3&makeId=1&modelId=null

So you can get a good look what’s out there. I’m sure you can find something that can be tricked out to your personnel needs. I had a used 99 standard that I did some work on before I broke down a got a new one off the showroom floor. There are plenty of deals out there.>>>>>>>>> Good luck
Old 11-30-2010, 02:19 AM
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I'm in the process of looking for a used RoadKing, and these are the things I check:

1. Obviously, the first thing you do is look the bike over completely. Check for wrecks, or simple dropping. Places to check are the ball ends of levers,grip ends,footpeg ends, or floorboard edges,turn signal housings, and, here's something NOBODY checks--you know that little tab on the frame with the hole in it between the downtubes where the crashbars mount on top? If that tab is bent, walk away. When you dump a bike with crash bars, it almost ALWAYS bends that little tab. It should be straight.
2. Get down & visually inspect the undercarriage. Make sure there are no scrapes or gouges taken out of the frame,motor,or accessories. Most hidden damage to a bike occurs on the undercarriage. it means the bike was ridden hard.
3. Visually inspect all the fasteners--make sure they aren't stripped, rounded off, MISSING, or broken. Alot of heavy handed backyard mechanics do damage just installing accessories or custom parts.
4. Bring a new set of plugs, pull the old ones & check them for too lean or rich conditions. Install the new ones, making sure threads are in good condition. Reason? If you buy it, it will already have new plugs, and the less you pull plugs, the better for the threads. If you don't buy it--he has new plugs, and you're out 6 bucks.
5. Make sure ALL the electrics work. Sometimes, something as simple as a brake light can turn into a repair nightmare. Ask me how I know!!
6. Start the bike, & take it for a ride for at least 5 miles. ALL THE GEARS! Obviously, make sure everything works as it ahould, the bike tracks straight, accelerates, brakes, and has a nice ride. Remember--ride characteristics are easy to change if you don't like 'em. Now, This is tricky. some people (me included) won't let a buyer take his bike for a ride, & with good reason. I sell my bikes with a 1 hour money back guarantee--buy it, and bring it back within the hour if you find an issue. Or, if you're paying cash, let him hold the $$. Or your car as collateral. I have a Fatboy, so when I am looking at RoadKings lately, I go on my bike & leave it there. Or he can ride with me & swap off.
7. If the test ride passes muster, ask to see the title. Make sure the VIN matches, all the info is correct, and there are no liens,salvages, or rebuilt titles. (unless you are getting it REAL cheap & don't care about resale),
8. If the bike is financed & has a payoff, find out from the lender if the title is held locally,then go to the lending office with him, make the payoff, & get your title, WITH a lien clearance! If the title is not held locally,WALK AWAY!! Some DMVs will give you a temp tag with just a bill of sale, while you wait for the title to come in the mail from some far away lending institution.. Do not, I REPEAT, do NOT trust this deal! Not saying the guy is out to screw you, but I've seen instance where someone made a payoff, & the title never came--out there floating around in limbo somewhere. It could be a real hassle to get you a new title! My rule: Walk in with cash;walk OUT with title. No exceptions.

Hope this helps. Good luck with the new sled.

Last edited by dickey; 11-30-2010 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:38 AM
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Thats some damn good advice dickey, should be helpful to the OP and anyone else looking to buy used. You made some good points I hadn't thought of before.
Old 11-30-2010, 02:49 AM
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thanks a lot guys
Old 11-30-2010, 05:25 AM
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Dickey makes some great points...wish I could find out how the new "Thanks" forum function worked so I could give him one.

I can add some points since I recently went through a quest for a bike, I'm assuming you're looking to purchase a used bike based on your budget. Set your budget, decide on the type of bike you want, the mods, the look, the condition, and the mileage.... and "take your time". I spent quite a few months looking on ebay and craigs list every day. After looking at many bikes for sale, you'll get an idea on how realistic your budget is....because you'll find an "average" that bikes seem to be selling for.

When looking, refine the "search" area in ebay to be within a state or two of your region. I say this because the area of the country that you live in, prices will be different from other areas of the country. I live up in New England. Fall is the time people are often getting rid of their bikes for cheap...riding season is over for most people, they don't want to store their bikes, they want to get out from under payments in a non riding season, and they may want cash for the holidays. So it's a buyers market. Next spring prices in my area will skyrocket, just like boats.

I set my budget quite unrealistically low when I started searching for my Dyna this past September, I targeted 7k..quite below Dyna ranges and 1/2 way to Sporty price range. I wanted a fairly clean Dyna, and below 20k miles. Most bikes in that category were averaging 8,500 to 9,500 in private sales, and 9,000 to 10,000 at dealerships used stock. I ended up landing the big in my sig for 7,250 via ebay sale...drove 1x state over to pick it had 11,400 miles on it. Lots of opportunities in the 8k range....but I really didn't want to swing that big of a budget, held to my guns....and being in the off season allowed me to do that.
Old 11-30-2010, 06:02 AM
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Only tip I know would be to buy it between now (people looking for extra money at Christmas) and mid-February (before people start thinking about riding season again). Months may vary, depending on where you live. Then again, late Feb and March you catch people wanting to sell one bike to buy another, but everybody I know was telling me "dead winter" when I was looking.
Old 11-30-2010, 07:06 AM
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Tip from my Dad: Look at the house/area where the seller lives. Is the garage a big mess? Is the house a slum? Does it look like the seller can afford to change the oil? These will give you indications of how the bike was cared for.

I also tend to shy away from engine mods. If the bike has a different cam, tach added, big carb, etc. I kind of get the idea that the owner ran the guts out of it.

Look for a garage queen. There are lots of them out there. Low mileage, garage kept, clean, unmolested, STOCK. "They bought it to ride but lost interest in it" kind of seller.

It's a buyer's market out there. Be prepared to haggle and get the price you want. Know what the bike is worth BEFORE you go look at it.
Old 11-30-2010, 07:11 AM
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Just go to your dealer, find one that you like and go from there..if you are ok with buying from the dealer..
You're getting into the season where I think dealers are a little more apt to deal.
Above all get the one that you want.
If you don't you'll always wished that you would have.
Don't settle for anything less.

Last edited by lionsm13; 11-30-2010 at 07:13 AM.
Old 11-30-2010, 10:43 AM
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Just to add a couple of comments...

Ask to see receipts for any accessories added, any maintenance records as well.

Lot of HD owners are particular about others crawling over their bikes. Not sure I would show up with a spark plug wrench in one hand, spark plugs in the other and 'assume' I am going to change out plugs. Definitely a good idea to ask to see the plugs though.

Test ride is great as along as you have a motorcycle license, cash in hand and leave me your driver's license. Don't care what you showed up on though because I don't even know if it is really your car/truck/bike. And I will be right behind you in my vehicle or just behind you on one of my other bikes in order to ally your fears of being stopped by LEO and not having your license in your possession.

Depending on the year of bike I thinks can help you determine how many miles you want to see on it at the time of purchase. Think there is a trade off between a garage queen and one with reasonable miles and properly maintained.

Think you need to decide ahead of time what performance upgrades you are looking for (if any). I live in Kali so a used one for me would mean I would look for one outside (means 7.5K on the speedo).

Accessories are just that... the current owner's idea of customization. You need to decide if it fits into what you are looking for and if it worth the price of admission (or as a terms to barter).
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