Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Lovely, Metropolitan North Idaho
Just to chime in (wished I lived closer, I'm in North Idaho) - This is indeed a high price. Seattle prices these days on just about everything is awful... *8).
Craigslist is a good place to research bikes and prices. Look in: Yakima, Monroe, Tacoma, Bellingham, Spokane, Tri Cities. Don't just look in Seattle. You're missing out. Be prepared to travel, but more importantly be prepared to come back empty handed.
Dealerships (sometimes called Stealerships) can be a good friend, or your worst nightmare. WAY back when, I usually walked the floor and looked to see what the dealer had. I then compared prices to other dealers in the area on similar models, or checked Craigslist.
Remember that the dealer has to eat too, and sometimes I'll willingly pay a hundred or two extra just to have the dealer on my side. His shop is a LOT better equipped than mine if there's something odd going on with my ride, assuming that the shop isn't a bunch of hacks. Given the goofy legal system these days, most dealers that I know today are a pretty good bunch to avoid legal problems.
That said, LOOK BIKES OVER CAREFULLY whether Craigslist or dealer. Bring a knowledgeable friend if you have one.
As said earlier: do NOT fall in love with the first bike you see unless you just can't live without it.
First off: mileage really doesn't matter. I've seen 100,000 mile bikes I'd ride to Tierra Del Fuego. I've seen 4,000 mile bikes I'd run from.
Look for obvious signs of abuse (they're hard to hide): broken pieces, sh!tty aftermarket exhaust, broken or missing plastic/fairing pieces, worn out tires, crappy/noisy chain, worn out sprockets.
Check the steering head by somehow (curse that center stands don't come on bikes as standard any more) lifting the front wheel of the ground, and wiggle it back and forth. Notchiness or clicking: bad. loose back and forth movement: bad. try and twist the handlebars and the wheel in opposite directions. any movement: bad. Ask if the bike has a maintenance log (I ALWAYS keep one.)
Ask: (you'll probably get a wrong answer): has the bike ever been laid down? wrecked? pieces replaced? Sometimes a 'yes' answer is no big deal.
Look inside the gas tank for rust. look up under the rear fender/wheel and see how bad things look up there. rust, road crap, corrosion etc.
Look under the seat for wiring surprises. I'm automatically fearful of any 'wiring jobs'. 8 out of 10 times they're gonna cause problems, guaranteed.
Spin the rear wheel and listen to the chain. If it's bad news you can tell. Check the chain for tight/loose spots. Try YouTube if you're not sure what I mean.
Bounce up and down on the bike. Bad noises? no shock absorption? stiff as a board? It may be suspension adjustment, or bad news. Be aware.
As somebody earlier remarked, cash talks. Man up and offer a lower price. Be reasonable, the owner and/or dealer has to eat as I mentioned.
Last edited by aboyandhisversys; 05-25-2018 at 01:11 PM.