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Discussion Starter #1
I'm negotiating to buy a 2004 1150RT. I live in Texas, and the seller is in New Jersey. I see others have done long distance purchases and I'm curious how you deal with the payment/title exchange if I'm doing all of this remotely? I am uncomfortable handing the seller a check which he can cash while he still has the bike and title. He would be uncomfortable putting the bike on a transport carrier and sending me the signed over title without my check in his hands. Looking for advice as I don't want to buy a plane ticket or drive 1,700 miles each way when a transport company, who is apparently hungry with Harley's slow down, is offering a $550 quote to get the bike to me. Thanks,
 

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I'm negotiating to buy a 2004 1150RT. I live in Texas, and the seller is in New Jersey. I see others have done long distance purchases and I'm curious how you deal with the payment/title exchange if I'm doing all of this remotely? I am uncomfortable handing the seller a check which he can cash while he still has the bike and title. He would be uncomfortable putting the bike on a transport carrier and sending me the signed over title without my check in his hands. Looking for advice as I don't want to buy a plane ticket or drive 1,700 miles each way when a transport company, who is apparently hungry with Harley's slow down, is offering a $550 quote to get the bike to me. Thanks,
Is it possible for the transport company to exchange the check for the signed title for you when they pick up the bike?
 

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I have sold one bike long distance and the buyer sent me 1/2 payment and I sent the title then he sent the balance. I had the bike so was not too worried. In the end it all comes down to trusting the person you are dealing with. I usually spend a good amount of time not he phone with the other party to get to know them. Have never ever been burned.

BUT .... have you checked one way flights from TX to NJ? I just did and lord they are less than $150. That was Houston to Newark. But with airlines begging for business they are just about giving flights away.
 
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I did something similar as GSinNC, but I was on the buying end. It was actually someone from this group who was selling the bike. I was able to go look at previous posts and get a sense of their history and what type of person they were.

From his posts I could tell he had been around this community for years, he had a good medical job, he was helpful in his advise, he was particular in how he performed mods, etc. All of which built trust and confidence in who I was dealing with.

If I was going in blind I would use a service like mentioned above or see if a dealership might facilitate the transfer for a reasonable fee.


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Maybe work with a local dealer to be the middle person? I know it's not the same, but this is done all the time with skydiving gear. Local well know dealer inspects the gear and sends inspection letter to both parties and hold check/money and title. They get paid for this service. I have done this several times without any difficulty. Maybe also look for middle person living in the area to be the middle person.
 

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Maybe take a look at the anonymous book of MOA and see if there is a rider close by willing to be involved?

I've bought three bikes long distance and ridden them home-From VA, MI and KS. In each case, I talked with the seller/determined that they actually knew what they were talking about, and built a relationship with them. I wouldn't be comfortable in buying a bike without a clear title, or one that 'would be sent' as soon as the bank was paid. I must admit both the thrill of the hunt/process was a bit nervous flying with a pile of $100 bills. But that went away as I climbed aboard a new bike and headed home.

If you are comfortable in knowing the bike would make it to your place, grab a cheap flight, figure a couple hotels, and enjoy the fly/ride

Do keep us posted please
 
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So just a follow up with a bit more info on my personal experiences. I have bought one bike long distance and sold 2 bikes long distance. In EVERY case I had very lengthy conversations on the phone with the other party. Sharing information about the bike, its history, service and the riding history of the other party. In all cases I was very comfortable with the situation.

In the one situation where I was buying a bike in Florida (I live in NC) I was buying the personal bike owned by the sales manager of the dealership in Ft. Meyers. So that was easy. I hooked up my Kendon trailer and headed to Florida. A bit anxious if the bike was truly as nice as it appeared when I arrive I was shocked to find it was ever BETTER than I could ever imagine. Personal check closed the deal and they even loaded the bike up for me! I still to this day visit them every time I am in Ft. Meyers.

The first long distance sale I had was a 2005 K200LT sold to a guy in Oregon. He was originally going to fly and ride so sent me 1/2 in cashier check then decided to have it shipped. He sent me the other 1/2 and I sent him the title. The shipping company arrived and I assisted in loading it up and off it went. The buyer and i chatted many times on the phone and I was very comfortable with the situation.

Last and most recent deal was last year when I sold my 2012 GSA to a very nice young follow in Indianapolis. Again we talked on the phone numerous times about the bike and how we would make the deal happen. Ultimately he sent me via Zelle (I LOVE ZELLE) a $500 non-refundable deposit and then flew in on a Thursday afternoon. I picked him up at the airport and we went back to my house to check out the bike. He took it for a test ride and was thrilled. While I offered him a room in our home he opted for a nearby hotel. On Friday I took him to my dealer to meet them, chat with the service manager and shop for some gear. The weather was not good so he waited until Saturday to head home. He handed me a cashier's check and I handed him the title and off he went. He and I still communicate!!

Point being that so long as you get a comfortable feeling for the person on the other end of the deal it is really pretty simple to work out the details. It does require a bit of trust but don't forget the other party is probably as concerned as you are about the transaction. So long as you TALK TO THEM in person or on the phone you can most always get a feeling for their honestly.

Good luck !
 

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You can also use a service like Escrow.com (there are others).


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I bought a bike remotely about two years ago and the seller used escrow.com to arrange the release of payment. All went quite smoothly. Also, I am in NJ, if I can be helpful, reach out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Acquaintances of mine, all BMW riders, express serious concerns about “left side” oil tensioner failures, rubber brake lines, dried out seals, ruined brake system (ABS) as brake fluid has been in the bike so long, etc. Kind of has me spooked on this very low mileage bike.
 

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Acquaintances of mine, all BMW riders, express serious concerns about “left side” oil tensioner failures, rubber brake lines, dried out seals, ruined brake system (ABS) as brake fluid has been in the bike so long, etc. Kind of has me spooked on this very low mileage bike.
If you are really concerned about the condition of the bike I would contact Cross Roads BMW in NJ or another local dealer and have the seller take it there for a check. But if you discuss with the owner you can get service history and records which should provide you a lot of insight of what to expect, what he has already done, what he has recently done and what he may think needs to be done. You gain a LOT of insight but chatting with the seller for an hour or so. At least that has always worked for me.

But understand you are buying a 2004 motorcycle and if me I would anticipate spending up to $1000 to get it in "ride across the country" shape. I would have my local dealer go through the bike and identify anything that needs attention.

In the end if you are still concerned or worried then it may not be the bike for you. But you just have to go with your own gut feel.
 
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