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Thread: Selling motorcycle Procedures

  1. #1
    hoss
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    Selling motorcycle Procedures

    Riders,

    I am turning eighty in a few days and believe it is time to " give up the road" and sell my
    beautiful, 2009 F 650 GS. In this regard, I have some questions and ask for your collective wisdom.
    1. Best way to protect my investment when a stranger comes for a test ride.
    2. I won' be riding anymore( fall, winter season in Michigan)....should I pay my insurance in order to be covered by that " test" driver....perhaps as late as next spring.
    3. What steps would you recommend to attain a commitment of reliability from a prospective buyer. B.M.W Motorrad in Grand Rapids, Mi. makes a photo copy of a test riders drivers license, and requires a signature...for whatever reason I am not sure?
    4. Require money up front as collataral?
    It seems to me that one is extremely vulnerable at this time? Can anyone help with this issue?

    Hoss

    Thank you for the advice.

    Hoss

    Thank you

    P.S. I have loved being a brother in this fine organization and will miss all of you.

  2. #2
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Hoss:

    I will put on my attorney hat:

    1. I would not allow unknown riders to "test ride" anything. If they have an issue with whether the bike is operational, take it to a dealership and have the mechanics check out the bike at the buyers expense, at which time he can purchase it or walk away without a test ride.

    2. Unless you are willing to take a total loss, do not drop insurance until the bike is sold. That especially includes liability and collision coverage. You will need to read your insurance policy and see what their specific requirements are. Many companies have a named driver provision, which state who is insured when riding the bike. Unlisted riders may not be covered under exclusions.

    3. The paperwork that dealerships have demo riders sign are specific liability waivers, and copies of their insurance policies which may or may not cover a loss. The driver license is copied to insure the driver is properly licensed to ride a motorcycle, thus kicking in the dealership insurance coverage. Such documentation is probably required by their insurance company.

    4. The collateral up front is the full purchase price of the bike when they purchase it. It is not unheard of that someone wrecks a new bike within seconds or minutes of purchase or riding, so unless you are independently wealthy and can afford to take a total loss on your bike, do not allow test rides. You have multiple legal issues involved here that can bite you.

    Realistically you might just be better off doing a consignment to a dealership and let them take care of the details for a small fee or commission on the sale of the bike and avoid all the pitfalls involved.

    As I try to convince my clients all the time: Consult your attorney BEFORE "assuming" whatever you are doing is OK and you are covered. It is much, much cheaper to ask the question before the project goes off in the ditch and costs a small fortune in legal fees and court costs to correct after the fact.

    Hope that gives you some guidance and even when you hang it up, stay in touch with the group. Lots of nice folks here to keep you company. And be sure to have a very happy birthday !!
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350, Instructor, Louisiana Dept of Public Safety
    Motorcycle Safety, Awareness & Operator Training Program
    NAUI Instructor #36288, Board Member, Divers Alert Network

  3. #3
    Registered User story's Avatar
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    No Test Rides!!!!

    If someone wants to take it on a test ride, then have the entire purchase price in cash in your hand.
    All sales are cash only and finale.

    I've bought and sold a few bikes and that's the only way I will do a deal.

    If you can wait till spring to sell, you may be able to get more for it and cut down on the looky lou's.

    Good Luck.
    Enjoying life in the beautiful state of Jefferson
    2013 K1600GTL : 2004 VTX1800c : 2007 K1200GT with Hannigen sidecar

  4. #4
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    I think "reading" the buyer is important.
    The last bike I sold the buyer was a returning rider about my age who brought his friend with him to get his feedback. He never asked to ride the bike and I wound up delivering it to his house about 30 minutes away, got to say goodbye to an old friend.
    The one before that the buyer was older than me and after the second time he came to look at it he drove it to the end of the street and back. I live 1/2 mile down a 3/4 mile dead end street. After talking to him twice it was clear he knew what he was doing and I felt comfortable letting him test drive it. I wound up delivering that one also to what wound up being his million dollar house!
    If a 16 year old kid who just got his license a test ride would be out of the question.

  5. #5
    Have you thought about asking your local dealer to sell it on consignment? That could be a good option.
    --
    Your MOA Digital Media Editor since 2015 | Lifetime Member #87301
    '05 R1200GS | '98 K1200RS + Hannigan Classic sidecar | '19 Indian FTR1200S
    Check out Chasing the Horizon, a podcast by, for & about motorcyclers

  6. #6
    Registered User GeorgeR1200RT's Avatar
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    I am selling one of my BMW's on consignment through my dealer.

    ka5ysy did an excellent job of summarizing the reasons for doing so.

    That being said, I have purchased two bikes from individuals. In both cases, I was allowed to take a test ride. I would not have purchased a machine without test riding it.
    George
    R1200RT. Previous K1200RS, K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

  7. #7
    IBA# 5819 61996's Avatar
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    You don't stop riding because you get old; you get old because you stop riding.


    That said, don't over-think a simple process. Just make sure they are properly licensed and that you have adequate insurance coverage.

    JP
    “Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.'
    The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'

  8. #8
    Registered User 6322's Avatar
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    Hoss, I agree with the suggestion of waiting until spring to list it to generate more interest and potentially a better price. I'd absolutely have insurance coverage on it until you sell it unless you can afford a total loss, and be held liable for any injuries. I'd also look over an individual's license to confirm that they have the necessary endorsement. If you're convinced that they are serious about buying the bike, then consider the test ride. Before the test ride, have them fill out and sign a liability form. You can put together a liability form with blanks for date, printed name, signed name and driver's license number. On the form, by signing it, one accepts all financial liability and responsibility associated with a test ride of said motorcycle. I've had experience with puting a bike on consignment and wouldn't recommend it.
    Gary Phillips - #6322
    Wildland Firefighter, Retired, Riggins, ID
    Heartland Moto Locos BMW Riders
    '77 R100/7 Dirt Hack, '83 R80ST, '85 K100RS w/EML, '93 K1100LT, '00 R1100RS

  9. #9
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    Hoss, it seems that at an age 9 past mine, you maybe haven't sold many large ticket items as many of us?
    I'm way more like #4 above than the you need a lawyer list. Not to hurt his feelings or try for controversy but I simply don't need that. I've made it this far by the "school of hard knocks" resultant from many buy/sell deals, some in state some out of state & one was out of country. For me in the midst of selling or buying I try for limiting my "exposure". If it's a house or farm then a lawyer or title search ect. may well be the way to protect myself. If it's a car/MC deal then I "size them & the item up" as best I can. I dislike the consignment idea as it is totally unnecessary for me in any deal I've ever made. Maybe if you were selling a Ferrari and/or were in a very time limited personal situation. Obviously your not Donald Trump so you have the time.
    I got beat out of a $25 deposit on a private sale Triump MC ~ 1965. I also had a few issues with dealers along the way-actually more than in private sales. Craigs List is free & works great. IBMWR is also free & works great-if you ignore the Nigerian letters... ADV has a lot of traffic on their flea mkt but pics must be hosted. I sold my last MC there & used a PM email contact to send my pics to the buyer. There are some that feel safer using our own flea mkt but as the it goes out on the world web I don't see it as much safer. You are more likely to be able to get a personal reference on a member from a member, that I'll agree to. Last, F650.org has a flea mkt too and it's model related to your bike & also free to sell there.
    If your uncomfortable with "wheeling & dealing" in general then maybe try for a "club friend" to assist. I'm not in MI or I would volunteer right now to help you through the sale. I can see the day nearing that I'll have the same dilemma when my riding is over. Living on land has the same sort of when you can't do it coming for us as the work load gets harder with age. I'd wait until spring, unless it's pressing you? Good luck!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  10. #10
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    I sold two bikes in the past year or so. The BMW K1300S was of interest to a fellow in the Bay Area, 4 hours from me. But, as noted above, we agreed to meet at his local BMW dealer for them to go over the bike at his expense. They took a good look at it and let him know that they were actually impressed at the condition and maintenance paperwork, etc all up to date with NEW tires. Thus, he was happy, I was happy and we left the bike at the dealer, went to his credit union just down the street, where they cut the check and I signed the title and associated DMV paperwork. Done Deal. The other bike was the track bike. The buyer was familiar with the bike from seeing me out on it, and checking it out and verifying it's history, obviously no test rides there.....Both were money to me before signing the bike over, and no test rides. When purchasing a bike, I used to expect to be able to test ride, but now I realize it is crazy to allow one or expect one. I think a person looking to buy the OP's bike is likely to be someone familiar with the model and likely to have had prior test riding experience on one. So, it is likely that someone who wants this bike will be happy to inspect it, kick the tires, have you start it up, maybe watch you run it around, and take it off your hands. The next route for a serious buyer is taking it to a dealer to certify condition at the potential buyers expense. Then, it is a done deal as is or you negotiate with regard to any problems the dealer identifies.
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >138,000 miles -- Black, 01/10/2000 to present
    Gone: White '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, Black '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, Red '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi, '06 Kaw 650R chrome yellow track bike sold http://www.seagullbb.com/

  11. #11
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I don't think there is any one way to handle the sale. As has been said, you have to use good judgement and questions to determine how you are going to handle the potential buyer (and seller if you are buying). I sold used cars from mid-high school through college and then spent 31+ years as an insurance adjuster. My job depended on being a good judge of people. I bought 16 bikes over the years and sold 14 of them. I bought some with a ride and other without (based on my inspection and judgement of the integrity and honesty of the seller). I sold some of them without letting them be ridden and some others were sold with a ride. The last 2 bikes I sold were both BMWs and I allowed the buyers to ride them before purchase. The nice gentleman who bought the airhead was middle aged and was replacing a similar airhead he had lost due to a divorce. The middle aged gentleman who bought my oilhead was replacing an identical bike he had lost due to financial difficulties. I felt good about them and their ability to ride a bike like I was selling.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  12. #12
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I don't think there is any one way to handle the sale. As has been said, you have to use good judgement and questions to determine how you are going to handle the potential buyer (and seller if you are buying). I sold used cars from mid-high school through college and then spent 31+ years as an insurance adjuster. My job depended on being a good judge of people. I bought 16 bikes over the years and sold 14 of them. I bought some with a ride and other without (based on my inspection and judgement of the integrity and honesty of the seller). I sold some of them without letting them be ridden and some others were sold with a ride. The last 2 bikes I sold were both BMWs and I allowed the buyers to ride them before purchase. The nice gentleman who bought the airhead was middle aged and was replacing a similar airhead he had lost due to a divorce. The middle aged gentleman who bought my oilhead was replacing an identical bike he had lost due to financial difficulties. I felt good about them and their ability to ride a bike like I was selling.
    ^^^^^I'm kinda liking all this^^^^^
    If I sell something like a bike, and things look a bit sketchy, I will take the potential owner for a ride on the back. It shows that it runs, brakes and the gears work.
    I always include, "as is, as seen, as shown".
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  13. #13
    Registered User Gruesome's Avatar
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    my 2 cent

    Test ride - I agree with what others said before: test rides are very risky. As a seller I wouldn't allow them, and as a buyer I understand that the seller knows nothing about my riding ability and that it is unreasonable for them to take the risk. For my last bike purchase I was able to observe both a cold and a warm start, inspected the bike myself, and had asked the seller a lot of detailed questions before.

    Insurance - regardless of the test ride issue you should keep theft etc. insurance, and probably need to keep liability insurance if you keep the license plates on. If you let the buyer ride away with your plates (which probably need to be sent back to you, since you might to hand them back in at the DMV, or whatever it is called in Michigan), have them give you a copy of their provisional coverage letter from their insurance.

    Safety of transaction - Cash or cashier's check only. I have seen some comments elsewhere about risks associated with a cashier's check. To be really safe you could do the title against money swap in the safety of your bank, and deposit the money right away.

    Consignment - might not be such a bad idea, unless the dealer has a lot of their own used bikes to sell, or your bike is relatively close to some of their new ones in price. It also depends on the fee structure.

  14. #14
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gruesome View Post
    Safety of transaction - Cash or cashier's check only. I have seen some comments elsewhere about risks associated with a cashier's check. To be really safe you could do the title against money swap in the safety of your bank, and deposit the money right away.
    My cousin sold used cars for many years and never refused to take a check for a purchase. He just made sure the title and other paperwork matched the purchaser and the check. He made sure the purchaser had a license and other information to confirm it was really the purchaser. He also made sure the people understood that a bad or fraudulent check was theft of the auto (theft by deception). He never had a problem.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  15. #15
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    Charity is another option. Wounded Warriors, DAV, if you need a tax deduction. FWIW, I stopped selling vehicles long time ago. Not worth the hassle, giv'em away. It's just stuff, material.

    Should have added, don't own really expensive stuff. Easy to part with.
    Last edited by 8ninety8; 10-31-2014 at 12:01 AM.

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