Go Beyond

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As a motorcyle seller

I'd like to start selling my motorcycles at a slight premium for reasons that I believe I can justify.

For better or for worse, I've bought and sold about twenty bikes at the time I'm writing this (March of 2018). Pretty much never turned a profit. My intent was pretty much always to find a good daily rider. As you may know, that can be a difficult quest.

I've been riding almost daily for a bit over five years. Motorcycles are my main means of transportation. I've also done offroad riding (Colorado BDR), two days at the track, and motorcycle gymkhana. I'm certainly not an excellent rider, but I do have experience and I am pretty particular about my bikes from my riding and my experience working on them. I've spent quite a bit of time around the Schoffer Brother's motorcycle shop, learning from the best mechanic I've ever known, Ron. At times, I've spent 10-20 hours a week there, hanging out, working on bikes, working on my own bikes, and watching Ron run the lathe. I've been around other mechanics, spent a long time on forums (advrider, in particular), and have spent some time around other mechanics. I've also done a notable amount of work completely on my own, ranging from clutch plate replacement to fork work. I also worked very, very briefly as a mobile mechanic. My focus has generally been Airheads and 80's Japanese bikes. I probably have as much experience as a 2 year full time mechanic, with more understanding of machining to boot.

So I'm neither the best rider nor the best mechanic, but I have time and experience in both. I'm also very honest and want people to know what they are getting into. I am an engineer, not a salesman.

What this means for you is that if I've daily ridden a bike and am selling it as a daily rider, odds are you won't mind it one bit as a daily rider. Numerous bikes are sold with little understanding of their true mechanical state, their functional properties, strengths and weaknesses, or even an idea to the range of what can go wrong. I have seen a lot go wrong on bikes and now have a very skeptical eye.

To give a few quick stories:

I once bought a 1971 BMW R50/5 in San Jose, from a mechanic at (the rather famous) San Jose BMW dealership. It was sold as a running bike that he took his hour long commute from time to time. The ride home was one of the worst in my life with horribly notched steering bearings, going back up the 101. Bike needed a lot of effort to turn, then fell into the turn, then had to correct with varying amounts of force. I hadn't ran into bad steering bearings much before that. They did clear up just fine after I cleaned, regreased, and reset the bearings, but the mechanic should have known this and told me before selling the bike. I haven't done the actual experience any justice in words -- it was a horrifying ride back.

I bought an R80ST from a supposedly famous Ducati mechanic somewhere around the east side of the Bay Area. It was safe to ride, but the valves were tight (always held slightly open) and the shock eyelet was too large and had about a centimeter of play (shock effectively traveled a centimeter past full extension). Not to mention, the heads were warped and could only get the valve covers to keep from leaking by doubling up on silione gaskets. I also bought an R100/7 from an automotive safety engineer and it also had tight valves. That bike was also an electrical mess and had a leaking master cylinder.

Now, this kind of defeats my own story -- buying a bike from a supposedly competent individual and finding out they were either grossly incompetent or dishonest, as it could certainly apply to me. There isn't any way to know for sure without a lot of time.

But, you can imagine the above cases being the minimum, it can go downhill from there buying bikes from people who don't ride daily, who don't work on their bikes, or do and get fed lots of misinformation online.

All of this in summary, my sales pitch is that if you buy from me you know at least what you don't know that you're getting into, or you know a good bit of what you're getting into.

To end, earlier in life I did not take good care of my things and vehicles. Now I am quite picky after a number of bad experiences on bikes. If you take care of them, they have a much better chance of taking care of you. So I will fix just about whatever needs fixing and make the very occasional modification if it really needs it and suits the bike and my riding. My work is very purposeful and thought out. I don't baby the bikes I ride, which is part of the reason I figure out what's wrong with them. I'm also not pulling wheelies out of every corner and beating them to death.