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Old 25th March 2014, 04:56   #31
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Hi everybody,

I am contemplating a motorcycle for the daily office commute of about 30 miles one way and weekend cruising of the maximum possible stretches from Cincinnati.
Lots of good advice, let me add mine too

Its worth every penny to go and complete your MSF, they teach you basics of riding which you may already know but riding in India and here is way different. Esp in Mid-west where motorcycle are not that common and not ridden all year, cars don't expect you. You have to be extra cautious and visible. Additionally once you complete your MSF you will not need to give a DMV test, it will be waived. Not sure of OH, but few states have MSF for free like Illinois.

I personally would advice that you learn the roads and traffic here driving a car and then move to motorcycle.

I'd suggest that you check out the motorcycles at a dealer, see how the ergo feels. I don't think many dealers let you test ride. Consider Suzuki V-Storm also. If you are ok with a smaller bike to start, look at SV650. BMWs are top of the line and will be difficult to maintain in terms of servicing costs etc.

Keep some good extra bucks for gear, invest on quality gear. Remember to GEAR UP ALWAYS.
I know few online shop owners I buy stuff from so I can surely help you with getting some deals.(PS: I dont work for them or get commission).

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Originally Posted by tracerspiff View Post
Exactly my thoughts! there is very scant info on this forum regarding renting a motorcycle in the US. There seem to be few sites like eaglerider, etc but I dont seem to find anything other than Harleys and they are pretty expensive too (~$150 a day).

Would love to hear the bike rental experiences of our overseas TBHPians .. If any.
EagleRiders are the most popular for motorcycle rentals. They do give you motorcycle with Indian license. Though they are primarily for HD's, depending on location they have other cruisers too.
Check in Craigslist, there may be some local rentals for motorcycles.
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Old 25th March 2014, 22:09   #32
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Please advise on this bike.
...
2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 $6500
Non-ABS
41,540 miles
...
The bike looks in good condition with a mature owner. It has some pretty good mods. Miles are a bit high which shows he has toured on it extensively.

Try if you can have him go down another $500 - $800 on the asking price. Every dollar saved is useful for other bike related expense.

Check out Kasawaki Forum or Concours forum and try to find if any problems or issues emerge as the bike ages. Read about current owners views on the bike on such forums.

I second every point that @aah78 & @Kraft.Wagen have mentioned.

If you have made up your mind to get C14/ST1300/FJR1300 type of bike, then PLEASE take the MSF Basic rider course and shortly after that take the MSF Advanced Rider course where you can learn advanced riding techniques on your own bike.
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Old 25th March 2014, 22:21   #33
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post

I personally would advice that you learn the roads and traffic here driving a car and then move to motorcycle.
I know few online shop owners I buy stuff from so I can surely help you with getting some deals.(PS: I dont work for them or get commission).
Thanks.

I have been driving cars here for last 6 months.

Can you please help me how to get in touch with you or any other forum member, say over phone or e-mail?

I am keen to talk more about those deals.

I tried sending a message through my inbox but does not seem the right way.

I believe posting mobile number here is not permitted.

Regards

Himanshu
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Old 25th March 2014, 23:02   #34
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Thanks.

I have been driving cars here for last 6 months.

Can you please help me how to get in touch with you or any other forum member, say over phone or e-mail?

I am keen to talk more about those deals.

I tried sending a message through my inbox but does not seem the right way.

I believe posting mobile number here is not permitted.

Regards

Himanshu
You can PM fellow members which is the easiest way to get in contact. I usually buy from 4-5 different sites depending on what I buy and the deals at the time. You can PM me your number.
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Old 27th March 2014, 12:20   #35
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Hi everybody,

I am contemplating a motorcycle for the daily office commute of about 30 miles one way and weekend cruising of the maximum possible stretches from Cincinnati.

I am used to doing 1000 kms a day on my TBTS back in India and love riding.

I am getting options on craiglist for less than 9000 for FJR 1300 and ST 1300.


Himanshu

Hi Himanshu,

I was also in a similar dilemma in Pa before I moved back a little over a year ago. Since your primary usage is going to be commuting with weekend trips thrown in on occasion, I'd really recommend you look at what kinds of roads you would like to do your trips. In Pa, my primary requirements were for a canyon carver. If you see yourself doing a lot of riding in the hilly terrain (not that many undulating roads around Cinci though) then also consider something from the Triumph/Ducati Stable. Bonneville/Street Triple/Monster 796/ Hyper Motorad, all of which you can get in that price range.

imp
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Old 27th March 2014, 12:53   #36
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by imp! View Post
Hi Himanshu,
consider something from the Triumph/Ducati Stable. Bonneville/Street Triple/Monster 796/ Hyper Motorad, all of which you can get in that price range.
imp
Thanks imp.

The concern is that pillion has to be happy touring with me. Like I mentioned that I love to ride long in a day, averaging about 500 miles, comfort is also an important criteria.

I went today to check on the 2008 Concours 14, quoted at $6500. Took a ride and found the acceleration good and looked well taken care of. But my concern is - when i placed my hand at the exhaust outlet, it got wet on the initial warm up. There was some oily smell on my palm as well. The owner said that it was just water which does form up on initial warm up. Is it true? Rest of the bike looked good.

The other option is the same vintage bike but being quoted at $7900. Any pointers for me?

Regards

Himanshu
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Old 27th March 2014, 14:34   #37
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Thanks imp.

The concern is that pillion has to be happy touring with me. Like I mentioned that I love to ride long in a day, averaging about 500 miles, comfort is also an important criteria.

I went today to check on the 2008 Concours 14, quoted at $6500. Took a ride and found the acceleration good and looked well taken care of. But my concern is - when i placed my hand at the exhaust outlet, it got wet on the initial warm up. There was some oily smell on my palm as well. The owner said that it was just water which does form up on initial warm up. Is it true? Rest of the bike looked good.

The other option is the same vintage bike but being quoted at $7900. Any pointers for me?

Regards

Himanshu
So water from an exhaust is actually pretty normal. They run much hotter than the environment and there's usually some amount of condensation that takes place. The oily smell on the other hand I have no clue about. If you are serious about the bike, I would highly recommend having it checked out by an independent mechanic.

That is one Behemoth of a bike man! Did your spin last long enough to see if you're okay with it for a daily commute?

What ever bike you buy, make sure you keep a good amount of money for Gear (head to toe)' both for yourself and your pillion (eithr make your pillion buy their own gear, or buy gear for them); with daily and long weekend commutes, buy a blue tooth headset that can fix onto your helmet. If you can't afford Gear and Bike, save some more. For gods sake don't buy a bike and skimp on gear. It can be the difference between walking away from a crash to calm your nerves with a brandy or never breathing again.

P.S The 2010 Concours had some major updates done to it. Please google the different years and see if you are okay with the 2008.

Last edited by imp! : 27th March 2014 at 14:41.
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Old 27th March 2014, 23:19   #38
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post

I went today to check on the 2008 Concours 14, quoted at $6500. Took a ride and found the acceleration good and looked well taken care of. But my concern is - when i placed my hand at the exhaust outlet, it got wet on the initial warm up. There was some oily smell on my palm as well. The owner said that it was just water which does form up on initial warm up. Is it true? Rest of the bike looked good.
Did you check for any frame damages? Fairing damages? What is the chain sprocket life remaining?

Like imp! mentioned, if the bike looks good and you are interested take it to a local mechanic and have it checked.
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Old 28th March 2014, 00:46   #39
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Did you check for any frame damages? Fairing damages? What is the chain sprocket life remaining?
I did look for any fairing damage and frame damages. Did not find any. A loose plastic part of fairing, missing a nut, was an issue observed.

How do I see the chain sprocket life remaining?

Regards

Himanshu

Last edited by Technocrat : 28th March 2014 at 02:36. Reason: Fixed quotes, thanks
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Old 28th March 2014, 02:25   #40
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
How do I see the chain sprocket life remaining?
C14 is shaft driven not chain. Check the shaft maintenance schedule from the user manual or forums, like at how many miles to be serviced or replaced.

Generally, shaft driven bikes are maintenance free with very long service intervals and do not give any trouble (unless your bad luck is really bad ). Almost all of BMW touring bikes are shaft driven.

Last edited by Technocrat : 28th March 2014 at 02:36. Reason: Fixed quotes, thanks
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Old 28th March 2014, 04:47   #41
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Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
I find a lot of opposition to my idea of making the motorcycle as my primary means of commute.
Himanshu,
The opposition may stem from higher running costs. Is your budget for everything to get you on the road on a bike, or is it just for the bike? On any bike you should expect life of tires to be 8k miles, chain to be 15k miles, major service every 16k miles and minor ones 3k miles. It would be prudent to learn doing minor servicing yourself as the mechanics charge up to $90 per hour in labor. This is a lot more than the $25 oil change for cars.

First $200 for a MSF course. Then, you should certainly carve out a good chunk of money for riding gear. $300 for a helmet, $500 for a full riding suit, $200 for boots, $50 for gloves. +/- 20% if you find good deals.

If you dont live in Florida or Southern California you will figure that you will need winter and summer gear. Make sure the bike has heated grips. So, account for a couple years of cost of ownership, and not just the initial cost of the bike. Each cost on its own would be small, but it all adds up. You just want to make sure you have enough cash left to enjoy riding the bike without too much heart ache. Personally, I bought my first bike for $900 when I had $1000 in my pocket. $99 for the helmet and I was waiting for the next paycheck to buy a jacket. I hope others do not do such mistakes

I have owned 4 different bikes in the last 16 years, although I spent nothing on repairs - I spent a lot more than I spent on cars in replacing worn out parts. Tires, batteries, chains, rotors, brakes, shocks, lights, etc. Also on replacing my gear. The more you ride the bike (without a car) the more it wears.

If you have any specific questions feel free to IM me or give me a call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
The insurance for a liter bike, as a first bike in the US, will in all probability be expensive than the motorcycle itself.
Comprehensive Insurance rates depends more on the cost of the bike, and much less on the capacity. Without any riding history the liability part may be a little high, but not by much. When I bought my first bike some 16 years back I paid $98 per year in liability, last year for my Honda VFR 800 I paid $80 for liability. People riding a 1600cc cruiser pay less than people riding 600cc sport bikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApriliaNut View Post
After this I decided to start small and my first bike was a used Ninja EX500, which I owned for 2 years before upgrading to my current Aprilia Futura.
That is a wonderful bike, a wonderful choice. Please ad a few more pics of your bike to your gallery/garage.

Last edited by aah78 : 28th March 2014 at 05:59. Reason: Posts merged.
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Old 28th March 2014, 07:17   #42
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

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Himanshu,
Is your budget for everything to get you on the road on a bike, or is it just for the bike?
First $200 for a MSF course.
$300 for a helmet, $500 for a full riding suit, $200 for boots, $50 for gloves. +/- 20% if you find good deals.
So, account for a couple years of cost of ownership, and not just the initial cost of the bike.
Thanks for the wonderful inputs.

My budget is limited to 8k in total as of now. May be a few hundred more for the gear!
I do not want to compromise on safety and am even evaluating picking up used high quality gear from craiglist, couple of which are available under $300. That includes helmet, jackets and pants. Any idea on that?

Would you be able to estimate the possible resale value of 2008 Concours 14 after 2 years. The probable miles would be about 65000 to 75000 by then. I am contemplating the higher odometer bike with lesser financial strain on me (@6500). I might sell it off for a better machine later.

Regards

Himanshu
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Old 28th March 2014, 10:33   #43
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Thanks for the wonderful inputs.
My budget is limited to 8k in total as of now. May be a few hundred more for the gear! I do not want to compromise on safety and am even evaluating picking up used high quality gear from craiglist, couple of which are available under $300. That includes helmet, jackets and pants. Any idea on that?

Would you be able to estimate the possible resale value of 2008 Concours 14 after 2 years. The probable miles would be about 65000 to 75000 by then. I am contemplating the higher odometer bike with lesser financial strain on me (@6500).
The issue with used gear is availability and getting the right fit. Especially the helmets - you want it to fit snug so that it does not wobble and rattle at freeway speeds.

Unfortunately I cannot comment much on resale value. As I mentioned before as you add miles it would need new tires and such that would affect the residual value. If you do not have a garage, you will need to read up on winter storage. I dont really have winter down here. If you maintain it well, it will hold value pretty well.
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Old 28th March 2014, 21:10   #44
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Thanks for the wonderful inputs.

My budget is limited to 8k in total as of now. May be a few hundred more for the gear!
I do not want to compromise on safety and am even evaluating picking up used high quality gear from craiglist, couple of which are available under $300. That includes helmet, jackets and pants. Any idea on that?
I would advice stay away from used helmets, unless you are buying from someone whom you know. Helmets tend to loose its protective values if not stored and maintained properly, even a small fall can affect. Rather start with a $100-$150 HJC or AGV helmets and save for getting a better one soon.
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Old 28th March 2014, 21:57   #45
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Default Re: Advice on buying a motorcycle in USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Thanks for the wonderful inputs.

My budget is limited to 8k in total as of now. May be a few hundred more for the gear!
I do not want to compromise on safety and am even evaluating picking up used high quality gear from craiglist, couple of which are available under $300. That includes helmet, jackets and pants. Any idea on that?
As mentioned earlier, factor in the cost of gear for your riding partner as well.
Also, for starters, buy appropriate weather gear.
For now buy warm weather gear, like good ventilated textile/mesh or perforated leather gear. You do not want to be uncomfortable while riding.
You can buy cold weather gear in fall season.

While getting used gear, check how it has been used. Hopefully the seller has not crashed wearing that gear or has not sweated too much in the gear, etc.

For some good deals on new gear, check out motorcyclegear dot com. and sign up for their newsletter, that contains killer deals most of the time. I get almost all of my gear from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhardwhu View Post
Would you be able to estimate the possible resale value of 2008 Concours 14 after 2 years. The probable miles would be about 65000 to 75000 by then. I am contemplating the higher odometer bike with lesser financial strain on me (@6500). I might sell it off for a better machine later.
Well, do not expect too much of resale value, if you are planning to ride it to ~75K mikes. The value of the bike will be about half (if not less) for what you bought it for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by prasadee View Post
That is a wonderful bike, a wonderful choice. Please ad a few more pics of your bike to your gallery/garage.
Thanks @Prasadee. Yes, it is a great bike. Its more of a sportsbike with touring benefits.
Right now I am a Newbie, so I do not have pm/picture/garage posting privilages. I will post some pics as soon as I become a BHPian.
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