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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
So I called the seller and got some more info about the bike. He says that buys and fixes up bikes (says he has a Ninja 300 he'll be posting soon if I am interested), so he hasn't owned the bike for too long. He's had it since April of this year (already paid to renew the registration) and since then he's only put on approximately 100 miles. He has it connected to a trickle charger. The previous owner was a foreign student (from Brazil) who sold it to him because he is moving back (story makes sense since there are two universities near the area). Says that the bike retains a clean title but has been down or dropped by the previous owner; he has gotten it repainted but he admits it's not the best paint job (told me not to expect dealership paint, more like Maaco paint jobs).

Asked him if there was anything that he'd recommend getting fixed or serviced before riding the bike daily and he said that he took care of most of the basic maintenance. The only thing he'd recommenced getting checked out are the front brakes, which feel a bit spongy to him. He tried bleeding the brakes and it got a little better but he said he'd recommend bleeding them more and seeing if it helps, although that may just be how the brakes feel on this specific bike (his words). Other than that, he says the bike is good to go and ready to ride.

Only thing that concerns me is the title. Although he says the title is clean, he does not currently have the title. He has it insured through AAA and has requested a title approximately a month ago, but he has not received one yet in the mail. However, when he called AAA, the bike is registered in his name. He says that there won't be any issues since as long as the bike is in his name, he can sell it and fill out a form he picked up from the Department of Motor Vehicles (not printed, he said he had to pick it up in person and it was on special paper, like a checkbook texture), and I can fill out the form and present it to the DMV with the bill of sale and get it titled in my name without any issues.

He is willing to go with me in person to an AAA office to confirm that the title is in his name, or call AAA's 1-800 telephone number and put them on speaker as he talk to the representative so I can hear that the title is in his name. He also said that he is willing to write a statement and sign that the title on the motorbike is clean.

I asked if he is willing to get it inspected at a local motorcycle shop near by (I looked up the closest one on Yelp), and he said without hesitation that he is fine with it, as long as I pay for the inspection (which I am willing to) and reimburse him for the gas and time since it is a 25-mile ride for him. I don't have any friends that know how to ride that could help me check it out, and still don't have my license (though I'm finishing my MSF course today) so I think a inspection is my best option to see if the bike checks out. He wouldn't let me test ride it without a license in hand, which is understandable.

All in all, he sounds like a very honest and upfront fellow, I didn't feel like he was trying to hide anything from me, and was able to answer all my questions without hesitation (didn't sound like be was BSing either, his voice sounded calm and confident, like he knew his stuff). He was patient in explaining the situation with the title when I was having a difficult time understanding and offered multiple options in which I could confirm it without me asking (ex: he offered to go with me to the insurance office even when I didn't ask him yet about how to get confirmation).

I'd like to ask you all, after reading this exchange between the seller and I, what do you think? Do you think I should go ahead and go with him to the insurance office to confirm that the title is in his name, get his written statement and signature that the title is clean, get the motorcycle inspected at the shop, and if everything checks out, fill out the paperwork and hand him the money? He said he'd be willing to deliver the bike to my apartment after everything is done and finalized since the shop is near my apartment. Are there any other questions I should ask him the next time I call him to schedule the inspection? I'd appreciate any insight or advice you could provide, thank you all so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I may have misunderstood/misheard what he meant. Thinking back, my guess is he filled up all the paper work then submitted it to the DMV, but the title never arrived in the mail. But then he called AAA to insure the bike, and when they ran the VIN, it showed him as the registered owner, so if the form is filled out (https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/7885d40d-4d2e-4fc0-b100-3ef8fe562bd7/reg227.pdf?MOD=AJPERES) there should be no issues titling the bike in my name. That's my guess, although I'll call him later today to clarify since it's a pretty big issue to be unsure of. Are there any other questions you'd recommend asking him as well while I am at it?
 

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It's definitely had a makeover from a crash.
As long as you're ok with that.
I would definitely buy the 650 over a 250
Previous owner probably didn't do any maintenance that's why it needed a new chain and sprocket already
I would want to make sure of the clean title.
Not sure how CA does it but I walk into an AZ DMV with a signed title and they hand me a new title in my name right there
 

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If he doesn't have the title dont give the seller anything more than $20 for a signed sales agreement with the balance due when he gets the clean title in his name. CA is scam rich in people ripping off other people for "lost" title claims. If he did the paper thru AAA the CA DMV can easily take 6-8 weeks if not more to send the new ownership title to him. If you walk into the CA DMV with a title to change ownership they will issue you a temp title of ownership and mail you the Pink when they get around to it.

If the seller is honest have him meet you at the CA DMV with the bike and his temp title and do the deal there once the DMV issues the new paper to you and then you can be sure its clean. If he wont do this its not a clean deal and I would keep looking for a deal you can close on.

Good luck and be careful
 

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I would recommend the 650 over the 250 as I think you will get bored of a 250 very quickly. 650's are great starter bikes with enough power to get you moving but not crazy to scare yourself to death.

As for great deals they are out there. I paid $1125 US for my 1993 ZX-7. Purchased from the original owner with ALL INVOICES/RECEIPTS since new. I got the rear stand, tank and seat bags, bike cover included in the sale. Valves were adjusted etc only 1000 km prior to me buying so I t was all good. Just do your research and don't be blinded by a shiny bike etc.

Good luck
 
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