Friday, January 30, 2015

ClevelandMoto #77 FOURTH ANNIVERSARY Craigslist Special!

We celebrate our 4th Anniversary! Thanks to ALL of our loyal listeners.

In this weeks podcast we discuss buying a bike on Craigslist and what you should be aware of.

 Also we talk about the recent news of Polaris purchasing electric motorcycle company Brammo.

Sources tell WBZ Buzea has been duping people nationwide who are buying cars online. He’s been operating out of a Woburn hotel room for the past six months.
Investigators say well trained thieves like Buzea are working with counterparts in Romania.
They successfully direct online car buyers to bogus yet very real looking online payment systems.
Michele Grand of the Suffolk County District Attorney Office says buyers, “Were duped because the people they thought they were buying the cars from provided them a fake Paypal link.”
The judge has ordered he be fitted with a GPS tracking ankle bracelet if he is released on $100,000 bail.


1. The Accidental Check

Just like in the housing scams, buyers will pay the seller with a cashier’s check or money order that looks real and then suddenly “realize” they paid too much. This usually happens with buyers who are overseas or otherwise unable to meet with the seller in person. The buyer will then ask the seller to just wire them the overage. Then the seller will arrange to have the car picked up by a middleman, or pick-up agent. By the time the seller realizes the check was a fake, they’ve lost the money they wired to the buyer as well as their car.

2. The Out-of-Town Seller

Some sellers will list a car at an unbelievable price and then tell the buyer a sob story to go with it. It may be they are going through a divorce, or have been transferred overseas and can’t afford to have the car shipped or registered to the new locale. Whatever the story, it justifies the low price and the buyer thinks he’s getting a great deal. But because the seller is out of the country, the buyer will have to wire funds to them in order to take possession of the car. You can imagine what happens next – the seller disappears with the money and the car is nowhere to be found.

The combo -

If a con artist senses a buyer’s hesitation about wiring money before they have possession of the car, many times they will offer to do a “safe” transaction utilizing a company like, or or another online escrow service. They will tell the buyer to transfer the funds to the ebay pay  account where they will be held until the buyer picks up the car.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? The problem comes when a spoof email (one that mimics a legitimate site) is sent to the buyer from the supposedly secure escrow site. The funds then aren’t routed to a legitimate escrow account, but rather a fake one. The seller is never heard from again and the buyer is left with no money and no car.
The EBAY moneygram/western union scam :

Simply put . ; eBay does not supervise or guarantee any transactions that occur outside of eBay or the eBay platform

12 Steps to buying a used bike online/ebay/craigslist/cycletrader etc.

1. Know what the bike is and what it's worth (and what you're willing to pay) before you even call. Be prepared for a seller to claim it's worth WAY more than it is. If you have a couple of ebay completed auctions printed out this will help your case and prove what they're actually selling for. 
 2. The Meet Up: Call first. Get as much information about the vehicle as you can on the phone—and always ask if more photos are available or can be taken, especially of problem areas—when you get the persons address do a reverse look up and see if that's where they live. works. 
Make an APPOINTMENT to see the bike, be there when you say you will, do not rush right over if you don't have to. If there is any sense of urgency, be careful. 

If the seller is sketchy or doesn't want you coming to his house, go to a police station or a bank. Of course, if the vehicle in question isn’t in running condition, you’ll have to visit the car where it sits Don't meet someone at their house. Don't meet them in a deserted parking lot or in their van down by the river.
3. Does the person match the title match the bike? 
5. Is this a running bike?
6. Before you start the motor:
7. Warm up the bike: 
9. Now pull the bike in the driveway if it's liquid cooled make sure it idles long enough to cycle the cooling fan, then shut the bike down. 

 Get the sellers name - is this the bike on the title, check the VIN? 
Size up the seller, Just Assume that the person selling the car is a con artist (unless it's a licensed dealer). Nearly ALL vehicle fraud is committed by private sellers. false paperwork, salvaged vehicles, vehicles with tampered odometers etc. If you find a deal from a private seller that seems too good to be true, it is. Walk away. If this is his brother-in-laws bike, or if he's just waiting to get the title from the he got it from...walk away.

If you get some complicated story, beware. The more interesting the story, the more likely the seller is trying to trick you. Ask to see maintenance records. Most long term owners keep copious records. If there's a new bike in the driveway, why wouldn't the new bike dealer take it in on trade? 

Make sure you clarify BEFORE you show up, Running, Reliable and Titled. When was the last time you rode it for more than 30 minutes? 
If it is, make sure it's cold when you get there, inspect it COLD. Be nervous about a bike that's hot when you get there. 

Check the turn signals, horn etc. look for evidence of non-standard wiring
Turn on the fuel tap and look for leaks
Swing the handlebars full left and right to make sure nothing is pulling / binding and to check the headset bearings. Do a good walk around and a pre-flight check, look at the owners manual online before you get there to know what to look for. Look carefully at tires / tubes, they're more expensive than you think.

Make the seller start the bike for you, if the bike requires any special starting techniques make sure they tell you Check ALL the pipes to be sure they're warming up evenly. 
Look for any leaks
Roll the bike back and forth checking for smooth rolling
chain smooth
brakes working (and releasing!!!)
Do the lights surge when you rev it? (weak battery, bad voltage regulator)

8. Test Ride (you'd better) 
Is the bike insured? 
If you refuse to let me test ride, why? 
Have the seller lead, or follow you if they're nervous.
Let them hold your car keys, license or even some $$$. 
Check the play in everything, sloppy = bad maintenance
smooth throttle response both on AND off the idle should return naturally
listen for Rattle from the timing chain
Ride the bike like it's your first time ever, do everything more slowly and listen carefully.
Do several 2nd or 3rd gear roll on's - make the bike go from lug to zoom.
Freeway - you need to go fast enough to detect handling / balance issues
make sure the test ride is long enough to make a liquid cooled bike cycle the system.
Before you return the bike do some figure 8's, tells you a LOT. 

Is the oil milky or frothy, that could be a head gasket! 
Let it sit for a few minutes while you remind the seller of EVERY shortcoming you've found.
Restart the bike. A weak charging system or a wet-sumping bike will be hard to restart. 

Remind the seller of his asking price MINUS what it's going to cost to make it whole.
Never hesitate calling a friend or a shop for a second opinion or estimate for a repair.
Don't just make a $ counter offer without backing it up.
"you're asking $3000, but it needs $500 worth of work, I'll give you $2500" 
Remind them of the shortcomings you've found and then ask them "what do you need?"
Never underestimate the power of reminding the seller that you don't really NEED this motorcycle.

This is Larry Newberry,
He is the BEST at buying bikes and cars, because he loves it. 
 I've learned everything about buying from him...If you're ever going up against this away. He'll get your bike and ALL your money, and you'll probably give him your last beer.

11. Bonus Points 
'What else do you have for this bike"
You'd be amazed at how much valuable stuff the seller doesn't need once he's sold you the bike. 
Is there another bike, boat, gun etc. this guy (who now loves you) wants to sell? At this point they should know you're a quality buyer. 

Either make your own handwritten bill of sale or download one online, believe it or not, the bill of sale may save your butt if you later discover a small problem with the title. You can even use it to PROVE you are the owner of the vehicle if the title (which is a state document) ever is disputed. Understand how the title you're looking at works, if you're not absolutely sure, don't write on it, let the notary or title bureau help you, once you make a bad mark on the title, you're going to end up having the seller get a duplicate title. 
Go to the bank and hand off the cash there, there are notaries there too. 

Congratulations, I know it was a pain in the ass, but every time I've had a problem I can tie it directly to a step I've missed.

Polaris Buys Brammo:

Hybrids are alive and well:

Honda Hybrid -

As usual most new technology is tested in the scooter market. Yay Scooters!

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