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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, members. I've been riding for a decade or so and have numerous bikes, including examples in the roadster, dual sport, classic Italian cruiser, sport tourer, and dirt bike categories. Been looking for a while for the right sport bike to add to the stable. Always appreciated the aesthetics of the RC-51 and have read many highly positive reviews. Given that I already have quite a few bikes and that I want to ride in a spirited fashion, I don't have a huge budget and I don't need a museum piece that I am reluctant to cane. Still would like a bike that runs well and is in good cosmetic condition.

So, I have seen a posting on craigslist on PA/NY border for a rather high miles(46K) '03 for $4,000. Here's the add URL: 2003 RC-51 RVT-1000r - motorcycles/scooters - by owner - vehicle.... Hard to make out any fine detail in the photos online. The tires are obviously shot and there's a fairly ugly tail tidy. Ordinarily, if I were buying a high-miles bike, I'd be looking for the current owner to have had a pretty long stint with the bike and some evidence that the bike has been well-loved and well-cared for. In this case, neither is apparent. I emailed current owner for some details: How long owned; last service; records?, mods, take-offs, tires, cosmetic condition, etc. Everything about the response shouts, "Run away!" I don't think this is a scam: there is what appears to be a PA license plate on the ground near the bike and the structure and plants are perfectly suited to the area; there are 7 pics; Seller is also advertising a Gixxer and both bikes appear to be (remotely) reasonably priced. Nonetheless, the answer raises big red flags.

Response: "... title is in hand, tires could use new. The bike came from Japan and was owned by a friend, went through three of us. I’ve owned it 8 months and only road [sic] it once recently to make sure it was good to sell. I recommend oil change and tires Bc it hasn’t been riden [sic] in a while. I have no other parts for the bike. Long friend sell to friend sort of thing. Still runs strong, have to for sell. It’s higher miles but still underpriced according to all other ones I’ve seen for sale in RC-51 groups. So I posted cheaper here and for locals. But was trying to sell."

So, Seller knows nothing about the bike because he got it from a friend of his aunt's third cousin twice removed from Japan who bought it from his girlfriend's BFF's brother.... Seller had bike for 8 months but only rode it once to make sure it ran so he could sell it?!?

Definitely not the type of seller I'd prefer to deal with. Nonetheless, if the bike is in good cosmetic condition and test ride (how fast do I dare go on those tires?) reveals nothing untoward, I would consider making a low-ball offer. Bike is located a few hours from me (as is everything in Pennsyltucky), so I need to have a few things resolved before I take the time to head there in person. Think I'll start by checking VIN number and ask for a photo of title. What would you look/listen/feel for? Are there problem areas for this bike?

Assuming that this bike has not been well-maintained, is high-miles, needs new rubber, new fluids, braided brake lines, fork seals, and probably a few other things to pass inspection, possibly a tail tidy that isn't an el cheapo (I didn't see any place to hang a plate), and who knows what else, would you even think to make an offer? How much?

Thanks for any help. Hope some day (though maybe not sooner than later) to be a member of this forum that actually has the proper bike.


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