Hello from Milwaukee!!
Hello!! I will be picking up a 2003 silver FJR tomorrow morning. It has almost 40,000 miles but the older gentleman that I am buying it from has owned it since 2006 w/ roughly 5 thousand miles. He did regular oil changes every 3 thousand miles and said he drained the drive shaft oil at the same time. What he has not done is any valve clearance checks, change the CCT out nor lube the pivot points. Although he did say he lubed the pivots at same time as oil change but they sure didn't look that way on cursory glance~plus his look changed like he had no idea what I was talking about.
It kind of was a weird showing of the bike. He posted the ad on craigslist this morning and I was the first response. We set up a 4 o'clock time for showing at his house. While en route my cell phone shut down on me because it was overheating right at the point where I needed to actually listen to the GPS, LOL. I couldn't call him from said phone because of that issue...it refused 2 open any apps!! I remembered the guys address but not the streets direction (**** North whatever road) so when I asked for directions I was told this small unincorporated town has 4 streets with that name and the direction was crucial!!! Anyways, by the time my phone allowed me to call out I was 8 minutes late. So I got directions from the owner and was there probably 15 minutes late. Now, when I pull up to the house on my Ninja 500 there were 3 people outside by the garage wearing covid masks. Threw me off a little but not much because he is a older gentelman and selling because of health reasons. Plus it looked like the other 2 people were his Wife and middle age son. Which is fine in this day and age especially since I'm right up to their secluded house after a rather long driveway in a town known for people being well off.
Bikes in the garage along w/3 cars of which one was blocking it from being able to be pulled out into the driveway. Not a huge deal I thought, just move the car forward and there should be plenty of room to get it out. Well he moved it forward......about 10 inches!!! Not only that but because of his health problems its up to me to get bike out~~I swear you cannot make this stuff up. So....I ended up playing a game of operation trying to maneuver this bike that I know I'd like the features on but w/ one concern, the frickin size and weight of it! You see, up until 2 years ago my motorcycle experience was dirt bikes and the occasional street bike as a teenager and young adult. Fast forward 20+ years and I decided I was mature enough to get back to riding when I purchased my 2002 Ninja500. The first riding season was just getting back use to it, being comfortable making left/right hand turns from stop signs, not panicking when a semi blew passed me and sent me into a tornado, that kind of thing. It wasn't until this year that I've grown comfortable. Lots of riding, both city streets (Milwaukee) and highways. Plus 2-3 times a week going to a huge empty lot to practice more technical stuff.....figure 8's, high speed stopping and swerving, counter steering, trail braking blah blah blah you get the point.
Now we are in the driveway and I am checking the bike out. It was cold as I asked him to have it. Started right up and Idle went from around 2 to right around a thousand after a very brief time and a couple tame blips of the throttle. Cool, that sounded about normal to me. But at this point I am still intimidated by the size of the bike and the power it has!! Granted it felt alot more comfortable and manageable to the 2004 Concours 1000 I had looked at the day before. With the Concours we met in a open parking lot, with this bike I was going to have to deal with long windy driveway that ends at a 2 lane road where forward through said highway wasn't a option. Had to turn sharply either left or right.
So I am trying to get up the nerve to test this thing but I have 2 obstacles in my mind.....I feel like I have a real shot at getting him to drop atleast a thousand bucks off of his asking price and really don't want to drop it~~but more importantly the Wife and Son are stalking me w/ their eyes and just hovering. Not involved in any of the conversation that I'm having w/ the owner about history, mainteneance all that. Just milling around and making me uncomfortable as ****.
So I take this approach. I turn the bike off and hop off in order to get into the negotiation part. By now I want the bike if I can get him 2 come off his asking price and nothing absolutely crazy rears its head during the test ride. Oh shoot, have I mentioned I am far from a big guy?? I'm 6 foot even (good there) but I only weigh 145 pounds!! Now about 8 months ago when I was working 60 hour weeks at a physically demanding job I was same weight give or take 5 pounds but strong as a frickin ox. Not so much anymore, lol. Since my layoff 8 months ago the only physical thing I do is walk down a flight of stairs to hop on my at least 2x's smaller and 3x's slower Ninja500 and flick that thing around the city like I'm running from the police!! But I know I want to upgrade~~(Considering going to Sturgis this year) and know once I get this beast home I can practice in that same lot to get comfortable w/the bike. Wow this is long winded, sorry!! Anyways, I get to the price I am comfortable with. ( I will disclose that tomorrow when I pick the bike up provided it doesn't get me killed on the way home!!) On the off chance the owner is a member and see's this, I'm not wanting him to re-think the deal we made.
Almost done everyone~~after we agree to price I take it for a short ride. Of course he sensed my hesitation and said you drop it you bought it!! Which by the vibe being givin off by everyone I knew would be the case. Ride goes fine, clutch friction point or the throw of lever needs to be adjusted for me. But besides that, getting use to the weight and power and the fact I never got out of second gear, I really love this bike. I'm back in probably 5 minutes. No spills, thank God. Let him know I will take it but the problem is my Bank is online only and I am at my withdraw limit for the day and a few hundred bucks short of cash on me. So this is what I offer: I will write you a check for the difference. Again, literally only a few hundred bucks and take it now. Shut down on that but by guess who......yep the stalkng Wife and Son finally say something verbally. Oh no!!!! we need the cash!! I'm like really, it's a few hundred dollars, you all can not only can keep the title and my Ninja until tomorrow morning. At which point I will have the cash and grab the Ninja. Plus I offered to login to my Bank in real time and show them the balance. Absolutely not says Mrs personality, we don't want your Ninja here overnight!! And we have to get going!! Okay I guess....I mean by this time it has only been about 15 minutes since I got there. Secondly when I spoke to the husband way earlier this morning he was the one that picked this time for me to come see it!! What the **** I'm thinking. This is a big decision for anybody but especially me. Given my physical stature and riding history. Plus if I wasn't made as uncomfortable by the lurkers I would have definitely taken the Bike out on the 55 MPH road that is literally 100 yards from their house, sparsely traveled, straight for the most part and in excellent condition. I mean how long is the proper etiquette to allow for a test drive on a machine this serious and 17 years old??? Now I'm worried they have had multiple calls during that time and he won't even want to hold it for me. But he does agree to that with a modest sum of cash down. (I did get a receipt, plus I do know where they live)
So with that I will hopefully talk to you all tomorrow!! Pick up is scheduled for bright and early in the AM. I do look forward to meeting you all and becoming a proud FJR owner!! I do every thing I can possibly to my Bike now as far as maintenance and repairs and plan on doing the same for the FJR as well. From what I've seen so far on the forum it's a awesome place with a bunch of nice people that have a whole S*** ton of information that they are willing to share. Really looking forward to it.
With that, I wish everyone a good night. And again I do apologize for the length of this very first post of mine!!! Ride safe