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Thread: Lets buy a bike!

  1. #1
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    Default Lets buy a bike!

    Hi

    I apologize for the long thread but want to explain why I consider the choices and I want people to say why they will disagree or not.

    As I mentioned in the introduction I am looking to buy a SR 250 or CBX 250. I will probably ask on the Twister thread as well.

    -I'm commuting 25km and back a day from Brackenfell to Stellenbosch. I usually take Polkadraai Rd. due to the work's location but Bottelary Rd. could work as well with a bike. Top speed around 110km.
    -I am only 1.62m tall and around 65kg so not every bike will work well.
    -I have mechanical knowledge of cars and used to service my own Corsa from a Haynes manual so I will likely aim to do this myself.
    -I've never owned a bike but know how to ride one but I am in no way experienced so will consider training
    -I do need to apply for my learners still

    The situation:
    -We have 1 car and my wife is pregnant.
    -No way I can afford another car except if it costs R20 000 and I do feel she will need a vehicle of her own to pick and drop the baby of and be able to drive if a problem occurs at the day care or something.
    -A R20k car will most likely leave me next to the road in the traffic in Stellenbosch or Kuilsriver so I'm really not considering this option.
    -A bike will work better in the traffic and if it is a 250 insurance costs and maintenance could still be less. My Figo currently gets 11-12km/l where a bike could get 25-30km/l. IMO this is only a possible bonus for having a bike.
    -I do not have alternative parking for a car where I can at least get the bike in the back yard and if we move to a 2 bedroom apartment which may happen next year the apartments usually come with 1 parking so I can share the bike and car.
    -While I know a second car will have another back seat in case we need it for the baby I honestly don't want to stand next to the road with the baby. I've been stranded about 20+ times next to the road fixing my old Corsa and trust me I despise getting late to work everyday because the CV keeps popping out or the car overheats.

    So considering all that I do have about 1 year to still decide. 6 months till due date and 6 months till she has to go back to work.

    The Bike:
    I am looking to spend around R15000 on a CBX250 or SR250 with less than 30k km and papers ect. Does that sound about doable?

    The SR250 vs CBX250: Hands down the CBX is a better bike with 6 gears and disc breaks in front with more power. The only reason I like the SR250 is mainly cause of the look and possible look of that cafe racer but also cause of the engine which is inferior to the CBX but those 1 cylinder engines seems easy to maintain.

    I should not be hasty but obviously started looking and only find CBX's with high KM like 50k + which means they're durable but I would prefer one with less. Thus far in WC they seem to be rare and same for the SR250.

    I found a very neat SR250 and I hate myself for looking at this photos over and over knowing I should wait and get my license first. Personally I'm in love with that bike but what do you guys think?

    https://www.gumtree.co.za/a-motorcyc...20910001646509

    Lots of work went into it and the guy told me it is in great condition and can go view it. What would be a good price for this bike? He wants more than I can afford but if its worth it I may consider R18k. The standard SR250's can go for cheaper but have not seen a decent one yet in WC. Ultimately I should wait until I have my learners and training and then slowly look for a decent CBX250 probably? ^^

  2. #2
    Nuon Fangirl

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    While I love the SR250, I do think the Twister will make a better all round commuter. Just be careful when you look at these bikes 2nd hand as many spend their lives as delivery bikes and may well be rather tired, regardless of how bulletproof they are. You will struggle to find a really good one within your budget, so be prepared for a lengthy search.

  3. #3
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    Thanks AMZ.

    Yes the most I've seen has like 80k km or 60k km on. Which takes me to the SR250. You think R18k would be a good price if that was a project bike and is a decent build? lets say you have proof of all the services and you find nothing wrong in a test drive and everything seems in order. I would consider paying 3k more if it means getting a something good.

  4. #4
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodLeshen View Post
    Thanks AMZ.

    Yes the most I've seen has like 80k km or 60k km on. Which takes me to the SR250. You think R18k would be a good price if that was a project bike and is a decent build? lets say you have proof of all the services and you find nothing wrong in a test drive and everything seems in order. I would consider paying 3k more if it means getting a something good.
    With older bikes it is very difficult to say whether a price is good, or not. It all depends on the technical condition, then the look and feel, kilos, etc. I think in many cases the buyer needs to make a value judgement, i.e. look at the bike, consider all available info and decide if it is worth R18k to you personally.

  5. #5
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    Thanks AMZ. Perhaps I'll look at the E storm as well if eventually I can't find a twister. I read some good threads on here and it seems to be closer to the price range anyways. My uncle has one and occasionally use it on the same road for commuting so might ask him how he experience it.

  6. #6
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodLeshen View Post
    Thanks AMZ. Perhaps I'll look at the E storm as well if eventually I can't find a twister. I read some good threads on here and it seems to be closer to the price range anyways. My uncle has one and occasionally use it on the same road for commuting so might ask him how he experience it.
    E-Storm is only a 125. Nothing wrong with that, but I firmly believe way too much power is just enough, so obviously I would lean to the 250. Have a chat with Banditman here on the forum. He recently did an amazing job re-doing a SR.

  7. #7
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    Considering your tight budget, and clear commute use of bike, I'd also suggest you look at the Chinese and Taiwanese bikes/scoots. They are also very economical, and a nice addition to your fleet.

    4 years ago I was in a similar situation to you, and ended up buying a 170cc scoot. The fuel economy made sense, and I found it a good way to build my riding confidence in the big city traffic. Robot to robot, I kept up with the big 1200, and ironically it was always better to be ahead of them as I can fit between vehicles easier.

    I've subsequently added a 600cc to my fleet, and still enjoy the scoot. Simply service it regularly, know and understand it, and she'll remain faithful.

    Sent from my ConeXis X1 using Tapatalk
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  8. #8
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    @AMZ - Yes I feel similar to the 125's and somehow I know if I own a 125 I will regret not paying a bit more for the 250 just for the extra bit of speed you need to maintain 100km/h at least.

    @Ntamme - Thanks man. I looked at some Chinese or non-Jap bikes as well. Prices are good but which ones are easily serviceable and not a problem to find parts?

    Sym, Motomia, Bajaj, Jonway, Bigboi and probably a few others I missed. Which are the best in terms of part availability and durability in SA and which should I completely stay a way from?

  9. #9
    Only in Souff Efrica! Vespa 1's Avatar
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    Hi, and IMHO, if you're going the non Jap route, SYM is good, and strangely enough, Bajaj aren't half bad. Stay away from peoples lounge built cafe/Street racers, bobbers etc. Buy a standard bike, and if you want to customise it, do it yourself.
    With that, good luck, and when you do get your ride, stay safe, get training, and remember, your baby is going to need it's father!
    Ride with the Eagles in Safety! Not with the Angels by Accident

    In Memory of Blackie Swart! A Man among men, and a true Friend! RIP!

  10. #10
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespa 1 View Post
    Hi, and IMHO, if you're going the non Jap route, SYM is good, and strangely enough, Bajaj aren't half bad. Stay away from peoples lounge built cafe/Street racers, bobbers etc. Buy a standard bike, and if you want to customise it, do it yourself.
    With that, good luck, and when you do get your ride, stay safe, get training, and remember, your baby is going to need it's father!
    Hi Vespa 1. Yeah I'll have a look at them but guess I should just be patient and eventually I'll find what I'm looking for. Preferably the Jap route. Thanks for the tip about the cafe/street racers. I have about a year to choose a bike so no hurries. I just need the patience and not jump on the first bargain I see.

    So first step.. Look, but don't buy and get the learners test. The easy part cause I've done my car license at 18 and a few years after I planned to buy a bike so I learned the whole K53 book for no reason again because I bought a car eventually.

  11. #11
    "Master Yoda". Banditman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pat on the back, AMZ. I'll be posting updates on the project shortly - it's been a saga and a half.

    @ BloodLeshen - What AMZ & Vespa 1 have said. If I may add to it, I'll cover your purpose for the bike followed by options.

    You'll be commuting on some faster roads (for a small bike), and while some 125cc models will handle that it still means that you'll have them at full taps which won't help fuel economy or longevity; The eStorm's a decent commuter but its too slow to catch a cold, topping out at around 100-110km/h. Rather get a Yamaha YBR125 EDS if you're going the 125 route (the earlier version sold up until 2014 or so, with the half fairing. The current version is basically the same in fake on-off road clothing, with a different carb & brakes but no wind protection). They're brilliant bikes, reliable and handle very well, and will get roughly 15-25km/h more over the Honda. But its still a 125cc with no performance surplus, and AMZ is 100% right. You need something to spare. That puts you into 150 - 250cc turf.

    There are some mechanically reliable but cosmetically weak Chinese bikes in the Big Boy/Gomoto/MotoMia etc line, but I've found that many of the 150 - 250cc Chinese bikes battle to match a good recent 125cc Japanese bike in performance. And as I said, cosmetics won't keep up at all.  Even Japanese 150cc bikes offer no appreciable performance increase over the 125cc, although the extra 25 cubes may help on the road for longevity. Honda's XR150 springs to mind along with the near impossible to find 2012 150cc Honda Unicorn. From the same visual stable as the Unicorn is the Suzuki GS150, which is a solid commuter bike but I doubt you'll find a clean one with lower mileage for your price. they're just too new on the market. Clean ones will be private sales, and cheap ones are probably ex-delivery bikes.

    [Avoid ex delivery bikes. High mileage isn't the problem as much as the hammering they've had along with that mileage.]

    Sym seem to have a fair rep so far, and Bajaj make some very solid commuters. Until recently they've been bedevilled by a spares issue but hopefully the new importers have solved that. The Pulsar 180 could be a good option. With your mechanical skills & a Haynes manual for the bike you buy, you'd be able to maintain any of them. For major or specialist work use a decent bike mechanic. There are some things bike guys know to look for which a car guy won't. But I'd still go the 250cc Japanese route if I was you. You'll have the fuel economy with more flexibility. That leaves you with relatively few options in your price range:

    Honda CBX250
    Honda XR250 Tornado
    Yamaha SR250
    Yamaha YBR250
    Yamaha TW200

    Start by dismissing the XR250 and TW200. The XR has the same engine as the CBX and is a decent bike, but they were a bit overpriced new and still tend to hold higher prices for clean used examples. The TW's more of a plodder though solid but they're stupidly overvalued either by the farmer selling it for more than he paid in 1993, or by someone building another urban hipster machine. Cheap ones will have plenty of expensive issues.

    The YBR250 is also fairly uncommon but I'd consider it slightly superior to the CBX in performance. Again, scarcity makes well looked after ones pricey.

    For R15K you'd have to look long and hard for a good CBX250 but it could be done - with some haggling on your part. Higher mileage isn't the end of the world if its a private seller who has full service history and has clearly cherished the bike. Just make sure there's nothing expensive coming up. CBX'es are great bikes for the money. I picked up a 2012 with 6100km on the clocks, a Puig screen and top box from a customer of mine for R18 500.00 and that was in 2014.

    Important rule! Rather come up with a little extra for a good bike than buy a cheap project and end up spending more than the good one's price in fixing issues. Too many people buy a R20K performance bike and spend another R15-R20K to make it worth R25K. I know. The math doesn't add up.

    The SR250 is another solid, reliable bike that was/is popular as a delivery bike for the same reasons as the CBX. Its ancestry goes back to the '80s but recent models were still being made in the early 2000s. As with the CBX, generally avoid delivery bikes due to them being thrashed and neglected. For years they went for decent money until the rise of cafe racer/tracker/bobber builds on Discovery Channel. (For those of us who were always into those styles, I'll rant another time). The short rant is that prices on genuine 'caff bases - Brit bikes of the '50s and '60s - went sky high very quickly. The next best bets were the Honda CB750K/550K/450Ks etc and they've also gotten harder to come by, as well as expensive as people realised they could make money.

    The SR's part of that trickle down effect, and some people are trying to sell them for over the odds prices because of what they think they can be made into & what such a bike would be worth. This has been common in old car circles for years. I recently saw a Bobbed example selling up in Durban I think for over R40K. He's dreaming.

    NB Points about Cafe Racers. You need to understand that a 'caff is a period superbike. Yes, it is. Back in the '50s if you wanted a bike that looked like your GP hero's and went fast, then you did what your GP hero did. You bought a fast bike and then added race parts to it: rear sets, racing seat and tank, modded the carbs, exhausts etc. Go and look at pics of the Norton Manx, BSA Gold Star DBD34, a Dresda Triton etc. A modern cafe racer equivalent is an R1 with a Rossi paint job, or a 'Blade in Marquez' colours. This means that you're in a tucked in racing position for speed.

    Not comfortable in slow traffic.

    SR250s have been made into very neat little cafe racers but to do it properly will take some serious mods and money. Their lines were trying to ape the Chopper craze of the '70s/'80s. Compare the frame/angles to one of the bikes I mentioned.

    What most people want is the period look but with comfort. That means a street tracker or a Brat, or even a bobber. The SR's much more adaptable to these styles with relatively little effort. The bike you're looking at seems fairly neat and he's put thought into getting a bobber meets street tracker vibe. The 200-odd km won't be original mileage but mileage from rebuild. The price is fairly typical for the average customised SR250. Do a search on Gumtree & OLX and you'll get a good idea of market values and selling prices vs imagination selling prices.

    You can find a tidy standard example for a bit less. If I was you I'd follow Vespa 1's advice & rather find a good one within budget, then get some saddle time. You can then plan out a proper build and do it over time yourself.

    And that brings me to another optional bike for you. Suzuki GN250. It's also a reliable 250cc single in the '80s chopper style like the SR, and can be made into a cool custom commuter like the SR. They're harder to find but at this stage aren't being priced like SRs. I've seen a very clean 10000km one owner example going for R20K and there's this one for a bit less. Higher mileage so I'd haggle hard. https://www.olx.co.za/item/suzuki-gn-250-iid-1054973604

    Take your time, look around and pick wisely. You'll have time to keep on saving up for a good machine and you may just find a decent CBX being sold by a sensible commuter who isn't pricing it stupidly.


    Here's a link to the project AMZ mentioned if you're curious. I'll be posting updates soon. http://forum.thinkbike.co.za/showthr...-Suzuki-GN-125
    Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.


  12. #12
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    Hi Banditman

    Wow thanks for the good advice and in depth feedback. i honestly know I should look for the YBR250 or CBX250. The SR and GN will probably be a second option but ultimately if I own a CBX i will leave it as it is where I know I will want to do some cosmetics on the SR/Gn so the CBX will be a cheaper option and I would prefer to rather one day, when I have a decent garage, get a SR and do a project or something as a hobby rather.

    I posted on Gumtree: A guy came back to me regarding a 2012 CBX250 with 14000km and a top box (will see if he means top box or delivery box). All info I have for now so I'll be waiting for a reply with maybe some photos and info regarding service history, location ect.

    My only current problem is I won't expect anyone to allow me to test drive a bike without a license but it should be fine to ask people to at least give a lift to hear what I can hear (with my inexperienced ears) and feel the bike somehow? I am good at inspecting cars because I've made a massive bad judgement call with my first vehicle and thus far Youtube shows me how to properly inspect bikes. I must go make an appointment for the learners hopefully this weekend since from what I gather you need a learners for the training at least. The sooner the better. I am really amped for this but safety is my main concern^^

    BTW I'm checking that project now. awesome build

  13. #13
    I am dreaming of a mielie field ...
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    What's up, man.

    I can't really add to what's been said before, except adding my opinion based on my limited experience.

    I ride a 125cc Bajaj with just under 6000km on the clock (yes, six thousand). Had another forumite help me with some needed maintenance and he's given me a lot of guidance (shoutout to Hobbes! ). So far the cost of maintenance added to about R3000 in total, some of which could have been prevented/postponed for now had proper maintenance been done before. The bike runs really lekker, it can get up to about 80km/h easily which is great for my usual city riding, but I do notice the lack of power and fear sometimes I may inadvertently be riding the engine a little too hard to what may be recommended. Especially on roads where the speed limit exceeds 80, but that's because cars speed and creep up on my tail and stay there. Top speed clocked by me was just under 110km/h, but that's at the bottom of a downhill with no wind and full throttle.

    When going on the highway in Jo'burg where I am, I stick to the slow lanes and sometimes get a little too close to 80km/h for comfort. The benefit for me is that when it happens that I go on the highways, it's usually either at 5am on a Saturday morning, or around Noon on a Saturday. The roads are quiet and there's not a lot of traffic to navigate. I did however once have to ride in Rush Hour traffic on a Friday afternoon, and then found the small size of the bike very convenient. Average Highway speed I can maintain is about 90-95km/h. Legal for highways, if you stay in the slow lane. I am significantly more comfortable with having more power from the Twister (see below) on the highways. That moment when an interlinked truck passes you on an uphill... that's when you know you are slow.

    I've had the opportunity to spend some time on a Twister with around 40 000 km on the clock. This bike is in immaculate condition, especially considering it's been in some accidents (not sure how many, but I know of one bad one). When comparing the double sized engine to mine, I immediately notice the difference in power. I also notice the difference in quality of bike, braking power and all round sense of durability, and obviously the bigger size of the frame, tank etc. My Bajaj just feels cheap and small in comparison. But then, it is a cheap bike that's been abused some for the 4500km before I got it. I easily go speed limit with it, and a few times I find myself actively having to monitor the speedometer to stay legal. This bike can go 140 if needed, but it's comfortable at lower speeds too.

    I have been looking for a CBX250 for some time. They're not easy to come by, and when they are found, they are expensive. That is because they're awesome bikes, and their owners know it. Having said that, I am not familiar with many other 250's, or many other bikes for that matter. However, if this specific Twister went up for sale, I would sell a kidney and some other unmentionable body parts for it!

    It's good that you're doing research on bike maintenance, and what to look for when buying second hand. Here's a youtube channel with what I think has some good info if you have time, they have a specific video for buying a second hand bike (I am by no means someone that can be considered knowledgeable, so I keep asking others' input when I see some new data) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNS...SuFzCZjfK2C7dQ

    Also these guys' MC Garage playlist has some cool video topics too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLJX...mU2yta55pczpsW

    If you take away from this post just one thing, it's that you take an experienced person (like a Think Bike Accredited Marshal) with you when you go and look at the bike before buying.

    Enjoy the hunt!

    Ride so you can ride again tomorrow.
    From your friendly cager

  14. #14
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    Hi Pirate thanks for the feedback and tips.

    Well I have not heard anything back from the guy with the 2012 CBX250 with 14 000km but I honestly doubt it can sell for lower than R20k and as I've said I'm still waiting for photos or any info on it. Not even sure if the guy lives in the Western Cape.

    I found a 2011 CBX 250 with 31000km, neat with full service history at Honda Bellville that I can get for R18000 after . The guy lives in around a 5km radius from me, older guy that only used it for commuting and parked it in his garage every night. I will go look at it tonight hopefully. If I compare this sale to others with 80k km that looks worn out for a similar price it seems like a good deal considering everything looks good on inspection.

    Whats your thoughts?

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    My thoughts: go for the CBX, listen for any funny knocks on start-up and check for blue smoke out the exhaust. Check service history. If it has been well looked after and you look after it, it will give you miles of pleasure.

    I had a look at the SR250 on Gumtree; rather stay away from it. It's a rebuild and there are no mudguards - you're definitely going to be commuting in the rain...

    I had a Bajaj 220 Pulsar which I thoroughly enjoyed, it had plenty of punch and would hold 120 on the freeway, provided there was no strong headwind. When I sold it at 43000 km it had never let me down or missed a beat and it never used any oil between services, I'm confident that it would easily have done 100,000 km. I sold it because of the spares issue.

    Put a nice little screen on the Twister and enjoy; you'll always get home with a smile on your face.
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  16. #16
    "Master Yoda". Banditman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodLeshen View Post
    Hi Pirate thanks for the feedback and tips.

    Well I have not heard anything back from the guy with the 2012 CBX250 with 14 000km but I honestly doubt it can sell for lower than R20k and as I've said I'm still waiting for photos or any info on it. Not even sure if the guy lives in the Western Cape.

    I found a 2011 CBX 250 with 31000km, neat with full service history at Honda Bellville that I can get for R18000 after . The guy lives in around a 5km radius from me, older guy that only used it for commuting and parked it in his garage every night. I will go look at it tonight hopefully. If I compare this sale to others with 80k km that looks worn out for a similar price it seems like a good deal considering everything looks good on inspection.

    Whats your thoughts?
    Book value on the 2012 will be under R20K for sure, but demand and dealer prices will keep it up around that mark.

    The 2011 sounds ideal - careful older rider, solid reliable mileage that's not too high, meaning the bike;'s average around 4200km per year. If all matches up, then its worth the R18K you're willing to pay on the custom SR. Except this will be a more modern bike built for commuting reliability, and - if looked after - will comfortably give you over 100 000km of service.
    Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.


  17. #17
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Looked at the bike. Everything perfect and sounds great. The owner is retiring or just retired hence why he sells now and he is the first owner of that bike. Full service history in the book at Honda. He only used it for commuting for the 6 years he had it. Never dropped it cause I asked because I saw a small scratch above the food peck but it looks more like maybe from where your heel/ankle would press when shifting which makes sense. Bike started easily on cold start. Sounds normal from what I could gather. Everything else looks great. He didn't over clean the bike. He replaced the rear tire only once and the front is actually still the original and have enough thread on still. Like he said bike was parked in the garage all it's life. I told him I'll most likely take it but will let him know tomorrow so if no one buys it tonight I know it is meant to be. It's really a good looking bike and nice colours also. I did not test drive it though since I have no license I feel in now way I should even be allowed. But I did sit and moved it while testing all brakes and gears, throttle, small things. Everything feels solid and judging the owner he seems like a solid guy.

    I guess its paperwork this weekend^^. Will let you know what happens

  18. #18
    I am dreaming of a mielie field ...
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    It sounds very good. Almost good enough for me to be a little skeptical, but I'm skeptical at everything.

    Have a quick look at this video, it explains telltale signs of an abused secondhand bike. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKGZdsIkLog

    It is your choice. I would be willing to take this bike if my conclusion had the same facts as you stated after I inspected it with someone. It does sound like a good deal, a reliable bike for a good price.

    Oh, before I forget, if you do take the bike...
    Ride so you can ride again tomorrow.
    From your friendly cager

  19. #19
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Deneysville
    Bike
    R1200GS (Faith), Yamaha FZ6S (Honi)Sold, KLR650 (Rover)Sold
    Region
    Free State
    Posts
    1,265

    Default

    go for it! NOW! Don't wait for someone else to snap it up first...
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  20. #20
    Biker BloodLeshen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Brackenfell,
    Bike
    CBX 250 - Ronin
    Region
    Western Cape
    Posts
    59

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SandyN View Post
    go for it! NOW! Don't wait for someone else to snap it up first...
    Haha. Well I called him and no one else jumped me. You see I believe in God. I believe everything works out the way it should so I pray hard before I buy something big and really think about it and usually if it works out it was meant to be and if not it was not meant to be. People make stupid choices based on what the flesh wants and honestly my flesh wants that bike^^ If I buy everything I want then i would have no money and would probably have tons of stuff. I told myself if another buyer calls him before today and he gets a better offer then so be it.

    Anyway this wasn't the case so we will sort the paperwork out tonight. I will do the RWC thing tomorrow hopefully since it will save me two trips to the Traffic dept. My colleague buys and sells secondhand cars every month and he says usually the transfer dept. is closed on Saturdays. In Stellenbosch anyways. Maybe Bellville is different? So I will have to do this during the week. Also do not have gear yet since this moved fast so hopefully can get gloves and helmet Monday from my colleague - if it fits.

    The current owner give his helmet with as well but it's slightly loose. Luckily he lives 5km from me and I live around 4km from the closest Roadworthy station who by the way asks R408 for a bike -_-. But guess it has to be done.

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