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ADVentures in Motorcycle Shopping

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ADVentures in Motorcycle Shopping

For a year or more I’ve been giving thought to adding a dual sport to my garage.  It seems every summer I find myself on roads, or avoiding roads, that no self respecting K bike should be on. 


For a variety of reasons I decided to make it happen this year. I had a budget in mind, I lined up the finances, I started learning about the market, pinpointing the year, model, and mileage for my budget, elicited friends opinions, even put down some money. 
The deal for this R1100GS did not feel right, and I moved on. 
BMW MOA Flea Market, BMW dealer's inventory, eBay. I made a spreadsheet, I assessed priorities…I found some more money for the budget, and I just about started over.  Over the course of 6 weeks, I moved my search from an R1100GS, to R1150GS and landed at R1200GS.  Sometimes you just have to decide to spend your money.

In between all this, I was buying a car for Lisa!  Ok two cars.  I shopped for 3 weeks before finding her a 2000 Audi A4; a nice little starter car, under 4K. 

So after a 2 week respite from car shopping, I was back at it; the bike shopping on hold.  My insurance company,

Back to bike shopping. Somewhere in all of this I had thought a lot about taking a road trip to pick up the bike.  This all started when my friend in the Seattle area turned me on to an R1100GS.  My road trip gene kicked in.  But that all fizzled when the A4 was totaled.  Still a road trip was in the back of my mind, but due to timing, a West coast epic journey was out.  Maybe something less epic?   The wider you’re willing to cast your shopping net, the better your chances of landing just the bike you want and a bargain price.  I made an offer on a beautiful 1150GS, it was rejected.  I started watching an ’05 R12GS, I asked the seller lots of questions.  I was ready to pull the trigger on this one. It was navy blue, as my friends pointed out, I needed a blue bike.  The day before the auction was to end, I made one more pass through the flea market circuit.
And what before my eyes should appear but an Ocean Blue R12..the color I really want.  And it’s located in Birmingham, AL, just 4 hours south of the Navy bike in Knoxville. 
It’s stunning and well geared up, a good 25K miles on it. 


Next up, road trip to Birmingham.

Lessons learned:  Know what you want, know what the market is for what you want, and be ready to pull the trigger.   

My last bike buying road trip - Picking up the K12GT in Cleveland, Aug. 2005.

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