Wednesday, April 18 2016
i get a call from S#. “What are you doing around 3:00?”
“Ummm… working from home” I tell him.
”Could you drive to Newark to buy a BMW R1200GS?”
And so at 2:55 I wrap up a Webex and hop in the car. I knew this purchase was in the works because S# had discussed the potentially dodgy nature of the sale several days before. The bike was listed on Craigslist as a “GS1200”, and so it had zero buyers. It was listed at a price that was a bit on the low end for a 2005 model with only 16,000 miles, but the incorrect listing kept it from being snatched up by the hungry GS zombies that roam the Citibeemers zone. Additionally it was also “owned” by a used car dealer, and there was going to be some weirdness in the transaction due to that. The owner, named Mario, swore that it was his bike but he kept his bikes registered to his friend the used car dealer so he never had to pay tax or regustration fees. Riiiight.
Let’s itemize the red flags:
- Mis-identified model… check!
- unusually low price… check!
- strangely titled… check!
- Sold out of Newark, NJ… What, you couldn’t find one in Camden? Check and double-check!
Still, S# had run the VIN and it checked out all proper-like. And he had gotten a test ride, plus a test ride of a known-good GS from a BMW dealer, so I pronounced it “safe.”
When we arrived at the used car dealer, neither the bike owner nor the dealership owner was there. Well… that’s not quite true. The true owner of the dealership was there, but he was an older gentleman who smiled too much and mumbled incomprehensible things in what I think was Portugese while standing just a BIT too close. It was his *son* who really ran the place, and ge was at a car auction.
S# called Mario who arrived (on the bike) in 5 minutes. He informed us that Mike (the used car guy) would meet us in an hour. So S# and I headed to a Portugese restaurant to have a snack and a beerwhile we waited.
oh, and we called Thynk3r since he lives in Jersey City. Thynk3r showed up lickity-split, before we were even halfway through our first beer. We had Portugese appetizers (as is typical, a huge portion that is bigger than most meals) and another beer before Mario called to say that Mike was ready.
Negotiations were completed and the sake consummated in short order. Mike turned out to be very nice and exceedingly helpful. But it also turned out that dealer tags for the bike would cost another $150. Rather than make a fuss and have Mike do more paperwork, Mario offered to ride it to S#’s house if he could get a ride back. Of course we’d do that! And Thynk3r chose to ride along for the hell of it (on his own R1200GS).
Surprisingly, no further shenanigans occurred. In the car I did note to S# that Mario was now in possession of the bike AND the money, and if this thing was in any way shady or stolen (rendering the signed tirle moot), now would be when we find out. But Mario was on the up-and-up, and all went well.
here we all are, happily talking bikes at S#’s house:
I believe many miles of fun will be had on this new ride. This makes FOUR R1200GSs amongst the Maggots. What is this? A BMW Adventure Touring club?