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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are people's thoughts on buying without ever seeing it? I'm in California and used Ninja 400 ABS KRT are non-existant. The 1 or 2 that pop up command a $6000+ price tag, even 2018s. I see lots of available bikes in the NorthEast/New York area in the $4500-$5000 price range, but add in the hassle of shipping and worrying about being scammed and I wonder if I should just buy local. I'm guessing new N400s are proportionally more and I'm fine buying used for my first bike.

I'm thinking maybe I should just get a Ninja 300 from a private seller instead for ~$4000 to practice on and then maybe the used N400 KRT market cools down in the next year. Thoughts?
 

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I’d never buy a bike without seeing it and getting a good assurance of the validity of condition and the veracity of the seller…probably not from a dealer and certainly not private party. Too many scams out there preying on a seller’s market. Don’t let desperation and desire lead you to making an unwise, uncautious move.

Buying a 300 this year to tide you over to next year’s purchase of a 400 KRT sounds like kind of a needlessly spendy and cumbersome way to go…I’d either wait until next year and see if availability is better or drop the focus on the KRT and grab a local non-KRT 400 this year. Good luck in whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’d never buy a bike without seeing it and getting a good assurance of the validity of condition and the veracity of the seller…probably not from a dealer and certainly not private party. Too many scams out there preying on a seller’s market. Don’t let desperation and desire lead you to making an unwise, uncautious move.

Buying a 300 this year to tide you over to next year’s purchase of a 400 KRT sounds like kind of a needlessly spendy and cumbersome way to go…I’d either wait until next year and see if availability is better or drop the focus on the KRT and grab a local non-KRT 400 this year. Good luck in whatever you decide.
You don't think dealers can be trusted either? What about if they have decent yelp ratings?

What specifically should I be looking for when I look at a bike in person?
 

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You could locate a bike and then see if anyone on here would go take a look and ride it. If you see something in Eastern Washington, I’ll volunteer to go take a look at it for you.
 

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I've done it 3 times, including with the 2 bikes I currently own. One came from Atlanta, GA and another all the way across country from California (I was living in Virginia at the time). Shipping is easy, it just costs several hundred dollars, but if it's a good deal it may be worth it. As long as you know exactly what you're getting and you're getting it from a trusted person (or dealer), I don't see any problem with it. I'd recommend asking for the title separately to be sent in the mail, not with the shipper who's delivering the bike. I've also driven as much as 10 hours each way to pick up bikes if the deal was good. Granted at that point I still had the option to say no, but would've been a huge waste of time then lol

My most recent one was the ZX6R I have which came from a forum member from California. He's now a member on here too actually since he bought a 400 afterwards. He gave me a great deal, better than anything I could've found locally, and even with $650 shipping it was still a great deal.
 

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Just be careful about licensing a non-Cali spec bike if you're in California. I'd hope that a private party sale would be ok, but I imagine that they have thought about closing loopholes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've done it 3 times, including with the 2 bikes I currently own. One came from Atlanta, GA and another all the way across country from California (I was living in Virginia at the time). Shipping is easy, it just costs several hundred dollars, but if it's a good deal it may be worth it. As long as you know exactly what you're getting and you're getting it from a trusted person (or dealer), I don't see any problem with it. I'd recommend asking for the title separately to be sent in the mail, not with the shipper who's delivering the bike. I've also driven as much as 10 hours each way to pick up bikes if the deal was good. Granted at that point I still had the option to say no, but would've been a huge waste of time then lol

My most recent one was the ZX6R I have which came from a forum member from California. He's now a member on here too actually since he bought a 400 afterwards. He gave me a great deal, better than anything I could've found locally, and even with $650 shipping it was still a great deal.
Did you do a video chat with the private sellers to make sure you could trust them?

Just be careful about licensing a non-Cali spec bike if you're in California. I'd hope that a private party sale would be ok, but I imagine that they have thought about closing loopholes.
How does one know or explain to a private seller if the bike is California compliant? Once I want to register it in Cali do I need to bring it to the DMV for them to confirm it is CA compliant?

Thanks for all the help, it will be my first bike and feel like there is a fair bit to navigate when buying used
 

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Did you do a video chat with the private sellers to make sure you could trust them?


How does one know or explain to a private seller if the bike is California compliant? Once I want to register it in Cali do I need to bring it to the DMV for them to confirm it is CA compliant?

Thanks for all the help, it will be my first bike and feel like there is a fair bit to navigate when buying used
No, I didn't. One of the 3 times I spoke to the guy on the phone once, the other 2 was just messaging. I don't want to jinx myself now, but I tend to be a pretty good judge of character and in all the many online transactions I've had with lots of people when buying or selling motorcycle parts, I've never once been screwed over. Usually it's easy to figure out based on how they communicate.

You may want to read up the laws on registering a non-CA bike over there, but I didn't think it was a big deal. My understanding was that bikes have to be CA-compliant in order to be sold in CA, but buying one out of state and registering it shouldn't be a problem even if it's not a CA model. I could be totally wrong on that though, so best to check the actual laws on that. But they would know if it's a CA model or not based on the VIN on the bike.
 

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You can message the seller, you call him, you can video him and the bike, but in the end you have to trust him. You have to trust he's not a scammer. You have to trust that he's not lying about the condition of the bike. And you have to trust that he's able to objectively assess the real condition of the bike.

The shipping also involves some risks, as the bike can get damaged in the transport, or there can be an accident and the bike won't be insured. Maybe you can insure the shipping? I don't know.
For shipping, check uship.com You post what you need to ship, and shippers will contact you with offers.

If you decide to go for it, you take the risk. It can go well and you win, or it can go wrong and you lose.

Is it worth the risk and the hassle? Only you know it.

Google 'what to look when buying a used motorcycle' to learn more about that. Plenty of articles on the subject.

Good luck!
 

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Keep in mind that @sbk1198 knows bikes very well and the whole culture around them. I would not buy a used motorcycle without seeing it and having it inspected. If you are new to bikes, it is better to have it inspected by someone who knows them. Even more than money, it is your life that you risk, even more than with a used car. A bike that suddenly breaks down in a turn on the highway does not have the same consequences that a car that does the same.
 

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There really is nothing new available in CA for that price? I paid $500 less than that for a new bike from the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There really is nothing new available in CA for that price? I paid $500 less than that for a new bike from the dealership.
I think everything new is going to be MSRP ($5600) plus $1-$2.5k dealer fees. I'm sort of just assuming that used dealer prices are tied to new prices even if they play fee games on the front.
 

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I think everything new is going to be MSRP ($5600) plus $1-$2.5k dealer fees. I'm sort of just assuming that used dealer prices are tied to new prices even if they play fee games on the front.
Those fees are insane, and I’d urge you to run, don’t walk, from any dealer that tries to sell you that fantasy. A new bike should have sales tax (if your state has it), license, paperwork of $100, and freight-and-setup…the latter shouldn’t be more than $500, and in a buyer’s market (which it is now certainly not) you could get that reduced or even waived if you expertly pushed the issue, especially if it was a previous year’s leftover. So fees going directly into the pockets of the dealer shouldn’t exceed $600. Used bikes have no freight and setup so should be at market value with just a $100 fee for paperwork.

Have you checked cycletrader.com? I see at least six red (no, not KRT, but…) new 2021 Ninja 400 offered for dealer sale in your state of California at $4995/$4999, and that’s just on the first page of of six pages of results (1 - 25 of 155).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Those fees are insane, and I’d urge you to run, don’t walk, from any dealer that tries to sell you that fantasy. A new bike should have sales tax (if your state has it), license, paperwork of $100, and freight-and-setup…the latter shouldn’t be more than $500, and in a buyer’s market (which it is now certainly not) you could get that reduced or even waived if you expertly pushed the issue, especially if it was a previous year’s leftover. So fees going directly into the pockets of the dealer shouldn’t exceed $600. Used bikes have no freight and setup so should be at market value with just a $100 fee for paperwork.

Have you checked cycletrader.com? I see at least six red (no, not KRT, but…) new 2021 Ninja 400 offered for dealer sale in your state of California at $4995/$4999, and that’s just on the first page of of six pages of results (1 - 25 of 155).
I called a few local places, fees are only $1050. So add in MSRP of $5600 and I'm only saving $450 buying used unless the dealer will budge. What %/$ do you expect to save on a used bike? Supply seems low right now even for new ABS KRT models, so I don't think there is much wiggle room on the new ones.
 

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If you see a fee of $2.5k, it's just a rip off. I think dealer/delivery fees were well below a thousand when I bought mine (ABS version) and the total was just under $5500 and that was with free delivery to my house and I charged $3000 of it to my credit card just to get cash back bonus (and then promptly paid off the balance).

There is nothing in that "dealer fee" other than money they pocket.
 
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You can message the seller, you call him, you can video him and the bike, but in the end you have to trust him. You have to trust he's not a scammer. You have to trust that he's not lying about the condition of the bike. And you have to trust that he's able to objectively assess the real condition of the bike.

The shipping also involves some risks, as the bike can get damaged in the transport, or there can be an accident and the bike won't be insured. Maybe you can insure the shipping? I don't know.
For shipping, check uship.com You post what you need to ship, and shippers will contact you with offers.
^What he said. Regarding insurance, most transporters are insured more or less. All the 3 times I've had bikes shipped, was via uship and the transporters were insured. They have different options too in how they ship. I've had one shipped in the bed of a pick-up truck, another was on a flat-bed truck (like a tow truck), and another was in an enclosed trailer.

Keep in mind that @sbk1198 knows bikes very well and the whole culture around them. I would not buy a used motorcycle without seeing it and having it inspected. If you are new to bikes, it is better to have it inspected by someone who knows them. Even more than money, it is your life that you risk, even more than with a used car. A bike that suddenly breaks down in a turn on the highway does not have the same consequences that a car that does the same.
This is true. All 3 bikes I bought from far away and had shipped, had been crashed. All were fully functional of course, but there was cosmetic damage, which the sellers were very clear and upfront about. I knew exactly what I was getting into, so there were no surprises. And of course I went over the whole bike after that each time and did a full assessment.

If you see a fee of $2.5k, it's just a rip off. I think dealer/delivery fees were well below a thousand when I bought mine (ABS version) and the total was just under $5500 and that was with free delivery to my house and I charged $3000 of it to my credit card just to get cash back bonus (and then promptly paid off the balance).

There is nothing in that "dealer fee" other than money they pocket.
Yeah those fees are nuts! The only bike I've ever bought from a dealer was a brand new Ducati 1198 and I remember paying only like $200 or $300 above retail, and that was the dealer fee and setup. And that's reasonable, because it's the amount of time spent on doing all the paperwork, and the time and resources spent by the technician who uncrated it, put fluids in it and made sure everything is good to go.
 

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Those fees are insane, and I’d urge you to run, don’t walk, from any dealer that tries to sell you that fantasy. A new bike should have sales tax (if your state has it), license, paperwork of $100, and freight-and-setup…the latter shouldn’t be more than $500, and in a buyer’s market (which it is now certainly not) you could get that reduced or even waived if you expertly pushed the issue, especially if it was a previous year’s leftover. So fees going directly into the pockets of the dealer shouldn’t exceed $600. Used bikes have no freight and setup so should be at market value with just a $100 fee for paperwork.

Have you checked cycletrader.com? I see at least six red (no, not KRT, but…) new 2021 Ninja 400 offered for dealer sale in your state of California at $4995/$4999, and that’s just on the first page of of six pages of results (1 - 25 of 155).
in normal times you may be correct but right now, there is a global supply chain issue and that is exacerbated by US infrastructure issues. With supply so low and demand this high, we are seeing 30% inflation on many times. My company just added a 15% “surcharge“ to a product, after removing features that required hardware that is unavailable, which reduced COGS. Net effect? 30% shift in ROI.

This is our 2021 reality and it’s pro going to get much worse before it gets better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Anybody in the New York City area? I'm seeing lot of reasonable Ninja 400 ABS KRT in that area
 

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I wouldn't be so dead set on the KRT version. The KRT version just has a different livery, but it's the same bike. I would get any ninja 400 at a reasonable price, and if you really want that KRT livery, you can swap out fairings later on. There are always people selling fairings in great condition, especially the people who strip them down to convert to race bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I wouldn't be so dead set on the KRT version. The KRT version just has a different livery, but it's the same bike. I would get any ninja 400 at a reasonable price, and if you really want that KRT livery, you can swap out fairings later on. There are always people selling fairings in great condition, especially the people who strip them down to convert to race bikes.
That's a good idea. Approximately how much do people sell 2nd hand OEM KRT fairings for?
 
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