I was searching for a starter bike that I could make a trike out of for use on the way to and from work… a long distance that I needed to cover with some items I had to transport (laptop, lunch, books, etc.). I had a trike kit picked out and needed a specific set of models of bikes it would fit. The seller had such a motorcycle, a 1997 Suzuki Marauder 800, for sale next to a highway in his front yard. Posted was a number to call for information. Having called that number, I spoke with the seller about the bike. I took notes thoroughly and documented several details. Of the details I documented, I was led to believe that the bike was running until his friend (the person he was supposed to be selling the bike for) ran it through a bike wash and got water into the carbeurator. Seller stated that this required the carbs to require resynchronization on this dual carb model. I researched this issue and spoke with a mechanic who quoted me a few hundred dollars to fix this type of problem. I was also told that his “buddy” had replaced the “main bearing” and that it was running great except for the carb issue and the need for a new battery. The sale was fast, the bike was clean and looked great, and the seller helped me load the bike. I transported the bike to my place and then to a reputable mechanic in our area within a few weeks. The mechanic replaced the battery, adjusted the carbs, and tried to start the bike. “Clang” was the sound the mechanic told me he heard when he called. The engine was toast. For a couple more hundred, I asked for a diagnosis so that we could see what the problem was (either the engine was toast or it was a small problem along the way). Diagnosis yielded that several parts were misplaced, broken, or entirely missing from this supposed “main bearing” reassembly. It took a new engine, months of searching, repairing, and reworking to get the bike working. At licensing and inspection, I also had to explain why the seller wrote a different amount received from me on the title and the sales receipt. Again, the state would not pursue the issue and just asked me to document on an affidavit that I did not intend to defraud anyone. What about the seller??? In the meantime, I spent so much getting all of this done, I could not afford to put the trike kit on it. Thus, it was of no use to me and I was forced to sell it at a loss. The whole experience made me untrusting of such sales. I am very appreciative to have this forum and to alert those out there that this guy is a crook. He sells a lot of vehicles from his yard but the State of Indiana was not interested in pursuing him acting as a dealer without a license because they will not investigate such activity. Instead, I would have to prove he sells more than a certain number of vehicles within a specified time frame before they would pursue it. Glad to see my tax dollars at work protecting the public.
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