I had done well, staying true to my plan up to this point. Now it was going to be the first real test: getting the right bike for the right price. I knew the blue book value of the bike was $1275. I also knew that the bike did not have a radio and was not pristine -- -- even though it was in beautiful shape. I decided I would try to get him to come down from $1500 to $1000. I knew this was a big difference and decided that if I had to I would walk out at $1100.
I was right on time getting to Seller's Mother's house but just as I got there I got a call from him letting me know he was going to be about 30 minutes late. So my son and I cruised around the area for a while to kill time. Finally, it was time to go and strike a deal. I had my son wait in the car, that would make it easier to walk away if I needed to. I met Seller for the first time and he seemed like a nice enough fellow. We walked up to the garage and he started taking things out of the back of his car that he had for the bike like a manual, the seat back for the drivers seat, and other spare parts and extra filters. The time came to deal.
First, I offered them $900 to which he said for that he would just keep riding it himself. There was an awkward silence and then I told him make me a counter offer. He said $1300, so I replied that the most it was worth under blue book was $1100 and since it didn't have a radio I would offer him only $1000. He said fine, $1200. Then I fanned out 10 $100 bills in my right hand, then held out a $50 bill with my left hand and said "$1150 -- final offer". He said "Done". I then handed him the money and had my son pulled the car round to the garage so we could load up all the extra parts and I could get out my gear.
After he signed over the title, I had him address an envelope I had brought so that I could mail the plate back to him once I got in home. Then, I jumped on the SilverWing, I put on my safety gear, and then after saying "Let's Ride" under my breath I took off for the first time on my new bike.
My son drove the car in front of me acting as a guide since he had the GPS and I did not. I quickly became very comfortable handling the bike and found cruising at highway speed almost relaxing. Before we got onto the interstate I got a good feel for rapid deceleration and handling at highway speed while on a smaller four-lane state road.
It is very hard to put into words what it felt like, but it brought back a memory. When I was a kid of about 10 or 11 I was going on a camping trip at the Boy Scouts. It was the first time I'd ever ridden in the back of an open pickup truck. After we got off the main road and turned onto a smaller road that led to the campground the three of us in the back stood up and faced forward looking over the top of the cab of the truck. (This was dangerous as hell and I would not recommend anyone do it. If we had hit a bad bump all three of us would've gone flying.) As we cruised down that road at about 30 miles an hour, the feeling of being wide open with the wind whipping around my head and through my hair was fantastic. It made me remember a scene from the Rat Patrol TV show where there would be a guy standing in the back of a jeep as they went speeding the desert looking for Nazis. I kept the memory of that experience with me for a lot of years. Riding my bike up 69 North brought it all back.
It was not really warm, only about 40° but there were a few other bikes on the road and each waved at me as they went by. It was awesome.
170 miles later I parked my new motorcycle (new to me) in my garage and climbed off.
Now, I am a biker.