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"What's this do?"
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How easy and how common is it to alter the odometer of a later model softail? I’ve not formally introduced myself yet because I don’t yet have a scoot to present.

I am looking though, and I find sometimes three or four-year-olds with less than 1000 miles. Since many of these are listed on internet services, I don’t have the opportunity to see and touch them.

So, my question is… is internet buying too risky? Is it just a matter of unplugging the odometer and riding mileage-racking free? Your thoughts and opinions would be appreciated. I’ve already learned a lot on this board.
 

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ibilintuc said:
How easy and how common is it to alter the odometer of a later model softail? I’ve not formally introduced myself yet because I don’t yet have a scoot to present.

I am looking though, and I find sometimes three or four-year-olds with less than 1000 miles. Since many of these are listed on internet services, I don’t have the opportunity to see and touch them.

So, my question is… is internet buying too risky? Is it just a matter of unplugging the odometer and riding mileage-racking free? Your thoughts and opinions would be appreciated. I’ve already learned a lot on this board.
Well, I am a little old fashioned on things like used vehicle purchases in that I dont buy unless I can examine the vehicle myself. I like to check the plugs, do a quick compression check, look for hidden damage, replaced parts, that kind of thing.

as for the suspiciously low mileage on bikes that are 3 or 4 yers old, well, that isnt really all that uncommon. check out www.craigslist.com for the bay area. we have decent riding weather almost year round (well, for me its year round, but thats an opinion), and you will find lots of harleys with less than 1k miles on them, and most with less than 5k miles.

i figure they are just folks that love the brand, and the image, or have some bizarre idea that they can buy patriotism, or just got caught in the hype. ultimately, they dont love to ride, but they might love the bike, abstractly. so they buy it lots of chrome bolt on trinkets, cover themselves in HD logo lifestyle accessories, and maybe maybe maybe, pry themselves out of their pickup truck (with oblig HD sticker in the window) occasionally to ride the bike somewhere on a weekend. they definitly are not using the bike as a daily rider.

youve seen them scowl at you while paddling the bike off the line at a stoplight. they might be trying to be a badass, or they might just be at the ragged limit of their riding ability and the stress is showing. after all, riding in traffic can be difficult if you dont do it much.

after a few years, they realize they need to refinance the house, or clear out the garage or, most bizarrely, buy a new HD to not ride, so they sell it with 800 to 3k miles on the odo, and try to recoup the cost of their bike and its dubious cosmetic molestations. sometimes they do. i think the market for barely used bikes is softer than it once was, but they will usually get a decent chunk of their original purchase price. their loss is not bad in percentage, but would prob be enough to buy my bike outright. youve seen the ads for bikes with $25k in them that are selling for $17, which is still more than MSRP, but barged out.

they are not bad people, and can be a good source of used bikes for cheap.

but never buy a bike you cant inspect. seriously.

-dogtown max :cheers:
 
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Excellent analysis and excellent advice Dogtown.

As for altering a speedo, a person could indeed simply disconnect the speedo. It pays to go to a dealership with several used bikes of varying mileages. Get an idea for what the footboards/pegs, the shifter pegs, an dthe tires tend to look like at different mileages. If the "1,000 mile" bike has a front tire halfway gone something doesn't add up.

Harris
 

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Digital spedo/odometer

Most of the three and four year old bikes will have a digital unit. While it might be possable to ride with the unit disconnected I doubt more than one person in several thousand would ride with the unit disconnected. Simply becasue without the unit you also lose the trouble lights and related instruments.

Possably a person could simply install another units for $ 200 (more or less) but what would the point be. A bike with say 1,000 to 5,000 miles is going to sell for the same price. A good indication is always the tires as they show wear on the treads. If the rear tire is worn more than the front you can be sure the bike has more than 3K or 4K.

A bike with say 50,000 actual miles and an odometer of 5,000 might get offered for a good price based on the low miles. But the high mileage bike is going to have other wear and tear that would be difficult to mask.

As far as ebay or other on lines: byer beware of scams. Use good judgement af if the deal is too good to pass it probably is a risky proposition. A lot depends upn who is selling the bike. I've bougth through ebay but always varified who the seller was. Ans I always make the seller deliver a tittle to the bank before the get the check.
 

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To the best of my knowledge, HD does not use OBDII ( On Board Diagnostics version 2 ) like cars do. There is no VSS off of the tranny, and no way to tie in milage to combustion cycles like cars do. So, yes you can just unhook the speedometer and rack up miles as desired and hook up the speedo when you go to sell.

caveat emptor.
 

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Its easy i bought the speedo/tach combo for my bike.They ask what your mileage is and set it accordingly.I still have my original speedo with only 1500 miles on it.Iffin i wanted to adjust the mileage for resale purposes i could just throw the old speedo back in(not that i would do that) but you asked:brows:
 

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It's easy to cheat, you heard a few good examples from several folks here.

Asking for repair receipts would help - especially if from legimiate service centers. They can help tell a story. For example, only 100 miles since that work done in 03 and that new tire in 05, humm, I would be questioning that.

Also, ditto the advice from others. Check the tires, grips, pads, etc. Something is going to show wear, fading, etc.
 

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Another thing to worry about with these 1,000 3 or 4 year old bikes is the way they have been sitting.

For all you know they took the thing out for a nice 15 minute Sunday ride, park the thing like they always have and then never touched it for 3 or 4 years.
 

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So, what you're really asking,for is info on how to break the law....I'm sure that you are going to declare that the vehicles mileage as unknown when you sell or trade in the vehicle, I am correct in this statement, correct?

Nice of you to ask us how to best break to law, looks like you have a bunch of suggestions!! Seeing as this should have trigger a bunch of folks as a troll post, I guess I'll POINT it out! [email protected] TROLL!!!!


IF for some reason they don't BAN you. I hope to see u rot in HE!!.... I [email protected]' hate trolls

edited to add, if you were confused....it is ILLEGAL to alter the odometer!!!!!!!!!!!idiot
 
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I really don't read the question that way. I'm willing to take the point of view that his question was what it's purported to be, a query regarding acquisition of a bike. Frankly if he was looking for info on how to alter a M/C odometer, there has to be a better source of info than us. Now I'll grant this is akin to assuming that a guy trying to open a car door with a coat hanger can't possibly be a professional car thief.

Harris
 

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Harris said:
I really don't read the question that way. I'm willing to take the point of view that his question was what it's purported to be, a query regarding acquisition of a bike. Frankly if he was looking for info on how to alter a M/C odometer, there has to be a better source of info than us. Now I'll grant this is akin to assuming that a guy trying to open a car door with a coat hanger can't possibly be a professional car thief.

Harris
After re-reading his post I MAY have jumped the gun............BUT an an odd subject line for a first post. If I am am wrong I appoligize.
 
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Well, If his next post is about using a bic pen to start the bike...

:)

Harris
 

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"What's this do?"
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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, it is a sincere question. And I very much appreciate the input; a lot of good information. That was an especially good idea about the receipts. Again, I am looking for a long distance purchase.

I know, for instance, when buying a used car I initially look for the easy signs of use such as wear on the brake petal. After that, I can go into more detail.

I recently bought a used truck buy shopping the internet. I would range out 2-300 miles to look at them. It amazed me the difference between the actual vehicle condition and the ad description. I looked at trucks that had been welded together from two wrecks that were described as “like new.”

And pictures on the CRT don’t have enough resolution to tell the story. But the receipts idea sounds like a good start.

By the way my target… a 2001 – 2006 Heritage Classic

Thank you.
 

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The easiest way to track milage is service records.
Moco shops keep good records.
Most Indys don't.
 

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Im a tight bastard

I bought my first bike this year using Ebay. I live outside of Baltimore and I have about 5 dealers within 50 miles of here. So, there are lots of folks with Harleys. Everyone wants a specific Harley priduct. Myself, I wanted a black 883 Sportster because I wanted to keep the cost of my initial bike down as low as possible. If I sell, say for a Super Glide, I wont have a lot to eat. My chances of losing more rather than less are lessened. I watched Ebay and HOLY COW up pops a 2005 883 in black. 45 miles away. As it turned out the seller had a shill bid up the price (I suspect, as the bidder was in the next town and did not come through) and I quit bidding. 2 days later I got a second chance offer. The bike had 15 miles on it and was origionally purchased in April 05. As the second chance offer came in I lowered my offer to make him pay for trying to screw me and he was obviously in a lesser posioion now. It worked out. I now have a new 883 in black with the security feature for $6K. I guess my point is, you can use Ebay but stick close to home and put your hands on the bike before you shell out. Take your time. The deal will find you if you look.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Buying close to home would certainly be ideal. But, I just have had no luck finding the right bike at a reasonable price locally. (I hope I don’t open a can of worms with the word, reasonable.)

My town has one factory dealership and the next closest major market has just three. However, we have an endless supply of independents. I think these lots generate part of their inventory from the same pool that I am shopping. The difference is, they have much more free time to shop and to react sooner to good deals. The end result is prices are inflated here in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against factory dealerships, independents or profit.

Anyway, I am seeing much better deals on the east coast. There seems to be a bigger supply and shipping charges would be less than tax paid locally. I was racking my brain hoping to figure out a way to limit the risk. I’ll keep working on it.

Thank you for your responses.
 

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What part of AZ are you in ibilintuc? You realize that most of the dealers up here in Phoenix have alot of their inventory posted on their websites (new and used). You might want to make a weekend trip and hit all the dealerships out here (aside from the HD dealers, alot of the other ones typically have used Harleys for sale also).
 

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There are tell tail signs of milage on a bike. Very few people keep the bike virtually like new. Some things to check to help determine age are pegs and the wear on them, under the bike look for road grime and how caked on it is. The belt pulley wear should be almost non-existant in a less that 1000 mile bike. Dulling of chrome or polised parts that are rubbed like the clutch lever. The shifter linkage typically loosens up with use also. Amount of rubber on the tires, 1000 miles and the original tire should still look like new. Brake pad wear, again they should be almost new with only 1000 miles on them. Even if they change the brake pads, the rotors should not have any excessive wear if it only has 1000 miles.

It is pretty easy really to tell if it is actual milage or doctored.
 
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