Imported bike-poss issues

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Imported bike-poss issues

Post  phildigger on Mon Feb 27 2012, 20:41

First of all cheers for looking-this might get a bit long winded so please bear with me and I`ll try and cover everything in one hit.
Went looking at an 02 plate cat last weekend-blue and white (love that colour scheme),7100 on clock, 4 months mot, 5 months tax, advertised at £2400 but seller did say he`d accept £2200 and for a 10yr old bike poss as close to mint as you`ll see (slight scuffing on bar/lever ends and mirrors). unfortunately current owner (3rd) only had previous mot`s from 2006-no service history etc
This is the point where questions arose:
Looked at log book and noticed engine number was stated as not known- spoke to dvla who said they weren`t concerned about engine number and after a bit of an internet search and speaking to Yamaha UK discovered that the bike was from the netherlands (current owner said bike was UK) so this is where I need your help:
1) if bike is imported will there be any changes to the specifications?
2) clocks are in mph (not kph as I would have expected ) so can I trust the 7100 miles that are recorded?
3) after looking at mot history saw that bike had failed mot at approx 4800 miles due to tyre and brake pad wear-does this sound right?
4)mate who took bike for a spin reckoned front end felt heavy (but not alarmingly so) at low speed compared to a 2000 plate R6 he`d ridden-again does this sound right?

The more I read this post the more I think I should walk away but maybe I`m worrying over nothing
cheers

Phil
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  greencat on Mon Feb 27 2012, 20:52

Well, reading your post I can understand why your concerned. I'm sure others will share their views in due course, but I'd make a couple of points:
1) 7100 is very low mileage for an 02 plate bike. I'd want to know more about why this is the case. How long has the current owner had the bike and what mileage did they do?
2) there are changes in spec in imported bikes, although most previous discussions have been about US imports. I'll leave others to elaborate;
3) yes I would have expected the clocks to be in KPH if it is an Dutch bike, but the speedo could have been converted;
4) tyre and brake pads wear out. I'd be more concerned about what condition they are in now;
5) the 'cat is a heavier bike than the R6 so there should be a difference. If the head stock bearings are sound and the tyres are inflated correctly you should be OK.

Don't know if this helps? Others will be along shortly.

Chris

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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  phildigger on Mon Feb 27 2012, 21:11

Thanks for the quick response Chris;
1) current owner has had bike for approx 18months and has only put about 900 miles on bike due to lack of time/work-load etc and reckons that`s the only reason he is selling.Checked on direct-gov website and their database confirms mot history/mileage
3)if clocks have been converted would this have any affect on mileage reading?-this may seem like a daft question but please bear in mind your now dealing with someone who has only ever ridden `80`s 2-strokes lol (god I loved that RG500)
4) appreciate that mate-just that4800ish miles seems rather low for pads to be shot-at (again if clocks are to be believed). Bike currently has good tread depth and pads are good
5)Suspected that to be the case but just thought worth asking-cheers

Phil
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  0ldcat on Mon Feb 27 2012, 21:23

Hi Phil,

I'll give a shot at an answer (or some of them), , , here we go . . .

1. £2200 seems a wee on the steep side to me, I'm sure you could wrangle that down below 2k . . . Cats may be priced that much in dealers, on line and in mags . . . but they're not selling. Seems very much a buyers market at the moment and all hangs on how desperate (s)he is to sell and you to buy.

2. The engine No. Thing is a bit worrying. Have you HPI checked the bike ? That should put it's history in view.

3. Blue one from Holland ? I had one of them (white tail where the grab handles are), yellow reflectors on the fork legs and the front indicators came on with the ignition as runnig lights. Clocks were also in MPH. It was originaly destined for the USA market back in the days of parallel imports, I suspect this one you have found is the same.

4. The the imports only differed in the dip of the headlight beam. Oh and if it was destined for California it had extra tubing around the carbs and different jetting (due to their imission laws).

5. Tyre and brake pad wear is subjective and will vary from rider to rider as well as brand type used. I'd say 5k for a set of tyres is not unreasonable brake pads too, perhaps indicating a zealous/enthusiastic rider.

6. The Cat will be lardy in comparison to an R6. The whole bike is heavier due to materials used in the frame. Different rake and trail, Wheelbase, Forks etc. I think that's to be expected and no surprise.

7. The most important thing of all is your gut feeling. If you have doubts that will not be put to rest then walking away as you suggested may be the answer. There are plenty of very good Thundercats out there (other inferior makes available too Laughing), for you to find the one that pushes all the right buttons.

Hope that's of some help. I'm sure you'll find a few more will come along here and add their comments for you to sift through. Thumb

Cheers
Tel

PS: This is very much like the 98(Y) reg Cat I had
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  phildigger on Mon Feb 27 2012, 22:03

Cheers Tel;
1) must admit-for me to agree to £2200 bike would have to be absolute minter with impeccable service history and not the slightest doubt about it`s past. Been thinking about this for a good while now and does seem to be a case of anything over 2k takes an age to shift-if at all (my only problem is that I`m gettin deperate to buy and he`s only selling due to lack of use)
2)Not HIP checked yet but that is the next move after speaking to DVLA (who didn`t view the lack of engine number as a particular concern), Yamaha UK and your goodselves
3)This is the bike in question; ..... link

4,5 & 6) all sound fair enough...

7) gut feeling is that these aren`t major issues and condition of bike does support low mileage but due to the lack of history etc that vendor will have to drop his price to sub 2k

Just looked at your edit Tel and doesn`t look like the bike I`ve seen ....


Last edited by 0ldcat on Tue Feb 28 2012, 11:44; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : modify link)
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Dean-J on Mon Feb 27 2012, 22:17

Personally i wouldnt want an import with little history for £2.2k.

Id want to pay £1500 or therabouts. Thats what i paid for mine ( same colours, above average mileage but stellar history file, with all the "right" modifications)

Does it have any Dutch history or just uk? If just UK, it would seem to me like clocks have been swapped for a super low mileage set when it got here...
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Panzerbuilder on Mon Feb 27 2012, 22:21

I paid £1800 fro a 2001 with 16k on the clock 2 years ago so £2200 is a bit on the steep side.

If the DVLA confirm the MOT mileage then all you can do is give the bike a good check out. Satisfying your concerns.

Mine was allegedly only ridden in the dry so you could see you face in the ss downpipes. Unfortunately there not like than now.

Regards Rich.
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  HEHORE on Mon Feb 27 2012, 22:25

i paid £950 for my 99 with 41k on the clock , all service history new exhaust system , only damage was from a disk lock to front mud gaurd

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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  phildigger on Mon Feb 27 2012, 22:39

Thats what bothers me-no Dutch or UK history until present owner had bike serviced last year and do wonder whether clocks have been swapped.

In saying that spoke to yamaha UK today who said that bike was shipped to Netherlands in 2002 and they have no record of bike being shipped to UK by authorised dealer yet logbook states first registered in UK in June 2002.Possible explanation from Yamaha was that bike may have been bought on continent to save on cost (remember when peeps where buying rhd cars over there cos they were cheaper?) or buyer relocated to UK shortly after purchase
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Dean-J on Mon Feb 27 2012, 22:48

Id say if your prepared to pay £2200 for a cat, go and find one that leaves no doubts in your mind. best of luck with whatever you buy Smile
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  bobh on Mon Feb 27 2012, 22:58

2002 was towards the end of the sales life in Europe because of emissions regs, so a few odd things may have been going on as well as all the parallel/grey import stuff. My 2003 bike actually had to be single-vehicle type approved before George White could pre-register it.

Whether or not the DVLA are concerned about the lack of an engine number, that's what would put me right off it. There is no way of knowing if it's the original or some high-mileage lump that's been fitted from a scrapper. OK, the 'Cat engine will do 100,000, but if you're paying top dollar for a low mileage example that's what you should get, no ifs or buts.

I'd walk away, unless the price drops to nearer £1,600 (which is what I reckon my 53-reg bike with 26,000 miles is worth - not that it's for sale).
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  kenndo1 on Tue Feb 28 2012, 01:06

I also think 2.2k or even 2k is pretty steep. When i picked my cat up last september I was researching every website imaginable for hours on end and saw some mint condition cats around the 1.5k-1.8k mark, with full history etc. So 2000 quid or more is quite alot tbh. I paid 1300 (could have been a tad less cant remember) for mine which is in top condition and only had 16k on the clocks when i picked it up.
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  weasley on Tue Feb 28 2012, 07:23

I reckon it's fine. Dutch bikes are basically the same as UK ones, except headlight and clocks; if these have been sorted then no problem. Mine is a German import and this had the headlight and speedo face replaced, so it shows mph as it should but the odometer still counts up in km. that one sounds like one of these ones where people went to the Netherlands to buy a cheap car/bike and then brought them home.

Engine numbers are often not on the V5, especially for an import.

It will feel a bit heavier than an R6.
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Snowcat on Tue Feb 28 2012, 11:14

Hi Phil I'd like to echo what others have said about the price. If you remember when mine was advertised it was up for £1850 (£2000 originally). I got it for £1550, Mines a 2002 with 13,000 and by looking at eBay auctions ended the bikes were going (on average) for about 25 - 30% less than owner valuations. Now the dealers can and will command a higher price citing overheads and dealer back up but in reality a private sale has no defence, it's a buyers market for this bike and I feel if the bike is going to tick all the other boxes, get some evidence of sales and go back offering a more realistic £1600 ish. Remember you can advertise a bike for whatever you value it at, end of the day, it's only WORTH what you're prepared to pay for it.

Good luck Phil, it is the best colour scheme Smile
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  0ldcat on Tue Feb 28 2012, 11:41

Well there you go Very Happy , said you'd probably get a wealth of info from the board great .

General concensus is the price is to high.

As far as the Dutch conection and import to UK goes, your probably right on the money with the personal import route. The bikes age puts it at the back end of the parallel import days. It's not likely to have been a grey. Grey imports are bike models that were never officially marketed or imported by the manafacturer into the UK - such as the likes of the CBR400 BabyBlade, ZZR400 et al. But I'm fairly sure you knew that anyway.

The MPH clocks, as I said, mine was a personal import too. I bought it new through BFG (squaddie based in germany), so basicly it was a bike which was manafactured for the US market, but was shipped to Holland and sold to me via that method (parallels being at that time upwards of 1k cheaper than UK official imports). The clocks were standard MPH as the US do mph like we do. However don't discount the possibility those on the bike we're talking about HAVE been swapped.

Bobh makes a good case on the engine swap. Though what would have enticed an engine swap, and even then why try to conceal the fact by removing the engine numbers ? DVLA may not be fussed about it, but should you get a tug by Mr Plod and he/she sees that, I'll wager their alarm bells will start clanging "Stolen Machine". Hassle you don't need at the side of the road.

I'd say if you are going to go ahead and try purchasing this one you're now well enough armed to start your bidding at £1600 to £1800. The prices others on here have paid support that region of price, and not more.

The bike in your link (which I've edited so it functons propper like, hope you don't mind my tinkering with your post great ) looks nice and tidy. As long as your mate who did the test ride (apart from the heavy front end comment, which has been covered) found no other issues. You only have two sticking points.
1. The price - negotiable
2. That engine number thingy - and that's the biggy ! And seems to be the recurring feature of peoples concerns here.

One final thing. It hasn't been mentioned so far, but someone's bound to, so it may as well be me. There is a rumbling over exaggerated worry about a 2nd gear issue the Cat is supposed to have. Namely that 2nd gear gives up the ghost and stops working ie. when you shift into it, it's not there anymore like a second neutral. While it is true this has happened to a few Cats, it is very unusual. In the almost 11 years this site has been going (in various guises and formats), it has been known only to happen once (Stretchy is yer man to ask, if memory serves). It has been reported in the past by some that . . . "Oooh, a friend of a friends second cousin 5 time removed had it happen to his cat . . ." if you get my drift.

The way to test if it's likely to be there or is showing signs it might, is to ride the bike in the normal way, shift to 2nd, allow the bike to kinda tick over in that gear (but not labour the motor), and snap open the throttle (hold on tight) . . . if the bike takes off like the proverbial scolded cat, all is in order with 2nd. If however, it jumps out of gear. Park up give the keys back and walk away. The repair is more costly than the bikes worth.
Unless of course you're excellent with a set spanners and have the time to strip both engine & gearbox to component parts and repair - reassemble it. Of course you'd knock at least a grand (if not more) off the purchase price for that.

cheers
Tel

PS: Found this as a comparison link . . Maybe you could show this to your vendor as a reason for your reduced offer on his machine.


Last edited by 0ldcat on Tue Feb 28 2012, 13:53; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Snowcat on Tue Feb 28 2012, 13:51

Well said, not just this one but nearly all specialist forums tend to highlight bad points of bikes, (cars, sewing machines) but that's by volume. If a forum Is populated by 400 enthiusiasts then 10 occurrences of a problem doesn't make it a fault of the vehicle.

Indeed if that was the case no one would ever buy a Thundercat because a big fault they have is that riding the bike too fast around corners outside your own limitations in the wet with oncoming traffic sometimes causes the bike to fall to one side injuring rider and bike....is this a common fault Smile

Sorry just a silly example but I'm sure you get my point Smile

Saying that I ignored several posts about the dangerous failings of VW Passat 2.0l diesel injectors. A common fault which cost me £2k to sort out!!
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  past-it on Tue Feb 28 2012, 18:31

Their is a very common fault with cats that nobodys said about and that's you'll love it after you've got one and people who do sell it go all misty eyed :( about how good a bike it was. You do get used to it after a few years

If you're not sure about the bike walk away, does look tidy in the photos though.

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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  phildigger on Tue Feb 28 2012, 18:41

Cheers all for the advice/comments etc. Decided I`m gonna walk away and look elsewhere- must admit whilst the condition and mileage are appealing I`d rather go for something with 3x mileage but good service history and no doubts about the origins of the bike. Oh well the search continues, watch this space.........
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  MrNutt on Tue Feb 28 2012, 18:42

I will say from the off I am not mechanical at all, I am a spanner with a spanner, to echo some of the points others have made, the over £2k is very steep, my bike is a near mint condition example with a few very tidly and well thoughtout mods on it, only cost me £1600, yes it had 33,500 when I bought it but it had a full service history and pretty much all the paper work it'll ever need and it runs like a dream.

higher mileage bikes don't mean they aren't any good, if its got all the right paper work with it and the owner is honest about it and happy to answer any of your questions then nowt wrong with a few more numbers on the clocks.

Also as past it says, its an awesome bike, I love modern superbikes and everything but the cat always puts a huge smile on my face everytime I sling my leg over it..
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Snowcat on Tue Feb 28 2012, 19:00

@past-it wrote:Their is a very common fault with cats that nobodys said about and that's you'll love it after you've got one and people who do sell it go all misty eyed :( about how good a bike it was. You do get used to it after a few years
I second that!! Best thing I ever did buying mine, never looked back.

I've already decided (don't tell the wife!!) that if and when I come to trade up the new storage I'm considering for my bike will always have enough room for an extra bike, the one I've got!!! Not getting rid of her Smile
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  past-it on Tue Feb 28 2012, 19:19

See told you, they're getting misty eyed and they've still got the Cats A friend of mine has just sold his Cat for a very very nice ST Trumpet with all the extras and he's had it mapped and played with, guess what, I still get the "well this is better, but thats nice, miss this , liked that ETC, ETC !!!!!

Best not to say anything about how thirsty the Trumpet is compared with the Cat, and as for the tyre wear . Good job you can't see people laughing in a helmet

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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  phildigger on Tue Feb 28 2012, 20:16

Beginning to wonder what I`m letting myself in for here lol-is this a bike or a life-long commitment??????
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Snowcat on Tue Feb 28 2012, 21:27

Buy the bike the we'll let you in on the dirty little secret Smile
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  stevemcc on Tue Feb 28 2012, 22:36

Just thought I'd fling my two pence worth in.

The mint Thundercats are out there for way less than 2k, I bought mine after seeing it advertised on fleabay, I made an offer on it after it didnt sell by auction.(subject to a test ride and new MOT) It was up for £1800, I ended up paying £1500 for a 2000 plate with 5000 miles on the clock, some service history and all the old MOTs to prove millage etc.
I obviously HPI checked it and you can pay a little extra to most HPI type companys to check the millage, only a couple of quid via text.

My point is keep shopping, the bikes are out there, good luck!!
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Re: Imported bike-poss issues

Post  Radar on Thu Mar 01 2012, 23:29

Had my Cat for 12 years this month...I have a 2007 FZ1S too, and I know which one will get the chop if the shit ever hits the fan for me.

£1500 will see you on a great example, be patient.

Mine is an import, but apart from sticking a bit of tape on the headlight once a year I not encountered any problems. Oh hang on...I had to adjust the rear brake switch about 5 years ago...

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