In case you are wondering how the story ends, here goes.
The bike for sale was a 2000, Candy Tahitian Blue with only 34000 km or 21000 miles . Asking price $3000. Bike also came with a rear rack and top box, but otherwise was completely stock. After asking the usual questions and some negotiations we arrived at a sale price of $2700. The bike was described as well maintained, in excellent condition and needing nothing , being sold with a safety certificate. After arranging a Saturday morning viewing I mentioned that I would like to take it for a quick ride up and down the street in front of the sellers home with the cash in her hand and the understanding that the bike would come back as it left or she could keep the money and the bike was mine. She flat out refused under any circumstances. That's when I posted the question here and asked a couple friend what they would do. Thanks for the replies and valid inputs.
Against my better judgement I agreed to travel almost 4 hours to view an 18 year old bike with no chance of a test drive, in hopes that it was the low mileage gem described to me at what I thought was a fair price for here in Canada.
Saturday morning I arrive at the address to find a blue 5th gen in the driveway and the seller sitting un the front step ...good. I introduce myself, we exchange pleasantries then I start going through some of the papers she had for the bike. It showed that she was the third owner having bought it in 2011 with 28000km meaning 6000km in 7 years. This was odd since she had told me she had bought it about 4 years ago but after some discussion she agreed that it must have been 7. She also mentioned that the tires were new 3 years ago right after she bought the bike??? So over to the bike to look at the tires and found production dates of 2010...not good. Now that I'm close to the bike this is what I find. The rear wheel, swing arm, and front sprocket area are caked with a thick layer of old dried blackened lube, probably never having been cleaned in her 6000km of ownership. The chain and sprockets were original to the bike and in need of replacement. On the right side of the bike were scratches on the clutch cover, chips in the lower body paint and a slightly bent foot peg and brake pedal, from a low speed tip over. She was unaware of any of the damage and blamed previous owners. Moving to the front of the bike I lifted the front wheel as I explained it was to check the head bearing. She happily informed me that her mechanic had replaced that part and when I asked what type of bearing he used she replied "a new one" .
As I began to look at the left side of the bike she let me know that none of this was her fault, her husbands cruiser had tipped over in a truck and they failed to notice it for some time. What I saw was a 3 inch dent in the tank, showing bare steel. Also there was a black stripe about half an inch by 8 inches on the rear cowl below the seat where the paint was wore away and the abs had flat spotted the beautiful blue, rare bodywork... starting to feel a bit discouraged.
With her permission, I started the bike on the centre stand and ran the bike through a few gears... everything seemed well enough... it's a VFR after all. I turned off the bike and decided I'd seen enough. I asked one last time about a test ride and she immediately said no. I began to explain that without the test ride and considering the condition of the bike I wasn't comfortable paying the agreed upon $2700, but I would give my original offer of $2500 just so I didn't have to go home empty handed. This is when she let me know she had changed her mind and wouldn't take any less than the $3000 in the ad!!!
After a short discussion about that I realized that she was not going to be reasonable and that I didn't want her bike at any price. She knew little about bikes or how to look after them and even less about a vfr. I thanked her for wasting my time and headed for my van as she was yelling out ever decreasing prices behind me. I just waved and drove away.
It wasn't the deal I was hoping for but I had to find out. Not all was lost though, my girlfriend came along and we camped on the shore of beautiful Georgian bay and did some sight seeing
Not a bad weekend after all!.