I accidentally bought a bike from a former pro...

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7/5/2017 3:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 3:12 AM

I found a nice looking deal on Craigslist, and he was only about an hour away. When I pulled up I was greeted by a guy with a pretty thick accent. The bike looked good, had paper work showing that the top end and suspension were fresh. It was only a 2016 so how much damage could be done, right?

I run it through the gears, and it shifts like a hot knife through butter. Everything looked good to the naked eye; no loose bearings, or leaky fork seals, and it only has 30 hours on it. I try to shoot him a slightly lower offer and he doesn't budge, so I shake his hand and go to my car to get the cash.

Upon returning I notice he wrote out a bill of sale and right across the top is, "I, Steve Boniface..." And I'm like, shit, this thing was most likely ridden hard. So I hesitated for a second. But I ended up getting the bike anyway. He retired a long time ago, right?

Photo

He was a really nice guy, he gave me a new rear tire and threw me a pair of oakley goggles as I was leaving. From what I've looked at so far I think I'm due for a new set of wheel bearings and I'm going to replace the steering stem bearings and races. Everything else looks pretty good. I'm pretty slow so I hope that extends the life of that top end.

Sorry two stroke taliban, I rode my buddy's 2016 yz250f a little while ago and had to get one. It might not be as easy to work on as my yz125, but man is it easier to ride.

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Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

7/5/2017 3:31 AM

Pretty cool story, smashbro. Did you chat him up about his racing years?

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7/5/2017 3:57 AM

smashingpumpkins167 wrote:

I found a nice looking deal on Craigslist, and he was only about an hour away. When I pulled up I was greeted by a guy with a pretty thick accent. The bike looked good, had paper work showing that the top end and suspension were fresh. It was only a 2016 so how much damage could be done, right?

I run it through the gears, and it shifts like a hot knife through butter. Everything looked good to the naked eye; no loose bearings, or leaky fork seals, and it only has 30 hours on it. I try to shoot him a slightly lower offer and he doesn't budge, so I shake his hand and go to my car to get the cash.

Upon returning I notice he wrote out a bill of sale and right across the top is, "I, Steve Boniface..." And I'm like, shit, this thing was most likely ridden hard. So I hesitated for a second. But I ended up getting the bike anyway. He retired a long time ago, right?

Photo

He was a really nice guy, he gave me a new rear tire and threw me a pair of oakley goggles as I was leaving. From what I've looked at so far I think I'm due for a new set of wheel bearings and I'm going to replace the steering stem bearings and races. Everything else looks pretty good. I'm pretty slow so I hope that extends the life of that top end.

Sorry two stroke taliban, I rode my buddy's 2016 yz250f a little while ago and had to get one. It might not be as easy to work on as my yz125, but man is it easier to ride.

DAMN YOU! I'm ringing the henchman on speed dial as we speak and you're gonna pay for this. tongue

Honestly I know people sometimes wanna steer from a race bike......but the truth is, noone is gonna take better care of the mechanicals inside their bike than a racer. Some of the bikes on CL are timebombs, esp 250f's. I'd personally rather have a bike thats been ridden as opposed to a novice bike still running break in oil and the same air filter. Nice bike though and good luck with it.

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7/5/2017 4:00 AM

Did you mention it to him that you knew who he was?

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7/5/2017 4:15 AM

aeffertz wrote:

Did you mention it to him that you knew who he was?

Yes I did. I nudged on the shoulder when I saw his name and told him that I recognized his name from racing pro. I didn't talk to him too much about it. He talked a little bit about riding for Honda. I should have asked him more, he was a pretty easy going guy.

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Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

7/5/2017 5:21 AM

I found a really good deal on a bike on Craigslist and picked it up. It had a trim kit on it so I googled all the companies and it came back to Aj cantazaro. That bike locked up in the air on me and I broke my back. Expensive lesson but I will always rebuild or buy new from now on!!

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7/5/2017 5:28 AM

Yamaha front wheel bearings last about a week.. they are due anyway

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7/5/2017 5:50 AM

I would rather buy a Pros bike any day over a guy who's bike looks fresh but he never cleaned the air filter or changed the oil.

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7/5/2017 5:52 AM

Traitor. tongue blink

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7/5/2017 5:53 AM

I learned over the years that a race bike is usually better maintained than a bike some kid rode for a few years. When I was younger riding around on the farm with my friends, we just dumped the premix in and rode. No chain lube, not filter cleaning, no service. Once I started racing, I learned to clean the filter every race, constantly lubed and adjusted the chain, and pulled bearing areas down and greased periodically. Yea, race bikes are rode hard, but so are farm bikes.

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7/5/2017 5:54 AM

Met him and his father out at Glen Helen back in 2002 at the YROC race. He was his dad's pit bitch for the day! Both nice people.

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7/5/2017 6:04 AM

downard254 wrote:

I learned over the years that a race bike is usually better maintained than a bike some kid rode for a few years. When I was younger riding around on the farm with my friends, we just dumped the premix in and rode. No chain lube, not filter cleaning, no service. Once I started racing, I learned to clean the filter every race, constantly lubed and adjusted the chain, and pulled bearing areas down and greased periodically. Yea, race bikes are rode hard, but so are farm bikes.

Yea it seemed like it was well maintained. He even showed me the inside of one of the dirty filters that he had laying around so I could see that no dirt got through.

The only downer was that he cleared the hours from the ecu, but he showed me a picture of when it was rebuilt and his mechanic sent him a shot of the 30 hours that were on it at the time.

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Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

7/5/2017 6:17 AM

Good Lord I would take a former pro's race bike before I bought some 15 year old kids "never raced.....or maintained for that matter" 250F.

He probably thought you were a dick for trying to low ball him hahahahhaha.

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7/5/2017 7:57 AM

Fourth_Floor wrote:

Good Lord I would take a former pro's race bike before I bought some 15 year old kids "never raced.....or maintained for that matter" 250F.

He probably thought you were a dick for trying to low ball him hahahahhaha.

Haha maybe, it would have only been a couple hundred bucks. The price was an odd number so I just rounded down a little.

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Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

7/5/2017 8:00 AM

steve boniface does alot of bicycling these days on road & MTB. here is a @RACERX interview with him http://racerxonline.com/2015/01/31/where-are-they-now

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two wheels lifestyle
Kyle Pulley
selling powersports @TeamCharlotteMotorsports
3004 Freedom Dr. Charlotte NC 28208
Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, & Preowned Harley Davidson

7/5/2017 8:00 AM

smashingpumpkins167 wrote:

I found a nice looking deal on Craigslist, and he was only about an hour away. When I pulled up I was greeted by a guy with a pretty thick accent. The bike looked good, had paper work showing that the top end and suspension were fresh. It was only a 2016 so how much damage could be done, right?

I run it through the gears, and it shifts like a hot knife through butter. Everything looked good to the naked eye; no loose bearings, or leaky fork seals, and it only has 30 hours on it. I try to shoot him a slightly lower offer and he doesn't budge, so I shake his hand and go to my car to get the cash.

Upon returning I notice he wrote out a bill of sale and right across the top is, "I, Steve Boniface..." And I'm like, shit, this thing was most likely ridden hard. So I hesitated for a second. But I ended up getting the bike anyway. He retired a long time ago, right?

Photo

He was a really nice guy, he gave me a new rear tire and threw me a pair of oakley goggles as I was leaving. From what I've looked at so far I think I'm due for a new set of wheel bearings and I'm going to replace the steering stem bearings and races. Everything else looks pretty good. I'm pretty slow so I hope that extends the life of that top end.

Sorry two stroke taliban, I rode my buddy's 2016 yz250f a little while ago and had to get one. It might not be as easy to work on as my yz125, but man is it easier to ride.

I know Steve, that bike is solid. He barely gets out to ride so hasn't done much. Bike was a good buy for sure. Enjoy it.

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7/5/2017 9:04 AM

Oh yeah that goes right along with the "never raced" crowd. If I had the option of buying a former pro's bike, or buying a clean looking bike that "has never been raced" I'm going with the former pro everytime. You can almost bet money that that bike was taken care of better than 90% of the bikes on Craigslist

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7/5/2017 10:17 AM

I bought a 2014 kx450 in 2015 off a former pro, i think it was his practice bike. Piston cracked in line with the wrist pin the second day out at milestone. Could have just been coincident.

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7/5/2017 11:47 AM

I get the thought process of buying a pro's bike due to the obvious reasons and I for one had those same thoughts... however... a few years ago I bought a race or practice (I can't remember what he told me) bike from Matt Lemoine thinking the same thing. That I was getting a bike that has been well taken care of and in better shape than some scrub off of craigslist. About the 4th or 5th hour I put on the bike it grenaded on me. Thankfully I was on a straight away and not going up the face of a jump. Needless to say I was none too happy... As others have stated it could have been a coincidence but either way I will never buy a bike from a pro/ex pro again. It just left a bad taste in my mouth...

To the Lemoine's credit... I did contact his dad and told him the story and although he was in disbelief that this had happened he was very cool and sent me some free parts for me to rebuild the motor. This is nothing against the Lemoine's, from what I can tell they are really great people. It was just a bad experience for me...

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7/5/2017 12:01 PM

I use to buy my used bikes from local pros. My first 80 was a practice bike from willy surratt in the early 80s. I would get bikes from jim holley and russ wageman in the mid 80s. Fastest bikes out of my group by far. Shocks were way to stiff so they would give me the stock ones also. Only had a problem one time. I got a 87 yz250 from jim and on the first ride out i hit a flat lander jump and broke the bottom shock mount clean out. Had it welded and rode that bike for years.

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7/5/2017 1:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 1:14 PM

Id take a former pro bike over some teenager's "never raced, well maintained, trail ridden" bike any day.

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7/5/2017 1:58 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 1:58 PM

We bought a bike from a pro woman one time. Blew up after less than 10 hours (don't remember exact count). After rebuilding it over the summer, it ran like a dream for another 10 hours and then got stolen.

Don't buy bikes from ex pro's tongue

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Holeshot Coffee Co.
Each bag sold donates $1 to Road2Recovery

7/5/2017 4:32 PM

Years ago I bought a YZ 250F that was a local Provincial pros practise bike - I've never had a more bullet proof bike, that Yammy was solid.

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7/5/2017 5:33 PM

downard254 wrote:

I learned over the years that a race bike is usually better maintained than a bike some kid rode for a few years. When I was younger riding around on the farm with my friends, we just dumped the premix in and rode. No chain lube, not filter cleaning, no service. Once I started racing, I learned to clean the filter every race, constantly lubed and adjusted the chain, and pulled bearing areas down and greased periodically. Yea, race bikes are rode hard, but so are farm bikes.

Haha, I call those "farm bikes" too. In addition to not being maintained, they always seem to have random hardware store nuts and bolts all over them.

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7/5/2017 6:48 PM

People called him "Steve what's his face" I remember when he first got to he states. His style was unmistakable to spot in the crowd of riders though. He rode like one of those old school sitting straight up and down guys from the 60s. He absofreakinglutely pinned it though.

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7/5/2017 6:52 PM

Cool story.....Boniface is a good guy.....

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7/5/2017 7:15 PM

philG wrote:

Yamaha front wheel bearings last about a week.. they are due anyway

amen

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