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Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware PDF Print E-mail
Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware           

Recently, I read several messages on the internet about buyers’ bad experiences with Investment Bikes, formerly based in the Netherlands, now in Belgium. I sent out the following inquiry on four of the BMW@Yahoo Groups forums. Excerpts from the replies follow: 

Hello All,           

I would like to hear from anyone who has had direct experience with  Investment Bikes, bought a bike from them, and had positive or negative results. 

Was the bike as represented, etc.

Would you recommend them to a friend?

Would you buy from them again?  If you had any problems, did they help resolve them?

Thanks!

Richard  


Dear Richard:

I purchased my R62 from Investment bikes. The bike was sold as being complete, having had a complete mechanical rebuild and being ready for paint. 

I've pulled the heads and found new pistons, new valves and nicely ground and nicely cross hatched cylinders. The wheels look good as does the frame. The cardan brake drum is slightly out of round.   

Quite a few small but important parts were not shipped with the bike. Several weeks ago Martin has promised to provide everything that is missing. I think they will keep their word but I'm a little anxious.

Regards,
Ted 

Richard,

I have purchased two bikes from John and Martin and never had a problem period.            

I just picked up a nice R35 from them that wasn’t on the web site and it was a good buy at 3,000 Euros, running.   

I have been dealing with them for over 2 years now and never a problem with bank transfers, anything. I know some people might have had problems but I haven’t and I would recommend them to anyone. If you want to buy a bike from them I might be able to get you a better deal?

I have sold about 5 bikes for them all directly referenced to me.

Mike  

Hello everybody,

I have to stand up for Investment bikes It is not Polish nor Belgian, it is a Dutch firm near Eindhoven only 20 km from where I live. 

I have been there several times.  Never bought anything but I always got coffee and a nice conversation. 

These are really serious people.

I never heard anything negative about them. 

I would like to ask everybody to write what you know and can stand for.

Don't harm people just because you "heard something."  That's unfair.

Groeten Rob Roodnat  (Nederland) 


Richard 

I am one of the many well documented (on this site) people who have bought from Investment Bikes, formerly of Holland, now of Belgium.

I visited their Dutch premises a few years ago and met both the owners, even going out for dinner and to the home of one of them. 

Met the family etc. They are both extremely charming.

Anyway, I bought an R35 from them that had matching numbers. The frame number had the paint scraped away and I questioned this. They  became a little defensive, but not excessively. 

The bike was called an 'older restoration' and looked OK. It needed rewiring and new fork bearings. They promised to send these parts as they were apparently easy to get. I asked them to do the work (they have a mechanic) but said they were too busy.    

This was not done after I bought the bike, despite repeated calls.           

This bike sat in my shed for 2 years until I had time to get it going. What a nightmare. The forks needed completely re-bushed, the ignition switch was wrong (you couldn't turn the engine off) and the bike turned out to be a fake with false serial numbers. I checked with BMW. These are thesame number types as appeared on the other bikes they sell. Most of the parts were Russian. The wiring was wrong. The headstock was knackered etc. etc. I have learnt so much since.

I know several people in Holland and they believe them to be sharks and conmen. I travel to Europe several times a year to the major shows and have yet to meet anyone with a different opinion to mine.

I note one person on this forum has a positive opinion, but admits to selling their bikes for them in the states. I leave you to draw your own conclusion about that. 

It has to be said I wish I'd never met them and my advice (not only based upon my own experience) is they will rip you off in the nicest possible way. I think that they are despicable and trade close to the law. Many people will tell you of their R12, R35 etc. that was bought from them and was complete crap.

Much has been said by many people on here and none of it is good about Investment Bikes. We also praise the good guys, so are not out to be negative!

Please hang on and buy from someone who is trustworthy and don't make the mistake I and others have made. Let your head rule your heart. There are a lot of crap bikes and people out there.

Anthony (UK) 


Richard, 

About two years ago I bought an R12 from IB and only had trouble...           

The worst thing (apart from many, many other things!) about this bike was an R11 frame with a R12 serial number on it! An R12 expert (or anyone with just a little more experience than me at that point) was able to tell apart a R11 and a R12 frame right away - Only the IB experts did not have a clue?!?! 

After quite some time (nearly one year!) I was able to get my money back: Luckily I had a contract (written by myself!) which contained the word "R12" and the according serial numbers! Also I had quite some help by Gerhard Weller who examined the whole bike for me... 

So would I recommend IB to a friend? Judge for yourself!!!

Regards, Klaus  


Richard,

I could follow the IB case of Klaus not only by his detailed reports, but also by my inspection of the R11+12 bike at Weller, discussing the observations with him. 

I can say that Klaus is VERY diplomatic with his judgement. The bike was a joke and rather expensive for what was offered:- spokes had been made of nails,- Russian rims of wrong size- the crank case had a broken hole,- the luggage carrier held in place by construction steel,- all mudguards self-invention- hardy disk made of 2 slices from tyres, nailed together- headlight rim bent to smaller size for a standard ring,- headlight shell empty of any switching installation, and lots like that, the carburetor naturally was Russian ... 

Weller was somewhat shocked, by what he needed to discover to get the bike to normal use. He recommended to give up the project for tremendouscosts and efforts. A judgement I could share wholeheartily.

As far as I remember, it took long months till the IB people agreed in a taking back.

It could be, the IB people behave different in case of re-sellers, but Anthony from U.K. will not support this notion by his own experiences.

So it is justified to draw the conclusion that trading and dealing with these people can be risky, in case the purchaser needs to have trust in the offer instead of having checked facts.     Crossing border deals via abroad or even overseas needs trust anyway, so are risky in this certain case ...Gruß Dietmar  


Hello Anthony, Ted, Ben, Mike, Rob, Klaus and Dietmar and everyone else who responded,

Thank you for your recent replies to my inquiry about Investment Bikes.

I had read some items about this firm and wanted to know more.

I have seen some of the bikes that they sold to buyers over here. Those bikes are anything but authentic restorations. 

They might fool a novice, but even the least educated will begin to question the origins of all the parts on  their purchase. I have an engine in my shop from one of them. The crankcase is about all that is from an original BMW.  It came out of a bike sold to a good friend for a large sum. Very little on the bike was from BMW. Most of it was from worn out M72 Russian bikes. Someone had even tampered with the serial numbers.

It is very hard for me to accept that a firm in business to restore and sell high dollar motorcycles would be completely ignorant about the quality of their restorations and the origins of the replacement parts used in their restorations. 

If there are more of you out there with experiences with Investment Bikes, either for them or against them, please speak up and share your stories with us. We will print rebuttals from Investment Bikes or anyone else.

One of the last things I want to hear from a friend who has been injured is, "If you already knew, why didn't you tell me?"

In the meantime, forewarned is forearmed.

Best Regards,
Richard

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 July 2008 )
 
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