For the past few years I have wanted a dirt bike. Specifically an enduro (basically a street legal dirt-bike) so I can run errands around town while still being able to explore the mountains – all while getting 50+mpg.
With other financial priorities (like our debt snowball) the motorcycle never made it to the budget and I never mustered enough discipline to save my personal spending allowance.


So with the absence of cash you have to get creative… Bartering: trading things you have for things you need!
While a motorcycle is somewhat of a toy, for us and our mobile lifestyle a motorcycle is also a useful tool. It’s:

•    Quick & Fun Transportation
•    Economical Transportation (Gets Great Gas Mileage)
•    Second Transportation


While we are on the road having a second means of transportation (beside our bicycles) is a good idea. Having the ability to quickly run errands without unhooking our LARGE truck from our trailer is a good idea. Plus depending on where we are and what we are doing having a second means of transportation is handy.


photo 1

Shae learning to ride the new motorcycle!


Step 1 – Find someone willing to trade

One evening after browsing Craigslist I stumbled upon an ad for a motorcycle priced at $1500 or possible trade for digital camera. I happen to have a Camera that I occasionally used but I could easily replace for about $500.


Step 2 – Know you values

The motorcycle’s retail value is probably $750+ plus the previous owner went through all the hoops to license, title and make the bike street worthy. (Headlight, taillight, turn signals, horn and road tires. So I emailed the seller and asked what exactly he was looking for. He responded back that he had built the bike for his significant other, she never rode it and wanted to get into photography.


I spent a little time looking up the value of my camera & accessories (retail values and used values on ebay) then looked up the value of the motorcycle + his upgrades so I knew exactly where I stood. He did the same. After talking on the phone he tried to negotiate some extra cash because he felt the motorcycle was worth more but I held firm. Here is the text messages:



Text conversation with motorcycle seller.


Step 3 – Come up with a Win / Win!

All in all it was a great trade! The seller got a great camera that he didn’t have to shop or pay for plus he didn’t have to mess with selling his motorcycle. I got a great bike and several weeks after making the trade I found a upgraded camera and lens at a pawnshop for $400. Essentially I got a nicer camera & lens plus a motorcycle for $400! I love win/wins!