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HOW TO FIND BARGAIN ATV PARTS--FEB 26

 
(2/26/2004)

Let's face it, as friendly as your local dealer is, he?s probably not the best source of cheap parts. Dealer parts are usually sold at a premium, as they are often high-profit items for the dealership. So what can you do to save some money and still get the parts you want?

THE INTERNET
For all its ups and downs, the internet is here to stay and it?s an unbelievable source of information. Therefore, it is also an unbelievable goldmine for all things ATV. So if you don?t have internet access, join the rest of the world and sign up. You?ll wonder why you waited as long as you did. It doesn?t matter whom you choose as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the speed of your connection (faster costs more); either way, get wired and get surfing.

The logical first place to check for ATV parts on the net is eBay.com. eBay is an internet auction site where people worldwide put up anything and everything for sale. A few quick checks found the following: a search of "Yamaha Banshee" turned up over 2000 items, including new drag race swingarms that went for $150 and a chrome DG front bumper that sold for $22. We found Kawasaki Mojave footpegs for $19, a 400EX skid plate was going for $29.50, and a Trinity Stage IV exhaust system for a Z400 sold for $202. Speaking of mufflers, if you banged up the OEM pipe on your Bombardier Quest and wanted to replace it, a stock Quest pipe was selling for $20. Moose hand guards for an Arctic Cat 500 were $12. A starter for a Suzuki LT80 was $102. A Cannondale steering stem was $80. And so on and so forth. There are literally tens of thousands of ATV items on eBay on any given day, from gear and apparel to billet parts and complete quads. You have to sign up (free) and become a member of eBay to be able to make bids.
The danger with eBay is that the seller may take your money and run. I?ve done over 80 transactions on eBay and never been burned, but you never know. In general, people selling ATV equipment probably aren?t going to burn you. If you want a laptop computer, digital camera or other electronic equipment, the risk of being taken is much higher. If a person wants to get rid of his stock Z400 pipe after installing an aftermarket item, he?ll probably be only too glad to get it out of his garage and into your hands. But, as ever, caveat emptor. That?s Latin for, "Buyer Beware." If a deal looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

OTHER INTERNET OPTIONS
Besides eBay, there are many sites you can check. I went to www.google.com, typed in "Used ATV parts" and found hundreds of sites. Other big name sites include www.craigslist.com and www.recy cler.com. They don?t have as many ATV items but checking for parts is fun and free. You can also try sites that act as parts locators such as www.junkyarddog.com. Type in a part you?re looking for and one of hundreds of affiliated businesses will check their inventory and send you an e-mail with the price if they have the part. Pretty slick.

A further Google search found www.atv-parts.org with dozens of links to ATV parts sources. Also found were www.atvpartsguide.com, www. onlyatv.com and www.laramp.net, amongst many others. (If by now you haven?t realized that internet access is a huge source of information, you?re from the moons of Jupiter.)

SALVAGE PARTS
Looking again on the net, I found www.atvsalvage.com, located in Benton, Kentucky, (270) 527-3025. There were many more from states all over the U.S. listed. Check in with your local wrecking yard to see if they have any ATV additions. They can also steer you to other yards that may carry more ATV parts. People (unfortunately) total their quads on a regular basis and straight to the wrecking yard they go. I know of one fellow who found a burned up Raptor at a salvage yard (the idiot owner was filling the fuel tank while smoking) with a full set of Douglas rims in good shape and a Pro Circuit muffler. Not bad for $25 each rim and $20 for the muffler!

LOCAL OPTIONS
If, for whatever reason, you can?t or won?t get internet access, you?ll have to confine your search to slower and more archaic means. This equals checking the yellow pages for ATV parts stores, watching local papers for yard sales that have ATV items, or calling your local dealer for any ideas on local businesses that deal in cheap parts. Many smaller towns have free classified papers (in the Pacific Northwest one version of this type of paper is called "The Nickel"), that sell cheap classified ads. I?ve found all kinds of bargains in those small, free papers. See if your area has one?or hey, start your own. Now there?s an idea.

Cheap doesn?t always mean used, of course. You can ask your dealer if he has any old parts he wants to get rid of or aren?t selling. Maybe he?ll sell them to you at cost to make room for some new gear. Perhaps that set of Foreman skid plates has been collecting dust for a year and no one has bought them. See if the dealer will take cost plus ten percent. Hey, he?s still making money, right?

SWAP MEETS
Another thing you should look out for are ATV swap meets. Often these are held at big ATV events like jamborees and races, so try to attend the bigger events and see who is selling what out in the parking lot. Then head on in to the race and watch Gust, Farr and Jones or Ballance, Eichner and Duvall battle it out on the track, get psyched to install the bargain parts you just purchased, and go home and put those babies on!

USED OR RECONDITIONED PARTS EAST COAST ATV COST SAVERS

East Coast ATV is a leading performance shop that specializes in refurbishing parts. We spoke with owner Dave Gibson about the used parts business and got his opinion on using this method to cut your ATV riding costs.

"I can build a complete race quad out of mostly salvaged parts that would rival some of the top pros? quads on the GNC circuit," says Dave. "But mine could be built at a fraction of the cost."

GOOD AS NEW?
"We refinish all the important nuts and bolts off of salvaged machines to where they look brand new," adds Gibson. "Some of the parts we salvage get replated as well." Basically, you?re getting a part that you?d have a hard time distinguishing from a brand new item, but it costs significantly less. Another bonus is that most common parts are usually in stock at East Coast ATV, which means that you don?t have to wait for weeks for a part to get to your local dealer."

Another cost saver that East Coast offers their customers is a stem straightening service. "We take a customer?s bent steering stem, and then cut out the bent section and re-weld in a new, more rigid, chromoly tube in place of the original mild-steel section," says Dave. "The customer gets a more durable part for a cheaper price than a new replacement stem would sell for."

CONCLUSION
If you are looking to save yourself some money on replacement parts, an ATV salvage business like East Coast ATV is a good place to start out. Most reputable parts businesses have been dealing with salvaged items for some time. They often have a wide variety of hard to find older items such as 250R parts (both three and four wheelers). Not having to pay full retail for a refurbished part can save you quite a bit of money, and time on your next ATV repair bill.

For more information, contact East Coast ATV at (215) 541-4985.

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WARNING: Much of the action de­pict­­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.
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