Stormman that has got to be the worst advice I've ever heard. I would never hand a check over to a private seller without a title in hand. That is absolutely absurd.
There is a very easy way to handle this that covers everyones interests. Go back to the dealer that referred you to the seller. Have them handle the transaction for a fee. Basically they buy the bike from the seller, process the title work, and sell the bike to you. Back in the day when I sold cars I did this for people. It was easy money for the dealer, and takes all the headaches out of the process for both the buyer, and the seller. I'd expect that they will charge a few hundreds bucks for this service, and believe me it is money well spent.
I thought about that as well. I am calling my bank tomorrow to see if they would handle all of the title and paperwork if I were to get a loan through them. If they can't or won't, then I'll pay cash and either have the dealer process the transaction, or I'll get a notarized bill of sale and send a cashiers check directly to his lender for his payoff.
The dealer vouched for the guy, so I am no longer as concerned as I was prior...but still, until I have the title you never know.
Thanks all for the advice, really appreciate it. Hoping to have a new (to me) Storm in the garage soon!