blue jays, usually the banks that finance bikes (new) are not local, so that is probably not an option, but definitely a viable option if it is a local bank.
zal...id say its safe if you have had conversation with this guy on the phone, or met in person. i actually just bought my 06 gsxr600 from a guy that bought it a month ago and cant ride due to a back problem, and i paid a lot more money than you probably are and i got no title because the bank (in nevada) has it. i got the copy of the title (which he should have) and i got the bike and a bill of sale. as long as this is an in person transaction and you have all of his personal information, a copy of the title (if he has it) and a bill of sale, i would say its completely safe. if you are going to go to this guys house and buy his bike, i doubt hes gonna screw you over. you know where he lives and have all his info!
btw, if you buy a newer bike on, say ebay, that somebody owes money, generally you paypal them the money 10 days prior to picking the bike up so that they can have time to pay it off and have the title clear with no liens ready to go when you pick up the bike.