‘If it’s an easy fix, why hasn’t it been fixed?’
The ad says it’s a non-runner, and you wonder whether it’s worth taking the plunge. It’s cheap and could be a bargain, but equally, the fault could be something terminal and it’s a money pit.
The big question is: why isn’t it going? Ideally, it’s because it’s been laid up for a few years without proper storage precautions. In that case, the fuel in the carbs will have turned to sludge and it’ll need a complete carb strip and clean.
If you know your onions, you can do that yourself – buy an ultrasonic cleaner on ebay and take your time. There are other costs with bikes that have just been stashed – the tyres are usually dead, the brake fluid ditto, the battery flat, the chain rusty and there’ll be a mouse nest in the airbox.
What you absolutely do not want to buy is something described as an ‘easy fix’, or a project bike that someone else has given up on. If it’s an easy fix, why hasn’t it been fixed? It’s like saying ‘will pass MOT’. Bloody well MOT it, then, before sale.
As for a project bike, the chances are a hundred-to-one that the seller has tried to get it going, realised it’s a lost cause, and is offloading it to another mug. That’ll be you. Don’t do it.
You can get lucky. I once bought an old Honda that didn’t go because the guy selling it had put the carb slide in the wrong way round, and I realised what he’d done when I tried twisting the throttle. And I bought another because it kicked over and I just knew I could resuscitate it. But best to leave non-runners alone.
How I bought my BMW for £ 500 less than it’s worth
Ad says it will pass an MOT, so why hasn’t it got one already?