The buyer ‘Never buy a scooter from a kid, no really...’
Neil Murray makes a living buying & selling pre-loved metal Next week:
I absolutely hate buying scooters. I like riding them, because they can be great fun if you’re in a hooligan mood, but buying a used 50cc twist-and-go scooter is an exercise in patience.
The first problem is that they’re usually owned by teenagers. Nifty scooters are the Fizzies of the 21st century and 16-yearolds are (a) generally not the most mechanically savvy human beings and (b) don’t usually have the cash to sort things properly.
So when a mate asked if I’d look at a Yamaha Jog, close to me, for his nephew, I sighed mentally. But the bloke selling it turned out to be in his forties, had owned it for three or four years and just used it to run to the station and back. Game on.
First press of the starter button produced silence. “Oh, the battery must be a bit flat…” says he. No, it wasn’t. And the solenoid wasn’t even clicking. Then he volunteered that it had stopped working shortly after he bought it, and he always used the kick. Needless to say this hadn’t been mentioned in the ad. And he wasn’t going to budge on his price. I had a phone chat with my mate and advised him to leave it.
Ground rules for buying used scooters: only buy Japanese, Italian, or at a pinch, Kymco ( Taiwanese). Ask all the sensible questions before going to look at it (though “does the electric start work?” isn’t one of these). Don’t buy from kids. Really. And always budget for an extra spend, because there will still be something missing or broken (the Jog needed a back tyre as well as the starter fixing).