The buyer ‘Never buy a scooter from a kid, no re­ally...’

Neil Mur­ray makes a liv­ing buy­ing & sell­ing pre-loved metal Next week:

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Comment -

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).

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