My new rule: ‘Don’t buy used bikes from old men’

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

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

De­mo­graph­ics be­ing what they are, there are quite a lot of ma­chines com­ing up for sale, and the ad­verts de­clare that the owner is now too old or in­firm to con­tinue mo­tor­cy­cling. Or the bike was stashed away as a project which never got finished, for all the usual rea­sons (I’ve got two of that sort of bike…).

The trou­ble is that so many peo­ple seem to have rose-tinted specs on. They fondly re­mem­ber the bike in its hey­day, be­fore it was stashed away, and some­how just for­get or over­look what was wrong with it.

Not so long ago, I bought an old clas­sic, sight un­seen, and had it de­liv­ered to me. And the en­gine had some fins bro­ken off, which were not vis­i­ble in the photos and (of course) not men­tioned on the ebay auc­tion page. When I took this up with the seller he replied that he hadn’t had the bike long and hadn’t no­ticed. And he then got snotty when I left neu­tral feed­back.

To­day, I’ve just re­turned from an abortive buy­ing ex­pe­di­tion be­cause the tank had been re­sprayed in the wrong shade, the pan­els had been painted with a stick, the kick­start lever was miss­ing, the switchgear had been butchered, the fuse­box was dis­in­te­grat­ing, the front mud­guard had been bodged on and was rub­bing against the fork dust cover on one side, the seat was bro­ken and the fork stan­chions pit­ted.

Th­ese weren’t at­tempts to de­ceive – the silly sod was just see­ing the bike as it had been in its hey­day. Get a clear de­scrip­tion over the phone first.

Next week

Why early Hinck­ley Tri­umphs make great bar­gains

‘Just needs a bit of pol­ish­ing’

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