Bar­gain buys

Cheap bikes are out there, es­pe­cially in Jan­uary

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Oh, I like buy­ing bikes in Jan­uary; Christ­mas is done and dusted, bud­gets are some­times tight, and few are in­ter­ested in mo­tor­cy­cles.

There was a 17,000-mile one­owner Kawasaki ER-5, the naked street bike that uses the GPZ500S en­gine, on Fleabay, just a few miles away from me. They’re good bikes – not as sporty as the Honda 500 twin, but just as ro­bust and cheaper.

Start­ing price was £500. I went to have a look. It had been garaged for 18 months, and the bat­tery wasn’t fight­ing fit, so it didn’t start.

I men­tally bud­geted for a new bat­tery, a fuel tank flush and pos­si­bly a carb clean, and de­cided to wait and see if any­body bid on it. No­body did, so it was of­fered to me for £400, as I’d both­ered to go and look at it.

That’s join­ing the Sprint ST and the Honda CD200 Benly in the lock-up as the third non-run­ner I’ve been to buy. The Sprint is run­ning now, and I’m con­fi­dent the other two will be soon. That’s three very co­her­ent (and wildly dif­fer­ent) bikes ac­quired for a grand to­tal of £1865. Don’t tell me you can’t buy cheap bikes any more.

I didn’t sell the KH100 at the Kemp­ton Park jumble, dam­mit. A lot of peo­ple were coo­ing over it. A trader bid me the min­i­mum I’d sworn I’d ac­cept, which would have given me a £70 profit, but he wanted the whole V5 without any sign­ing over. As it’s reg­is­tered in my name, I re­fused – it’s il­le­gal and, be­sides, I don’t want to field some­one else’s park­ing tick­ets (you can prob­a­bly for­get speed­ing tick­ets on a KH100).

A pri­vate punter then of­fered me a much bet­ter price, which I ac­cepted. He said he’d send a Man Inna Van, and like a fool, I didn’t ask for a de­posit. That was the last I ever heard of him. Next time…

An ER-5 for £400? Rude not to...

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