‘It ran badly… then stopped’

Buy­ing and sell­ing used bikes isn’t al­ways a win-win sit­u­a­tion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

NEXT WEEK Why it’s time to take a sec­ond look at the Kawasaki GPZ range Just as I’d got the Tri­umph Sprint ST run­ning sweetly, and ob­tained the used parts I needed to fix the mi­nor fair­ing dam­age, the Cos­mic Foot stamped on my choc ice.

I couldn’t start the used Honda CD200 Benly I’d bought. To be fair, this didn’t sur­prise me as it had been stand­ing for a while and the seller had bought a brand new bat­tery and put it on a 12-volt charger, not re­al­is­ing it was a 6v unit, and buck­led the plates.

But I have my own sweet-run­ning Benly, so I swapped over the bat­tery and re­moved and set the carb up prop­erly (the pi­lot set­ting was miles out). And then checked the ig­ni­tion tim­ing and valve clear­ances and changed the oil. I got it to fire up and run for a few sec­onds, badly, and then it lapsed into a hurt si­lence. Not good news.

A swift check re­vealed zero com­pres­sion on the left-hand cylin­der. Bug­ger. To be fair to the seller, he said he thought the com­pres­sion was low, but then this was the guy who didn’t know what bat­tery it had so he was hardly a me­chan­i­cal ge­nius. Benlys are gen­er­ally in­de­struc­tible – they were used as hire bikes in Greece, the sort of fate that Mummy Bikes use to frighten their chil­dren into good be­hav­iour, and not even the Greeks could de­stroy them – so God knows what’s wrong with this one. Holed pis­ton (un­likely) or (I sus­pect) a dropped valve.

You have to take your lumps in this game. Ev­ery­one gets caught with a dis­ap­point­ing bike at some point, and I’m san­guine. It was a cheap ma­chine, it may be cheap to fix, or I can just keep it as a parts donor for my own Benly. What­ever hap­pens, how­ever, I won’t be out of pocket. Trou­ble is, I won’t be in profit, ei­ther.

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