Jun 292017

Originally posted on Facebook on June 28, 2017

Interesting experience today. I won’t give too much detail, because I don’t want people tracking this guy’s posting and shaming him, but today I went to see a motorcycle the guy had for sale. In his online posting, he described it as having been disabled in a way that I knew I could fix, and he was offering it for a pretty reasonable price. The photographs looked pretty good, so I was hopeful.

It wasn’t as pretty in person as it was in the pictures. This didn’t really surprise me, as it had quite a few miles on it, but I was surprised just exactly how rough it was. Those miles had obviously been hard ones. The shifter was badly bent and rebent back into a sort of a semblance of the shape it had been in originally. The bike had obviously been dropped on both sides, with skid marks and a dent in the tank to show for it. The headlight had been replaced at some time in the distant past with an aftermarket unit that was too big for the headlight mount on the bike so that whoever installed it had bent the ears out; this meant that the turn signals were bent backwards at an odd angle. Not even the same angle. And the bike had been dropped after this headlight was installed, so that it had been broken and then fixed with a piece of metal strap riveted to it. The actual problem was caused by a repair done by the owner and a relative where they had lost one of the parts while doing the repair, and then cobbled up a rough replacement which had not survived actual use.

Despite all that, I would have bought it, or at least made an offer except for one thing: he had not disclosed in his posting that the bike leaked oil , nor that it leaked oil because he had over torqued the oil plug when changing the oil. As he stood next to me and told me that he had fixed that problem so that it didn’t leak very much, I watched oil drip on the floor of his garage from the bike.

That poor bike. It had had a very rough life life, with a lot of cobbled up repairs and not a lot of love given to it. I really just wanted to take it home and give it that love, but there is no bargain good enough to convince me to take on a bike with all those other problems plus an oil leak. It’s really too bad.

Some might say I should call this guy out by name, and warn potential buyers about the problems with this motorcycle. But if you buy a motorcycle from someone online without carefully inspecting it, you are a fool and you will be separated from your money by someone. And for someone, that motorcycle might be a bargain. The engine looked pretty good, so someone with more experience working on motorcycle engines than I might not have been daunted by the issues. Posting a warning about one guy’s listing hardly would solve the larger problem.

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