Scooter in Moncton

Monday, July 31, 2006

As I drove up to the house of the scooter owner, I saw it in their driveway. There it was. Yellow wasn't quite the color I was expecting, since the current model colors (2006) were red, blue, black, silver and orange. I had my heart set on something relatively bright, since I figured being seen would be a good thing. Well, the yellow was certainly bright, and I like yellow in other things. What the heck? I'll have a closer look.

Before I went to the door, I decided I'd give it a cursory glance. I was surprised at how clean it was. The other two I looked at were grungy, but this, no, it was clean. And the cleanliness belied no faults. It looked pracitcally in showroom condition. Few marks or scratches (in fact, I didn't see any on first look, but even what I saw afterward was minimal). It had a box made by Givi on the back rack, which was about a $100 option, and even that looked clean. The tires were in good shape, and the odometer showed why: 1403km. Not bad for a 2003 model.

Now to go to the door and ask some questions, have them start it up, etc. And maybe, just maybe, talk about price. $2300 was a little high for what I had decided I would consider...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Within a couple of days of the decision made in my last post, I was at the corner store once again. I found myself looking at those "bargain hunter" papers with all the items for sale. I decided I'd buy them and have a look, just to see what was there. Something that I did regularly in the past. Found a few deals over the years. Sparked my imagination about something new from time to time. That sort of thing. And of course, the old scooter idea would surely be in the head, so I could always look for other scooters in there, too.

Low and behold, I found one. It was advertised as a 2003 Yamaha BWs, low miles, good condition. They wanted $2300 for it. I decided I'd call and go have a look. Before I left, I did a little hunting on eBay to find out what a fair market value might be, and came up with a number around $1800-1900 bucks. The one in the paper was advertised with the box on the back, something the dealer sells for $100. So I said to myself that if I did talk to them about price at all, I'd have to seriously consider if we came around to $2000. But if anything was out of whack with what I wanted, I'm gone. I won't buy it and fix anything. I won't buy it and want anything else. It had to run perfectly. All of that stuff.

The phone conversation went well, so I decided I'd visit the next day to see what it was like and go from there...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

After the two experiences of seeing what was out there for the $1000 range, I realized that if I were to get a good scoot, it would take a little more. So I decided I'd sit down and seriously consider what I would seriously consider.

I took the retail price of a new BW's scooter ($2849). That was a starting point that I knew I couldn't afford. I decided on the arbitrary value of $2,000. I figured that if I could find a two- to three-year-old scooter in excellent condition, then I would seriously consider buying it. If anything seemed untoward, or less than perfect, I'd walk away without even offering less. It had to be just about perfect: No damage, smooth running, good looking (well, as good as a scooter could look), etc. Anything less, and I wouldn't think about spending the money. I'd walk away, knowing full well I've stuck to my guns, and that I had saved my money. And perhaps my pride, since it would mean that I wouldn't have bought something that people would undoubtedly laugh at.

The search continued, but on a less serious note...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The next one was listed as a 2002 Yamaha BW's at $900, with no other details in the ad.

I called up and arranged to see the machine. When I arrived, I was a little disappointed when I saw it, since I knew by the size it was the older model without the under-seat storage compartment. Even so, I pressed on with the demo. When he pulled it out of his dark shed into the light, I was even more disappointed. It must have been dumped onto the road in an accident of some kind, for it was damaged. The guy who owned it did a lot of work restoring it, but factory parts were hardly the ilk used. He had used electrical tape to "fix up" the signal lights, used sheet metal screws to attach a cover of some sort to the right-hand side of the front shield behind the wheel, and he had painted some surfaces on the front. Oh yeah, there was a skull-and-crossbones sticker on the front fender.

He seemed intent on demonstrating it to me, even though I told him, trying to be polite, that it was obvious he had done a lot of work to get it running again, and that I was not sure if I could free up that much money for it. It seemed to run a whole lot more smoothly than the other one I looked at.

Even so, $900 was about $800 to much for it, in my opinion. I left, wondering if there was anything else out there that would fit my budget in the used market, and be worth buying.