How not to buy the wrong bike. Snag and a credit card. A very bad mix.
The shed. You know it’s time to look hard at your motorcycling life when there is something with big red eyes that only comes out at night living in there.
It knows it’s safe, because you sure as hell can’t get your sorry clacker in there. It’s wall-to-wall stuff you ‘really need to keep darling’. Yeah, that’s my shed.
My shed has bulged with a great deal of not very much over the years.
There are numerous parts for things that don’t matter any more, there have been lots of kids’ traillies, a Commando, an XR250 and a 1963 Vespa 150 among the disparate piles.
That Vespa. It was actually fully-restored and quite a sweet thing – a lovely shade of what the ladies would term ‘two-toned, cream and avocado’ and what the blokes would call ‘green’. It was a nice little bike. Sorta anyway.
It is just that I just had no good reason to own it. I bought it with a rush of romantic, latin-loving blood.
You see, I went along to an auction, stupidly credit card-equipped. After a couple of double-shot, pre-auction lattes, I was fairly fizzing to toss some spondoola about.
Yep, an idiot with some money in his pocket, and idiot with a shed already chock-full of bikes… You can see where this is going can’t you?
The bloke with the hammer does a great job at these things whipping up the crowd. My eyes were like dinner plates. I’d watched blokes forking out masses of dosh for Jensen Interceptors and Falcon GTHOs – and number plates for goodness sake.
Digits and letters on a piece of pressed tin. Like squillions. You do get two of them, but I reckoned there was present a room full of much bigger idiots than me. Au contraire…
And then the ‘avocado Vespa’ shook it’s little Italian toosh at me.
‘Hey, I’m one of the only motorbike blokes in here, these are all car heads’, I thought to myself. ‘They won’t know what a classic of the marque this little beauty is’.
Seems there was one other of my ilk in the house however. And, with his second bid, I took personal affront. ‘That bugger is trying to buy my avocado sweetheart’.
Back and forth, bid, counter-bid. Until he realised how stupid this was getting, and I didn’t. Ha! Take that knobhead, it’s mine, all mine!
Turns out I paid around market value for it, at $3600, but it didn’t feel like it. It really felt like I’d had a win. Well done Snaggy.
And so, it duly arrived at my place. But after a couple of runs up my street, the reality of what a nitwit I’d been set in.
A Vespa. What the bloody hell did I need with a Vespa? It’s cute, goes well and hadn’t turned a wheel since the day after the aforementioned ‘dickheadnacht’ (night of silliness).
The poor continental little thing. It deserved better, because all I did was swear at it from the shed door. Yes, the tribe had spoken, it became time for it to extinguish its torch.
I duly advertised. A Lovestruck Romeo from a well-to-do suburb turned up with the same romantic notions that had seen me buy the green fibber.
Oh well. He’ll learn.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 26 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.