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The Buyer: ‘Only a geek would know it had the wrong wheels’

Published: 25 November 2015

Updated: 23 November 2015

‘Only a geek would know it had the wrong wheels’

hat’s more enticing than a nice old bike? An airhead BMW, for example. A Honda SOHC four? An air-cooled Kawasaki four? All mechanically basic bikes that can be maintained by anyone.

Trouble is, the sharks are circling. There are bikes being sold that simply aren’t what they purport to be. I saw a nice green Kawasaki Z650, supposedly a C model. You had to be an anorak to know that this had the wrong wheels and was in the wrong colour.

I’m currently looking for a really nice BMW R100RS. The one I was watching on eBay had gone past two-and-a-half grand, but there were some oddities in the pictures that hinted it wasn’t a real RS, but a humbler Beemer in RS clothes. Wrong rocker covers, wrong colour, wrong badges and a few other things. The seller obligingly passed me the chassis number, saying he’d bought it years ago as an RS and he was sure it was genuine.

It wasn’t.

For God’s sake, if you’re looking at anything unfamiliar, take a sceptical friend who knows. You could save yourself hundreds of pounds, and a load of grief. 


Words: Neil Murray

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