Dear Craigslist Advertisers | Behind Bars

Dear Craigslist advertiser: No, I won’t verify that your prized bike is going to “a good home.” This is not where bikes come for a pastoral retirement. I’ve divorced several good motorcycles and beaten others to death.

Should you be so callous as to sell your bike to me, it may be ignored for a few years, flogged viciously or mutilated through irreversibly ghastly cosmetic surgery. Quite possibly it will be euthanized on the operating table, its organs heartlessly harvested for the benefit of prettier bikes that I favor more.

You say you were going to restore it for the street, but now you’re convinced that it should go to a pur sang racer? Fine. It’s your bike, and you may certainly dispose of it in your preferred fashion. Maybe you could require prospective buyers to produce racing résumés like Honda and Yamaha used to do when they sold production racers.

Or you could just cash the check, crate the bike and wash your hands of it.

You say the bike’s never been raced? Okay, I mostly believe you…but so what? The racers I know take far better care of their equipment than punters like me. Or you.

It’s never been crashed? That’s always true for a while, and we all do value a virgin. I’ll also try to adhere to the “no crashing” policy, but I’m not making any promises.

Am I going to pay extra for your kustom touches like grinding knobs off the control levers or duct-taping soup can-sized coils to the downtubes? Not likely.

Could you be a savant on the order of John Britten, with a thing or two to teach those stodgy factory engineers? Nope. There are some truly gifted custom builders out there, but you’re not one of them. If you were, your bike would never have been in my price range in the first place. On the Bay of e, best enter “No Reserve” alongside that “Buy It Now” fantasy price.

“Ran when parked,” did it? So did my lawnmower. You come over and get that beast running, and maybe I’ll buy your 2001 dual-sport with 800 miles and a fuel system brimming with A Substance Formerly Known As Gasoline.

“No time to fix?” Well, shut my mouth— obviously your time is worth much more than mine! So much so that I should pay you the difference? Sure, bud.

“Wife says bike must go?” Please do not include your testicles in a Zip-Loc bag alongside the owner’s manual. Those should go to charity if you’re finished with them. Make sure you tell Goodwill that they’re “low mileage” and have “never been raced.”

Look, you’ve got a bike and it’s worth something. Tell me what’s good about it and let me guess about what’s bad, because if I’ve never had a beer with you I have no way to estimate your lying performance. Don’t try to strum a little tune on my heartstrings.

I’m not running a museum here, and you’re not giving up your child for adoption. It’s a machine. It’s a piece of fungible property, made of rubber and metal and plastic and such. No soul, no spirit, no life. It’s not part of you anymore. I might have a use for it, but you’re all done with that relationship.

That’s why you’re selling it, right?

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