I am a dedicated denizen of Craigslist and other online motorcycle classified sites. It’s not that I’m in the market for any more motorcycles—my garage is already at critical mass. Instead, I enjoy perusing ads for the sublime pleasure of becoming one with the secondary motorcycle market. Maybe it’s for the adrenaline jolt that comes from spotting a bargain-priced Ducati or a rare Bimota. Maybe it’s my fascination with the motorcycle market’s ebb and flow. Classifieds are the nexus where motorcycle buyers and sellers connect. Ads offer a broad spectrum of opportunities: occasional bargains as well as blatant rip-offs. Bike adverts also have their own culture, mores and lexicon, most of which gracefully dance around the theme of “Please come and buy my pile.” Here are some simple translations of common phrases you’ll encounter as you glide through the classified ads:
Online classifieds are a great place to score a "rare, all-original Italian classic" like
All Original: I never fixed any of the stuff the factory screwed up.
Classic: Thoroughly depreciated.
Custom: I spent $200 on chrome cup-holders, mud-flaps and a warthog-hide seat.
Dealer Maintained: I spent way too much on maintenance, and hope to recoup some of that from you.
Fresh Gaskets: I got halfway into an engine rebuild, got scared and then slapped it all back together as-is.
Garage Kept: This machine would immediately corrode into its component elements if left outside for any length of time.
High Performance: 160 horsepower simply wasn’t enough, so I added a turbocharger, an intercooler and nitrous-oxide injection to impress the Friday-night tire-kickers in the 7-Eleven parking lot.
Highway Miles: I rode the living bejeezus out of this bike, wearing out and/or breaking the most indestructible parts. The guys on the owner’s group discussion board mention my name with a mixture of fear and awe.
Immaculate: I was too scared to ride this overpriced, sputtering, spine-hammering hardtail chopper once I got it home from the dealership, so I just put it in my entry room and hung coats on it.
Low Miles: Right after I purchased this bike, all my buddies bought boats.
Needs Paint: Needs to be stripped, blasted, sanded, primered, painted, buffed out and waxed. Repainting this visibly dilapidated machine will cost you a minimum of 40 hours and an increased chance of lung cancer.
Never Down: See Low Miles.
New Rear Tire: The front tire wasn’t on the ground long enough to show appreciable wear.
Or Best Offer: Please get this neglected heap out of my sight as soon as possible.
Outfitted For Touring: Includes a deluxe long-distance package consisting of a disco-era Windjammer II fairing, tan-leather king/queen seat and deluxe milk crate/ammo can luggage set.
Ran When Parked: So did the Queen Mary.
Rare: All the other examples of this year/make/model blew up.
Runs Good: As long as you warm it up for 20 minutes, keep it under 60 mph and don’t use fourth gear.
Show Winner: The other two entries departed the grocery-store parking lot before the awards were handed out.
Sorted: I’ve had the engine apart three times. It’s someone else’s turn now.
Take Over Payments: I can’t wait until this bike and its monthly payment equal to 20 percent of my salary are long gone. I know my three kids enjoyed bragging about their dad’s $90,000 custom chopper, but they’re fed up with eating Top Ramen for dinner every night. Please rescue my family (and my credit rating) as soon as possible.
Too Much to List: Too much worthless, extraneous crap to list.