100% Biker 170

100% Biker 170
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God, I hate selling custom bikes…

At the time of writing this editorial I have my beloved silly-sided Bandit up for sale on eBay (as a classified, not an auction). And already in two minds as to whether to do it or not, I’m having to deal with some really, really fcukwitted questions and/or offers. I won’t say too much about this at the moment (because the bike’ll still be for sale when the mag comes out), but I will illustrate my point by telling you about the last time I tried to sell a custom bike.

A good few years ago I had a very, very little BSA custom (I’d hesitate to call it a chop because it wasn’t a rigid, but…) and I wanted to sell it to do something else. Now bear in mind two facts as you read this: firstly, it was a 1950 frame and a ’52 engine (or the other way round, I can’t remember); and secondly, it was built for my then girlfriend so it was tiny. No, really, I mean, tiny—the ’bars barely came up to my waist…

First bloke: “Will it take me and my wife to the South of France?”

“Err, yeah, eventually…”

Next bloke: “Can I put a dual-seat on it?”

“Well, yeah, you can, but it’ll look shit—it’s a chopper.”

Another bloke: “How fast will it cruise at? 85?”

“Err, no, it’s a 1950s bike. About 55–60, really.”

“So about 75 then?”

“Umm, no, 55–60, as I just said.”

“Oh, it’s not very fast then?”

“No, it’s a 1950s bike, of course it’s not very fast.”

“Vincents are 1950s bikes and they’re fast.”

<sigh> “Yes, but Vincents were sports bikes, and they now cost 25 grand—this isn’t and it costs four…”

Then there was the bloke from London who rang up, and when I asked him how tall he was (’cos the bike was tiny) said he was six-foot-two. I told him to forget it then, as I’m five-foot-ten and I find it cramped. But no, he insisted on coming down, all the way to Poole, to see it. I wheeled it out of the garage and he said “you’ve wasted my time, that’s far too small!”


And now that the Bandit’s up for sale, I suspect I’ll go through something similar again. I’ve given up drinking, you know, or at least I’m trying to, but honestly, these people drive you to the vodka bottle, don’t they? See you at the bar…