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Buyer beware

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by dezmonster, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. I have been searching for a track bike for a while.
    I am surprised at the over inflated price of most of what I see as far as stat right off bikes. I don't quite understand why they are so expensive.

    Anyway I am a little uncomfortable about posting this and have read the rules of this site and didn't see anything that looks like a red flag but if there is mods feel free to delete if this is inappropriate.

    I found a track bike for sale on a commonly known internet sight.
    I viewed the bike a couple of times , although a little rough around the edges the motor was strong brakes etc all checked out.
    It is kitted out with quality race slicks frame sliders and is ready to ride so ticked all the boxes.
    The seller was a little tentative about showing me documents to its history and always kept promising to email them but didn't .
    Eventually showing some paper work scanned on his phone.
    He promised the bike was solid and no problems.
    The price was low and I made a really low ball offer and he didn't knock me back.
    I was ready to hand over the hard earned but said I wanted my mate mechanic to check it out,who has a lot of experience with track/race bikes.

    As no rego so no test on the street he ran it on the dyno to see what was up.
    It tried to jump off the dyno on throttle , the frame is completely twisted with wheels not in line rendering the bike quite dangerous , rolling off the throttle at high speed could result in the bike tying its self in knots and throwing me off.

    Clearly its buyer beware and there is no recourse in matters such as these but
    with a fairly competent eye and with some mechanical knowledge I still got it wrong.
    Now this guy will sell it to someone else so I fear for their safety .

    I am not about to disclose details publicly but if you are thinking of buying a track bike feel free to P.M. and i will give you more details.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Thank you for writing this up ....good form on your part, hurts my head thinking about some of the dodgy bastards around
  3. Depending on what site it was listed on you might have some success telling them what you've posted above, especially if there was anything in the ad that doesn't match with reality.
  4. Just a question for those that know more about this stuff than me (ie most of you):

    Could this sort of thing be picked up using string and a ruler? - I was thinking along the lines of the string method for aligning the rear wheel
  5. I am not after retribution through the advertised web site , if I had purchased it maybe that would be a different matter
    Just wanted to give a private heads up to any other shoppers out there.

    String line

    Yes this was done on this bike .
    One of the things the mechanic picked up right away was the incorrect routing of control cables this put up a red flag immediately.
    One option was possible , strip the front end remove the rear wheel and send it away for frame straightening .
    If it had been at a throw away price this could be an option.
    The only danger with this method I am lead to believe is that if the steering head had been compromised (ovaling) its a bin job so you don't really know until you buy and start the strip down.
    I decided at this stage that as the vendors honesty had already been compromised the risk of creating a can of worms with other unknown surprises outweighed the bargain buy.

    Now I am shopping for an older registered bike to strip down for the track
    hopefully less risky to my well being than a dodge crashed piece of s@it.
    Anyone got a cheap R6 :)
  6. Yea I'm with you on all fronts.

    Buying a road registrable bike, stripping it and making it a track/race bike from there.
    At least you know some sort of history.
    Makes so more sense to pay that little bit of a premium to peace of mind...
  7. Wasn't suggesting you report them out of retribution, more to prevent someone else seeing the ad and buying the bike without realising its problems.

    No different really to when ads listing bikes that didn't exist were so prevalent on sites like Bikesales.
  8. What state?
  9. I don't see an issue with you posting the link to the bike..

    if the person selling it, and judging by your post.. they lied and tried to i guess for a lack of a better word "scam" you into buying a bike that is clearly not fit to be ridden under any circumstance.

    why would you want to protect them?

    if you post the link to the ad etc.. the people who read/lurk this forum will know not to buy it, i agree with JD, report the ad to the site and explain to them what you've found out etc.. it will help the next person

    i feel sorry for the poor chap who DOES end up buying it..
  10. I reckon you're much better going for a stat write off bike than an ex race bike.

    I definitely wouldn't be keen to buy a second-hand race bike, mostly because it's been thrashed and crashed repeatedly and it really can be a can of worms if you're not careful.

    I'd also steer clear of ads that say things like "comes with heaps of spares" and "only ever ridden at weekends" :)
  11. Like buying any bike..have it checked so you don't end up with a lemon...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. It is obviously harder to confirm if a track bike is running right and it's easier to be suckered but the benefits can make the risk worthwhile.

    Many track bikes will have things like suspension, tuning, gearing, exhaust, race glass, crash protection etc sorted out, and a lot of this stuff is hard to do unless you have experience with what you'll need and who/where to get it from. For someone new to track, it can be invaluable to have this done for you.

    The other thing is to get in touch with track oriented groups or forums or race clubs as most guys are pretty up front about the history of a bike when they sell especially if it's to someone in their (small) community.

    My first track bike was bought while it was in the workshop getting a major rebuild but I trusted the seller and I trusted the workshop and I scored a beautifully set up 640 LC4 that was great value for money with carby, exhaust and suspension already done.

    Another thing is that it's not necessarily suspicious to buy a track bike with heaps of spares as guys who are changing brand or capacity will sweeten a deal with parts they will not need.

    Another another thing to mention for interests sake is that not all track bikes stay as track bikes. Once a bike is ready to be changed, it's not unusual for the owner to return the OEM equipment and trade it in or sell it privately. While this obviously isn't a statistically big percentage of bike sales, there would have to be hunderds or maybe thousands of ex-track and race bikes in road circulation being ridden unbeknown by their owners.
  13. Geez! Why would one rider do that to another rider?!! What if it was some poor fella who worked hard and saved every penny for it..?

    Really saddening to hear (and be reminded of) creeps out there who'd do anything to make a few bucks.. Morally for me, that's just wrong.
  14. When I was searching for a Thruxton, found one on eBay that had lots of juicy parts
    -180 rear
    -39mm FCRs
    -Ohlins, Racetech front
    -excel rims
    -lots of other expensive bits

    Bloke wanted 14k for it...
    So I googled the triumph forums for people in Australia who had done a 180 rear conversion. Found one guy, googled his username, found his name used on another forum. On that forum he signed off his posts with his full name. Googled his full name and found his personal photography business. His site had his photo. I went back to look at his ebay listing and saw in the mirror reflections the same person on the site.

    Originally, he stated on the Triumph forums that he did the 180 conversion for his Eastern Creek race meets. Of course none of this was mentioned in his ad. I almost bought an ex-track bike which would really shit me not knowing it probably had been thrashed to within inches of death.
  15. A repairable write-off would usually be preferable to a statutory one. The latter gets ruled as such because it is deemed beyond repairing to a road safe standard, or that it will be too expensive. There might be the occasional exception, but a repairable one generally has cosmetic damage and assorted broken bits but is still essentially sound.

    You should be able to find an unrego'd and sometimes scuffed sport like the R6 for 2-3 grand (unless you want a late model) if you shop around. There are also trackday bikes around that don't do a lot of km and aren't ridden any harder (or even as hard) as some on the road. You see them for sale at the track sometimes, and I sometimes hear of someone selling their track bike because they don't find the time to use it, or need the cash or garage space.
  16. Some of you are being a bit pedantic about track/race bike condition. Arguably they will be better maintained than 90% of road bikes, because they aren't ridden every day rain hail or shine, are warmed up as opposed to short trips to the shops, etc.

    A track enthuisiast or racer is going to care about servicing with intervals much shorter than a roadbike schedule.

    if you cant tell crash damage on an inspection then you had best get some education on things to look for. scrapes is a good start.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. race bike condition depends on the owner, the same as a road bike.
    I would be concerned about buying a stat write off, if there is frame damage they write them off. Sometimes its not easy to spot..
  18. seems these days in NSW if the rego holder is scratched they write them off...

    a lot of bikes are deemed stat write offs that are repairable, just not economical to do so, but for some reason the strict rules in other states stop these bikes being able to be re-registered. NSW springs to mind as most bikes I see being sold as stat write offs from there come with pretty much no damage other than cosmetic.

    these make for great track bikes because all they've had is a bit of an oops and providing you do your homework and check the bike out first, the bits that are damaged that make it a write off you're going to bin and replace anyway, like fairings, mirrors, lights, switchblocks, etc.

    on the subject of selling race bikes as road-going, I'm sure it happens from time to time but to sell one without declaring it has spent its time as a race bike is not very nice.

    It isn't that hard to race prep a bike and it's a good learning experience.
  19. hgsuzuki
    Im not sure I like your coment about being pedantic.
    I started this thread to warn people looking to buy a track bike in paticular this R6 still for sale on Gumtree.
    Most used track bikes will have scratches and bumps from the odd low side and running off track into the gravel and grass or just due to being built from second hand parts sourced from wherever.
    I work as a track and flag marshal at E.C. so I have seen plenty of rough looking bikes that are structurally sound and as safe as the riders input will allow.
    Some owners clean and detail their bikes others have bikes that look like something from a Mad max film LOL.
    That is not an issue , selling a bike with structural damage i.e. bent frame IS
    a much more serious issue exacerbated by the vendors fraud stating the bike is "good and has no issues" and "this bike will not dissapoint" that could be life/injury endangering not only to the new owner but other innocent parties in close proximity on the track in the event of something going wrong.