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Kawasaki ZRX1200R

Museum Piece

(from the Travels with Guido series #347, published August 2020)

With another transport of delight on the way, and no money in the bank, it was time to sell – quickly


Right, the pressure was on. You see I’d rashly promised to buy a Norton Commando from fellow Motorcycle Trader magazine contributor Ian Falloon – yep, it’s come to that. Yep, the staff on the mag reached to the point where they were resorting to buying each other’s motorcycles. How pathetic is that?

Anyway, the price was substantial and there was a small issue. My wallet was empty. Clearly one or more two-wheeled transports of delight had to be culled from the fleet at Chateau Guido in an effort to fund the latest folly.

Now some of you may recall that selling motorcycles is not something that comes naturally. Muggins has been known to hang up on would-be buyers, change or cancel viewing appointments, and remove bikes from the market just as a buyer is getting serious. Or, if by some miracle someone actually manages to view a toy, to be so brutally honest about its shortcomings that they shuffle away and contemplate taking up golf.

In short, buying one of my motorcycles is not for the faint-hearted. Recently, however, there have been two folk who, despite all the barriers, succeeded in pulling the keys out of my sweaty paws.

The first bought the GPz900R that I found in Alice Springs and rode home. This chap had read about the bike in the mag and wasn’t to be dissuaded by my description of it being far from perfect. Nope, he cheerfully bought it over the phone and seemed happy enough when it arrived by truck. Good luck to them both.

The next case was another Kawasaki, namely the big green ZRX1200R. Of course I put it on the market, then made the mistake of taking it for a ride, falling in love with it all over again and taking it back off the market.

Eventually, however, you have to take a reality pill. While very capable and a lot of fun to ride, it was far from being a perfect example. It was tidy, but the aftermarket exhaust and worn cosmetics meant it would never be a good prospect as a collectible.

It was also an additional full registration and I needed the cash to sort out the remarkably patient Falloon.

The quickest and easiest solution was throw it on Ebay for a one-week auction at a low reserve and see what happened. That minimises the opportunity for prospective owners to piss me off and usually ensures the deal just happens – even if the price isn’t always great.

Of course there were the inevitable enquiries, which is fair enough. And experience has helped me develop a theory when it comes to online auctions: the person who asks the most questions won’t be the eventual buyer. I guarantee it.

Something else I’ve learned. Don’t put alerts on your phone for these things, as it will drive you crazy. I check the messages every day or two and leave it at that.

Eventually, the auction closes for what I paid for the bike a few years ago. I’d tipped a little bit of money into it, but overall it was a solid result for something that I had got a fair bit of use out of.

The buyer took a little while to get in touch – to the point where I was pondering cancelling the sale – and then absolutely floored me. “Mate, you can take the numberplate off and cash in the rego if you like, as it’s never going to be used again.”

What the hell?

It turns out the gent in question is a collector, but doesn’t ride any more. He’s done well in business and has recently amassed some 70 motorcycles – a very broad selection at that – and seems to have his own criteria of what does and doesn’t fit in the collection.

Now as hinted before, as nice as the ZRX was, I wouldn’t have picked it as a museum piece – there are better (albeit more expensive) examples out there.

But hey, he’s over 18 and if that’s what floats his boat, good luck to him…


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