A couple of years back I discovered the free on-line advertising page, Craig's List. I know, CL has been around for years but I'm a little slow to catch on sometimes. A good portion of CL is akin to what someone once called television: "A vast wasteland" and if you want your faith in human beings renewed don't spend any time reading CL. On the other hand, if you enjoy finding the odd and the unusual, the inexpensive or sometimes free, CL is your place.
Being free to non-commercial advertisers everyone and his uncle is tossing stuff on Craig's List to see what they can get for it. Reminds me a bit of eBay when it was still fairly new although eBay in the early days didn't even come close to approaching the weirdness of Craig's List in either variety or oddity.
Happily, on CL there between the couches for sale, some seriously twisted personal ads, rants about ex-wives, politics, and a zillion other things that people have (or should keep hidden) in the garage or basement are motorcycle ads. More and more motorcycle people are turning first to CL to post ads or shop for a bike simply because of the incredible variety of bikes being sold and the chance to maybe, just maybe, snag the deal of a lifetime.
I used to love to read CycleTrader.com but it was slow to load, had limited search capability, and the pictures were too small. Craig's List at least loads fast. Best of all, since CL is free and CycleTrader.com is now expensive, plenty of people list that old or unused bike or gear on CL, sometimes having no idea what their original condition Ducati 350 scrambler is or what it's worth.
Of course some folks have a seriously distorted idea of what their used bike is worth and some just don't have a clue. Mostly it's just fun to browse through and see what interesting or unique bikes might be found even if I'm not in the market to buy anything.
Here's a couple of examples of how good and how odd CL motorcycle ads can be all in one day:
A Moto Guzzi Quota. The "goose" Quota is a seldom seen adventure bike version just right for the rider who wants to be different and doesn't care if he can ever get parts or not. I almost traded a bunch of guns for a Quota once. Sort of sorry I didn't but I'd probably still be waiting for the new brake caliper it needed. Still, the Quota is cool.
Now, my favorite today: One of the oddest motorcycle ads I've seen yet. Anyone care to lease their sport bike to a newbie rider?
In case you can't make out the text in the picture, here it is:
"I want to lease your Sports Bike* - $1000 (Scottsdale)
Date: 2008-06-07, 5:06PM MST
I am in Scottsdale until Aug 26th and I want to pay you $1000 cash upfront to rent your motorcycle for the summer. I will also pay you an extra $300 if you teach me how to ride. I will only be driving it back n forth to work - 2.5 miles.
NO scooters please. I'm interested in a Honda GSXR/CBR, Yamaha R6 or bikes of that sort.
Please respond with options/deals/info and pics ASAP. "
Yup, if you need a fast $1000 you might want to jump on that one right after you answer that e-mail from the former prince in Nigeria.
Looking is fun, buying and selling on Craig's List (I've done both) is like anything on-line these days: Caveat emptor.