Winter Project: The Golden Sledge (Part 1)
At The Motorcycle Agency we needed some wheels for winter. The sort of thing for darting into town or leaving at train stations and airports that isn’t lavished with much love or attention.
The result of an office debate brought the conclusion that a maxi scooter ‘could’ be the answer. A Yamaha T-Max is arguably King of this segment but has high used values to go with them. Suzuki’s Burgman has been around for ages in a variety of capacities and the theory was this is where we would strike gold.
And so the relentless addiction to scanning Fleabay, Gumtree, MCN and Facebook feeds prevented early nights to bed.
And just a couple of days later we stumbled on this beauty above on Gumtree, located just 15 minutes away from the office.
“Suzuki an 250 burgman rev and go scooter. Good runner comes with top box mot till 5th june 18 has blow in exhaust plastics melted near exhaust . Sold as seen.”
The lack of grammar requires a few re-reads. But a 249cc? We wanted at least a 400. A few texts with the owner revealed it was sold, subject to cash and collection. But he would let us know if the potential buyer was a messer.
Two days later we got a text to say the potential buyer never showed so we jumped in the TMA van and went to look at it.
The ‘Burg’ looked tidy enough; three Keys - two original ones - and the paperwork stacked up with the chassis number matched the V5. Reading the full spread of MoTs, the bike had not seen much use in the last few years. It was all mostly there, and clearly the MIVV exhaust was a bodge job on the header pipe. It had melted the lower plastics that were in place with plasterboard screws. The tyres were also low on tread with a nail in the rear...
The ‘good runner’ part of the advert also seemed wildly inaccurate - it didn’t actually start. Much to the seller’s annoyance and ours. With the starter button thumbed until the battery cried enough, the ‘blow’ in the exhaust could be heard from the misfiring out of it with every defeated turn of the crank.
So what to do? Take a risk or walk away? £500 was the planned purchase price if it actually worked. With no way of knowing just how good or bad the bike is, we sucked in through teeth and deliberated. We offered £350 and the deal was struck with another tenner.
Ladies and gentlemen, we now own The Golden Sledge. It has seats that are more comfortable than your Grandad’s favourite armchair. Time to look underneath the bulbous bodywork and get it running...