Here's a collection of abbreviations and descriptions to help you out when you're buying, or have already bought, a secondhand motorbike.
P.O. — Previous Owner.
Will very likely soon be known as butcher, bodger, tosser, or worse once you begin to work on your newly-purchased motorcycle. They probably talked the talk at the P.O.S., but unfortunately very few have walked the walk, and those little intricacies only show up once you get it home. Marvellous.
P.O.S — Point Of Sale.
This is usually a point of great happiness for the new owner, and a point of utter elation for the P.O. He will be struggling to hold a straight face as he counts out the readies and dreams about getting down to the pub for a couple of swift halves. Once you ride that bike out of his driveway, any previous mention of warranty, help or even basic friendship is null and void. You are now on your Jack Jones.
P.O.S. — Pile Of Shit.
Yes, it's a clever abbreviation this one and could mean two things. Right after the first P.O.S., you become familiar with P.O.S. number two. Riding out of the driveway and there's a nagging doubt in your mind as you become familiar with a braking system unfit for a pushbike, and the steering ability of a shopping trolley run over by a cement truck. But it all fades to oblivion because "the rebuilt motor has got some go in it". Whoop!
There is a fair chance the P.O. was being completely honest at this point. The engine, or motor guv'nor, has indeed been taken to pieces and then rebuilt.
However, no parts were changed during this transaction because it would've cost an arm, leg and probably his old boy too, so it was slung back together with the old parts and flogged on to the next unsuspecting punter. Hopefully, and if you're very lucky, it'll get you home... this week.
"I'll bloody kill meself on it!"
This guy is fast, and should've been racing. He's had more police chases than you've had underwear and needs to sell it before... he bloody kills himself. A quick look at the tyres will give you some indication of his incredible pace. They'll be fucked... in the middle.
"Not for the faint hearted."
It was once a quick bike... twenty years ago, but time hasn't been kind to this fella. Under delusions of something, he will harp on about how fast it was and how he can still overtake an R1 on the back wheel without even using the clutch. It was pushing out 147BHP at the wheel, back in the day, but he just can't put his hands on the dyno sheets.
"The parts are here somewhere."
Sometimes a bike comes with spares — awesome!
You really want the oojamaflop valve to put back on at a later date, and he's adamant it's in the garage. "It'll show up and I'll send it on" he says reassuringly... you will never see that valve. He will throw it in a skip rather than send it to you. Forget about the valve, it's gone.
"Only selling due to family commitments."
His three-legged dog has to go in for its fourth hernia operation, the wife wants a new car or the kids have an expensive drug habit. Whatever transpires at this point will probably be a lie. Best not to ask. Put your hand up to his face, say I'm not interested and try to check out the bike as best you can.
If, as you ride away, a bandaged-up, three-legged dog strolls by with two lines of coke on his back being chased by some fucked-up kids, you might've picked a good bike after all. Happy days.
"I tuned it myself, it'll pull one-sixty."
It wouldn't pull a pram. He's banged on a Chinese K&N air filter but left the jetting standard. The "race can" is just the original with its internals removed by jack hammer, but it will run fine on choke... for a while... until the valves burn out.
"It's all there, just needs putting together."
It's not all there, and some of the parts that are have been damaged beyond repair. Very often used in conjunction with another little gem we call "Easy restoration". This, of course, is utter bollocks. It would be easier, and more pleasurable, to chop off your old boy, whack it in a slice of bread and call it a sausage sizzle.
"Perfect for learner rider."
It doesn't go quite as well as it should, in fact the engine is knackered. Grandma is pulling better standing quarters on her invalid carriage, and looks better getting there.
The only regret here is gonna be yours.
"Serviced regularly" or "Over-serviced"
Of course it was. It's had a couple of oil changes and the plugs were out once. The sump plug threads are only stretched because the P.O. had no idea how to tighten a bolt. But he did insist on using genuine supermarket oil "because they're all the same".
"Must sell, moving interstate."
Because as soon as this little beauty is sold, he's going to put as much distance between him and it as is humanly possible. It could also be a double bluff so you don't come back to his house asking for a refund.
On February 29th... without fail.
So there you have the, slightly tongue in cheek, sceptical guide to buying bikes. Buyer beware people.
Now who wants to buy a mint, one-owner GSX750ESD with low miles and fully-rebuilt set of carbs? And it ain't for the faint hearted.