Big Zed

I’ve been trying to sell the Z900RS. It didn’t go on the eBay auction, which came as no great surprise. I think the days of auctioning vehicles there are now gone. I did get asked how much I would accept for it, which leads me to why I hate selling privately.

It is expected that a private sale will be lower than for the same item found in a dealership. I had pitched the price of this based on that. The CAP value is some £2k lower, but the CAP value doesn’t take into account overall condition and this one is immaculate. Indeed, the CAP value is way off for this bike generally given what they are fetching. The problem here is that it being a private sale, potential buyers seem to think that I should be giving it away. Well, no. You want it, you pay a fair price and the price I was asking was fair given year, condition and mileage.

There’s an old adage that the value of an item is what a buyer will pay for it. That’s only half the story. The value is what two people agree it is. If the seller values it more than the buyer, no sale ensues. It does not mean that the value the buyer is willing to pay is the correct value. The correct value is where the two are prepared to meet and so far potential buyers are not willing or cannot afford what it will take for me to part with it.

I have two options here. One is to lower the price and effectively give it away. The other is to keep it. I had planned to sell this bike to fund the Moto Guzzi Mandello. However, I can still do that without selling this one. I am parting with the BMW F900XR as a trade in. This means that my main training bike will be the Enfield Scram and the FTR as a backup. Frankly, the FTR is not a good training bike – ERS training notwithstanding. It’s a hooligan bike and that is what I bought it for. The Kawasaki on the other hand is very docile at low speed, is more than capable of making progress, is a delight to ride and I love it. And, being entirely honest here, I didn’t really want to sell it anyway.

So, it’s option two – I keep it and put it on the business insurance.

I actually feel relieved at having made that decision.


  1. Often the way to make à decision is to imagine that you have made it one way or the other and then ask yourself “Am I happy or sad? “

    • Incidentally, if you have a Mac you can change the nationality of the keyboard from French to British.

  2. What has the Common Agricultural Policy got to do with bike prices? Or does it depend on the nationality of your keyboard?

  3. The only reason that you would sell the bike for way below its value is if you were really desperate for money. I take it that, at this present time, you are quite comfortably off? If that is indeed the case, it may be a good idea to inform potential buyers of the fact.

    • Good point. I can manage. I would have preferred to use this to help fund the Moto Guzzi, but I can manage if not, so the idea that I can be beaten down due to need simply doesn’t apply. I much prefer to deal with dealers. I have always got what I’ve asked for because I know what it’s worth and I know what they will be selling it for. I was asking just above the trade in price, so a private buyer would have given me more than the trade in and got it for less than they would at a dealer.

  4. Looking at the picture at the top of the post I suddenly had a flashback to my days at tech college in the 1970s when I saw one of the original Z1s. The beast had such an awesome presence as it cruised past. I’m sure that Kawasaki missed a trick by not making that fabulous four pipe exhaust system an option. I believe that there are after market ones available.

    • Yes, but they add so much extra weight. The idea behind this was to also pay homage to what the original owners did – they put a four into one on them. This one sounds gorgeous.

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