1st Attempt At Buying Used Fails

I want to buy an Aprilia Scarabeo 50. $3,400 new after tax, title, insurance. So I am looking to score a used one.

I placed a Want Ad on Craigslist and a guy Charles e-mailed me saying he had a blue 2001 Aprilia Scarabeo 50 for $1,000. He knew the scooter was jet-kitted to 70cc, but was very shady about other details.

Charles wanted to meet at 5:00pm today in a Chili’s Restaurant parking lot. That was shady also. 30 minutes before our meeting I went to the small shop he said he bought it from, just to ask them a few questions about what they sell, and I happened to see Charles there, riding the scooter and trying to fix it with a mechanic! I overheard him say, “Why the hell does it always smoke so much?” He didn’t know I was in the parking lot until I got out of my car.

I took the bike for a 5 minutes test drive, and everything worked OK, but the bike was smoking a lot. His response was, “Ohh, those two stroke bikes always smoke.”

He was trying to “patch up” the problems with the scooter before our meeting. He was also playing dumb on all the questions I asked, and I could tell something wasn’t right. I eventually found out the engine was rebuilt, it had 7,000 miles on it and it was used by motorcycle racers to get around the track.

After talking to him, I could easily spot he was hiding something. I don’t want an unreliable scooter, so I told him thanks for the test drive and I walked away. I will eventually buy one, but for more money and in better condition. The test drive however was fun! I took a short video clip before turning onto a main road:

Aprilia Scarabeo Test Drive Video

It looks like I’ll have to wait for another opportunity to buy this scooter.

Oh yea, today was also the first day of my last semester here at UT.

Blog posted on: September 1, 2005

7 comments on “1st Attempt At Buying Used Fails

  1. Jose Anes

    It is better to wait for the right opportunity than to buy a lemmon.

    Good luck on your last semester.

    Concentrate on it. You want to get a good GPA just in case you eventually do graduate (or more graduate) studies.

    Money And Investing

  2. Brandon Doyle


    WHAT is your online business?! Please share. I’d be happier than a two tailed dog with an extra $800 a month. :)

  3. Loki

    Are you sure you want an Aprilia? I’m sure you can get a Honda or Yamaha scooter for the same price, if not less, and it’ll be a lot more reliable. And if something does go wrong with it, getting parts for a Japanese bike will be both cheaper and easier than an Italian make due to their more established dealer network.

  4. Magpie

    Loki, most other scooters look pretty dorky compared to the Aprila.

    Nev, how was the test drive? I am looking into buying a scooter also and curious as to how it rides.



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