Master promoter PT Barnum once said, "There's a sucker born every minute." He also said, "Without promotion, something terrible happens...nothing!" Ah, if only PT had met whoever this mysterious Craig is that makes this list, Craigslist, where people try to entice suckers into buying their, ahem, meticulously maintained gems crystalized with nostalgic value.
Here's some excellent promotion waiting for a few lucky suckers.
The Jet Setter
We’ve heard about Jay Leno’s jet bike, but judging by the dirt floor and the various piles of junk stacked in the background, we’re going to go ahead and say this ain’t Leno’s famous stable. We don’t know much about jet engines here at Racer X, but it sure seems like PVC pipes and valves aren’t the best items to use when assembling a jet-powered vehicle. Like the age-old saying goes (that we just made up), if a pipe isn’t strong enough to withstand a Morgantown freeze, it ain’t strong enough to use on a jet bike, especially in proximity to one’s crotch!
On the flip side, this old iron looks like it weighs so much that perhaps the only type of power plant powerful enough to move it down the road is a jet engine. And what’s with those turbos? Is that part of the jet engine assembly or has this under-the-radar country genius somehow figured out a way to harness the untapped energy potential of jet exhaust? A jet turbine turbo!
The seller makes it a point to mention that this bike is “THRUST DRIVEN NOT CHAIN DRIVE...... so fasten your seat belt and hold on.” If this thing comes equipped with a seat belt, we especially want no part of it. When, not if, something goes wrong, we want to be able to eject quickly!
This entry earned its name not from the number of wheels it has, but from four glaring problems that should keep any and all potential buyers at bay.
1. The condition of the engine. There’s nothing wrong with taking things apart. After all, if something is broken, it’s got to be fixed, right? The odd thing is that the seller offers no explanation as to why the engine is apart in this picture. He might as well have just taken a picture of a gigantic red flag and posted that instead.
2. The insane asking price. Yes, we know, there are die-hard Honda 250R nuts out there that will pay good money for these things, but even they would likely take a step back when asked to pay $3200 for beat up machine that appears to be in pieces in the garage.
3. Seller intelligence. When purchasing a used machine you want to have at least some confidence that the previous owner has a few brain cells. Sadly, we’re not sure if that’s the case here. How else can you explain showing a machine that’s in absolute garbage condition, asking a premium price, and saying serious buyers only?
4. It’s got four wheels. Two too many?
The seller describes this bike as a sleeper and we believe him. Its days of shredding, drifting and toting around its Budweiser-chugging, mullet-sporting, no-helmet-wearing, woo-hooo-screaming owner are definitely over, and its future now consists of permanent hibernation.
While we can’t ignore the elephant-nosed three-wheeled chopper in the room, this entry is more about the workshop than the machine itself. Take a look around at all the weird, various items and dismembered chunks of machinery. It’s reminiscent of some secret backwoods slaughterhouse, only instead of Elsie the Cow meandering in here to be made into Big Macs, it’s old three-wheelers and quads getting the proverbial ax. Need evidence? Check out all the bloodstains (okay, oil stains) covering the floor!
The above scenario is really the only explanation we could think of as to where the front forks on this chopped out three-wheeler came from. Those suckers are long! Eat your heart out Jesse James! As stupid as this thing looks, we’ve got to admit that it’s got to take some serious balls to ride it. The seller mentions that it’s a two-stroke, so the thing probably rips, and if you look closely, you’ll see that the thing is missing any form of front brakes. Although such a slack rake angle probably means this machine is very stable in a straight line, we’d rather whack back a forty of King Cobra and try to ride a wheelie through Downtown Detroit with the Monster Million strapped to our back than take this thing over 15 mph!
Unlike some of the other weird machines featured in this column that we secretly wouldn’t mind taking for a pub run test drive, there’s no way in hell you’d catch us tossing a leg over this butchery on wheels. That said, we fully condone the actions of this Ohio Oddball. As far as we know, he’s not experimenting on innocent motocross bikes, and if he wants to chop up some vicious, leg-devouring three-wheelers, who are we to judge?
The photo in this ad reveals a shady workshop of some sort, a condition that carries through to the seller’s sales pitch, which we’ve included in this entry:
“For sale yamaha yz250 this bike is scary fast but it needs the top end rebuilt it has brand new plastics brand new tires they still have the blue lines on them never been rode on pretty much every thing on this bike is aftermarket newer chain new sprockets aftermarket bars forks rear shock this is not for kids and it has been garage kept adult owned if interested call or text price drop need gone 450 obo open to trades”
If you didn’t have eyesight, there’d wouldn’t be much wrong with this pitch. Unfortunately for the seller, there aren’t a whole lot of blind folks zipping around on motorcycles, especially 250 two-strokes, and one look at the bike reveals just how full of dairy-farm roost the seller is. New chain? Nope, unless of course Renthal is offering a new color of chain called “rust.” And check out how tight it is! There’s more tension in that chain than a Thanksgiving dinner with both the Reeds and Stewarts!
And how about the new tires claim? Unless Dunlop or Bridgestone has a new model out that features super-short knobs, we’ve got to call shenanigans on this too. And if there are new plastics, where are the radiator shrouds? The seller also says that “pretty much everything on this bike is aftermarket.” Well, if that’s true, would it have killed him to go the extra mile and install a fuel cap as well? On second thought, that’s not necessary, seeing as how unlikely it is that this lump of lard will ever run again.
It should be obvious by now that this is a machine, and seller, to avoid. But if you’re still interested, have at it. There’s no hope for you. The only thing cool about this bike are the cutouts in the number plates that serve as handles to lift the bike onto the stand. Bring that feature back, Yamaha!