Saturday, September 25, 2010

My First IRL Auction AKA How we came to own another motorcycle

Oh, today. You started early. Jer and I drove out to Renton and arrived at the auction location at 8am sharp. I asked the man guarding the gate how it worked, this King County Vehicle Auction, and he told me to follow everyone else to the trailer and sign up. We'd be given a number and then we could bid.

So we did.

Our objects of interest were the five motorcycles up for auction. Five 2004 Honda ST1300's. Four green, one dark blue. They were all grouped together, outside the trailer. We looked for obvious problems -- scratches, missing pieces, cosmetic flaws. And we ranked what we liked. Jer's friend who is very knowledgeable about these bikes since he drives a similar model joined us. We stood around and I tried to force strategy on the proceedings.

There was no strategy. It was mostly like, well, if you like it you should bid on it. Yeah, okay.

While the guys stood around kicking tires, I wandered through the lot and looked at the Prius up for auction, the buses, and assorted vehicle and vehicle accessories. I wasn't tempted, thankfully.

Maybe tempted a little.

Hours passed. Hours and hours. Bidding began at 9am for lot 1. We were lot 351 or so. So three hours later Jer was waving his bidding number and the auction men were shouting and pointing and we sort of strategically ended up owing King County some money. It was strange. For the previous many hours we'd watched men of every persuasion straddling the bikes, wistfully revving the engines, and punching one another on the arms in a jocular fashion. We figured bidding would be crazy. It was only a little crazy.

The other four bikes sold to two other bidders. We were the only single winner of a motorcycle.

Everything was fine until we got it to the gas station. And then the key broke off in the gas tank lock.

Two hours later and a locksmith who made house calls -- or even gas station calls -- we were home.

Verdict? So far so good. It runs. It was a screaming deal. And it had the fewest miles of all the bikes. Time and a full inspection will tell the rest.

And now I can finally sleep.

No comments: