On March the 5th 2006, I bought a Motoroma Go-go 110 from mwooly2001. I bought it to replace my Honda Cub 90, which had a broken back wheel, and finding a replacement one was proving very difficult. I bought it on a sunday evening, desperate to find something that would get me in to work on monday, and prove to be a reliable commuting tool.
It was a buy it now auction and I paid cash (a big mistake, but these sellers don't accept paypal for obvious reasons).
The bike was described as follows:
Motoroma 110cc ,4 speed semi auto gearbox ,2002 model based on the new Honda scooter,metallic silver paint,low miles only 9,357 ,mot until november 2006, Taxed until end november 2006, bike is very clean starts good, and ready to use, couple of minor marks but nothing to stop it from being ridden home, V5 also present .
Bear in mind that he is an experienced motorcycle mechanic who deals bikes on ebay...
The story for this bike was that he'd sold it to his nephew, and then bought it back from him as he didn't like it.
Anyway, one week later the engine seized (although I wasn't to know this at the time), and the rear wheel locked up whilst I was going 35mph around a corner..quite a scary experience.
As none of the warning lights were on (perhaps they were broken too), the honda dealer I took it to suggested it was the chain and sprockets (as they were knackered also) and that the bike had obviously been thrashed.
Two days later I called him up to tell him what had happened, and he said that he was a bit short of money at the moment but as soon as he had some he would sort something out, and we agreed that he would pay me the money back for the chain and sprockets. I learnt the hard way, but never discuss important details with an unscrupulous seller over the phone (they will just deny everything you have said), always send an email as at least then you will have a record of the truth.
I had spent 290 pounds on the bike and a further 70 on new Chain and Sprockets for the bike (which had to be mail ordered). Only after fitting them (with difficulty) did I realise that it wasn't the chain and sprockets that had been causing the problem, and that all of the cogs inside the engine had mashed up. I checked the oil, and couldn't see any. So I then drained it, to find 200ml of black oil (these engines take 1.3l) littered with shrapnel from the engine.I rang him and he told me to find out what the problem was and said he knew a 'mate who could get parts cheap', and that he would get whatever part I needed if I could find out what needed replacing. He refused to pay for me to take it to a garage...and then got irritated when I struggled to find out what the exact engine problem was. A true gentleman.
Would you consider a bike 'ready to ride home' if it had no oil? Bear in mind that I picked up the bike in the dark, in a hurry (I had a 40mile ride home and was worried about ice) and from a dingy garage on a council estate in leicester.
I obviously still needed to get into work, so I used the Motoroma as spares and fixed my c90. I was wrong to trust him, as I heard nothing for the next six weeks and my emails remained unanswered, emails such as this one on April 5th:
At the moment I really don't have the time to sort it out and I'm
using it as spares for my c90 (so far carburretor and back wheel) as
I'm working everyday and need to keep on the road.
I would be very grateful if you could basically just give me back as
much money as you think is reasonable.
Personally I think 75 is reasonable as that's what I spent on the
chain and sprockets (which unfortunately won't fit the c90!).
No rush for it though, and let me know if you think I'm being unreasonable.
Having heard nothing for four weeks, I sent a more threatening email, which provoked an instant response. It's depressing that you have to lower yourself to his level to get anywhere. The correspondance went as follows:
I'm very disappointed that you have not acknowledged my last email.
Below is text from the original advert:
..bike is very clean starts good, and ready to use, couple of minor
marks but nothing to stop it from being ridden home...
In your opinion having no oil makes it ready to ride home in the dark
and ready to use? The engine only lasted for 70 miles after I bought
it, and I have spent 360 pounds on the bike.
You know alll this already, but if I do not hear anything from you in
the next two weeks I will take you to the small claims court.
People like you give ebay a bad reputation and ruin it for everyone else.
You are lowering yourself to the level of a common thief. If that's
what you are then fine, but I will do everything I can to ensure that
you never trade on ebay again.
threatening me will not get you any where,after about a month you told me the chain and sprockets have gone which the garage charged you 70 to fit and then you said no they cost 70 and you had to fit them, then you tell me the engine or gearbox has packed up,i said to you i will try and help cost wise as i had no idea there was any problem with the engine, you had looked the bike all over when you was at my place, a couple of more weeks down the road you said you hav'ent the time to do any thing about the bike so you are stripping it for spares for another bike, i had offered you some money towards the cost of repairing the problem but you said wait until you have looked at the problem and then you will let me know,but when you decided to strip it for parts why should i ,i am no more of a thief than you are i offered you some money to help about a month and half after you had bought the bike which you have signed for sold as seen,my nephew was riding the bike for a few months before you had it without any problems apart from adjusting the chain as i told you on the phone, also when you bought the bike i told you there should be no problems if you look after the bike and straight away you told me that you can thrash these bikes and they can take it, but i am not hear to start a slaging match ,you can take it to a small claims court if you like or to ebay that is fine with me it will only cost you more money ,like i said to you before i was sorry to hear of your problem i had no idea there was anything wrong i offered you 50 towards the problem to fix it after this you can forget it any one else would have laughted at you after all this time for something which is sold as seen.
I never mentioned anything about the garage fitting the chain.
I asked for compensation, and you said you were short on money at the
time and that you would give me a refund when you had some money. I
emailed you enquiring as to whether you were able to offer me any
compensation, and you did not reply.
It seems that I have to be aggressive to raise a response from you. I
have studied the text of the advert, and I copied some of it in the
last email. From that it can be clearly seen that the bike was not as
So to make things really clear for you:
Yes I would like some compensation in lieu of spare parts.
Let me know whether you are going to offer me any or not as soon as
possible so I can plan my next move.
yes you did tell me the garage had done the work ,yes i said i was short of money, you also told me you would find out the problem and we agreed that i would try to help but when you said in your last email you had used it for spare parts witch was different to what we had agreed again , if you send me the proof of cost of the chain and sprockets receipt then i will send you £50 like i said at the beginning, before you decided to find out what the problem was and then change that to stripping the bike for spares and then try to threaten me other wise you can plan your next move and i will be happy to help.
I never said the garage had done the work. I have a receipt for the
chain and sprockets for 70 pounds. The garage I went to told me that
it was probably the chain and sprockets that needed replacing.
I had to use the bike for spares, as I had no other choice and I
needed to stay on the road to commute to work. 50 pounds is not a very
generous sum, given that it doesn't even cover the cost of the chain
and sprockets, let alone the cost of having to buy a new bike.
The fact is that you sold the bike as ready to use. Your mistake was
failing to verify that this was true before selling the bike, and
hence the bike was mis-described.My mistake was taking your word for
it (aka. trust) and not checking it myself.
When we spoke on the phone, we discussed the possilbility of me taking
it to a garage and getting them to find out what the problem was. I
believe that we came to the conclusion that it was not economically
viable to do so, as you were unwilling to pay the labour charges.
I have tried to find out the problem myself, but I am not a mechanic.
However, it seems that the lack of oil caused the cogs to overheat and
And as regards thrashing it, which I don't remember saying, I never
rode the bike above 45mph, which in regard to the top speed you quoted
me (55/60mph, if you remember) would surely only be a cruising speed.
no problem ,i have made an offer ,you have changed the story again i am sorry for the trouble it has caused but 2 months down the line there is nothing more i can say or do, you will just have to do what you have to do.
Since then I have recieved no further contact from him and no money.
If you are considering buying a bike...be very careful. Even if a seller has exemplary feedback, this means nothing as most feedback is left after one week.
Also ebay seems to bring out dishonesty in people. I have seen bikes advertised on ebay as being in perfect condition, only to find them listed in ither places (biketrader, friday ad) with the faults listed.
All communication should be written and pay through something like paypal, where you have a better chance of getting your money back than from our friend Mr.Woolman. Even if you have to pay the fees, it's worth it for that little extra peace of mind.
Don't be pressurised into buying the bike..and take time to look it over.
There is a link to a great guide of what to look for in a used bike on a site called Begin Motorcycling (google it).
And whatever you do...don't take the seller's word for it. I always buy bikes in blind faith and trust, and this is the first problem I've had. Every so often you will find yourself dealing with a scumbag, so just be careful.