Buying or selling a motorcycle can often prove to be an emotional experience for people. I recently met a lovely couple when they came into my office to draw up paperwork to buy a new Kawasaki KLR650. They were trading in their Ducati 900SS. It was a stunning bike, quite rare and in immaculate condition. It’s the kind of bike that’s timeless and will be a classic forever; the kind of bike that could tell a story about its owners.
I sensed that the wife was a bit hesitant, asking her husband, “Are you sure you’re ready to sell the Duke?” Then the husband explained to me that the Ducati was originally bought many years ago, almost in pieces. It was intended as a project for himself and his Dad to work on. And work on it they did, eventually restoring the old bike to its former glory. They meticulously sourced each part over the course of several years, with hundreds of hours spent together toiling away at their masterpiece. The father and son team cherished the bike and rode often together, as good mates tend to do.
Sadly the father passed away and as time went on the son managed to sell some of his Dad’s belongings, but he could never bear to part with the Ducati, until now. He told me, “I’ve come to the time in my life when I’ve finally realised that the only thing you can take with you are memories. I’m happy to trade in the Ducati so I can have some off-road adventures with my wife.”
Yes there were tears, the tissues were brought out as the wife and husband reminisced about their loss and prepared to say goodbye to their Ducati. As they were leaving he turned to me and asked me to promise that I would make sure the Ducati went to a good home. I made the promise, not really sure how I would do that, I mean I’m a motor dealer. Selling bikes is what I do, I can’t very well do a background check to make sure that a customer is going to look after a bike and love it can I? But the promise was made and I was hopeful I would somehow keep my word.
It wasn’t long before the Ducati was sold. The new owner was overjoyed to find a Ducati in such fine condition and told me he’d been looking for one just like it for a long time. We were discussing his insurance quote when the conversation turned to driving fines. He told me he’d never use a mobile phone if he was driving, in fact he would tell everyone he met not to text when in control of a vehicle. It turned out the reason was because his son was tragically killed in a motorcar accident caused by the driver of an oncoming car who was preoccupied texting.
He then elaborated on the reason why he was buying the Ducati. He and his son were the best of mates and used to ride together. You guessed it; his son used to ride a Ducati 900SS just like the one he was getting now! He told me it was time for him to stop grieving and start living; that his son would want him to get back on the road and live his life to the full.
I couldn’t believe it; my promise was kept! The Ducati was not only going to a loving new owner, it was going to exactly THE perfect new owner! The father son bond wasn’t broken! On the surface the Ducati was made of metal, rubber and plastic but it was so much more than that; it brought people together! It helped create lasting memories for one owner and peace for another. And that’s why we ride: for the joy, elation and fun! And sometimes; just sometimes if only for a minute, to help us forget the sad times.