Sun, Nov 18, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Little interest in police auction of large motorbikes

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei City Police Department's Traffic Corps' plan to auction 22 BMW R-850 bikes early next year is unlikely to attract fans of big bikes as bidders are required to purchase all at once, a motorbike association official said.

Chen Ming-cheng (陳銘政), head of the city police's Traffic Corps, said that the bikes were still in good shape even though they were bought 17 years ago.

He said the police force had to retire the bikes because regulations state that police patrol vehicles must be retired after 10 years of service.

"These bikes are old. But I guarantee that they still run well," Chen said.

But Taipei Big Bike Association chairman Chen Li-yun (陳豊運) said that the police bikes were unlikely to attract fans of heavy-duty bikes.

"Although the bikes are old, prospective buyers should know that if they bid for the bikes and win, they have to buy all 22 bikes based on the bidding rules," Chen Li-yun said. "Who would be rich enough and crazy enough to do such a thing?"

Chen Li-yun said the bid could still attract used bike dealers, who could buy them and sell them for spare parts.

"But the bottom line is, there must be a market," he said.

"And that's another problem -- ?only the police and the military police were allowed to import big bikes like these 17 years ago. That means these are the only bikes of their kind in Taiwan. Who would buy the parts?" he said.

Tax problems could also keep potential buyers away, he said.

The police did not have to pay tax when they bought the bikes 17 years ago, but whoever wins the auction will have to pay all the duties before the bikes can be registered as legal vehicles, he said.

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