Buying a used bike can be really daunting especially if you end up with a crashed bike. Here we talk about a few tips on how to spot a good buy!
Are you thinking of getting a motorcycle? Perhaps a pre-owned one would be the ideal way to start this journey. Many of us have taken this route, wanting that perfect ‘first bike’. Yes, we wouldn’t want you to ruin this beautiful experience by purchasing a pile of misery that will scar you for life.
Well, here’s a list of rules to follow. Stick to it and you won’t go wrong buying the bike of your dreams. Happy hunting.
The 10 rules of buying a used motorcycle
01. View the bike in daylight
Poking around under the moonlight or streetlight is no way to view a bike. The daylight will reveal every flaw and imperfection in paintwork and metal. Take a bright torchlight with you to view all the hard-to-reach recesses.
02. Talk to the owner
Find out how long he or she has had it, what is the history and point out any inconsistencies. Do you trust the owner? What sort of riding does he/she do? Track day wheelie hoons? Avoid the trashing home servicing types.
03. Don’t hurry
It’s easy to forget to breathe when confronted with the object of your dreams. A methodical top-to-toe approach is what’s called for. Take your time to look over the bike. Go over it as if you’re washing it, starting from the wheels working your way up.
04. Never buy the first one
You need to be sure that the bike before you is the correct model with the rightfixtures. The only way to do that is to see more than one. This is probably the most important, and most overlooked rule of buying secondhand.
05. Do your research
You should be familiar with model changes, colour schemes, potential faults, recalls, the cost of replacement parts etc. Online owner forums are the best places to start building up your background knowledge.
06. Trust your instincts
Sit on the bike. Does it feel right? Does the owner give off positive vibes? Do the bars line up with the front wheels? Ignition and fuel cap should use the same keys. Why does he/she have different keys for them?
07. Take a walk and think about it
Absolutely essential, even if it’s for 20 minutes. This puts the pressure back on the seller and gives you valuable time to ponder over the pros and cons.
08. Take a test ride
It’s the only way you’ll find out if the bike’s any good. Go thru the gears hard, brake hard, try and treat the bike like if it were your very own. Most sellers won’t let you ride without some kind of deposit but use your common sense. Don’t hand over cash to someone without checking them and the bike’s paper work over thoroughly. Better still, bring a friend along so he/she can wait with your money while you go for a ride.
09. Check the paperwork
Vital. Has the bike got the service booklet and service records/bills? Check the numbers for the frame/engine to see if they match the grant. Better still, check if there were any insurance claims made.
10. Things to take with you
A pen, notepad, a list of questions to ask, a bright torchlight; a mobile phone and riding gear. Bring along some cash just incase a deal is done. A friend, preferably one with some mechanical knowledge and cynicis to counter-balance your enthusiasm.