Buying a Second-hand Motorcycle
The second-hand motorcycle market is booming with choices at the current moment with almost every bike imaginable available for a fraction of the price of what they cost new. Buying a used machine is often a good idea if you have less of a budget available to you when you come to purchase a motorcycle. Even with such good deals, buying a second-hand motorcycle can be tricky and extra care should always be taken when looking at used motorcycles.
There are different places you can go to buy a second-hand motorcycle all with advantages and disadvantages. Franchised dealers will often run schemes where approved used bikes will be sold on by a registered dealer. If the bike is only 1 year old, this will often mean substantial savings over the new model and will usually come with a full service history. Independent dealers are another good place to buy a second-hand motorcycle and will usually have older stock than a franchised dealer meaning if you are on a tighter budget this may be the place to go. Buying from a dealer has the distinct advantage of being protected by the sale and supply of goods act which means that if the product does not perform to the expected level advertised then it can be brought back to the dealership for a replacement or even a refund. This is a good safety net when buying a used motorcycle as there are a lot of things that could go wrong.
The final method of buying a second-hard motorcycle is through a private sale. Private sales are when one individual sells his property to another individual with no dealers or middlemen involved. Private sales often end up being the best value for money but extra care should be taken. Unlike dealerships, private sellers have fewer restrictions placed upon them with less of a duty of care. This means you have to be as through as possible when checking over the bike. Another thing to keep in mind when buying from a private seller is the possibility that the motorcycle may be stolen or still have unpaid credit outstanding on it. This is where a HPI check comes in useful. There are now services which via text message can tell you if a second-hand motorcycle has a hidden history. This could be outstanding credit, reported stolen and also if the bike has previously been involved in a traffic accident. This important information may often be left out by private sellers so they can make more money from the deal.
When buying a second-hand motorcycle, it is important to give the bike a good checking over to see if it is in proper working order and to see if there may be any jobs which seeing too. You should always check the oil levels of the bike looking to see if it has been well maintained by its previous owner. If changed regularly, engine oil will be a golden colour and should be between the min and max lines of the dipstick. If the oil is black then chances are that this bike hasn’t seen enough maintenance and could well have other faults present.
Another thing to look out for when purchasing a second-hand motorcycle is the condition of the bike itself. Does the number of miles on the clock match up to the condition of the bike? A low mileage bike should look newer with less wear on the paintwork and the seat. A bike with around 2500 miles on the clock should still look relatively new if looked after and treat properly. If the bike shows unusual amounts of wear for the mileage it is possible that it may have had the odometer tampered with to make the bike seem newer driving up the price. It is paramount that you properly check over the bike looking for faults. If you are new to buying a used motorcycle it is a good idea to bring along a more knowledgeable friend who can help keep you on the straight and narrow.