Most people when looking to buy a motorbike will be looking at one that’s second hand. There can be many advantages to buying a used motorbike, but if you don’t know what you’re looking out for you could end up spending lots of money on a bike that’s not worth it.
Here is a list of things you should look at when looking to buy a used motorcycle:
See it before you buy it
These days, a lot of people buy motorbikes from websites based entirely on the pictures without going to see it themselves. It is vitally important, however, that you go to where the bike is and take a look to make sure it is ok.
First impressions go a long way. Check to see if the owner has bought personalised cherished registration plates for it, or other signs that the rider appreciates the bike. You can also check the registration number on certain websites to find out the history of the bike.
If the owner can’t stop talking about the bike, or is genuinely sad to sell it, it’s a good sign the bike has been appreciated and looked after.
If you don’t know much about mechanics, try to get a friend who is to come along. There are a few things you should be looking out for on the bike regarding its mechanics, so it’s good to know a few bits.
Checking the bike
Your first check is to make sure all the basics work. Indicators and lights are priority; if these aren’t working it’s not a good sign as to how the bike has been kept. Look for any scratches or marks, whether on the engine casing or under the foot pegs as this will probably mean the bikes been in a crash. Try to have a look if any part has been replaced and find out why. Check the mileage against paperwork such as the servicing record to make sure it hasn’t been altered.
Ask to hear the bike running. This is an absolute must, you won’t know if there’s anything wrong with the engine otherwise. Listen out for any unusual noise, especially a banging sound, as this could be quite expensive to fix. Check there is no oil leaking from anywhere on the bike, and make sure any aftermarket parts such as a custom loud exhaust is legal.
Ideally you’re going to need to test ride the bike, as long as you have appropriate insurance to do so. During the test ride, make sure the brakes are working correctly and the engine doesn’t make any odd noises as you’re moving. While riding, check behind you to see if there’s any excess smoke coming from the exhaust.
Deciding to buy
Finally, if the bike is cheaper than a lot of the other bikes its same model, age and mileage then find out why. It could be because it’s been in a large crash, or because something’s broken on it you can’t yet see. Alternatively, it might be just because the owner is trying to sell it quickly and you might just be on to a good deal, but it never hurts to ask.