Choosing and buying a new motorbike is no easy feat as there are so many out there but, with a second-hand bike, there’s a lot more to consider.
Motorbikes don’t come cheap and, because safety is of paramount importance when riding, it’s essential that you carry out certain checks before you hand over your money. It can all be a lot to take in, especially if you’re a motorbike novice, so here are 5 top tips for buying a second-hand motorbike.
Be aware of dodgy sellers
Most people you’ll come across in your search for a second-hand motorbike will be genuine, but you should still be aware that there are people out there who won’t have the purest of intentions.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s genuine and who’s not, but if the person you plan to buy your bike from says anything like this, it may be time to look elsewhere:
- “I’m selling it for my friend who’s moved abroad.”
- “I just moved house and haven’t got the V5 back from DVLA.”
- “It’s been serviced by my mate who’s a mechanic.”
- ‘It eats Gixxer thous’ for breakfast’
- “I fitted that alarm myself.”
- “It’s not had its MOT yet but it’ll fly through one.”
Look at the boring details
You may want to skip past the tedious details and ride away on your bike as soon as you can, however it is really important that you ask certain questions.
We spoke to We Want Your Motorbike who said: “There are definitely some questions that you absolutely need to ask before you even think about putting a payment on a bike – especially when it’s second-hand.”
“First of all, you need to ask the all-important questions such as has it been crashed? If so, how badly? Are there any modifications? Then, move onto to other questions such as asking how many owners its had and asking about its service history.”
It’s absolutely crucial that you do a walk around and it’s equally as crucial that you do this in daylight, preferably on a dry day. Walking around the bike and inspecting as you go should throw up some of the more obvious types of damage like hairline fractures and weld tears, so it’s an opportunity to not be missed.
Start it and listen
For the most part, the engines on modern motorbikes are reliable but you will do well to check for any noises that sound suspicious. If you have a friend who is experienced with motorbikes, it will be handy to bring them along with you, but there’s ways to diagnose an engine problem by the noise it makes in case you don’t already know.
If you’re happy with the bike after carrying out all the above steps, it’s time for the all-important test drive. This is to ensure that the bike runs properly and is a good fit for you – under no circumstances should you buy a motorbike without test driving first!