Buying a Used Motor Bike – Used Motor Bike Check – What does it entail?

Buying a second-hand motorbike can be a tough prospect, especially if it’s your first time, and you are searching for the bike of your desires.

When buying something second-hand, the main reason to go for a used motorcycle is its price. Like cars, the price of a brand-new bike drops swiftly as quickly as it’s hidden away from the dealership. Those bikes which are a year or two old are notably much less expensive.

And it’s now not simply the cash you are probably to be making a saving on via shopping for a used motorbike. The much less a bike costs, the much less you may pay for bike insurance. This is due to the fact your premiums are partly primarily based on the value of changing your bike in case of it being stolen or broken beyond in cost of the repair.

There are a few downsides to buying a second-hand bike. You’re not likely to get the full advantage of the manufacturer’s warranty. Or the latest bells and whistles when it comes to protection or different technology. You will want to make certain the bike matches the seller’s description. Your consumer rights when shopping for a second-hand motorcycle. In current years, the authorities have strengthened buyers’ rights when it comes to buying used cars, vehicles, and bikes from sellers and motor traders. But you must know that these recent and improved rights do no longer follow private sales.

Research and Homework

You can begin with your research. Find out the current price for the kind of bike you want. Check out the online classifieds and used bike sellers.

First impressions

When you first see the bike how do you feel? Does it appears like it’s been cared for or do you see a wreck? If it’s the first time then go on to the subsequent stage however if not then it’s probably nice to walk away.


First, appear for clues that the bike has been included in an accident for example the scrapes seen on the exhaust or foot pedals or in the handlebars. If you do see scrapes, ask about them. If you sense uneasy about the reply then don’t purchase it.


The dealer has to have the logbook (V5) and if the bike is three years old or more, an MOT certificate. If he hasn’t then don’t even inspect the bike. There might also additionally be a service book.

Once you’ve bought the logbook in your fingers do the following:

  • Check that it’s no longer a forgery via conserving it up to the light to see the watermark.
  • Make certain the body and engine numbers are the same and are equally as in the logbook.
  • Make the colour of the bike is as mentioned in the logbook. Ask for a receipt if the bike has been re-sprayed.
  • Make sure the name and address on the logbook is where the bike is now

If there’s no watermark then don’t purchase the bike. If any changes for these and no longer as they ought to be there will have a reason. Ask, and if you aren’t pleased with the answer, don’t purchase it.

  • Checks on stolen/police interest
  • Stolen logbook check
  • Write off/accident damage
  • mileage discrepancies
  • Outstanding finance
  • Scrapped by the DVLA
  • Plate transfers
  • Former keepers
  • Full VIN/chassis check
  • Make and model
  • Engine quantity and size
  • Colour and shade changes
  • Imported or exported
  • Date first registered

Paying on finance

A bike can be out of your budget and you may additionally want to prepare finance to pay for it. Look at what you can have enough money and keep in mind you will have running costs to consider. Here are a few things to keep in your mind before committing a deal. 

  • Most dealers do now not typically give the credit themselves, they surely introduce you to finance providers who lend you the cash in one way or another
  • Always look around to evaluate specific offers available from different deals.
  • If a dealer gives you the credit you are entitled to pre-contract information. Then you ought to get all the data about payments and interests in writing so that you can take it away and think about it.
  • Go through the credit agreement cautiously earlier than you put a sign. Make certain you apprehend what you are committing yourself to.

Accident damage

Be methodical when checking a bike over. You may spot one little issue when once more you look elsewhere, so do take your time. If there are scuffs or scrapes, they should have come whilst placing the bike away, however, a scrape that runs in more than one direction nearly occurred as the bike slid down the road, turning as it went.

Fork legs: Check the bottoms of the fork legs for chamfering, and that they are in shape on each side.

Engine: Are the engine instances scuffed, and are they the proper colour? Look for deep scrapes in particular or signs whether the case has been changed – are they newer-looking than the remaining part of the engine?

Pegs: Look for worn or lacking hero blobs, and put on the ends of the foot-pegs and pedals.

Exhaust: A lighter, sportier, or noisier aftermarket object is all right so long as they still have the original. If no longer then expect it has been broken in a crash and seem for proof to back this up. It is unlawful for a supplier to promote a bike for road use with a not-for-road-use exhaust fitted.

Swing-arm: Look for any chamfering on the edges of the swingarm. Also, take a look at the place the exhaust ought to have pressed into it.

Radiator: Be certain the radiator isn’t twisted or in any way out of shape. Also, test the coolant pipes aren’t freshly replaced.

Bodywork: Check the fairings are the right colour, suit properly, and are the equal shade inside.

Frame: Look for signs and symptoms of body repair, or if anything’s hidden under aftermarket covers.

Clocks: Besides checking they exhibit the right mileage, make certain they sit straight.

Bar ends, levers, and mirrors: Check for scuffs or replacement.

Bars: Check they’re straight.

Tank: Check for overspray interior the filler cap and on the edges. Also, test the graphics are successfully lined up. Open the fuel cap and look inside. If the gasoline is darkish it’s likely old and ought to be drained and replaced. You’ll additionally prefer to flush the system and replace the filter simply to be safe.

Sub-frame: Check for twisting, and scrapes on any components that stick out, particularly grasp rails.

Keys: The bike must have each key and the master key for the factory immobilizer.


Any signs of corrosion especially on the exhaust downpipes, the nuts, and bolts or the fork legs recommend it’s considered winter weather use. Not a problem, however, it will be worse underneath the bodywork the place you can’t see and there’s an opportunity that the brake calliper pistons will be sticking thru corrosion too (which ought to additionally imply the brake discs are warped).


The chain has to have lots of miles in it and ideally, will be clean, oiled, and appropriately adjusted. The suspension will be working flawlessly and the brakes need to have masses of lever strain and meat on the pads. Check the tires, now not simply for tread depth, however additionally for signs of squaring-off in the middle. Lots of motorway miles simply flatten the tire in the centre giving a notchy experience as you lean into a corner. Batteries can be scrapped after a couple of winters if they no longer appear after, particularly if there’s an alarm geared up to maintain draining them.

Rear suspension

Two matters to appear out for; firstly, the shock absorbers. Check the corrosion. That’s an awful element and it will be leaking damping oil quickly if no longer already. Push down on the back end it must go easily and come again up rapidly and easily and settle immediately. If it takes a lot of effort to push down, the probabilities are anybody has over-adjusted both the spring preload and compression damping. If it comes returned up very slowly, there is a lot of rebound damping. If it bounces again up and doesn’t settle straight away, there’s now not sufficient rebound damping.


Expect to discover aftermarket brake discs at this age (because the originals have warped due to sticking callipers) and substitute hoses too. Older brakes lose effectivity due to the fact the callipers get covered in brake dust, lowering their overall performance and aftermarket brake pads (it will have had at least one set by using now) aren’t constantly as sharp as the originals.


A little slack in clutch cable is common and any extra can commonly be adjusted out. The bike has to roll easily with little resistance whilst in first gear with the clutch engaged.


The regular look of the coolant is neon green and must odour sweet. With the engine cold, cast off the coolant cap and take a look. Green is great. Brown-coloured coolant should suggest either rust or oil has invaded the engine. If the engine has begun to rust, you will prefer to think about some steeply-priced repairs in the future. If you have oil in your coolant you can also have a leaking head gasket or failed O-rings. O-ring restore is now not a death warrant for a bike however fixing a head gasket is a job for a professional “gear head”, so you can also desire to re-consider your buy if this situation exists.

Safety Check

Finally, as soon as you’ve made your purchase, have your bike inspected with the aid of a certified motorbike mechanic. 


Specifically, you are getting in there to appear at the wiring, in particular, the gadgets hooked up to the battery. If you see factory connectors and nothing appears amiss, good. But if you can see a GPS, fog lights, and two energy leads putting off the bike earlier than you get into the guts, your spidey feel ought to begin tingling. Once you are in there, appear for electrical tape, vampire connectors, or a complete bunch of one colouration wire. This takes place commonly due to the fact the owner used to be too affordable to purchase a couple of spools of wire in distinctive colours. Recognizing the coming electrical disaster should be pricey and hard to repair.


High miles is a signal of a lot of wear and tear on a bike – however, it’s now not always the solely signal that matters. Some bikes are constructed to rack up miles, and when taken care of properly, they will run properly for many more. Others, however, are constructed to supply excessive overall performance for an enormously short period.

Be conscious of now not solely how many miles the bike has, however how these miles are with comparable bikes. This will supply you with a sense of how riders use that bike, and how the bike you are searching at falls in the spectrum. Also, asking about how the miles are shown there and the challenging miles off-street or winding a bike out on the track will put on the powertrain out a lot quicker than easy miles cruising the interstates.

Consumer Rights

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, any second-hand bike has to be of ‘satisfactory quality and as described in any advertising material. This consists of online advertisements or listings. If your bike isn’t as described or has a serious fault, you have the right to reject it within 30 days of buying and acquire a full refund. You additionally have the right to demand a repair or replacement – however, in all instances, you would possibly want to supply proof of the fault.


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