Buying a Used Motorbike – How to Buy a Used Motorbike – Full Checklist

While there’s nothing quite like the feeling of excitement in buying a motorbike from a manufacturer or getting a bike from your local dealership, there are times when a second-hand bike fits the bill. You may find a great deal on a used bike at a dealership or in the hands of a private seller. 

It is important to recognize what to look at when shopping for a second-hand motorcycle or scooter. Unfortunately, there are many scams out there that are exploiting the benefit of inexperienced buyers. If you are shopping for a second-hand motorbike, you must see it earlier than handing over your money. This is important if you are buying it from a private seller. If you don’t experience assurance sufficient to make these types of checks, take anybody with you if you can. But buying a motor vehicle from a private seller has its pitfalls, and go through our full checklist.

What to check for when buying a used bike online?

There are several online choices for a used motorbike purchase. You can use an extensive filter to slender your search, whether or not it’s by the brand, model or age, engine size, and geographic location of the bike you want.

Before you figure out how to proceed with a sale, test the seller’s comments scores, paying unique interest to those posted most recently. Mixed scores from different people who have made purchases from them have to be used as a warning sign. Be conscious of encompassing a failure to use proper pics of the bike that’s on sale. Some retailers would possibly use inventory pictures from the manufacturer, possibly to make the bike appear extra attractive. But it ought to be because the bike they are selling is in bad condition. And as with whatever you see for sale online, if the charge is too good to be true, it probably is.

Why buy a used motorbike?

One merit of shopping for a 2d hand motorcycle is simple – the price. The owner takes all the depreciation prices whilst you select up an exquisite low mileage bargain.

How to buy a used motorbike?

Start with the local sellers and test out their second-hand stock. A lot of sellers are obtaining greater and greater used bikes to sell, some are imparting massive incentives such as lifetime guarantee or free delivery. Also, compare prices, figure out your budget and pick what make, model, or age motorcycle you choose to purchase.

What checks have to be done before committing the deal?

A low-frequency knocking sound comes from the backside phase of the engine (the sump). If you hear it, that indicates you will want an entire engine rebuild. Don’t purchase it. An excessive frequency tapping sound from the top phase of the engine (the cylinder head). This should imply the tappets are worn and want to be changed or they should simply want to be adjusted. It’s expensive to change it. If you don’t hear both of these two sounds, maintain a gloved hand gently over the cease of the exhaust for about 5 seconds. If you don’t hear them then so far well. If there is extreme darkish smoking from the exhaust it indicates the piston rings are going and want to be replaced. Again, a high-priced job. If you see oil coming from the cylinder head that’s horrific news.

For a new rider, a more cost-effective bike will additionally price much less to insure. You won’t get any assurance or warranty when shopping for a used motorcycle, so doing your homework is essential.

Bounce the front of the bike up and down and then seem for oil rings around the vibrant components of the forks. If oil rings are there it is potential that the fork seals have long gone and want to be replaced. It’s now not high-priced components however it is for labour until you can do it yourself. Now do that with the backside of the bike. Look at the tires. Finally, experience the bike. Accelerate, brake the front and back, flip corners, do U-turns, stop, start again, take a look at the safety systems if it has one.

Check with a Mechanic

When you locate a used bike that ticks all or most of your checklist, ask lots of questions. If you are shopping at a dealer, see what they can provide as an offer or warranty. If you are shopping online and the motorbike is a way to view, you should search for a bike mechanic that is nearby to the motorbike which you have selected. It would be steeply priced however if the dealer agrees, getting a mechanical check on the bike ought to save a lot of cash in the future. They should additionally test frame or engine numbers and forms on your behalf.

What things have to be included in your check?

  • Proof of crash damage
  • Fluid leakage
  • Well maintained
  • Faith in the seller
  • Do you understand when the tires have been ultimately changed?
  • How have you saved the paint in such true condition?
  • Proof for the final service?
  • Oil is commonly used. What gas?
  • The entire component is important.
  • Physical damage to the motorbike

What Documents are to be checked?

  1. Make sure the VIN on the chassis suits the one on the paperwork or title document. If it doesn’t, stroll away. 
  2. Make certain that it is a clean or salvage title. This impacts not only now what you can do with the motorcycle but also how much you can sell it for. Anything however clean title is normally 30% much less than the usual price.
  3. Make certain the key works well. The barrel, and the fork lock, must work best and no longer appear like they have been tampered with.
  4. Keep away from paying for instantaneous upcoming maintenance.
  5. Check the manual for your bike and take a look at the repair schedules for scheduled maintenance. 
  6. Check all the keys, manual, logbook of repairs, and receipts

Test Driving a used bike

There are a few matters you can only test if driving the motorcycle. For this reason, check rides are obligatory when shopping for a used motorcycle. Sure, you would possibly have to provide them all your cash, so solely do it if you virtually believe them and you are aware that it’s now not a stolen motorcycle.

Check for the safety

Whether you purchase privately or from a dealer you are entitled to anticipate that the bike is roadworthy, until you and the dealer agree it is offered for scrap or spares and repair. You are additionally entitled to count on that the private seller has a ‘good title’ to the motorcycle. This indicates that the individual selling the motorbike ought to own it. If you purchase a motorbike that you later discover is stolen, you do not now have the legal rights to keep it. Attempt to get your cash again from the seller.

Taxing a motorbike

When you purchase a bike the tax can’t be transferred with it; you will want to purchase a new tax earlier than you can power it away. You must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) when you sell your motorbike and you will get a refund on the closing full months’ tax; it can’t be transferred with the motorbike as a section of the sale. 

MOT and mileage on a used bike

An MOT certificate confirms that the motorbike passed the check on the day it was once submitted. It solely covers the unique checks required and does not grant a guarantee of the quality of the bike. If you have trouble with an MOT contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which enforces the regulation concerning these tests.

Questions to ask the seller

You must ask a lot of questions to the owner before buying the used bike.

Why are they selling it? Do they have provider records? Has it been in a crash? When you go to see it, deliver a pal who is aware of bikes too, to assist you objectively considering the bike. Better yet, prepare to deliver it to a dealership for inspection if possible. It’s good to see the bike all through daylight. Take a test ride, if the seller will permit it and solely if you are licensed to drive.

 For your safety, at least test the tire pressure, brakes, headlight, and brake earlier than the ride. Wear your full complement of driving gear, even for a quick trip on a nearby street.

What to inspect?

Before you begin the engine, 

  • what is the average condition? Are there signs and symptoms of a crash, such as dents in the gasoline tank, or scraped or bent flip signals, levers, handlebar end-caps, footrests, mufflers, or fairings? 
  •  Are the tires aged or worn, or worn greater on one side? 
  • Check the brake pads. 
  •  Are the handlebars challenging to turn? Or do they have higher free-play? 
  • Do all the lights and switches work? Are the battery terminals clean?
  •  Are the oil, brake fluid (check the front and rear reservoirs), and coolant reservoirs full? Are all the fluids clean?
  • Is the power chain dry, rusty, or worn out? Are the front or rear sprocket teeth worn to a factor or hooked? 
  • When the engine is started, is the engine challenging to start? 
  • Are there any uncommon engine noises or rattling? Does the engine rapidly return to idle when the throttle is released? Is the exhaust smoky? (Applies to four-stroke fashions only.) 
  • During the test ride does the engine stall, hesitate, or backfire? 
  • Does the clutch slip? Does the transmission (gearshift lever) function smoothly? 
  •  Do the brakes slip or grab? (Note that brake squeal does not continually point out a mechanical problem.) 
  • Does the bike pull to one side? (This might also point out wheel misalignment or a bent frame.)  
  •  Check for oil or coolant leaks after the test drive.

What else to check?

Make certain all the files are in order. Check the V5C automobile registration report (log book), any provider records, restore bills, inspection reviews, and handbooks. Read all the files cautiously and test the important points against the motorcycle. Remember that a V5C automobile registration record is now not proof of ownership, it informs who the registered keeper is for legal purposes.

What to do if anything goes wrong?

This information offers you the facts you want on the rights you have and the remedies you are entitled to. If the dispute fails to be solved using an alternative dispute resolution scheme, it can be used to settle disputes by not going to court. Check to see if the dealer is a member of a trade association that has such a scheme. The retail motor industry dispute resolution scheme is the National Conciliation Service. As a final step, you can take a legal step in court. You have to write to the dealer and finance company (if there is one) to notify them of your intentions. 

Tips for basic buyers

 Make sure the motorcycle will be covered by insurance when you buy it and will be riding it home. Make certain that the seller has the current registration and title. You may be responsible for paying additional fees if the registration is not current. If the dealer gives any promises related to the condition of the bike or will be giving any spare keys, spare parts, or service records at a later date, you must get it in writing. Or else, the sale is usually considered as just a sale where the seller is not responsible for the condition of the bike once you take possession. Upon purchase, make sure you receive the signed title, a current registration, keys, toolkit, owner’s manual, and any other documents, parts, or accessories agreed to. 

Our checklist will give an idea of what to look for. Beware of scams and be a good buyer.


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