For most of people motorcycles are not a necessity, they are luxury. Car is much more useful but you will never have that feeling while driving a car so it is pretty clear why most people want to have a bike. When you are limited with the money, buying a motorcycle at any price is an investment that you must take seriously. We decided to make things easier and to make an article in which you will get some tips that will help both experienced motorcycle riders and those who never bought a vehicle. Again, we decided to contact our motorcycle consultant – Matt.
VI: Hi again Matt, thanks for cooperating with us for the second time. In this article we want to cover buying used motorcycle since there is more room for error that getting it new.
Matt: Hello everybody, thanks for calling me again. Before we start – there is one simple trick even when you buy motorcycle in the dealership. Go at the end of the month! That is the time when the dealers are trying to hit their bonus or count and they will do everything to sell it. You will have upper hand then.
VI: Wow Matt, you showed us again how experienced you are. Shall we start?
Matt: Of course. First thing you must make ask yourself what your budget is and do you have a gear. If you don’t have a helmet, gloves and some extra money for possible repairs wait a little more. The biggest mistake is to save money on those three things. Then you start browsing ads. I presume that you have already decided the model you want and find at least 3 or 4 bikes. It is important to see more that one so you can compare them and see the difference. Sometimes it’s more important to recognize a bad bike than a good one!
VI: Nice start. What should we ask the seller?
Matt: Let them tell you their story and listen carefully. Two of the most important questions should be if the bike was in accident and if they have all paperwork. Bikes which were in accidents can have unbalanced frame which is hardly repairable sometimes and those bikes can be dangerous to drive. Also, seller should have important paperwork such is the ownership. It is always a good thing that the bike is certified by a mechanic. That means that can be insured and plated in instant which means that its good for the streets and that it is in generally good condition. Maybe the most important thing is to get a VIN report for it. It will show you every information about the bike and you will see if it backs up seller’s information. Also, service records are great thing, but if he did maintenance by himself, always ask for receipts so you can be sure that he actually maintained it. Get a report after you select up to 3 bikes you like because they are not free and buying reports for 10 of them isn’t really good for your budget.
VI: Great tactics. What can you tell us about inspecting it when we meet with the seller?
Matt: Well, first you have to do some research about parts for that model. You must know how much some parts cost so you can know how much it can cost and how much you should try to lower the price. If this is your first bike, take someone more experienced with you for a test drive. First thing you need to do is to compare odometer readings with overall condition of the bike and ask to see maintenance records and receipts.
-Look for rust and scratches on bodywork and search for clues which can show you if the driver has fallen with a bike. Always inspect footpegs: if they are worn on top it means it went lot of miles and if its worn on bottom it means a rider leaned over too far in corners
– Cracked or weather-beaten seat and oxidized paint means that the bike went through a lot of hard life
– Inspect the engine and transmission cases for oil leaks.
– The chain should be clean and tight. A rusty or grime-caked chain means lack of maintenance.
– Brake discs should be smooth, clean and not blue. Examine the tires also
– The bike should start easily and may emit a little smoke on a cold startup. If it’s hard to start or emits a lot of smoke (especially blue smoke) – beware.
VI: Great advice. You really look for details. What can you tell us about test drive?
Matt: If you are not experienced, ask someone to drive it for you. If you are, go for a test ride. Drive it around, accelerate, brake and repeat. It will show you the state of engine, transmission and brakes. Take turns and see how it handles. Be aware that different types of bikes behave differently when you turn. See if it pulls more to one side that to another, that could be sign of the bent frame. See if there is a wobble. If there is, that could mean that the rim is out of balance. Don’t forget to pay attention to shock absorbers and sound. Sound can tell you a lot about state of engine.
VI: When I decide to get new bike, you will be the test driver Matt.
Matt: I am honored. There is one more thing left – negotiating a price. Most important thing you should consider are modifications. When it comes to that, behave like you are buying stock bike. You will always have room to lower the price because modifications are made by the seller’s taste and represent his taste so he can’t sell you that. I personally never make low-ball offers and try to lower price only if I pay in cash. Negotiating skills are yours and yours only, I can’t teach you that. Just take a look on an overall state of the bike and your budget and see if there is a room for negotiation.
VI: Thank you a lot for your help Matt. I believe that everyone who reads this article owes you a drink.
Matt: And I will gladly accept it! Thank you for putting your trust in my advice.