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Buying a motorbike - new or used - represents one of the biggest investments you’re ever likely to make.

Key Checks when Buying a Used Motorbike

UK Car Finance
16, Sep 2019

When buying a motorbike or motorcycle, particularly a used one, you need to ensure it is a wise and carefully thought-out investment.

This is particularly true where used motorbikes are concerned. For obvious reasons, picking up a used bike of any kind raises more questions than when buying a new bike. Still, it doesn’t have to be a difficult or daunting process.

Simply factor in the following considerations and you’ll be on your way to a safe investment:

Used or new, a motorbike is up there with a house, a car, a life-time holiday as one of the most significant investments there is. If you are considering buying a used motorbike on finance, regardless of whether you’re going to use it every day or once in a while, you want to make sure you’re getting a good deal for your money and it doesn’t instantly fall to pieces as soon as you’ve parted with the cash to buy it.

Dealer Vs Private Seller

Right off the bat, you’ll need to decide whether you want to buy from a private seller or a dealer. 

The advantage of buying from a dealer typically being more extensive quality and performance checks. Not to mention, the chance of being offered at least some kind of warranty on the bike. Of course, the disadvantage of buying from a dealer is paying a higher price.

With private sellers, it’s the exact opposite. You’ll find bikes being sold by private sellers for significantly lower prices than dealers in your area.  Nevertheless, you cannot necessarily guarantee that any quality, performance or safety checks have been carried out. There’s also no real legal protection to back a private sale – certainly no warranty.

Checks When Buying A Used Bike

Buying privately is the preferred option for many, which can open the door to an unbeatable bargain. It’s simply a case of carrying out the necessary checks, in order to ensure the bike is as it appears to be.

Examples of which include the following:

  • Any evidence that the bike has been involved in accidents and subsequently repaired. Check for any suspicious scrapes, scratches, dents and replaced components.
  • Give the bike a good bounce up and down to ensure that the shock absorbers are still in good working order.
  • Thoroughly test the front and back brakes, taking a close look at the discs and pads to ensure they are in decent condition.
  • Move the handlebars and listen carefully for any grinding, creaking or cracking noises that could indicate something is wrong.
  • Start the bike up and listen carefully to the engine. Be suspicious of any unusual sounds whatsoever and don’t be afraid to question them.
  • Assuming your insurance covers it, you’ll also want to take the bike for a test-ride. If all seems to be in good working order, it probably is.

Last but not least, take a good look at the bike’s MOT certificate and V5 logbook. This will give you a good idea as to how it has been looked after, which should help you make the right decision.

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