There is some amount of risk when buying any used vehicle. The only way to reduce this risk is to find out as much as possible about the bike before you narrow down and write that cheque. Follow these guidelines to make the right choice:
- Do some research beforehand regarding the pricing?
Do your homework and find out how much you should expect to shell out. What are the typically the prices for bikes with the same model and miles run in the market? You can find prices online. After you get an idea about how much the prices will be, decide how much you are willing to pay. Leave some room for negotiations.
- You can find out a lot about the bike from your first conversations with the seller.
Here are some of the questions you should ask to get an idea of how the bike was maintained:
- Did you buy the bike as a new one or was it used?
- Do you own the bike or are you still financing it? Do you have the title? If the owner does not have the title, it is more complicated to buy it.
- Have you been in any accidents or dropped your bike?
- How often do you service your bike? Do you have the records for it that you could show me?
- Where do you give your bike for servicing?
- Is it the original paint job?
- Where do you park your bike usually?
- Why have you decided to sell your bike?
- How often have you used your bike and what kind of riding do you do?
- Do a thorough inspection of the Bike
The quality of a used bike really depends on how it has been maintained. Sellers could lie and tell you what you want to hear. But a thorough inspection will reveal the truth and how it has been cared for. Carry a flashlight to see well. You can predict the potential problems you will face with the bike by inspecting it yourself, or even better, ask motorcycle expert to inspect it for you.
- Do a test ride
The final step is to take the bike on a ride yourself so you get a feel first hand. Make sure you are carrying your license. Start slowly and check out how it speeds up. How does the breaks feel? Do they feel smooth and even? They should not grab forcefully. They should not pulsate. Pulsating brake is a sign of warped disks. Check the gears. It should be a smooth transformation and it should feel firm. You should feel like you are in complete control. It should not feel choppy.
The bike should feel stable. Test on a clean road without any road humps or potholes.
Weave left and right and see if it seems in control. Listen closely for any unfamiliar noises from the engine and excessive vibrations. There should not be any creaking or rattling from the suspension. If you hear anything unusual ask the seller. Sometimes unusual noises are just characteristic of the particular bike and doesn’t necessarily indicate an issue.