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Used Motorbike Buying Checklist

(Thursday, 16 February 2017)

If you want to make your budget go further when picking up your next bike, or your first, buying used can be the way to go. But there’s always a risk when buying pre-owned goods that you won’t get exactly what you thought you were paying for, so it’s wise to take a little bit of extra care when picking a used motorcycle out. Here are some essential steps to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Check the Documentation

This is a vital step to avoid scams. A seller who’s above board won’t have a problem with you seeing the registration documents and service history, but one who has something to hide might.

Make sure the bike is being sold from the address on the V55 and has a full MOT, then cross-reference everything you find on the documents with an HPI check. In particular, make sure the ownership records are accurate, as many fraudsters try to make a bike seem more appealing by disguising the number of owners it has had.

Inspect the Vehicle

Get a close look at the bike in good light before you agree to anything, paying particular attention to the bodywork-if there’s any outstanding accident damage on the vehicle, this is where it’s most visible. Again, a history check on the vehicle will tell you if there’s anything you should be wary of.

Wear and tear is also a very real possibility on a used bike, so it’s worth checking for anything that might make it less than usable. Try at least starting it yourself to see how the engine runs.

Do Some Research

Either before you start looking or once something’s caught your eye, take a look at valuations and user reviews online-one of the great advantages of buying used is that you can use others’ experience of the bike’s reliability and performance to make an informed decision.

Take Your Time

Before any money changes hands take some time to think about your decision and be sure you’re completely happy with it before you commit to anything. Get a second opinion from a friend or relative who’s experienced and isn’t looking at the situation with the same enthusiastic eyes as you are, and weigh all your alternatives carefully.

Most importantly of all, don’t fall for any high-pressure sales tactics. If the seller tells you they’re in a hurry or that they have other buyers lined up, there’s a good chance they’re a scammer trying to close the deal before you get wise to what they’re up to.