Things to know before buying a Used Motorcycle

Not everyone can afford to buy a new motorcycle in their fist year of joining a job that pays them on the basis of a fresher who has just entered college finishing their high schooling and it is also not always about new bikes being better than the used ones. Blame the perception here for an instance.

In India although used bikes doesn’t strike the right chord with the buyers as it’s mostly seen negative, there are several instances where a used bike has proven itself a lot worthier for the money spent on it rather than a shiny one parked in the showroom waiting to be rolled down the ramp. Who knows one could strike an ultimate deal for a pre-worshipped bike that has been taken care of, very seriously posing a great threat to the new ones and envy to buyers who always swear on new motorcycles being the best. Although I completely agree the feel that a new motorcycle enthrals its owner with, what would one do whose looking for a Yamaha RX series now? Other than to buy it pre-worshipped, there’s no way around.

Although not everyone can think in terms of business and strike the right deal. There are also people inviting into the pit of nightmares which begins to encircle the buyer once the deal is closed. To be on the safer side for the guys who are looking out for pre-worshipped bikes and as a guide of pointers, let me put what I’ve learnt all these years about the topic that is being discussed now.

The First and foremost thing being the bike itself that takes the centre stage, it is better that the buyer is on his own in inspecting the bike himself for the loop holes and definitely not rely someone who he hardly knows. It is also advisable to read plenty about the bike that he/ she been squared down to which enables the buyer to be more specific about the bike rather than being generic. Some very important pointers to look out for when buying a used motorcycle in your own local region that you belong to;

  • Check the Papers of the vehicle, which to be very specific will be the Registration Certificate and the Insurance papers are valid and have not expired which in a case of an exotic like a Jawa belonging to 1970’s might not be which can be compromised at buyers own risk. Make sure the registration certificate carries the correct engine & chassis no. that is punched onto the bike. As this makes sure that the bike isn’t suffering from illegal issues and ensures that the piece of love that you’ve been looking for is pretty legitimate.
  • Call up the Insurance agency the bike is registered to and with the help of a little Rapport that you create instantly with them, try and track down if any major claims/ accidents have been registered in the name of the owner or in the registration no. of the bike. This will make sure that the owner is not pushing you a troublesome salvage bike that might have its own legal issues once bought.
  • Avoid a modified Motorcycle as modification in India is not as clean as it is seen abroad. Also modified motorcycle can also be a sign of an abused motorcycle that was modified from its original state to take some amount of abuse for whatever reason the owner did it with. Also modified motorcycles will be a Cop/ RTO authority magnet. It’s always better to be subtle than to shout out crying for unwanted attention.
  • The frame, forks, engine casings and the fuel tank are the most expensive parts housed in a motorcycle excluding the engine itself. A detailed inspection of the above said things will save you a lot of money in terms of maintenance as damaged forks or fork oil seals or even a leaky tank that leaks once the kick stand is on will again drill a hole in the pocket after the deal is closed that puts a lot of financial pressure to the potential buyer.
  • After the bike is visually inspected and when you’re satisfied, proceed to firing the engine. For a safer side, request the owner to start the bike. Keep the bike idling in stationary position. Listen to the engine idle, sharp ears and a good knowledge about Motors will be of a great help. If not pls. call your best mentor in the Automotive field whom you can trust with their decisions and rely them for the final verdict. In general, make sure the bike doesn’t let out too much of exhaust smoke in case of a 4 Stroke and if does, be prepared to look out for other options as a damaged cylinder kit will again cost you thousands additionally.
  • If everything goes alright with respect to the engine idle, request the owner to rev up a little and inspect the same. If ok, ask the owner for a small test drive and pls. be polite to take him along if he insists as he would also feel that you are a complete stranger to him. Mutual respect is sincerely advised in this case.
  • If something goes wrong or if you feel something is wrong during the test ride, pls. feel free to ask the owner about the same. With the answers given by the owner one can be clearly judge the intentions of the seller. Either it should be a legitimate sale or pushing off a rusted piece of metal.
  •  The final stage being the owner and the negotiation part, make sure the owner feels as important as the vehicle itself that you’ve been looking out for. With that kind of feeling subjected to, the owner of-course will be very co-operative in answering almost any question that you throw at him right from the free services availed to the last repair and accident history carried out recently.
  • Coming to the negotiations, make sure you enquire the local market price with respect to the year of manufacturing before you offer your deal. Be very polite in the offers and please avoid low balling as much as possible as most of the owners who have kept their machines in spanking conditions wanting to sell do not part them only because of the need for money. They might look out for better homes to put their long trusted steed in.

– Ram