Riding a motorbike isn’t for everyone. However, for those who enjoy this activity, there is a wide array of styles and sizes of bikes to choose from. While buying new is fine, many people opt to buy used due to the cost savings it offers.
Unfortunately, buying a used motorbike comes with a higher level of risk than buying new. While this is true, there are steps to take to help mitigate this risk.
For anyone ready to purchase a used motorbike, make sure to consider the factors and information here to ensure a smart deal is made.
When looking at the online inventory of used motorbikes, one of the first things to consider is if the bike has had modifications done to it. Keep in mind; modification isn’t uncommon. After all, personalizing a bike is one of the most appealing factors of buying it.
While modifications are fine and common, it’s important to find out if they were done properly. A new seat and custom paint jobs aren’t that big of a deal (unless the paint job was done to hide repairs), but other types of modifications may change the way the bike performs. Certain modifications are even illegal.
Before making a purchase, get all the documentation available from the seller related to modifications. Make sure all the modifications are legal for the area and state in question.
Acquire the Maintenance Records
One of the most significant risks involved with purchasing a used motorbike is that the bike wasn’t well-maintained. Similar to any machine or mode of transportation, a motorbike needs regular upkeep. If the bike has been sitting through the winter months, it’s important to ensure proper steps were taken when it was put in storage.
For buyers who don’t care how former owners treated the bike, getting the maintenance records is a step that’s unimportant. However, never pay as much for a bike with no maintenance records as what is paid for a bike with a fully documented maintenance history.
The best course of action is to get the full picture of the maintenance history a motorcycle has had.
Check the VINs
Similar to cars, motorcycles have Vehicle Identification Numbers, VINs. When purchasing a used bike, it’s important to make sure the VIN on the bike matches the VIN on the paperwork. If it doesn’t, the wrong bike may be purchased.
The worst-case scenario is that the buyer gets a stolen bike. Make sure the VIN on the title, registration, and bill of sale all match. It’s also important to make sure the VINs on the various bike parts match. This eliminates the possibility of purchasing a Harley that has a Honda engine.
Get a Bill of Sale for the Motorbike
When buying a motorbike from a dealer, the buyer receives a formal bill of sale. However, private sellers don’t always provide this automatically. It’s required to have proof of the purchase and the cost of the bike to file the registration, along with any other paperwork.
Getting a Great Deal on a Used Motorbike
With the tips here, a buyer can feel confident the bike they buy is authentic, ready to ride, and a good deal. Don’t jump into a purchase without first doing a bit of research.