Buying A Bike
Buying and selling guide
Buying and selling a motorcycle. Guide to what you should look out for when advertising your motorcycle for sale, the scams that people use to con you when buying a motorcycle, motorbike or scooter
Let's face it; buying a vehicle for most people is a big decision. You need to get it right and ride away satisfied.
Here are a few pointers!
Whether you have seen the bike you want in print or online, the procedure is the same.
Firstly choose the bike you want. Will it do what you want it to? I.e. is it fit for the purpose? If you want something to commute on
it's pretty pointless buying a super motard. Consider for instance if you want a shaft drive bike for low maintenance.
Sports bikes are great fun and more useable than they look sometimes, but if you want to go touring, a comfy seat upright
riding position and some luggage may be more suitable. If you just wanna hoon about town, and are not bothered by distance
work, do you need a litre class bike? A smaller capacity bike is just as much fun.
If it appeals to you then the chances are it will appeal to some one else so you need to have everything in place to get that bike.
Possibly choose an alternative, in case it has already sold.
You can easily check whether the price being asked is fair on various sites, by browsing similar bikes for sale but ultimately
something is only worth what you are prepared to pay for it. Be sure.
Have you checked out the Insurance cost and servicing costs?
Chances are you have already done your research on the bike you are intending to purchase, but it does no harm to ask your mates opinions,
check our reviews out for other owners opinions, they are honest opinions from other users Link
- Check for obvious road rash, if the bike has had a spill and it doesn't state it in the advertisement it may have been covered up.
Obvious places to look are on plastics on the end of handlebars, indicators mirrors and levers, the edge of the exhaust muffler and
footpegs. Have the hero blobs been ground to oblivion?
- Don't be afraid to ask questions.
- If it has been down the road and has been repaired professionally you shouldn't have any problems. Most owners have no worries
telling you this, but if you don't ask the question it may not be volunteered information from the seller.
The seller should have the requisite paperwork.
You can for a fee also check out the status of the bike via HPI.
Either at your local dealer or online.
- Some bikes get stripped of standard parts, put on the race track, thrashed for a season or two and then sold on, with all the
original shiny new standard parts replaced. Ask that question if you are not sure.
- Have the tyres got much tread on them? Will you have to replace them soon? Tyres aren't cheap.
Check chain adjustment. Is there any adjustment left? Will you have to replace them soon?
If it is three years old and there is a race can/system fitted, for MOT purposes you will need a standard muffler/system. Some up
too date race cans are now supplied new with a bolt in/out baffle and are E marked, make sure you get the baffle with the purchase
of the bike if it has this fitted.
Run your fingers round the discs, are they ridged and worn excessively, they are now service items on modern bikes so if it has
heavy mileage on board bear this in mind.
- Is the oil level topped up? Is the coolant topped up?
- If there are any extra's ask for the standard parts as part of the sale. You won't always get them but it's worth the ask.
- Is there a service history? Take as much paperwork as possible as it is a documented history of the bike and its care.
- Check correct colour, registration number, frame and engine numbers on the bike to those shown on the V5 (registration document).
If you want to test ride the bike before you buy it, you will stand more of a chance of the seller letting you if you take the following.
A valid insurance certificate highlighting the fact that you are able to ride any other bike than your own with the owners permission.
Most sellers as well as needing to see the insurance document will ask to hold the cash whilst you are out ( again fair enough)
but take a pal with you he can keep an eye on your seller and the cash.
Finally if you are satisfied, get a dated receipt detailing full address details and telephone/contact numbers.
If you are not happy with the bike ok you may have wasted some time and some petrol money, but trust your instincts, don't be bullied or cajoled into buying something you are not happy with. Be polite but don't be afraid to walk away.
Selling A Bike
Chances are you have your next bike in mind, earmarked and keen to move on your current machine, so a quick sale is always what you need.
When selling your bike, don't undersell it. You can advertise your bike for free on UKBike which allows unlimited
characters for description plus the upload of one image. You can also for a series of incremental minimal fees enhance
your ad by placing it at the top of the list, featuring on the homepage and uploading multiple images. We even offer a list
‘till sold option.
Whichever you choose you need to describe it adequately, give as much information as possible to entice any potential buyers, the
higher the price the more justification for it you need to offer. This initial step in the whole process is very important.
What is the model, suffix, year/registration, what colour is it (some are more sought after than others) how many miles, how many
previous owners, Tax, MOT, list all extra's, (they all cost money and add to the value of your bike). What is the general condition
of the bike (honestly).Will you take offers? Where are you in the country? I.e. South East, North West, Midlands etc. Make sure you
can be contacted any time. We all lead busy lives; a potential buyer could contact you anytime.
Clean the bike, spend time making it as attractive as possible, and keep it clean, people buy clean and shiny. Pay particular attention
to the wheels, they are awkward to clean especially if coated with chain lube and brake dust but make a major difference to the overall
presentation. Make sure the chain is adjusted, all fluids topped up etc.
Have all paperwork, receipts etc to hand. A full service history etc is very important to a genuine buyer.
Chances are you have added a few personal mods, decide whether you are going to include all the standard parts you have replaced
as part of the sale. Do you really want them kicking about your garage unless you are buying a similar model? It will help the sale
of your bike if you offer them in addition to the bike, its added value.
If a potential buyer contacts you consider a mutually acceptable venue to meet which is not necessarily your home or where the bike
is stored/garaged. It's not unheard of for potential buyers to call, meet, decline the bike and then come back at a later date with
the intention of stealing it. Most people are honest and straightforward but it pays to be circumspect.
Never send money to a buyer no matter what the explanation, decide whether you will accept any other form of payment other than cash,
if you are prepared to accept a cheque, bankers draft etc, make sure it clears before you release the bike. There are organized gangs
out there all with one scam or another on the go. They are clever and can be persuasive. Common sense should tell you that virtually
nobody buys a second hand vehicle without looking it over first. Don't let them catch you out. It has also been known for these people
to illicit all the information in terms of location, personal details and all the bike information to hoodwink others into buying a
bike they don't even own.
There are organized gangs out there all with one scam or another on the go, they are clever and can be persuasive. Common sense
should tell you that virtually nobody buys a second hand vehicle and offer to send payment without looking it over first, don't
let them catch you out. Because of the bank clearing systems, one day you could check that the funds are there the next day they may not.
Double double check if you find yourself in this or a similar situation that any funds sent have actually cleared and are available to
draw upon, before you let the bike go. It has also been known for these people to illicit all the information In terms of location,
personal details and all the bike information to hoodwink others into buying a bike they don't even own.
If a potential buyer wishes to test ride the bike, bring a mate along with you to meet the buyer or to accompany the buyer if he wishes to
take a test ride, make sure there is enough fuel for a short spin but not a full tank of gas.
Be honest, it pays in the long run. By all means big it up but don't lie.