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Articles > Buying a motorbike: new or used?

One of the few major decisions to make when buying a bike will be whether you want a new one or a secondhand machine.

The choice between new and used won't be anywhere as hard as your first decision of what make and model you actually want to buy. And if the bike you want has only recently come onto the market, the choice has already been made for you: you'll buy a new (or near new) bike.



Buying a new bike
This option is best for if you already have a firm idea on which make/model you want. You've already done your research and are absolutely sure that you will be happy with your purchase. You also have the budget to buy a new machine.

Buying new is also a very good thing for those who have little or no technical know-how. The warranty gives all the assurance you need. There's no need to fear any out-of-pocket costs when things break down. Most warranties are valid for 12 months.

You will almost always be buying through a dealer with an LMCT, so you can buy in confidence that the bike will have clear title (no encumberances, outstanding finance/loans, insurance write-offs, etc). The dealer will also usually stock other essential items, such as spare parts, consumables, riding apparel and riding gear. The dealer may also be able to service your bike, and if they do, you usually must take it back to the dealer for service the warranty to stay intact.

Depending on the dealer, most are happy to give you plenty of advice or answer your newbie questions before you buy. After all, they want to make sure that you get the right bike, so later on you'll be all too happy to go back for your upgrade or to buy equipment and accessories.

Before choosing to buy from a particular dealer, make sure you do your research. There are a handful of dealers who sell at inflated prices and give tardy after-sales service. Google is your friend, whoever you decide to choose, make sure you Google their name and read through other peoples' experiences.

Buying a used bike, privately
If you have the time and paitence, buying second-hand via a private sale is also a good option. Often you will find the perfect one, at the right price.

You'll need to be prudent and not rush into a decision. Go and inspect as many bikes as is practical. All the better if you're mechanically minded. If not, try to bring someone who is knowledgeable with motorcycles so you recieve the correct advice. It could very well save you from buying a lemon.

If you're lucky, the seller may agree to let you test ride the bike. Naturally you'll be anxious whilst riding - after all, you're riding someone else's property, and one drop or bingle may mean the sale is guranteed. But try to keep your mind clear. You are riding it to make sure there aren't any issues that wern't picked up during the visial inspection. Make sure the brakes, gear, clutch and throttle all operate correctly (if you recently obtained your learner permit/licence, you should know from your training). Do a saftey check before riding. Find a quiet street with enough length to let you change through gears. If anything seems amiss, the seller better have a good explanation. Otherwise, give it a miss and find another.

A red herring to look out for is sellers warming up the bike before you arrive to inspect it. A bike that's already been warmed up will be less likely to exhibit starting problems (such as the fuel delivery system, engine or battery). After all, you want to buy a reliable motorbike, not one on the brink of failing.

Before your final buying decision, do your homework. Contact your state road authority to verify the details of the bike (registration number, VIN, engine number). Some even offer additional information such as whether the bike has been written off, or is still under finance. You certainly do not want to buy a bike only to have it siezed by the police or a debt collection company.


Comments

Manoel, Thu, 05 Sep 2013 12:47 am:
I love the dancing crowd in shtian park! i saw them last time too, believe they are there every weekend.thanks for introducing bookwalker to us... i'd love to attend next time and maybe try to identify you from the crowd. i am a fan! :)

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