Choosing The Right Second Hand Motorbike For You
If you’re looking for a hobby bike or something you might take off-road when down in the country on holiday, a second-hand motorbike might be a better option than buying new. Though new bikes do sell well in Australia, there is a vast complimentary second hand market for you to explore. So how do you choose a good second-hand bike, and what’s the best way to pay for it? We detail all that and more here.
What type of bike you’re after
Your first question is this: “What does my second-hand bike need to have?” Suspension for sports? 500CC, 250CC, or higher? Are you using it on the weekends for some bush bashing or for competition? Do you want something that’s competitive spec out of the box, or are you planning to tune it yourself? If you’re totally new to motorbikes, you may want to consider buying something that’s suitable for beginners. Remember that balancing your requirements vs wants might potentially reduce the total amount you pay.
Questions to ask your seller – and what to look for
You need to ask a raft of questions of your seller – the first being who has exclusive ownership over the bike? Is the title clean without any finance owing? Is it stolen or a write-off? You’ll need the chassis and engine numbers to check against the Personal Property Security Register so it can clear that hurdle. You also need to ask your seller whether you can see the logbook and service history – and if they don’t have one, insist on getting it serviced and inspected (minus the cost to you, of course.) However, this isn’t the end of your queries.
Pitfalls to avoid when buying second hand
You need to inspect the bike for crash damage, engine faults, gearbox engagement (do they clutch through smoothly?), drive chain slippage, and how new (or old) chains, sprockets, clutch pads, and brake pads are. You also must insist on test riding the bike – and to alleviate their concerns, you can hand over a deposit of some description before you get the “you break it, you bought it” line. Modern bikes will use an immobiliser and you will need the red master key to make copies. If your owner doesn’t have a red key (only the black one) you are better off finding a seller that does – you’ll be up for a new ignition and CDI unit they can’t produce one, which costs upwards of $3,000.
Financing your bike
The last question you need to ask is how to pay for it. Buying a bike requires financing. Start with the most important consideration: how much can you afford in monthly loan payments? Use a personal loan calculator, and consider insurance, fuel, and maintenance when doing your sums. Consult a broker who may present many different loan options, which can save you dramatically than approaching your bank or a single lender. If you can get pre-approval for a loan, it signals to sellers that you’re ready to buy and can have the cash to them within 24 hours in some cases. Remember – if the deal doesn’t feel right, always trust your gut and walk away.
With all this in mind, you can drive away a great second-hand bike deal!