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Passing your CBT test, or even better still passing the direct access course, which will allow you to choose whatever bike you like, means that you’re now in the market for buying your first motorbike.
It’s an exciting time and hopefully the start of many memorable rides to come!
We’ve all been there and passing your test is a day you’ll likely not forget in a hurry.
Passing your test, however, typically means your opportunity to ride a bigger bike. Exciting.
If you’re not in a position to buy a brand new motorcycle, though, then you’ll likely be looking for something second-hand...
The most common reason for buying a second hand bike is the price. In many cases, you’re able to get a bike in great condition which has already depreciated in value from its as-new price. You get the benefits of a great bike at a lower price.
You do need to consider any potential risks when buying second hand, however, and also know what to look for.
That aside, however, there’s a great second hand bike market in the UK and you shouldn’t struggle to find the bike of your dreams.
Spoiled for choice? We’re sure you are.
There are lots of second hand bikes out there on the market, and it’s worth knowing a few tips that will help you not only decide which bike is best for you, but how to decide that the one you’ve fallen in love with, is a good’un?
As one of the UK’s leading motorbike buyers, we’re pleased to bring you our top tips below…
A couple of obvious things first.
Are you going to be a commuter on your new machine, or is it just for sunny days? Sports or tourer? Will you be taking a passenger? If you’re tall, then you might want to think about a physically bigger bike that won’t cramp your knees after twenty minutes riding – BMW’s are always big!
You’ll need to consider all these when deciding what sort of bike you want and it pays to know what sort of bike you’re looking for before spending too much time researching.
There’s a good chance you’ll already know this, however, and are eager to find your new bike.
Then, of course, is the consideration of engine size.
Again, this will be largely dictated by your intended use for the bike.
The more miles you intend to ride, the bigger the engine is a rule of thumb. An easy guide if you’re going to commute is that you should add 100cc’s to every ten miles you are going to travel each way.
With this in mind, a 12-mile commute needs only a 125cc bike whereas a 75-mile ride each way warrants a 750cc bike. Understanding your intended use for the bike not just now but in the coming months is key to finding the right model.
Second-hand bikes are easily bought from main dealerships, just like cars, and although you’ll pay a higher price, the bike is more likely to have been properly serviced by them and fully checked over before being offered for sale.
You’ll also get more buyer protection if something goes wrong.
Their second hand offerings are typically those which have been traded in by other motorcyclists who themselves have moved on to a new bike.
You’ll often get peace of mind when buying from a main dealer that you’re buying a bike which is in great condition which has been looked after.
An alternative to buying from a main dealer, whilst staying away from private purchases, is an independent motorbike garage where you can also find well-looked after examples.
eBay and other marketplaces are, of course, where the majority of bikes are sold, and the reason for this is that the seller is likely to get more money for his or her machine by presenting their bike with great photos and a good write-up than they would by selling to a dealer.
The main marketplaces where bikes are commonly bought and sold in the UK include:
When buying privately, though, you need to be careful.
There is usually very little comeback with an eBay seller. You buy as seen and have little in terms of a guarantee. With that in mind, you need to understand the risks and know what to look for and fully check over the bike.
Don’t forget, if a purchase seems too good to be true then it probably is.
If you’re going to buy from eBay or other marketplaces, you really do need to do your homework first and take someone else with you to view it – there are some scoundrels out there and unfortunately, scams are more common than you’d like to think.
So, you’ve decided which make and model you’re going to get.
You’ve considered your options in terms of where to buy from and you’ve worked out which type of bike will best suit your needs and your budget, and you’ve narrowed it down to several good-looking examples with great service histories and lots of shiny chrome.
The problem now is how you know what the bike is like on the inside. A bike can look great on the outside, aesthetically, however we all know there’s far more to a great bike than just how it looks.
If your knowledge of motorbike engines and the particular model you’re after is limited, then find a friend you can trust who can help.
There are, however, a number of things you can check over yourself, pulling together a checklist of things to look for and consider.
Below is a list of those things to check when you finally get to see a bike that you like the look of;
Never part with the cash until you’re completely comfortable with the bike, have checked everything and are happy that the bike is worth the asking price. Don’t be afraid to haggle should you feel you need to.
Buying your first second-hand bike is both exciting and slightly fraught.
You’ll want to know that you’ve bought the right bike and that you’ll be able to ride it easily. You’ll also want to know that it is a ‘good’un’.
Just be sure to do your homework, and everything should be fine.
Good luck and enjoy your new bike!
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