Owning a motorcycle appeals to everyone, but before getting yourself one, there are several factors you need to consider. One is determining how much you can afford. This is especially important to prepare the funds you need for the purchase. Note that buying a motorcycle comes with a hefty cost.
There are financing options to help you acquire a brand new one. However, it’s hard to get qualified if you have bad credit. With limited access to funds, buying a pre-owned unit is a more practical choice for many people.
If you opt to buy a pre-owned unit, here’s a guide to help you decide and avoid some mistakes in buying.
Know Where to Buy Pre-owned Units
A second-hand motorcycle is an excellent option if you have limited funds or tight credit. But similar to purchasing a new unit, knowing where to buy pre-owned motorcycles is important.
You’d find that a private seller will almost always be less expensive when searching. However, it’s worth noting never to compromise quality with price. While the cheaper cost is appealing, it might bring some potential issues ahead. If you want to get the best deal on price and quality, consider going to an indie shop, a franchised dealer, or a privately owned dealership.
For example, let’s say you’re in Australia, New Zealand, or Papua New Guinea. A family-owned dealership like Cully’s Yamaha Motorcycle Store Australia would be better to increase your chances of getting a trustworthy motorcycle.
Going to a trusted dealer is essential because you can be confident that they only accept trade-ins in good shape. This means you can also better find decent used motorcycles that are well-maintained and ready to ride when you leave the dealership.
Check on the Ownership History
Remember that a motorcycle dealer should be able to supply you with a printed history of the motorcycle. Always ask about the ownership history before getting the particular unit you want to purchase. Dealers always run an ownership history to ensure the legitimacy of ownership or if an insurance company has written it off.
If your supplier cannot provide you with that information, it can be a red flag. Find another dealer who can provide you with the ownership history.
Research on the Pricing
Every dealer has different pricing for their motorcycles. Thus, make sure to shop around and compare their prices. With the convenience of the internet, you can now search for advertising and estimate values for second-hand motorcycles without getting too lost or confused.
Here are some things to consider for the price comparison:
- Use the retail listed pricing guide.
- Prepare an approximate estimate of how much money you have available within your budget.
- Keep in mind the additional fees you’ll have to pay, such as a setup or dealer-prep fee, maintenance cost, delivery or transportation fee, and registration and transfer of title.
Contact the Seller
Always have a detailed discussion with the seller before the purchase. Ask all relevant questions that you would want to know about the unit and all information therein, and keep these things in mind:
- Set the time and place when you’ve agreed to buy the unit.
- Always be polite when communicating with the seller.
- Don’t try to negotiate over a price until you’ve seen the motorcycle in person.
Ask for an In-person Inspection
Personally check on the motorcycle. Set the time and date, and make sure to request that you want to see the motorcycle cold and engine off. Note that a hot engine can mask troubles with starting that may arise later.
A cold motorcycle could also have a worn battery that makes it difficult to start, and seeing it running may lead you to believe that everything is well with the battery. Also, there are a lot of other things to look into during the inspection, such as:
- Clutch System
- Tires and Wheels
- Exhaust System
- Break System
Request For a Test Ride
Request a test ride to inspect the unit and try on a ride. This will allow you to examine the motorcycle up close while asking the seller a few detailed questions. Some of the important but often missed questions are the history of service, history of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the title, and the owner’s guide.
Of course, ensure to take a test ride to select the right one for you. Note that some motorcycle dealerships don’t offer test rides. This is because of the risk of damage, especially if it’s a test ride of off-road or adventure motorcycles.
But if a dealership allows for a test ride, make sure to feel and hear how smoothly it operates. Observe strange noises such as squeaks, rattles, and loose parts that are not visible.
The Bottom Line
Owning a motorcycle entails an amount of responsibility. As a soon-to-be owner, you must take part in every purchase decision regardless of whether it is a brand new or a pre-owned motorcycle. You need to be extra careful, however, with the pre-owned unit. The list above would greatly help you make a more informed decision about your purchase.