Are you looking to join the approximately one million riders in the UK by buying a used bike? The statistics show that around 450,000 people bought a used bike in 2012 the market for second-hand bikes is still strong, despite the economic climate. If you want the freedom of the open road, the wind in your face and the convenience of owning a vehicle that allows you to navigate the city or country in style, then get yourself to a bike dealer. But dont just buy the first bike you see follow these top tips for buying the right used bike for your needs.
How to check a used bike
Look the bike over for any signs of damage. Check for scratches and rust. Look at the bodywork and the tank, as well as the guards. Pay particular attention to the seat and the paintwork. Faded paint and a cracked or damaged seat reveal that the bike has had a hard life make sure the price reflects this.
Look at the chain the chain should be tight and also clean. A chain caked with mud shows a badly maintained bike. Check the odometer reading and compare it to the condition of the motorcycle. Do this whether you buy a bike from a dealer or from a private seller. If something doesnt look right, ask to see the service records and the maintenance records.
Things to look for
Check for any parts that look like they have been replaced. If the dealer has already told you about these replacement parts then this is fine, but if they havent then ask why they werent revealed.
Look at the brake discs to see if they are clean and smooth. Also check the tires to see if they are in good condition. Both these parts are essential and you need to make sure they are good quality, and not mistreated. Start the bike and check that it starts easily. While a bike may give off a little smoke on a cold day, if it is difficult to start or you get a lot of smoke then steer clear.
Check the size of the bike compared to your body type. You need to be able to place your feet on the floor when the bike is upright. If you cant, the bike is too big. Similarly, steer clear of high-performance bikes if you are an inexperienced rider. You want a bike that you can ride safely. A bike for commuting to and from work is a different kind of bike from one that allows you to compete in off-road competitions. Be aware of your needs and what you want to use the bike for having an idea of the type of bike you want helps narrow-down the search for the perfect vehicle.
How to buy a used bike
Dont just buy any motor bike buy the bike that suits you best, both in terms of your budget and the model of bike that meets your needs. With so many used bikes on the market it pays to do a little research and find the right bike for you.