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Buying a Crotch Rocket - Sport Bike - Motorcycle

Buying a Motorcycle - Ten Great Tips

By Alan Liptrot

Alan Liptrot is the founder of motorbike-tours.co.uk. His friend is the founder of yourholidayrentals.com Both live in Andalusia, Spain and enjoy motorcycling.... 

It easy to rush into things once you've decided to buy a new motorbike, but have a little patience and save yourself a little grief and a lot of money.


Notice here, I avoided the word 'want', because what you want, and what suits you best are totally different animals. It's all very well finally aspiring to the bike of your dreams only to find that you fall off at every junction because your legs are too short, or it's so fast that it scares you to death, so retain a modicum of common sense when making your purchase. There's also the question of what you can afford. You may scrape together the money to buy the bike in the first place, but can you really afford to run it. Don't forget; fast bikes are costly to insure, especially if you are young or have no 'no claims' bonus.


Right, you've decided which bike to buy and you're off to get your eager hands upon the beauty, but wait, hold on a minute. Before you jump in, ought you not to test the water? It's time to survey the market. This is an important point, because it could save you a lot of money. You're going to have to decide whether you're going to buy privately or from a dealer. Of course, buying privately is cheaper, but if you go down this route, make sure you know what you're doing. Buying from a dealer will offer more protection should there be a problem with the machine after you've owned it for a week or two. Shop around and see who's offering the best deal. If necessary, hold back and wait until the bike you want is available.


You may find a motorcycle that is just the thing for you, suits you down to the ground and is reasonably priced, but that price won't look so good if you buy the bike, only to discover a few weeks later that the person who sold the motorbike didn't actually own it. If the seller cannot provide the documentation for the motorbike, don't touch it. Make sure that the address on the registration document is the same as the sellers.


Alright, we've ascertained that the person who's selling the motorcycle is the rightful owner; well he thinks he is anyway. The fact is that if the motorcycle was bought on finance by someone who overstretched themselves and failed to keep up with the payments, the bike could well be the property of the money lenders. Firstly, ask the seller if the bike is paid for; unless he's an out and out liar, he's going to come clean and save you a lot of hassle. If he seems to be a decent chap and you believe him...don't. Invest in a vehicle check. It could be the best money you ever spent.


Never, ever, ever, ever view a vehicle at any other place than the seller's home. Believe me; even if you have to travel a long distance to see the motorcycle, it's worth going that extra mile or two. Don't be tempted by offers to meet half way at a road side cafe or some such place. I hardly need to say this, but don't go at night. All vehicles look better under street lights. Now here's a really good idea; if you're not too hot on the mechanical side of things, take someone along who knows about bikes.


And more to the point, is it going to keep going? I refer back to the point about taking someone along who is knows about motorbikes. If you don't have a friend who fits into this category, it may be well worth paying someone who does. In the grand scheme of things a little extra on the price of the bike isn't too much to bear. The alternative could be unthinkable.


The motorcycle is a few years old, but according to the clock it must have been sitting in a garage, but hold on a minute, it looks a little worn in places. Watch out for 'clocking'. Ask the seller to produce test certificates from previous years and check to se if they tally with the recorded mileage.


Check it. It's not only humans that suffer from identity theft. Make sure you're not buying a ringer. Every vehicle carries a unique number; do your utmost to ensure that the number hasn't been changed.


Before you take the bike out for a ride, explain to the owner that you're going to be gone for at least half an hour. It's no good just going down the road and back and hoping to get a feel for a bike that you're going to be living with for a while. Take more care choosing your bike than your partner (most people do).


If something doesn't seem right, if there's a little niggle in the back of your mind, go home and think about it... no, just go home, leave it. Another bike will come along in due course. Now... about partners...

Alan Liptrot is the founder of the motorcycle tour company Motorbike Tours. Fancy a good read? Check out Motorbike Books


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