9 Steps to Buying a Second-Hand Bike

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So the time has come and you want to buy a bike, but for one reason or another, you’re going for the second-hand option. But you just want to check a few things before you go, and you’re looking online to see if there’s anything you’ve missed.

Well, you’ve come to the right place! WeBuyAnyBike is the UK’s leading bike trader and we’ve come up with a little checklist of things to do when buying a second-hand bike.

Second-Hand Research

So you’ve seen a bike you like the look of, but do you really know all about it? Make sure to read up on the statistics, there are millions of bikes out there. A motorbike is an investment, make sure you’ve picked one you know you’ll love for a long time. Don’t be afraid to look into bikes you’d never imagine yourself with, and don’t be afraid to compare!

Check them out

Make sure to do a full check on the seller; have they sold before? Are they a biker themselves? Do they really know what they’re talking about?! With private sellers, this can be really difficult, but try and go for either word of mouth, or if you’re struggling for a search history, ask a friends opinion. If they look dodgy, there’ll be more fun ways to check some second-hand bikes out, like looking round showrooms!

Make friends with the seller

Well, not necessarily, but it might also be worth having a good chat to the owner of the bike before going to view it. Finding out more about it may save you a trip, plus, if you’ve got a few questions written down in front of you, you’re less likely to forget them when it comes to meeting the bike face to face… you might be too blown away!

Whilst you’re on the phone, it may be worth asking if there’s any damage or modifications to the bike. How many owners has it had? When was it first registered and is it registered to the UK?

Scout it out

Another important step – make sure you really like what you see… like thoroughly. Go take a good old on a nice sunny day, make sure to keep an open eye for any damage that isn’t in writing. Take a look from every angle, far and wide, and it might not be a bad idea to get a second opinion on this step too!

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It’s also very important to check the tyres if you’re going to be spending a large amount of money on a bike second-hand, make sure the tyres come into that value. You don’t want to be buying a bike with worn tyres that could be a danger to you. Whilst you’re inspecting them, make sure to keep an eye out for dodgy screws on the wheels and framework. If the owner is selling a bike that he’s just quickly scrubbed up, he won’t have given a second thought into making sure the screws are hardy.

The Electrics

This could be one we all miss, it’s the one we don’t think of until later when it’s too late. When buying a second-hand bike, you want to make sure the electrics are working well, check all the lights, indicators and horn. Don’t forget to check out the security key, and make sure the seller doesn’t ‘forget’ to give you the spare! Every bike is different; make sure to write a checklist before you check it out!

Listen Carefully…

It wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to listen to the engine before it’s too late. It should sound clean, clear & crisp, and if it doesn’t, you might have a problem on your hands. If you’re buying a second-hand bike for a lot of money, you want it to be in good condition! So, make sure to bring an experienced friend, or do your research on the same model! Listen to their engines, and yours should sound the same.

Whilst it’s up and running, don’t forget to check for any abnormal leakages from the engine, any loose fittings, or that catches your eye that you wouldn’t expect. You could also trick the bike, try and coax it into leaking by gently placing your hand over the end pipe to see if there are any strange drips. Make sure to do that when the engine has just started though. You don’t want to risk trying to ride the bike home with a burnt hand.

The time you’ve been waiting for…

The test ride! That is if you get offered one. If you have a good feeling about the owner, show your trust by offering to leave a possession behind. Some sellers may ask but if you offer, this will look better on your part. Now you must be respectful, ask the owner where they recommend going, you want to gain their trust. They should recommend a big road where you can hear the engine and really feel the bike move. It would be best to pick a quiet time of day with no distractions.

Whilst you’re on the road, you’ll be testing the acceleration, but it’s just as important to go through all the gears, pick your speed up, and test the breaks to their full potential. If you’re new to biking, it would be wiser to ask someone with experience to test ride the bike on your behalf. Don’t worry; if it’s right for you, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with it.

Tax it!

So you’re on your way home, you’ve just bought a bike, you’re over the moon, you can’t wait to show everyone, then boom! – You get pulled over. Can you imagine that? It’s the last thing you want! Make sure the bike is fully taxed before you set off! 

Check the Paperwork!

This is so important, it always happens to everyone where you’ll miss out a key part of the paperwork, notice something dodgy about the bike, but you can’t do anything about it because it was ‘in writing’, that you signed! Make sure you have someone by your side who can double proofread anything the seller has handed to you, so you really know what you’re in for! Oh, and going back to the previous point… don’t forget to check the dates as well!

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Sell your Motorbike!

So, if you’re looking into buying a second-hand bike, chances are, you might want to sell one! If so, we can help! WeBuyAnyBike is the UK’s top Bike Buyer and bike trader.

Simply fill out our online valuation form for FREE today, it’s as easy as that! Once you’ve sold your bike to us, we will come and pick it up at no extra cost! If you get stuck at any point, our friendly customer service team are here to help you.

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Author: Emma Henry

For any blog enquiries, please email emmahenry@webuyanybike.com

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