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Buying used bikes - A Lament

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by ad91on, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. I have recently come to the realization that I had now purchased on three separate occasions three used motorcycles.

    Oh I do love motorcycles. We all do, that's why we're here.

    And I love choosing a my next one and learning about it and understanding it's character and both it's triumphs and it's failures.

    However, there comes a time when the bike gets a bit too much character...

    Like the time the Sachs 150 decided to give up changing gear or the time where the VFR's stator decided to not work from the day i bought it, or the time where the Across's everything was always half duct-taped on and half working...

    And when you get home late at night, get off your bike and find that the fairing has been dangling off for god knows how long and that all but one of the bolts holding your seat on have miraculously rattled loose and are probably stuck in your rear tire, it does sometimes make you question, why the hell didn't i just buy a new bike?

    I love my bikes. I love how the VFR knows how i'm feeling; when I'm on a mission, it knows, it responds in kind and sounds somehow different to when I'm just cruising along. I love how the Across has that ridiculous red-line and is practical enough for myself, a girl and her handbag with room left for any emotional baggage which she might bring along.

    But I do sometimes wonder... would not my life have been substantially easier if i just bought a new bike?

    The shiny new promise of reliability and no surprises? No shock realizations that my engine is about to explode and no going to start my bike in the morning only to have it... not start.

    A new bike makes so much sense. But somehow, I could never ameliorate that thought into something i could put action to. I could not bear to buy a new bike when the promise of a vintage, a story, a surprise awaited, be it in a lemon or in the best bike i may ever own.

    Come to think of it now, i'm not sure i would buy a new bike if I had to make the decision right now. I would still end up going with the filthily carburetted, scratched up 20 year old hand-me down bike for some reason.

    But when you're just trying to get to and from work... one does sometimes question ones heart when the head is trying to make sense of your decisions.

    And that's why my next bike is going to be a new one. One can only deal with so many surprises.

    I can only hope it won't be as exciting as having to buy a new washing machine is going to be.

    That is my little cry for the day. The things we do for our bikes...
  2. There is a middle ground you know...
    Buy a decent second-hand bike from someone you feel like you can trust. A bike that's only a few years old and has been cared for.
    I did; never been happier with a vehicle purchase...
  3. Its buyer beware, do your homework and you shouldn't go wrong.

    In 30 odd years of road riding and 10 more before that on off road ( My dad did have more input on those bikes ) I have NEVER purchased a brand new bike, and the only ones that I ever had problems with where the ones I knew I would..... eg the GS750 I got for $350.00 but those ones I bought to rebuild over time and learn on.

    In fact I'm currently looking at an FJR1300 with 78k on the clock with my VTR as a trade in.

    New is good, but I just cant be stuffed with the whole run in rigmarole.
  4. I'd like new, but I'd rather someone else suffer depreciation. Having said that I don't want to be the one that suffers dissapointment so i guess buying second hand is hit & miss.

    I don't always go for the cheapest as I'm a firm believer in (1)you get what you pay for & (2)if the deal is too good to be true - then it probably is!
  5. Of the motorcycles I've owned only 1 was bought new, it performed faultlessly for 15,000 km's once I realised I needed to turn the fuel tap on.
    The second hand ones had various problems, usually related to age and care factor of the previous owners, more so the latter.
    The later the model and the less the owners had farked with them, the better and more reliable the bike.
  6. Spend the $$$ and get it checked before purchase, same as a car.

    Sent from somewhere using Tapatalk
  7. New ones can have problems to, but then, someone else has to pay to have it fixed.

    I've never bought a second hand bike.
    I enjoy running them in "my" way. Letting the bikes bits and pieces slowly get used to my style of riding and wearing accordingly.
    And i love walking up to my new bike with a sense of pride, that it's mine.

    I'll never own a bike that somone elses swetty fat arse has sat before me.
    I like it when "my" swetty fat arse is the one and only. :)
  8. Bought two second hand bikes, could not be happier with both of them :D
  9. Never said i wasn't happy with them and wasn't complaining!

    There are just times where i wish i'd bought a nice shiny new one...

    ...but there are more times where I'm loving what i've got!
  10. I buy new bikes!
    I know I will never be able to buy a new car, but a bike is do-able!!
  11. Just remember where the dude who sold your bike lives, when your engine blows up, catapult it through his front window.

    watch out toadcat.

    EDIT: decided i wanted to write more.

    I have owned 2 second hand cars and one second hand bike, i learnt my lesson very quickly that you need to do the proper mechnical checks and inspections when buying second hand, else you will be up shit creek.

    e.g. my first car, '89 Honda Prelude, pretty much the front and rear were held together with a rusty beam and the engine was seconds from explosion. I let myself get too excited about getting my own car, and didnt do the mature thing and get it tested first, (i actually relied on the sellers word that he took it to a mech for me and got it inspected and it was a great car. WTF was i thinking. Lucky for the seller, he lived out in westyville and i couldnt be arsed to drive out to his place and get revenge by covering his car in brake fluid and paint stripper. but it was my plan. )

    Anyway, i learnt my lesson and see no reason for ever buying anything brand new, its a waste no matter how much money you have.
  12. Hahahha yes this is why you must always meet them at theirs so that THEY KNOW that you know where they live.

    This is why whenever i conduct business out of my apartment (arms dealing, putting contracts out, pyramid schemes) i ensure that it is merely at the building and not my apartment specifically; that way there are a whole bunch of other doors they have to try before they find out which one is mine.:angel:
  13. I've had my 1989 ZXR250 since September 2009. (Though haven't been riding all that time, but that's another story.)

    The thing is a few months older than I am. It's a highly strung I4 250, undoubtably been through the hands of heaps of learners that wring it all the way up to its 19k redline, it's been dropped, who knows how long it sat on a dock or went in between services.

    I bought it, put a new battery in, and since late 2009 it's never missed a beat. Starts first time every time, you may have to fiddle with the choke a bit but it'll start on a cold Melbourne morning.

    Maybe I got lucky, I did make sure it was in good nic mechanically to the best of my ability before I bought it.

    I can understand the appeal of a new bike, if I wasn't at uni and actually in the workforce I'd possibly spring for a new bike too. But my old ZXR has never let me down.

    In fact, my 2005 commodore has been much more unreliable. A car that's never missed a service and not been thrashed didn't start this morning, but the old bike did.

    I don't know where I'm going with this, but my point is **** cars.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. That's a lot of paragraphs in one post.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Buy the new ones, someone has to. I feel guilty sometimes ownin all these bikes but not using new an puttin another bike on the street.

    But I trade too often.
  16. Here here =D>
  17. No need to feel guilty. The way I see it, how often would anyone buy a new bike if they knew they couldn't sell it? A healthy secondary (used) market keeps the new bike market moving.
  18. Bought my 2001 Bandit 1200 in 2004 with 45000km on the clock.
    Seven years and 100,000km later, all I have ever had to do is oil/filter/tyres/chains (and a battery). It has never ever let me down, starts first time, done Eastern Creek at silly speeds and still runs like clockwork and looks a million dollars.
    Buying new just seems like throwing away money in depreciation.
  19. Ive come to the realization that I will never buy a new car or bike, im too accident prone to keep it unscratched. I do do the proper maintenance though and the full maintenance and fixer upper before registering it.
  20. I just bought my first bike to go with my new Learners. I initially planned to buy used due to price and it having been a long time I've been away from riding, then almost bought new. The appeal of knowing exactly what has happened to the bike if you're the only owner was a strong one. The only thing that stopped me is that the colour I wanted was sold out (across the country, so not even waiting for a truck to transport one to Sydney).

    It was actually something that one of the sales guys said that tipped the scales back - in trying to sell a different colour he said that in 18 months or so, I'd be wanting to upgrade to a bigger bike anyway, so why get too hung up about the colour? I realised that in 18 months or so if I'm wanting to upgrade, I could get a new bike. Why get hung up about new vs used?

    I ended up with a bike that is 16 months old, no scratches, and under 4000kms on the clock. Another Learner who upgraded. If the inevitable happens and I drop it (whether stopped/slow/fast) then maybe it won't feel as bad as if it were a new one.....