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Buying used bikes - newer bike or lower kms?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Raie, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Hi All,

    I am looking to buy a used Honda VTR250 for my first bike and am interested in knowing what is usually more important when buying a used bike and what people choose over another bike (a part from in price).

    For example, in my last few weeks of stalking bikesales, I have noticed a few 2006 models for around the 5-5.5k mark and some 2003 models around the 4.2-4.5k mark. I found that some of the 2006 models have done double the kms of the 2003 ones. I am interested to know if GENERALLY bikes have more problems with age, or more problems with the amount of KMs done. So will a 2003 model that's only done say, around 10,000km be better than a 2006 model that's done 30,000km - 50,000km? For manual cars, I've been told that KMs mean nothing/little, so I would be interested to know if that sort of applies to motorcycles as well.

    I have also noticed some ads where they have done less than 5000km on a 2006-2008 bike (I know it means model, not necessarily the year they bought it in), however I have read that bikes that sit around doing nothing is actually worse than a bike that has been ridden a lot. Is this true?

  2. Personally I don't really care how many KM's a vehicle has done, so much as how well it was maintained, cared for and ridden.

    I'd rather buy a bike with 50,000km on it that was well maintained lovingly cared for and ridden sensibly than a similar bike that has 15,000km and has never been serviced, was only washed for sale and has been thrashed to death.
  3. ^ wot 'e said
  4. I guess my question is, assuming that the bike is owned by the same person and treated the same way, serviced well and taken care of very well... Would you go for an older bike with fewer KMs or a newer bike that may have more than doubled the KMs? If there is no real big difference then I guess it comes down to price - I am simply trying to figure out if the 1k different in price for a 3-5 year newer bike is worth it if it had done much more KMs in say 1 year than an older bike that may have only done 10000km over the last 7 years.

    Similarly I am trying to figure out if I should pay more for a bike that has done significantly less KMs for the same age bike if both bikes look like they have been maintained well.

    There are a few 2003 bikes for around the $4k mark, and then there's a 2007 model (bought 1 year ago) that's only 1 year old but has already done close to 20,000km for just under $5k - so I am trying to figure out if this is a good buy even though it's done high Ks for a 1 year old bike, or if I should stick to a cheaper and older bike that may have done less KMs. (prices are all before negotiation)

    edit: and then there's a 2008 bike that's only done 1500km, so theres a chance it's been sitting around doing nothing for a few months which may mean a dead battery, and possibly even tyres if they've been sitting around for too long, so even if that 2008 bike with low KMs is listed for around $5.5k, the amount of money I'd need to put in to make it road worthy may be not worth it? :(
  5. You should get an R1. I heard they go really fast.

    Best part: they are cheaper than any honda 250 secondhand.
  6. For me, it goes in this order of importance:

    Service history, then kilometers, then age.

    Pricing wise, it goes in this order:

    Age, Kilometers, service history. (Age will determine the price moreso than the kays, and the kays will determine the price moreso than the history)

    There are a lot of variables to consider. Are the newer models different? Do they come with extra features? Has the bike just been serviced?

    You'd expect a life of roughly 100,000 km out of a 250. Say you put 30,000km on the bike by the time you can upgrade. If you buy the one with 50,000 km on it, it will end up at 80,000 km, and it is at this stage where buyers will start to look poorly upon the mileage.

    I'd go the older, lower kilometer bike (especially if it's just had a service), purely because 9 times out of 10 it would be cheaper, simply because it's an older bike (which to me is not important).
  7. When I was looking for my bikes with low klms it worked out for $3k more I could buy a new bike with a year rego, full warrantee, a known history and no transfer fees. So I opted for the new bike.

  8. You'd be lucky if a battery and tyres are all of your worries.

    What do you reckon are the odds the owner has changed the oil every six months?

    What are the chances the float bowls were drained each time it was left standing?

    Something that's racked up a realistic number of average Kms per year is best.

  9. depends who the rider is - if its me - you get dragged off at the lights by lpg powered vans
  10. Thanks all. A part from log books, service receipts and looking at the physical bike is there anything else I can look out for to know it has been looked after/serviced well?

    I have been reading some guides on checking out used bikes and lots of American sites recommend lifting the seat up to check the battery - some even say to bring them instruments to check how much power is the battery at.. Is this something people generally do or are there other ways to check battery?
  11. If buying privately, the owner. First impressions can tell you a great deal :D.
  12. Batteries are cheap and easy to replace. If the bike starts when cold using the battery, the battery is probably good enough. It's more of a concern when the climate is
    colder. If the battery is on its last legs and dies whilst you're out of mobile reception (worst case), the advantage of a 250 is that you can always jump start the bike.

    Personally, I reckon that the best thing to check is the chain. It should have about 20-35mm of slack - the sticker on the chain guard should have the correct measurement as well as how to measure it.
  13. Please sweetie, that's just not a golden rule when your buying a VTR 250 because the nature of who rides them.......

    Sugarplum it's like saying "Never ridden above the redline" from day one I rev the living daylights out of my bikes........above all else 250's crave rev's
  14. does anyone know what the 4 and the 6 mean? honda vtr250 4 200x