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Things to ask/check for when buying a second hand bike.

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by bbyboy, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. I know close to nothing about bikes, but plan on buying one very soon.

    What questions should I ask the seller when enquiring about the bike? I have already checked out the REVS website so I know abit about legal side of things. I'm more concerned about mechanics.

    And when inspecting the bike in person what things should I check for?
  2. let be the first to welcome you to netrider :grin: anyway see below ? to ask.

    how much?

    is there money owing?

    get the vin and rego for revs check?

    has everbeen damaged or written off?

    fisrt owner or not?

    service history?

    does it have any known issues?

    check the Ks and general wear of consumables pads sprockets chain

    you can generally feel by sitting on a bike that its tight and new but if you have no idea find someone who does, some nice netrider might help if you ask nicely :wink:
  3. At least introduce yourself before posting. Sheesh lol

    If you dont know much mechanically, maybe try and find a friend, or friend of a friend to come along and have a look. Alternatively, if you get serious on the bike, tell the owner you'll take it for a spin and want to get it checked out by a mechanic and ride it there. Usually most owners are fine with this(I did it twice). If they refuse, I'd say they have something to hide.

    But just generally, having bought a bike recently, I had made a list of things to check. Here it is below.

    Make sure all the lights work- indicators, brake/tail lights etc
    Is the tool kit under the seat in order?
    Revs check- engine number and VIN
    Spare key
    RWC(Road worthy certificate)
    The manual
    If they can throw in a cover or jacket or a bike lock to seal the sale
    Service history papers

    Also have a look at the chain, does it look old and worn, give it a pull, is it tight or lose?(Meant to be tight and not sag down when pulled) Have a look at the sprockets, do they look sharp or round and worn?

    Easy way to knock down the price a bit (this is copied from someones response when I had asked a simiar question so thanks to whoever posted it)

    Chain and sprocket. Good or bad? Bad = -$300
    Last brake fluid change. More than or about 2 years ago. = -$100
    Valve check. Ever been done?? If not then -$200
    How old are sparkies? Older than 10,000kms? yes = -$100
    When the Rego due (usually regos about $400-$500)
    How are the tyres? Can you see the low thread dept indicators?

    Also have a look under the bike. Does it look clean? Any oil stains etc?
    Make sure Choke lever returns easily and does not stick at the carby bank.
    Oil colour.
    Is there a centre stand?

    Also make sure when you turn up the bike has been started from cold. You tell by touching firstly the engine, then the pipe.

    The few main things I used to negotiate price was the amount of Rego left, condition of the tyres, and the chain and sprockets and ofcourse scratches and aesthetic defects. Basically any costs you will have to incur yourself as soon as you buy the bike.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Welcome dude.

    I personally would always get a mechanic's inspection including a compression test for any secondhand bike I was ever going to buy. even someone who knows a lot about bikes is not going to be able to check out everything, and for 100 bucks or so a mechanic's check buys a whole lot of peace of mind, particularly for a new bike buyer.
  5.  Top
  6. Brake fluid $100??? :shock:

    About $10 last time I checked, and 5 minutes to bleed them.

    Also, the chain should NOT be tight, that roots them very quickly. There should be an inch to and inch and a half of slack. The best check is to see if it's lubricated, and then grab it halfway around the rear sprocket and see how much you can pull it off the sprocket. IF it hardly moves, it's a good chain. If it's able to be lifted off a centimetre or more, it's absolutely munted.

    I always ask why the seller's getting rid of it, and try to get a sense of how it's been looked after mechanically. If they have a regular mechanic, great. Get his number and ring him to ask about the bike, what issues it's had etc etc. He'll have a service record right there if the owner doesn't keep one.
  7. Whats that for?
  8. Compression test makes sure that the combustion pressure in the pistons is within specs.
    If the pressure isn't there then the engine needs work or is worn.
    A mechanic's inspection is an inspection taken out by a certified mechanic.
  9. I second all comments made, in particular a compression test. Most important, as it goes to the heart of the motorcycle.
  10. Oops sorry, I've actually been on this forum for about 1 month, doing some searching and reading. I didnt felt like a total newbie hence no introduction.

    Well It's been on my mind for some time to get a bike and I finally got off my ass and did something about it.

    I'm from Sydney and I will be doing my pre-learners in 30 days and hoping to get a bike very soon, thats why I have been on this forum nearly every day for the pass 1.5 months.

    Actually I've been doing quite some reading and searching on this forum but not on this section. That's why I didnt see the sticky.

    My thread was actually posted on the New Riders section, but I guess the Admin moved it.

    Thanks for the link. But its only half of what I need to know. I also wanted to know the types of questions to ask when calling up a seller.