Buying a Motorbike - Checks You Should Make on the Test Ride
One of the most important things that you should do when looking to buy a new bike is to ride the motorcycle. Not only will this show up any riding faults that the bike might have but it will also clarify things like the performance and the riding position. This will give you an idea of whether or not you will get on with the machine. One piece of advice would be to ride more than one example of the bike you are looking to purchase as this will give you a better idea of what the bike should feel like and what could be potential problems.
Always try to see the bike in daylight hours and preferably on a dry day, the last thing you want to be doing is test riding a bike after work in the dark and the wet.
When looking to test ride the bike the initial concern that you have is have you got sufficient motorbike insurance to cover you on the test ride in the event of an accident. If you are unsure you should contact your motorcycle insurance company to check, never ride a bike without the correct bike insurance as it can result in penalty points fines and even driving bans.
On the test ride there are a few checks that you should carry out and this article will outline the most important things to look at.
Warning lights - Make sure that when you initially turn on the ignition that all the warning lights come on. When the engine is started these warning lights should go out if they do not then check for the problem.The reason for checking the warning lights is because some sellers are known to remove the bulbs from the warning system to take your attention away from faults with the bike. If any of the lights don't work ask the seller as the problem may be as simple as a fuse or a blown bulb. When starting the engine if any of the warning lights remain on do not ride the bike as it could be dangerous especially if the lights refer to things such as the brakes.
Gears - Once you have adjusted all your mirrors and familiarised yourself with the location of all the instruments on the bike you should move off. When engaging first gear make sure that the gears slip into place in a fluid motion. When under way be sure to take a route that you can test out all the gears on the bike. Make sure that the transition between all the gears is smooth because if they are not then it can point to problems with the gear box that can be costly to fix. Also make sure that the bike accelerates through all the gears, check each gear to make sure that the acceleration is not hampered in any of the five or six gears.
Brakes - While on the test ride it is very important to check the brakes on the bike as brake replacement can be a costly process. When checking the brakes be sure to check the front and the rear brakes as a lot of motorcyclists generally don't use their rear brake much, just be sure it works for that time you do need it. Listen to the brakes when pulling in the brake lever or using the brake pedal, this is especially important at low speeds as you may be able to hear grinding. Any noise coming from the brakes when shearing speed can point to problems.
Performance - When you go to look at a bike you will have done your research and therefore will have an idea of how the bike should perform. It is very important to make sure on the test ride that you ride the bike in a way that will show you that this machine is achieving the performance that it should. One way to help you judge the performance of an individual bike is to try and ride a few more examples of the same model, this will give you something to compare against.
Suspension - Check the suspension on the bike as this can effect the handling of a bike dramatically. Most sports bikes have adjustable suspension to make the ride of the bike softer or harder, be sure to check that the adjustment works as suspension problems can be a very costly affair.
Gauges - Depending on the model of bike the gauge selection will vary dramatically. On bikes that have them be sure to check that the petrol gauge works as this can be an annoying fault. Very important is to make sure that the temperature gauge on a bike is functioning correctly. These machines are run at high revs for long periods of time meaning it is very important that you can see the heat of the engine. Check the mileage of the bike is increasing as you travel because some sellers may have disconnected this feature to give the impression that the bike has traveled less miles than it actually has. Another good way to check this is to cross reference the mileage against old MOT certificates to see if they match up.
Once you have completed the test ride have a final look over the bike to check for any obvious problems after heating up such as leaks. Once you are happy with the bike its time to strike a deal with the seller. Before you hand over any cash be sure to look at all the paperwork and check that it is all in order. When you have your new bike why not log onto www.bikesite.co.uk to get a free online quote and see if we can save you money on your motorbike insurance.
Contact BikeSite for cheap motorbike insurance quotes - 0844 493 7743