Buying a Motorbike - Cosmetic Checks
The second hand bike market can only be described as a mine field, with costs such as bike insurance, road tax and safety equipment steadily rising the last thing you want is to buy a problematic bike. This series of articles will look at a few simple checks that can be carried out in order to help reduce the chance of buying a lemon.
Once you have narrowed down the list of bikes on the market to the model you want (choosing the right bike for you is discussed in part 1 of this series) its time to go and look at some of the examples on the market. This article will look at a few easy cosmetic checks that you can carry out which can save you huge amounts of money when buying a second hand bike.
First impressions - When you arrive at the garage or place of sale you should get a good first impression of the bike. Is it what you are looking for? could you see your self on this bike? and does it look in good condition at first sight? The first impressions of a bike won't be the deciding factor un whether or not you buy the bike but a bike that gives off a good first impression is probably well looked after.
Bodywork/fairing - Have a good look over all the bodywork of the bike, be sure to check all the fairing for cracks and scratches. Make sure that all the fairing meets up correctly with the same gaps on both sides as uneven fairing can be a sign of the bike being dropped. Have a look at the tank for dents, be sure to look from different angles as certain dents such as stone dents can be difficult to see in certain light.
Paintwork - Be sure to go over all the paintwork on the bike to check for any scratches or chips. Check the underside of the bike for excessive stone chips that can be costly to repair. Also check the front of the bike for stone chips as these can equate to a costly repair job. If the bike has a custom paint job be sure to check that it has been done professionally and is free of any faults. Be aware that a lot of bike insurance companies will raise your bike insurance premium for a bike with a custom paint job as it increases the risk of the bike to theft.
Frame - Make sue that when you are having a look over thee bike to check the frame for any damage, frame damage can leave the bike un-ridable and therefore a costly purchase. Check the frame for accident damage, dents and excessive rust as all of this can contribute to a weakening of the bikes structure and make it unsafe to ride.
Lights - Have a good look over all the lights on the bike and make sure that they are all intact with no cracks or chips that could leak in water. Take special care to check the headlights as these are prone to breaking from stones flying up off the road surface.
Brakes - Check the bake pads and discs for excessive wear and rust, replacing the brake system on a bike can be a very costly experience. Look at the discs from all angles and check that they are not warped as again this can be costly to rectify.
Rust - Rust can be a bike killer so be sure to check the bike over for severe rust. Have a good check under the bike, the wheels, and the frame. Rust can weaken the bike and increase the risk of severe damage in an accident resulting in higher bike insurance premiums. If a bike suffers from high levels of rust it can also mean that the bike has been poorly looked after.
Handlebars - Finally check the handlebars and the wing mirrors for damage as these are the first parts of the bike to hit the ground in the event of an accident. If either has been replaced approach the owner about it, if the bike has been dropped and repaired it brings up the issue of how well the bike was repaired.
Tyres - Check that the tyres have the legal amount of tread on them as replacing the tyres could set you back a couple of hundred pounds. Driving with illegal tyres can result in a fixed fine and three penalty points per tyre.
With the use of these few simple checks the consumer can limit the risk of buying a bike that isn't worth the money. Be sure that all modifications are done professionally as they can actually lower the value of your bike and raise bike insurance premiums.
Before buying a new bike, contact BikeSite for a cheap motorbike insurance quote - 0844 493 7743