Motorcycles are much in vogue! They have been the lifeline of Indian families as well as rich boys’ toys. Moreover, with an ever-shrinking road space, two-wheelers are feasible options for a growing population to negotiate the challenges and hurdles of the busy city traffic. In addition, how can one forget the affordability that comes with two-wheelers?
With an array of vehicle manufacturers vying to grab the attention of buyers, consumers are spoilt for choices. However, if you don’t want to make a big splurge on a brand-new bike, a used machine is the right solution for you— provided you know what, where and how. So, let’s try to find answers to these questions and much more.
What is the purpose of buying a second-hand motorcycle?
Why do you need a motorcycle? Is it a necessity or you want a secondary mode of transport for short-distances? Or has it been your childhood dream to ride a particular motorcycle, and you think it is the right time to turn your dream into reality? First decide your requirement and then make the next move.
Make a list of your favourite bikes
Once you know exactly why you are looking for a bike, the next task is to decide the segment of bikes which will depend on your budget. For instance, if you are looking for a bike which offers a mileage of 40-45 kmpl and should be comfortable, you will need a 150cc bike. Mainly, bikes can be divided into three categories:
- Commuter Bikes
- Performance Bikes
- Sports Bikes
Accordingly, you can list out the motorcycles. Once you are done with this, it will be easier to search for a right motorcycle in the market. Always remember, a new bike will be in a better condition. Usually, cruisers demand more maintenance, but they are much more comfortable to ride.
Where should you buy old motorcycles?
Mainly, there are two ways through which you can buy your second-hand motorcycle:
- Dealers: If you buy a bike from a reputed dealer, the chances are high that you have your hands on a well-inspected bike. As the dealer has to sell the bikes down the line, all checks are done to ensure that the inventory is in good condition.
- Individual: Though, bikes can be bought directly from a private seller, it entails a lot of risks. If you are well researched, you can go for this option to get a good deal.
Also, you can get your bike at a lesser price as you are buying directly from the seller and thus, the dealer’s commission is not involved.
Thorough inspection of bikes
Make sure you carry out the vehicle inspection during the daytime to ensure that you check all aspects of the bikes carefully. If possible, always take someone along with you who has knowledge of bikes. A second opinion—which is more sound and practical than yours— counts.
Check the parts of bike to find out flaws
It is imperative to carefully check all parts of the bike to ensure they are in a working condition:
- Brakes: Check them for smooth operation and the age of brake pad to ensure there is no pulsing.
- Corrosion/Rust: Surface rust is not a major concern, but deep rust with crumbling iron flake are signs that this motorcycle has not been maintained properly.
- Oil Leakage: Check for oil spillage around the engine. If it has been recently washed, the oil spillage portion will shine more as compared to the rest of the area. You can also ask for the service details of the bike.
- Clutch: Carefully check the lever effort which should be effortless.
- Chassis: Carefully check the entire chassis to find out deep scratch marks. Check for fresh paint which is a sign that the bike has recently met with an accident.
- Tyres: Since tyres are the only thing between you and the road, it is necessary to ensure that tyres have good tread on the surface with no signs of damage. Obviously, there would be some wears on tyres as after all it is second-hand. But wear and tear should be equally distributed.
- Lights and battery: Check lights and battery to ensure they are in a working condition.
- Fuel tank: Check the fuel tank for corrosion. Needless to say, never use a lighter or any flammable object to get a clear view.
- Exhaust Pipe: Ensure there is no oil leak in the exhaust pipe. Any oil in the exhaust points towards bad rings or valve guides.
Be smart and vigilant when it comes to completing the paperwork.
Registration Certificate (RC) book: It is necessary that the engine and chassis numbers embossed on the engine match with the engine and chassis numbers printed in the RC book.
No Objection Certificate (NOC): It is important to get an NOC from the RTO where the vehicle is registered, especially if you are going to transfer your vehicle from one RTO to the other.
Service Book: Though, it is not compulsory to get it, a service book would ensure that proper maintenance has been carried out by the owner.
Take a test-ride
Finally, if everything is fine, hop on the bike and go for a test ride. See if you two complement each other! And while you are deciding ‘compatibility’, keep your ears open for any odd noise coming from the vehicle. By investigation, one can only know about the visible and external faults. You might have ridden the same model many times in the past, but that should not deter you from having a test-ride on the one you are going to purchase. While test-riding, try all the features of the bike to make sure that everything is in a proper condition. Find out whether you are comfortable or not. Irrespective of how many features your bike has if you are not convinced then don’t buy it.
Time for bargaining
When it comes to second-hand products, you always have a scope for negotiation. The seller very well knows that it is the money crunch that forced you to go for a used bike. Similarly, the buyer knows that the seller is eager to sell off the motorcycle as quickly as possible. So, make the optimum use of the situation and try to get the lowest price. Even if you like the bike and want to buy it, do not show too much eagerness. Also, never pay a huge amount just because you like the bike.
Get the previous owner’s name changed on the policy: The process of transferring the insurance should work parallel to the transfer of ownership. You would require submitting documents like receipts/form 29/30 to transfer the name on the insurance policy. To complete the procedure, contact the previous owner’s insurance company.
If the previous owner doesn’t have any insurance policy: Though, it is mandatory to have a third-party insurance to ply a vehicle on Indian roads, nearly 75% of two-wheelers in India run without insurance. So, if the previous owner doesn’t have any insurance, you should buy a two-wheeler insurance policy that safeguards you and your loved ones in case of theft, loss, or damage.
Moreover, most of the bike insurers have their cashless garages where your bikes are repaired, and all expenses are directly dealt between the garage and the insurer. As the owner, you don’t need to worry about any expenses, except for accessories, which are not covered under the policy. These cashless garages are trustworthy, and services offered by them are much more reliable as compared to any other local garage.
To make things easy, you can also go for a long-term motorcycle insurance policy which is valid for three years and offers the following benefits:
- Keeping track of policy renewal dates is cumbersome. If you have a long-term policy, you can save yourself from the hassles of renewing the insurance policy annually
- In the case of non-renewal of the policy, you would have to bear the entire loss or damage in case of any mishap. However, it can be easily avoided if you have a long-term policy
- Some insurers offer discounts on own damage premium part in case of long-term policy
- By opting for a long-term policy, you can insulate yourself from the annual hike in premium rates by insurers and IRDAI
Further, if you have a long-term policy, you will not face the problem in renewing your policy if a situation like demonetisation arises in the future.
Clean and fix your bike before taking it on a road
A bike’s prerogative, be it old or new, is to shine if you want to flaunt it. So, steam and sanitise it to give a gleaming look
- Change fluids and oil of a bike to increase its life span
- Fix lights, spark plugs, etc.
For others, it can be a second-hand bike, but it is the first time you are using it, so it is a ‘new’ purchase for you. Take your time to decide which bike you want and test ride it, use all gears and hear all sound. Once you are satisfied, race ahead and enjoy the pleasure of riding. To sum it up in John F. Kennedy’s words, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasures of a bike