Being able to purchase a motorcycle or bike requires skill and knowledge. You will need skills to negotiate a good price and knowledge to assess the condition of the bike. Yesterday, we learnt as to how the used bike segments are still very much alive in India. Today we will discuss certain tips to purchase the used bike. We touched upon these on yesterday’s post as well, but today we will discuss them in depth.
Used Bike Types
We know how important motorcycles are to Indians. From a young age, we have seen schoolmates trying to get on a bike even when their feet don’t touch the ground. The thrill to tame a machine is infectious. If we ask you to think of a memory related to a motorbike, you will surely pick one from the confines of an old garage.
Currently, with the population on the rise, and cars occupying a majority of road space, a 2-wheeler is perfect to squeeze around roadblocks or congested roads. They even take up less space in the garage. A motorcycle is an affordable option as well, compared to 4-wheelers.
Used bikes can be bought directly from an owner who could be selling it for a number of reasons. He/she might be looking to upgrade from a bike to a car. It might be hard for the owner to maintain the bike. The benefit here is that the owner will sell you the bike at a much lesser amount. This is because he needs to get rid of the bike, with pricing just being a formality.
Used bikes can also be bought from used bike dealers or from online platforms that deal with the selling of used bikes or used cars. With online websites, you get more coverage when looking for used bikes in your territory. You can also look for advertisements in the newspaper.
Once you have zeroed down on the medium for your used bike, it’s time now to do a bit of research.
Used Bike Loan
Good conditioned used bikes don’t remain unsold for too long. So, the best option left for you to get quick funds is a digital lending platform. At Loan Singh, everything from application to disbursement happens online. With only Aadhaar, PAN and Bank statement/netbanking credentials, you can apply for a personal loan and pay for your emergency requirements. Having no collateral gives a personal loan an advantage over a secured loan.
A personal loan can also be availed for a number of reasons such as the purchase of household appliances, electronic gadgets, purchase of gold, holiday travel, home improvement, job relocation, medical expenses, home renovation, marriage, etc. The loan amount for a personal loan at Loan Singh range from Rs.50,000- Rs.5,00,000. The repayment is done via EMIs, with interest rates on a reducing balance method. The personal loan tenure can be from 3 to 36 months.
- Start Researching
It is not enough to possess a gut-feeling, a sixth sense or any intuition with regards to a second-hand bike. You will need them and some common sense when making your choice. Ask yourself the question, do I really need a used bike? I have got a used bike personal loan from Loan Singh already; do I really need to rush into any decision with regards to the bike?
You can start by researching about the bike owner or the used bike dealer. Read reviews about the service that an online used bike marketplace provides. See if you can find the used bike owner on Facebook or social media platforms. If you are lucky, you might find useful images of the bike and how the bike is maintained.
Research about the model and ‘make’ that you are after. See if there could be any design flaws and if the bike is still in production or not.
- Choosing the Used Bike
When opting for a used bike dealer, chances are that you will get a bike which has been thoroughly checked for accidents, damage or kilometers ridden. Any inventory purchased by a dealer is document checked as well. Remember, a dealer knows the bike won’t be stored for usage. The dealer wants to sell the bike on to a second-hand, third-hand or fourth-hand. This is why you might have to pay more for the bike but it will be in good condition for sure. When purchasing the bike directly from an owner, you can negotiate a better deal but there are chances that the bike might still be covered with scratches or dents. You will need to figure out how you can get the issues fixed and how much more you will need to spend to get the bike in perfect shape.
- Inspect the Bike
An overall cosmetic check will include finding blemishes on the paint, scratches on the sides, cables being cut, wear & tear on sprockets or chains, grooves on tyres, bike handle symmetry, leaking fluids, rust on the silencer or tank, cracks on plastic and dents around the tank, etc. Take along a friend or a mechanic who will tell you what issues need immediate fixing and the costs therein.
Always arrive on time for inspecting the bike before purchase. Carry all the visual inspections during the light of the day. Try matching the vehicle number on the chassis. Look for any illegal customizations done to the bike. You should know about any fancy number plates or neon lights, etc. The following physical checks are a must:
- Oil Leakage – Check for spillage around the bike. In case the bike is washed to avoid showing the spillage, the part where the spillage occurred will shine more.
- Brakes – The age of the brake pad needs to be checked to avoid any disasters while riding.
- Rust/corrosion – The frames and underside of the chromed parts could be rusted. Deep rust is worse as compared to surface rust. If you find any powdered or flaked crumbling iron, this is clear indication that the bike is not maintained well.
- Clutch – Check for effortless lever effort when released.
- Chassis – Check for fresh paint over the chassis. This could indicate trauma to the bike being covered up.
- Chain – The condition of the chain and sprocket must be good. The sprocket should not be damaged. With the rear wheel moving, look for any damage to the chain grooves. They must be uniform.
- Tyres – Good treaded tyres are safe. Check for heavy wear and tear on the tyres.
- Electricals – If all the lights and the self-start is working fine, the battery will naturally be in good condition.
- Suspension – Oil leaks around the suspension can be hazardous. Check for bends, scratches and twists.
- Wheel – In case the wheel is spoke based, look for cracks and corrosion within it.
- Exhaust – Oil leaks on the exhaust pipe/silencer need to be carefully checked for.
Also, check the registration certificate book. The chassis and engine number printed on the RC book must match the numbers embossed on the chassis and engine respectively. Check for the bike’s insurance papers and for the PUC (pollution under control) certificate.
- Test Ride the Used Bike
In case the bike hasn’t been used for long, and yet you find it alluring, always cold start the bike. Kickstarting is preferred compared to push button. Listen to unusual noises such as rattling or creaking while idling and when revving the engine. Check if the lights are functioning, including side indicators. Test the horn as well. Look at the amount of smoke that’s emitted out of the exhaust and track any odd smells. Pay attention to the throttle and for any vibrations.
Once idled, slowly get the bike onto gear (just accelerate if it’s non-geared). Release the clutch slowly and go on a test ride. Prepare mental notes about any issues which you need clarification of when you get back from the ride.
- Negotiate a Price
Remember, for any problem you find on the used bike, you can reduce the final price for the bike further. So, don’t hesitate to negotiate. It is during this phase, that the friend or mechanic, who has accompanied you, will play advocate. Once the deal is accepted, sign a receipt or some paperwork which proves that you now own the bike.
Without Loan Singh, none of the above tips will fall into usage.