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Thread: How to check second hand bikes before buying?

  1. #1
    Keis
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    Default How to check second hand bikes before buying?



    Hello all

    I am new to motorcycle and buying second hand motorcycle.
    I have no friends with motorcycle and no mechanic friend

    Can anyone teach me what to look out for when buying second hand bike?
    What do i need to check?

    All your advice are greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    sjyong
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keis View Post
    Hello all

    I am new to motorcycle and buying second hand motorcycle.
    I have no friends with motorcycle and no mechanic friend

    Can anyone teach me what to look out for when buying second hand bike?
    What do i need to check?

    All your advice are greatly appreciated!
    First off, you might want to check for physical condition, like how badly or properly the bike was treated. Look out for the bike's paintwork, scratches and rust. To be frank, most bikes in the 2nd hand market (Especially 2B bikes) have been dropped before. The question is to what extent the bike is damage. You can note this damage by looking at fairings(if any), handle bar ends, exhaust pipe for scratches etc. Some damages could have been replaced by previous owner like fairings etc so you don't see how scratched up the old parts are, so you move on to look at other things.

    Second: Check whether the steering and the front wheel is straight. Ask owner if you could sit on it, then see whether the wheel aligns with the handle bar. Some dropped bikes have some serious alignment issue and it can pose as a problem when you ride.

    Third: Obviously, ensure that the engine can start. If it is a electric started bike, make sure it doesn't take many attempt, too long to start or dies after every 10 second of idling. If so, it means that the battery is weak/faulty. Other indicators of weak battery: front light and electronic lights(e.g neutral light etc) are dim. Other electronics you should look out for: Make sure the IU unit is working, high beams, pass light, brake lights, signals.

    All that i mentioned are not things that can't be fix, but of course when purchase a 2nd hand bike, you would want it to just ride it away fuss free.

    After purchasing, i recommend that you do up basic maintenance: Change engine oil(Even if previous owner say recently change only, just change anyway because you don't know whether it is true or not), change spark plugs, and check & lubricate chain.

     

     
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    Keis
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    Thanks for the detailed advice!
    I will check them out when i am looking for a bike!

  4. #4
    lkm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keis View Post
    Hello all

    I am new to motorcycle and buying second hand motorcycle.
    I have no friends with motorcycle and no mechanic friend

    Can anyone teach me what to look out for when buying second hand bike?
    What do i need to check?

    All your advice are greatly appreciated!
    Sometimes, if the owner wants to hide a problem, it may be difficult to check. If reasonably possible, get from a reputable bike shop instead of direct owner. Lemon law protects the consumer - but only if you buy from a shop. If its a direct owner deal, it's caveat emptor.

    I think minor scratches here and there are easily resolved. A dropped bike doesn't mean it's no longer good - depends on how forcefully it was dropped. I think a stationary drop (look for scratch marks with small areas) isn't as serious as compared to a drop in motion (long scratch marks).

    Importantly, look at the condition of the engine oil and coolant. Engine oil should be dark and consistent in colour. NEVER get the bike if it looks mirky - like teh tarik colour. It suggests an internal engine leak - which could be an expensive repair. Also, coolant colour should be consistent - usually green. If it looks mirky or brownish - again, it suggests engine oil leaking into the cooling system; Again, potentially expensive repair.

    Look for odd weld marks on the bike frame - which suggests a repair on a cracked frame. This would likely suggest a previously nasty drop or crash history. A tell tale sign would be if you spot amazingly new items such as headlight assembly or fairings on a relatively old bike. This suggest that it's been replaced or re-sprayed before. Of course, if the previous owner replaced / re-sprayed it to refresh the bike's looks, it's a different story. But never believe this - be suspicious and always inspect it yourself.

    And finally, welcome to the riding world! I bought my first bike (pre-owned) in Jan this year, still am pretty new to the riding world, and enjoying every moment I take her out for a ride.

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    Keis
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkm View Post
    Sometimes, if the owner wants to hide a problem, it may be difficult to check. If reasonably possible, get from a reputable bike shop instead of direct owner. Lemon law protects the consumer - but only if you buy from a shop. If its a direct owner deal, it's caveat emptor.

    I think minor scratches here and there are easily resolved. A dropped bike doesn't mean it's no longer good - depends on how forcefully it was dropped. I think a stationary drop (look for scratch marks with small areas) isn't as serious as compared to a drop in motion (long scratch marks).

    Importantly, look at the condition of the engine oil and coolant. Engine oil should be dark and consistent in colour. NEVER get the bike if it looks mirky - like teh tarik colour. It suggests an internal engine leak - which could be an expensive repair. Also, coolant colour should be consistent - usually green. If it looks mirky or brownish - again, it suggests engine oil leaking into the cooling system; Again, potentially expensive repair.

    Look for odd weld marks on the bike frame - which suggests a repair on a cracked frame. This would likely suggest a previously nasty drop or crash history. A tell tale sign would be if you spot amazingly new items such as headlight assembly or fairings on a relatively old bike. This suggest that it's been replaced or re-sprayed before. Of course, if the previous owner replaced / re-sprayed it to refresh the bike's looks, it's a different story. But never believe this - be suspicious and always inspect it yourself.

    And finally, welcome to the riding world! I bought my first bike (pre-owned) in Jan this year, still am pretty new to the riding world, and enjoying every moment I take her out for a ride.
    Thats an amazing info that i didnt know about! Thanks so much!

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    ghost04
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    there are also few things u might not get to test or try it out before buying...1 of it is the gearbox...i had a bad experience during s4 days... everything was well when viewing at shop n start engine...when riding back... then discovered cant shift to gear6... it will grind there n no power to move...next day go back to shop then they called ex owner down to settle...


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    Keis
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost04 View Post
    there are also few things u might not get to test or try it out before buying...1 of it is the gearbox...i had a bad experience during s4 days... everything was well when viewing at shop n start engine...when riding back... then discovered cant shift to gear6... it will grind there n no power to move...next day go back to shop then they called ex owner down to settle...


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    is it possible to test ride motorcycle at shop?

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    sjyong
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keis View Post
    is it possible to test ride motorcycle at shop?
    most if not all shop owners do not allow you to test ride. when i bought my first bike the shop owner didnt even take out the bike for me to check everything(it is all parked in a very packed manner so i couldnt see everything), bring home then realize alamak mileage 90+k (2009 bike)

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    Keis
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjyong View Post
    most if not all shop owners do not allow you to test ride. when i bought my first bike the shop owner didnt even take out the bike for me to check everything(it is all parked in a very packed manner so i couldnt see everything), bring home then realize alamak mileage 90+k (2009 bike)

    Really?!?! if they park like that or if we cannot test drive then how do we inspect if it is of quality or not?

  10. #10
    sjyong
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keis View Post
    Really?!?! if they park like that or if we cannot test drive then how do we inspect if it is of quality or not?
    That is a cons of buying from shop.

    Personally, i prefer to purchase from direct owner (Of course that's up to individual) reason being shops usually do not treat bikes as well. Some shop leave their display bikes under the rain day in day out, then got some grow dust rust every where etc

    Secondly, if you are a owner of a bike, of course you would want to try to sell to a direct buyer. Shops usually take in 2nd hand bike at a pretty bad price because it's gonna cost them to restore, and store the bike at the shop. My logic is that if it is pushed to shop to sell means PERHAPS there might be something wrong with the bike that direct buyers do not want that bike.

    Of course, there are shops that handle 2nd hand bikes better than others.

    There are some problem you won't know when you buy the bike, e.g problem with higher gears, problem with gear shifting etc like what ghost04 mentioned. all these will only know when you ride the bike for a while... and that is the pros of buying from shop: like lkm mentioned, they usually got warranty/lemon law to save you a bit of cost
    Last edited by sjyong; 03-03-2016 at 10:29 PM.

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    ghost04
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keis View Post
    is it possible to test ride motorcycle at shop?
    mostly they will tell u no insurance coverage so cannot test ride...at most can sit on it start engine hear the sounds rev abit...at most let u try biting point for a few metres...


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  12. #12
    hachi
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    A relatively clean bike allows you to check. I am quite anal about clean bike, it usually suggested a good condition bike. Is easy to check for oil seals leak, engine gaskets leak( unless fairing bikes),brake pads.
    True, some of the items will reveal themselve if only you test ride them, like gears, engine, wrapped rotors and stick suspension.
    Bikes Owned: LC125 RXZ135 GSXR400RP CB400VS CB400Spec2 SV650 02CBRF4i FZ1000 CBR929 05YZF-R6 CBR150 HondaSonic125 Yamaha_CygnusX125 KymcoGrandink_250 Hornet_250 04_Yamaha_Tmax Silverwing 400 FZ6_S2 GSXR600K7

    Current bikes: NIL

    Gear 4th

  13. #13
    lkm
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    Any smart shop or owner trying to sell bike will clean up external leaks la. May not be easy to spot. But of course, there will be some lazy ones.

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    letsrock
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    For me, i always go for original paint work, external look can be deceiving sometime.

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    Lovestoryz
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    Rmb to rev the bike hard to check for smoking for 4strokes

    Sent from my SM-G313F using Tapatalk

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