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READ THIS before you buy a second-hand bike

Last updated on: September 15, 2012 09:51 IST

READ THIS before you buy a second-hand bike

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Mansi Malhotra, BikeDekho.com

Not everyone can afford a brand new bike but what are the things you must look out for before you buy that second hand bike? Mansi Malhotra of Bikedekho.com helps you shell out the cash.

If you are thinking of buying a second hand bike, whether from a dealer or from an individual, a guide on what things to keep in mind, when making the purchase might come in quite handy. Although, it's always better to take a reliable mechanic or a bike-savvy friend along with you, in case you are not mechanically minded.

We have compiled a list of some very easy tips and tricks that can help you make a wise decision... it might not include it all but we sure have the basics covered. Take a look...


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Image: All pictures used only for representational purposes


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READ THIS before you buy a second-hand bike

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Choose the body type

First and foremost point to be considered even before you step out to look at the bikes, is the 'type' of bike required. You don't need to be a master on the body type but having a basic understanding of the same is very important. Remember body style does not depend on the engine capacity.

For example, a 150cc bike is not necessarily a mid-segment commuter always, like in the case of Honda CBR 150R, which is a sports bike, Hero Impulse that is an off-road sports bike etc.

We can divide bikes in three major categories; Commuter bikes, performance/tourer bikes and sports bikes.




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READ THIS before you buy a second-hand bike

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Commuters

Commuter bikes are used for day commuting and these bikes are mostly designed to offer maximum fuel economy with limited features. The body type has been kept simple yet tough so as to reduce losses in minor accidents caused in heavy traffic situations.

Performance/Tourers

The performance or Tourer bikes fall in between commuters and sports bikes. Generally these bikes have a mid-range engine i.e 150cc to 300cc and come with comfortable seating.

Sports/ Racing bikes

These are usually the ones flaunting maximum speed and style. The mileage is sometimes a compromise.



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Choose the engine capacity

After the body types another very important point to consider is the engine capacity of the bike. You have to keep in mind your need so as to decide which range will be best suited for you. For example, if you want a bike to commute daily to your office or college then a high frugal, performance-oriented engine of 100-150cc will be best suited.

We can separate the engine capacity in three major divisions. Up to 150cc, 150cc to 250cc and 250cc and above. Study a little and choose the apt one so as to be able to make a wise choice when you actually go to pick a bike.



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Choose your brand

In case you are the loyalist-type and tend to get stuck to one brand then the wisest thing would be to collect information about all motorbike brands available and then shortlist a few brands you would want to choose the bike from. This decision can be based on multifold reasons, ranging from resale value to brand value to brand position to a personal choice.

With the above mentioned, we have the very basic of what kind of bike is required, covered. Let's move on to the real thing, the basic tips to keep in mind while checking a second hand bike, before you take the purchase decision... Before we start on the listing, one thing to keep in mind is, always inspect the bike in broad daylight, as it will help you pay attention to slightest details.

Apart from the obvious criteria of mileage and budget, there are certain other things that help decide the pick. We detail out those for you...



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First look

Before you even think about considering the bike that's in front of you, take a bird's eye view and see if it gives you an impression of being a machine that is well-taken care of, if not then move on to the next available option.

Once you close on the one that you want to inspect carefully, get your magnifying glass in place and become Sherlock Holmes (ok not literally and must say, bad joke!). First of all, look closely to see if the bike has been in an accident. Check for scrapes, dents, weld tears, kinks etc.



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Inspect the body and small parts

Visually inspect the metal parts for corrosion. Check the chain and sprockets to see if it's all working fine. Check the entire chain by tugging on it slightly and pushing the bike a little forward. Check sprockets as well.

They should have sharp teeth so that the grip of the chain is proper and should have corrosion-free tips and teeth. If it's a removable part, remove and check the condition of the metal and frame that it sits on.



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Suspension, brake and steering

To check the condition of the suspension and brakes, sit on the bike and grab the front brake. Compress the fork, it should pose resistance to your force and when you leave the fork, it should go all the way back to its starting position.

Prop the bike on the main stand/center stand and move the handle bar to extreme ends. The handle bar should move smoothly and be free from irregularities.



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Tyres

Since this rubber is the only thing between you and the road, it's important to check what condition is it in. Obviously there would be some wears on the tyres. It's a second hand bike after all!

But check that the wear-tear should be distributed equally. Bulging and cracking is normal in an old tyre but you might want to see the intensity so as to figure if you would need new ones, now that can disrupt your budget majorly.



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Check for leakage

Keep your eyes open for any sort of leakage that can cause difficulties at a later stage. Brake oil, engine oil etc, needs to be inside the bike, not on the floor.

Check smaller parts

You might also want to look at things like nuts and bolts that might be missing or might need some change. This is also important from the point of budgeting. It's a second hand bike, some expenditure on servicing is expected but the amount should be restricted.



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Test ride

When you are satisfied with your inspection, hop on the bike and take it for a run. See if you two correspond to each other. And while you are trying to figure out if you two gel together, keep your ears open for any odd noises or sounds coming from the bike.

Though a test ride will give you a clear picture only when you take it for a long stretch of nearly 50 km but even a little ride on the bike, will give you a decent enough idea.

Take a pro with you in case you aren't very technically sound and the 'decent enough idea' might be a little more reliable.



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Paperwork

Another very important part to be considered while making a second hand purchase is the paperwork. However boring and lengthy it might seem to be, it is 'the most important' aspect before you finalise the deal.

Check for original registration certification. Match the chassis number on the paper and the bike. If there is a colour change, then ask for the receipt of the paint job so as to be certain that the bike has not seen any major injury.

Check for hypothecation clearance if the bike is against a loan. If not already available, get the seller/previous owner to present the clearance certificate from the concerned authority or bank.

Inspect insurance certificates, road tax and vehicle tax receipts.

In case of any doubt in this matter, take a decision wisely and very carefully. You don't want to end up behind bars just because you were misled to buy a bike with forged papers.

Be smart and be vigilant when it comes to paperwork.



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