Most instructors recommend a street bike for new riders. The classic street or naked bike without a fairing and upright riding position is easier to ride and should not incur too much damage in the case accidents. Many bikers usually start when they are young on smaller cc bikes, 50cc, graduating to 125s, 250s etc before considering more powerful motorbikes. Many younger riders consider hybrid road/trials style bikes and there are good reasons for this as they are light and versatile in traffic as well as dealing with country roads and minor off road experiences. A learner rider or someone inexperienced on sports bikes should not really consider such a high performance bike as a first purchase. Without some experience it could be unsafe. A year or two of experience with a lighter lower end cc model is advisable before considering something more powerful.
You will have an idea about the bike you want but be realistic about what power you can handle. It's best to choose a bike that suits you not one that will look good in the drive. Consider what your needs are. Are you commuting every day in city traffic? You might want to consider something slim and light with good acceleration. Are you looking for something to cover long distances? Comfort and good mpg should be major factors. Also consider a bike to suit your height and build. Your feet need to be able to touch the floor and hands need to feel comfortable on the handlebars and with any controls.
There are major advantages of buying a new motorbike:
Your dealer should offer you a deal on a part exchange on your old bike.
Franchise dealers and importers etc will be able to offer you the full warranty.
You will find good offers for zero or low-rate finance.
Many dealers offer excellent pre and after sales service.
You visit a showroom and ride away on what you want.
Buying a brand new bike is a nice feeling. Why not enjoy the thrill of a gleaming Kawasaki or Harley Davidson?
A new bike has no iffy history to worry about. It can't have
been stolen or obtained fraudulently.
Motorbikes, as well as other vehicle prices in the UK, including cars, are among the highest in Europe.
After paying a lot of money for a new motorbike it instantly deteriorates in value.
Salesmen have to be watched. They can sometimes pressure you into the wrong purchase.
Non franchised dealers may offer better prices and a bigger range of bikes but might not offer the most up-to-date models or the standard Brit versions that you crave. Sometimes warranties can have a larger excess, meaning that only faults costing over a certain amount to repair are covered.
Yes. Review Centre includes links for bike dealers and businesses which sell motorcycles as well as enthusiast clubs and other sites where you can buy or sell bikes and accessories. Remember online dealers offer a quick purchase but there is little chance of haggling a discount. Always check the reliability of dealers first and always consider the implications of buying privately over the net. When buying online make sure you have full contact details including a telephone number. Reputable sellers, private or corporate, will be more than happy to provide you with their full name, their physical address and telephone number. Also look for websites displaying trading standards logos, such as those of TrustUK as well as secure payment methods such as Paypal which offers protection against unauthorized payments from your account. Online buys are often a good option as long as you know exactly what you want. And it is often cheaper because the seller has fewer overheads. Do some proper research before you go shopping. As well as asking friends and family about their experiences you can also read Review Centre's extensive reviews. Remember - always keep correspondence from the supplier. Check terms, conditions and small print.
You should checks any second hand bike thoroughly before handing over your hard earned cash. Take someone along with when inspecting a bike, preferably someone who knows bikes.
Check all over for rust, cracks and evidence of repair work.
Check all over for any evidence of accident damage scratches and dents.
Turn on the ignition to check that the engine starts properly and doesn't smoke, that the clutch doesn't slip, and that there are no leaks under the bike.
Test drive if you can. The seller should let you if you leave some security or if your friend stays behind. Check the gears, suspension, breaks, exhaust and all the electrics are working satisfactorily.
Check the chain is in good condition and the rear sprocket isn't damages.
Check the mileage is consistent with the bike's age and condition.
Check the motorbike's logbook to verify matching frame and engine numbers. If they do not match then the bike has been rebuilt after an accident or stolen.
If you have any doubts about the bike, the price or even the seller just walk away. The second hand market is plentiful.
If your choice of second hand bike is expensive you may wish to consider paying a specialist garage to give it a once over.
Yes. It may be worth considering running a history check. HPI www.hpicheck.com is recommended by various auto magazines and can run a check to establish a bike's history of ownership including any repairs, history of criminality, motoring offences, etc. HPI, part of Norwich Union, claims some startling statistics when assessing second hand motorbikes. They say one in ten checks reveals a write-off and one in twenty has had a plate change.
There are some good tips for looking for history of racing, rebuild or accident damage. Do fasteners look like they have been stripped or gouged? Are parts and accessories loose and ill-fitting? Check the symmetry of the bike. Are handlebars straight and well balanced? Is the chassis well balanced? Are the mirrors bent? If anything looks really out of shape then that may indicate a serious accident. Sometimes a crash will have twisted the front forks. If you sit on the bike and look down the forks and give them a twist you can tell if they are straight. Always check for evidence of racing. If there is evidence of racing then the price should reflect that. Drill holes through the heads of bolts, tires with roughed up edges (covered with ragged rubber in some cases) and heavy-duty after-market engine covers are all cast iron signs of racing history and/or accident damage.
Yes. All makes and models of bikes have their quirks. Some models have specific problems that you should be aware of if you are considering specific types of bike. These include slipping gears or electrical problems. Read Review Centre reviews for tips on issues associated with certain models. Dealers, garage specialists and friends can all offer advice on this as well. Old motorcycle magazines and reviews online can all help. Learn as much as you can about the models you are interested in as this will save you money when making a purchase.
Ask for a reduction for any sign of accident damage. Also if there is no owner's manual or tool kit as a for a price reduction.
Check the value of a bike and compare prices. Several publications offer guides to second hand values by year and registration.
Check a bike for its accessories and add ons and don't pay for anything that you don't want. Find a bike with the level of spec that you want and need if you cannot get a reduction for accessories you don't need.
You need to consider a private sale if you want to find a real bargain.
If you are buying a new motorcycle try to get the price as close to the manufacturers suggested retail price as you can. Set a realistic budget including running costs. Remember that you will need to pay taxes, set up and document fees. Consider these fees when assessing your budget.
Always view a bike in daylight if possible. If a private sale see it at the seller's address. Check all the documents match up with the registration etc.
Don't be afraid to haggle.