Buying a Motorcycle: What You Need to Know

A new motorcycle is often very expensive and tends to lose up to 25% of its value in its first year on the road.

Whether it’s your first purchase or not, you should always follow the same inspection rules. If it’s new, your purchase may not cause any problems with its warranty, but a big mistake can be catastrophic if it’s used.

We’ve compiled some tips to help you buy a used motorcycle and get a good deal that will last over time.

Doing Your Homework Before Making a Purchase Decision

First and foremost, you need to focus on the type and model of motorcycle you want to buy. Riding a bike is a passion, so your motorcycle must appeal to you!

To help you choose, don’t hesitate to go to the forums made by enthusiasts! Find out about the advantages and possible disadvantages of a particular model.

Our Advice for the First Appointment

It is advisable to accompany a connoisseur at the first meeting, even at a dealer’s. Sometimes it is difficult for you to know whether the motorcycle has been in an accident or not. Keep in mind that a healthy motorcycle is your guarantee of road safety.

Opting to buy from an SME dealer can be much more beneficial to you because, in case of problems, you can return to the seller, which is not always the case with a private sale.

If your seller is a motorcyclist, ask him/her everything you need to know about the history of the bike: its maintenance, etc. This could help you know how to ride it. This may help you understand how the bike has been treated so that you can make an informed decision.

The Formalities and Paperwork for Buying a Used Motorcycle

The steps below should be followed to the letter and point by point to avoid being tricked by scammers:

Check the Motorcycle’s Papers:

Check the date of first registration, as well as the conformity of the registration document with the motorcycle. Make sure that the serial number on the card matches the number on the chassis plate. It is also advisable to ask to see the seller’s papers to keep records in case of problems. Prefer payment by check and avoid paying in cash unless accompanied by a security guard.

Inspection of the Motorcycle:

Have an expert check all the technical and mechanical points of the motorcycle: leaks, drop marks, rust, tire wear… And check the working order of its equipment (headlights, turn signals, brakes…).

Check the Maintenance Booklet:

Take note of all the maintenance done on the motorcycle, and take the opportunity to check the number of kilometers done. Ask to see any additional invoices. Make sure the posted mileage and the condition of the bike match.

Try it out:

Try the motorcycle cold to make sure all mechanical parts are working properly.

Checking the seller’s paperwork:

The seller must give you the following documents, without exception:

the certificate of sale or transfer certificate, which must be filled out and signed in duplicate (available at the prefecture and at dealerships),
the car registration document with the mention “sold on” (be careful; you only have 15 days to have your new car registration document made),
the certificate of situation or certificate of non-pledge

Additional elements to ask for:

Ask to have the accessories and details below:

  • the double of the keys if possible
  • the technical maintenance manual of the motorcycle
  • the tool kit, if possible
  • Good to know: For the safety of your motorcycle and your belongings, make sure to equip your house with an alarm system by a security company! Other motorcycle security accessories (alarm, GPS, etc.) are available on the market.

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