Given the Indian road conditions and traffic jams, a bike is the preferred mode of transportation for daily commutation. But buying a bike or any other two-wheeler is no longer a cheap affair and is often beyond the means of many families. In this scenario, most opt for a second-hand bike that comes to them at a high discount thereby becoming affordable.
But purchasing a used bike carries its set of risks. If not done right, it would prove a more expensive affair and you would be in reality, ripped off your money. Here, we share some valuable tips and tricks that would help you strike the right deal and save you valuable money.
- Purpose of the bike
The purpose for which you need the bike has a great influence on the type of bike you should be looking for. For instance, for daily commutation purposes, you need a bike with good mileage and low maintenance. For fun and weekend rides, you can choose a more luxurious option.
- Do a thorough research
Most of us tend to go with our gut feeling or intuition while searching for a second-hand bike. But this can be the gravest error you can make. It is the smartest way that you do complete and thorough research on the company, model and make of the bike that you intend buying. While looking into its features, do not skip looking into its major design flaws or any other particular negatives that might not be suitable for you.
- Inspect the bike thoroughly
If you have found a bike that is to your liking, do not commit at the first go. Request for an inspection. It is always better to take a smart technician with you to the inspection as well as a flashlight.
Foremost, you should do a cosmetic scan and look for any scratches, marks, cracks, crash sign, etc. Once it is ok, you can move to critically examining its actual mechanics. Check for any rust or leaking in the fuel tank, condition of the chain, continuity of the cables, etc. Check out its symmetry and tire wear. The mechanic you took along will be able to conduct a professional inspection by looking at its engine and other parts and let you know of any major flaws or negatives that might impact your usage of the bike.
- Cold start the bike
One of the best ways of checking a bike is to cold start it as it gives you an idea of the actual condition of the bike. Pay attention to any unusual noise during idling and acceleration. Note the amount of play of all the levers. Also check out the lights, indicators and horns, the suspension, brakes, the volume of smoke emitted and if any odd smell detected, the response of the throttle and if any unusual vibrations felt, etc.
- Take a test ride
Now, it’s time to take a test ride on the bike. Check the application of brakes, clutch release, change of speed gears, the throttle response, response to swerving the bike left or right, the ease of controlling the bike, any odd noise heard like creaking or rattling, etc. You should be thoroughly satisfied with the bike’s performance.
- Paperwork check
Once you are thoroughly satisfied with the bike, it’s time to look into its documents. The first thing that you must check is that the Vehicle Identification number printed on the engine and the frame are matching and the same number exists in all the documents. Take the RC Book and verify that the engine and chassis numbers are exact.
The PUC or Pollution Under Control Certificate has approved the Vehicle. Also, check for a valid tax certificate.
Check the owner’s manual or Service book to know if proper maintenance has been executed for the vehicle. If nothing is mentioned there, ask the owner about the maintenance and service and acquire as much knowledge and proof as possible.
Next, look into The Insurance Certificate. Check if the bike has been involved in any accident by the claim summary. Ensure that the insurance is active so that you can get it transferred to your name. Look into the type of coverage taken and all other details that would matter to you.
Ask for the No Objection Certificate (NOC). It is issued by the RTO from where you have registered your vehicle. The letter assumes higher importance if you need to get the bike transferred to a different RTO.
Finally, though not mandatory, ask for the bike’s model manual. It can make your work easy.
Price and Negotiation
Once you are satisfied with all corners, it’s time to negotiate for pricing. While discussing it, you should know the cost of the new bike as well as the impact of depreciation and wear and tear on the bike. Check if any repair work needs to be conducted and who would be incurring the cost. Once everything has been settled, you can move to the paperwork and the payment procedure.
A second-hand bike is a good choice only after a thorough mechanical and cosmetic check and verifying that each of its paperwork is accurate and updated. With the above pointers, you are certain to strike a good bargain.