Tips for buying used bikes

Are you confused on how to decide whether a second hand bike is good or not? Do you know the basic things to be checked before making a final decision? If not, read on and you will find the tips on how to buy a good and efficient second hand bike.


The market for used products are increasing day by day. A major reason for it is hike in prices. When you get a good product at a low price, why don't you check it out rather than opting a brand new one? Yes, one question might have raised in your mind, "How will we be sure whether the second hand bike is in good condition?" This question is worrying many and that is one factor why people go for new bikes. You cannot make a purchase blindly even if it is a new product, certain things are to be checked thoroughly before making a final decision.

Some of you may not in a position to buy a new vehicle at the moment or you want to try and practice yourself in a second hand bike before owning a brand new one. Whatever the case may be, here I have some tips for you to make a wise purchase if you are opting for a used bike. People say when we buy second hand goods, its efficiency purely depends upon luck. Well, I disagree to it. Not all are selling damaged vehicles, at times one may end up selling their bike just because they are planning to buy a new one. Our main aim should be to find out the best bike rather than making a rush decision. I am sure, that if a bike can pass thorough all these steps, no doubt it is worth buying. The rest depends upon how you maintain it.

Tips for buying used bikes

There are not many factors to be checked before buying a used bike but certainly few basic and important factors are to be considered to be on the safer side.

  • Know your options : You need to have a clear idea in mind rearing the options available to you, the different models, designs and their respective mileage and efficiency. Do not go for low quality second hand bikes. Always look for the ones which have conquered the market.

  • Find the reason behind sale : If you are purchasing a used bike from the owner rather than a dealer, find out the exact reason why he is selling it. If it is due to any damage, then t would be better to go for another one rather than wasting your time. At time people, sell their beloved bike in case of need of money or as they are planning to buy a new vehicle or so. If that is the case, you can continue the investigation about that bike.

  • Decide between dealer or private party : It is always better to get a second hand bike from a owner/private party directly rather than going through a dealer. The dealers charge their premium as well, finally the total cost of it will be much more whereas if you get it directly from the owner, you do not have to pay any premium and there will be more scope for bargaining. Secondly, it is easy to find out the reason behind purchase from a private owner while dealers may give many excuses. Dealers know how to deal with the customers as they are in the field for long.

  • Investigate the used bike : This is the most important point to consider while buying a used bike. If you have good knowledge of a bike, then you can do it yourself or else it is better to take a familiar and trusted mechanic along with you. A good maintained bike with no mechanical issues can save you a lot in future or else you will end up paying regularly to a garage. Not even a single part should be left unnoticed. Go through the below sub points to have a clear idea about investigating a used bike.
    1. Firstly, check the entire frame as the outlook of the bike is very important. Look for everything from minor scratches to major cuts. Tears, bends, cracks of any kind should not be encouraged.
    2. It is better to investigate a bike in the day time as you will get to see the minor faults clearly under the sun. If accidentally you end up investigating during the night hours, then it is better to use a torch light.
    3. You should look for the quality of its chain. If the bike was well maintained and is not very old, then it will definitely have a good chain which is flexible. If the chain is very loose, then it can affect the safety of a rider, hence you need to drop the option or point it out and deduct the amount of buying a new chain from the purchase price.
    4. Now, go down to the tyres and check it out thoroughly. Tyres are the important factor that keeps you safe on road, hence do not neglect this part. By seeing the grip of it you may be able to find out whether it is anew tyre or an old one. Also spin the wheels to find out any bends in the wheel rim. People normally have the habit of checking the tire by just kicking it, that alone will not help.
    5. One has to ensure whether the battery of the bike is in good condition.

    After proper investigation is done, and if you feel there are only minor and affordable faults with it, bring it to the notice of the owner and ask for deduction the final purchase amount or else ask them to get it fixed.

  • Find out the service records : It is not at all advisable to go for a bike that has lot of service records. For the time being everything may look fine, but we can't trust it as it may be a touch up work done to misguide the buyer. Have a proper analysis of the service history to find out whether the vehicle has undergone any serious and major service. A well maintained bike will have less services to claim and such a bike will not incur lot of maintenance expenses to you in future.

  • Test Ride is a must : Finally, if everything is fine, go for a test drive. By investigation, one can only come to know about the visible and external faults. To have a proper idea about the internal functioning and efficiency of a bike, a test ride is a must. You might have ride the same model many times, but that should not stop you from having a trial with the one you are going to buy. While test riding, try to use all the features in the bike, to ensure that all is in good condition. Find out whether you feel comfortable riding it. Whatever plus it has, if you are not comfortable then do not go for it.

  • Price factor : You always have greater scope of negotiation when it comes to second hand products. The dealer very well knows that it might be the lack of finance, which forced you to go for a used product. Similarly the buyer too knows that the owner wants to sell off the bike quickly. Make use of these situations and try to get the maximum low price. Point out the faults you have found out and those are good areas for you to hold up in-order to reduce the price. At times you may be fully in love with the bike and want to purchase it, but do not express it, chances are there the owner might utilize that situation. Also never pay a huge amount blindly just because you liked the bike.


By making a wise purchase of a second hand bike, you can make use of the extra amount for fuel and for other necessities. If you maintain it well, the bike will prove to be your best friend. The efficiency of any motor vehicle depends upon its maintenance and usage to a great extent. Also, it can fetch you a better resale value later. Remind, the buyer will check all the things that you have done when you sell your bike, so be careful and have a safe ride.


Author: Joseph26 Oct 2013 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

When buying a second hand bike there are many things to watch out otherwise it will be a useless throw of money. We need to check that is the bike has any damage or problems in the engine. There are many who become preys with useless bikes. We need to check how much the vehicle give mileage, power of the bike after the first hand use. You have explained the article in good way. Keep it up and keep writing such good contents.

Author: Chitra27 Oct 2013 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Thank you Mr. Joseph for giving useful tips about used bikes.

Author: Ashok Goyal12 Nov 2013 Member Level: Gold   Points : 8

It is a good resource for commercial purpose while purchasing an used vehicle. But while purchasing any used item like vehicle, laptop, mobile, firearm, property; which requires registration under the Act and may be wanted in crimes committed earlier by any of the original or previous owners; must be thoroughly investigated for its criminal records. In respect of vehicles, records in India can be checked at IP address : maintained by National Crime Records Bureau located at New Delhi with full fledged website at .In case the item purchased had been used in some crime then as a current owner the investigating authorities can ask the current owner about the whereabouts and details of the seller. For more information on Know Your Purchaser, Know Your Seller, Know Your Vehicle, the readers can visit Know Your Series by wqaindia.

Author: Alok Awasthi25 Aug 2014 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 2

Always purchase second hand bike properly check paper. Check by mechanic parts was not replace.

Author: Satyanarayana ch19 May 2018 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 5

Most of the middle-class people preferred to buy second-hand goods because of their lack of money. But nowadays buying a second-hand bike is so difficult a task. We need to be vigilant before buying any of the second-hand product otherwise it will be waste of money due to the poor quality of the product. Many of the second-hand sellers mention the less number of km driven than the usual by the odometer reset so don't believe in km driven. We should check mileage and pickup of the bike. All vehicle-related documents must be proper and it should not have been involved in any of the cases. It is so better to buy a bike from the single-handed user.

Author: Harsh Singh28 Aug 2018 Member Level: Silver   Points : 1

In India most of the people belongs from middle class family. So somehow they think that buying a secondhand bike or car is a good decision. But its not that easy. We have to check lots of stuff of that bike/car like RC, insurance of vehicle, POC etc.
We will have to take a look at the condition of the engine whether its good or not, whether the accessories are in proper condition and also about the dents and scratches.

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