Whether you are returning to motorbiking and want to enjoy the thrill of two wheels again or simply looking to upgrade the current model you are riding it will often be the case that your search for a motorbike to buy will be focused online.
You can browse through a wide range of motorbikes available from American Motorcycle Trading Company, for example, and there will probably be a make and model that really takes your eye, but it would still be a good idea to go through some basic buying protocols before you get your hands on the keys.
Here is a look at some valid points to consider when you are looking to buy a motorbike online.
Be Wary of Fraudsters
It is way too easy to get carried away with an online deal and it is amazing how many people will make a major purchase like a motorbike without actually seeing or verifying the item beforehand.
You might see an absolute bargain and the perfect bike that you are looking for but there is always the chance that the seller may not be as genuine as they seem if you are buying via a personal ad or the business might not be bona fide.
It is highly advisable to check out the claims and details online before agreeing to part with any cash.
Check the profile and contact details of the seller and try to arrange to view the item in person if that is practical.
There are plenty of reputable businesses and individuals who are genuine sellers and they won’t mind you asking for verification details if they have nothing to hide.
Do your Research
It often pays to do a reasonable amount of research before you make any sort of purchasing decision and if you can have a specific make and model, or several preferences shortlisted, that will allow you the chance to focus on learning what the market values are for that particular motorbike and how popular and reliable they tend to be.
It is probably fair to say that if you buy from a reputable online bike dealer they will have the inside track on what each bike is actually worth and that means their prices will often be about right.
Some private sellers might not have such a good idea of market values and that means you might be able to find a bargain, but the downside is you will be buying blind from a private seller and there is no warranty or other financial safeguards available that you would often get when buying from a reputable dealer.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Plenty of Questions
You want to buy the right bike that suits your needs and ticks all the boxes in terms of preferences and that often means you will have to ask quite a few questions to verify that the bike you are interested in is a good match.
Use your instincts as well, which means that if the answers you get to some of your questions don’t seem right or accurate it is better to politely challenge the response or ask for more information rather than accept what you are being told if it is not what you expected to hear.
Verify Seller and Ownership Details
Following on from the suggestion to ask plenty of questions, that suggestion also includes confirming certain details related to the seller and the bike’s paperwork, rather than the size of the alloy wheels, for example.
If it is a private seller you will want to know that the bike is in their name and it is registered at the address they are selling it from.
In addition, you should try and establish if the person is actually a private seller who is advertising their own bike rather than a dealer posing as a private seller.
There are lots of part-time traders who buy and sell a number of motorbikes and that does make a difference to the terms of the transaction. Ask all the right questions and you should be able to confirm whether the details you are given check out or not.
If you buy from a reputable authorized motorbike dealership who has an online portal that should take away most of the concerns you might have relating to the provenance and accuracy of a private seller’s details.
Save Time by Asking for Photos
If you are buying online you will want to see exactly what you might be purchasing before you make a trip to go and look at the motorbike in person.
If the photographs available online don’t give you the overview and details you want to see beforehand it is perfectly acceptable to ask for some more images to be sent via email or to your phone.
Most genuine sellers and dealerships will be happy to oblige with some more detailed photos if they know you are a genuine buyer and they have nothing to hide. So, if you want a close-up shot of the engine or wheels, ask for them, as this will save a wasted journey if you are not happy with what you see.
Is the Bike on Finance?
Another key point to check is whether the motorbike you want to buy is already subject to a finance agreement that hasn’t been settled.
It is perfectly normal for a dealership to arrange to clear the existing finance and arrange funding for you as part of their customer service but you should ask for written confirmation to verify whether the bike is free of finance or not.
More importantly, you will need to be absolutely certain that a bike is free of finance if you are buying from a private seller as you could find the finance company reclaims the motorbike if a rogue seller fails to disclose that there is a finance agreement that needs to be settled.
If you follow these sensible precautions you should be able to enjoy a trouble-free bike purchasing experience and you will then be free to take to the open road with your new pride and joy on two wheels.