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Experienced riders: help inspecting a used bike?

Discussion in 'Learner League' started by fleetfeather, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. fleetfeather
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    fleetfeather New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I recently got my L plates, and am currently on the hunt for a reliable, used bike. I think I might have found a good candidate that matches my budget, but since I'm new to bikes with pretty much no mechanical knowledge I'm wondering if anyone on CR would be able to lend me their expertise...

    Would anyone on CR feel comfortable checking out a bike for me at some point? I can offer beers in exchange for the assistance :)
     
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  2. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I think I might have offered on ocau a couple of months back :). Given a tiny bit of warning, sure.
     
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  3. Alchemystic
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    Alchemystic Member

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    I'm sure there are some seasoned experts willing to lend their assistance. I'm also a learner, and while I have little experience I did pick up a few things when buying my first bike (a used Aprilia rs4). Here is what I can share:

    1. Does it fit your budget? Don't stretch your budget for a 300 if you haven't bought gear; set aside at least $500-600 for gear (new helmet, used gloves, jacket, pants and boots) before you buy your bike;
    2. Don't look at redbook - pay/offer what you think the bike is worth. My bike, according to redbook, was worth $3,800 and the guy who owned it insisted on 3,500. To me, the bike was not worth 500 more than a cbr250r or ninja 250, so I offered $3,000 and stuck to it. He said no thank you (bluff) and I said ok and started to walk off...then he said "hold on"....the rest is history (I paid 3k );
    3. Don't believe everything seller says, confirm it - e.g. don't listen to the old "never dropped" story, take a look at the bike's side fairings, indicators, mirrors and rear brake/gear shifter for scratches, scuffs or bending and make a judgement. Test the brakes, sit on the bike, turn it full lock, check electrics and be thorough (even if you don't test ride, you can still turn engine on, rev it up and listen).
    4. Don't be impatient - if the bike gets sold or someone else makes an offer, don't lose sleep. There will always be another bike just around the corner. Not that particular bike, but something just as good (maybe even better). Remember, you're the buyer and you're in control, not the seller.

    Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Alchemystic
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    Alchemystic Member

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    Out of curiosity, what's the bike in question?

    Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. fleetfeather
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    fleetfeather New Member

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    Cheers mate, yes I think you did. I'll PM you shortly

    Thanks so much for the post, heaps of helpful tips in there.

    The bike I'm looking at is a GSX250F
     
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  6. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Ah, a venerable Across. Cool cool.
     
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  7. Alchemystic
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    Alchemystic Member

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  8. Lachlan.B
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    Lachlan.B Member

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    I miss my old across, such a good bike!

    Nothing can beat that boot hahaha
     
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  9. Miggzie
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    Miggzie Member

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    If you looking at a older bike (with carburettors) a cold start can be a good indicator of engine heath
    Touch the crankcase to check its cold, start it, listen to it & watch the exhaust for smoke
    Blue smoke is burning oil: bad
    Black smoke runing rich: not that bad
    White smoke is water: a little is OK (fuel burns into COX & water) but a lot can be very bad

    (Not a bike mechanic / senior rider)
    Run it past @supamodel
     
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  10. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I'm no mechanic either but that's pretty much it. With cheap learner legal bikes it's also a case of, well, what are the potential headaches and what's gonna bite me in the arse.
    So, pretty much: what will get it knocked back from rego(1), how old are the tyres & how much tread, how's the chain looking etc. One has to assume they've all fallen over at some point, so it's then a case of how are the repairs, and also they're probably also not had the best mechanical hands looking after them so are there any signs of abuse.

    (1) horn works, lights work, brake levers feel solid, how much brake pad material left, bar ends and little knobs at end of levers still ok, got a rear reflector, tyre treads ok, not pissing oil, not overly loud/pouring smoke out of the exhaust covers motorcycle roadworthies.
     
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  11. fleetfeather
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    fleetfeather New Member

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    As a uni student, buying new isn't really feasible :p I've scoped out plenty of the various Ninja and CBR variants available, but to be honest everyone seems to want wayyyy too much for them...
    I mean, the LAMS compliant models seem to have a market price similar to larger bikes with much higher MRRPs and feature sets. It's probably because every new rider wants to recoup their entry cost haha...

    (btw, the amount of "small scratches from previous owner dropping the bike" I've seen......... Good lord, new riders from 2-3 years ago must've all really sucked)


    I wonder if I can get some sort of aftermarket refrigeration put into it :p

    I'll be sure to pay attention to supamodel haha :)
     
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  12. Snab
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    Also if its an older bike, dont worry too much if it blows out a puff of smoke from a cold start. Generally just means the valve stems are weeping a bit of oil when the motor isnt running, and it generally clears up when the motors running. Strictly speaking it might be burning a teeeeeny bit of oil when the engine is running too, but if you cant see anything you can live with it. Honestly if its your first bike and its cheap, just roll with it and check the oil levels occasionally. Check the battery terminals with a multimeter to see if its charging properly - learn from my mistake there ;).
     
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  13. Miggzie
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    Miggzie Member

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    The Problem with the cost of second hand Lams bikes is supply vs demand
    Everyone who starts of riding has to have one that fits for a minimum 15 months (large demand)

    up until relatively recently most manufacturers made all their money selling big cruisers & 600cc+ superbikes while making a few 125s & 250s on the side with little R&D or production volume, (limited supply)
    Large deman + limited supply = higher resale value

    In comparison to non Lams bikes its the other way round
    Every manufacturer makes heaps of them & only unrestricted riders can have them on the road
    Large supply + limited deman = lower resale value

    Things are getting better tho, the market has been flooded with new Lams bikes, just these things take time (turn around on a Lams bike is between 15-24+ months

    P.S. you can always try to haggle with the seller, its not like he's the only guy with a bike in Canberra & Sydney's not that far away
     
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  14. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Fortunately - and with this bike in question - it's a pretty good price. So just a case of looking at a few things, working out where the savings are etc and go from there. Might try to writeup how I look at a bike (with this as a case study) once said bike has been bought (if indeed it's a good option - that part is only determined once looking at it in person imho) :D
     
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  15. fleetfeather
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    fleetfeather New Member

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    Just thought I'd update the thread to say I bought the bike in question :)

    @supamodel, If you want to post any details about it, that's fine by me :)
     
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  16. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Nice! It's a good buy for the price... you'd be hard pressed in that bracket to find something better for the same money, and a lot more dogs out there.

    Plus the owners were awesome, we chatted bikes for hooooooooours. Was a look into becoming a motorcyclist, not just someone who owns a motorbike.
     
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  17. fleetfeather
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    fleetfeather New Member

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    it was a great buying experience, I felt zero pressure to buy despite the relatively cheap price. Definitely pays to look far and wide for your first bike (rather thank rely on gumtree, bikesales and Facebook).

    Certainly great to buy a bike off a guy who clearly owns bikes due to passion rather than looking to flip things for a quick buck. Oh, managed to get another $150 off the already low price too!

    I'm heading away to Orange for my birthday today (not riding, haha), but I'll be sure to meet up with you @supamodel sometime next week :)
     
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  18. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    No dramas mang, so pleased you bought it. It'll serve you well :).

    Definitely the right person to buy a bike off. My first road bike was bought off someone eerily similar and it was an awesome start to motorcycling..
     
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  19. gazman
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    Well done . Nothing wrong with a cheap motorbike to get you started . The Suzuki 4cyl 250 is a good motor and more hp than the newer bikes.
     
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