A Guide to Buying Your First Motorcycle

By: Isla Campbell

The thrill of riding a motorbike is a wonderful experience and unlike any other form of transport. If, like so many others, you are thinking of buying your first bike, a few simple steps can prevent you from buying something you'll just want to trade in after a few months.

Being the first owner of a new bike can be a privilege, but one that comes at a price. Bikes depreciate a lot quicker than cars, and this is especially true with new bikes, losing at least 15% of their value as soon as you've ridden it out of the showroom. If you're an inexperienced driver the drop in value in the first weeks is pretty high, significantly affecting the vehicle's resale price. If you do choose to buy new, make sure you intend to keep it for a while in order to minimise the effects of the initial loss.

Most dealers will carry a range of second hand bikes or trade-ins for sale. These won't be as cheap as the ones you can find from private sellers, but a reputable trader will ensure the bike isn't stolen, allow you to test ride it without arranging your own insurance and offer a warranty or service package.

Private sellers will be able to provide you with a bargain, but this requires more effort and vigilance. If possible, arrange to view bikes you are interested in the same day you see it advertised. Most people won't be able to view until the next day or even days later, giving you plenty of time to check the bike's history and negotiate a price.

If you have friends or family who are knowledgeable about motorbikes, take them with you to curb your enthusiasm when needed. If you don't, check if the bike is clean and tidy to gauge whether it's been looked after. Ask the seller to show you the bike and explain the controls to show you how familiar they are with the bike, a good indicator of how well they've taken care of it.

Once you're satisfied that the motorcycle is in order, check the necessary paperwork, such as the MOT and V5 certificates, owner's manual and the service book. You should also obtain a receipt of the sale, in case the owner should attempt to report it stolen afterwards and carry out a HPI check, to ensure that the bike isn't subject to any outstanding finance arrangement.

Regardless of your current credit rating, there are several motorcycle providers who can help to arrange bike finance, making it easier than ever to get that bike of your dreams. If you do decide to arrange finance for your new motorcycle, make sure you afford the repayments, as making payments on time can help build or even repair a good credit rating.

So with summer only a few months away, follow the aforementioned steps in order to experience the road the way only riding a motorbike can.

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