By Lee Heaver
There are several advantages to buying a used motorcycle one of them being price. The seller wants top dollar and you want bottom dollar. You’ll have to meet in the middle. Where that is, depends on you. Here are five tips to quickly and easily get the asking price down.
OBO price, asking price, etc.
If these terms (or anything similar) is in the ad. It generally means the owner is not expecting to get what they are asking. Always go in with a lower price when you see this. This doesn’t give you the obligation to low ball the seller, but 5% to 10% off is possible with just a few well presented words.
The age of the tires.
Motorcycle tires have an expiry date. You should not be riding on motorcycle tires that are over five years old. There is a four digit date code on the side of the tire. It’s typically four digits. This is the manufacture date. The first two numbers mean the week and the last two mean the year. For Example ‘3915’ means the tire was manufactured on the 39th week of 2015. If the tires are old, point this out and ask for a price reduction. Replacing motorcycle tires costs between $200 to $600.
Condition of chain, belt drive, or shaft drive.
The condition of the chain is a good indicator on how well taken care of the motorcycle is. Have a look at it and see how clean it is. Look at the rivets and see if they’re all straight. Is the chain sagging too much? Check the slack of the chain by moving it up and down. If it moves around more than 2 inches it needs to be tightened. It could need replacing. Motorcycle chains need constant care. If the motorcycle has a Belt Drive, ask when it was replaced last. If the motorcycle is shaft driven, ask when the oil was changed.
This youtube video does an excellent job on showing what to look for with a bad chain; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10ElLuciYhA
Show me the money
If you are serious about the motorcycle, bring the cash with you. It is harder for the seller to say no when they see the cash in plain sight. Does the seller want to keep on dealing with buyers or take the money right then and there! Don’t however, set a price then show up with less money than agreed upon. That is a complete jerk move.
If the motorcycle you want is not at the price you want. You can wait. If it is still around the more likely the owner will take the lesser price. Be patient (and respectful), eventually they will come to your price. However, if you do want this motorcycle, why wait around for someone else to buy your bike.
Other things to keep in mind when buying a used motorcycle. In Spring it is a sellers market. Expect to pay more. In the Fall it is a buyers market. Plan to pay less. Price variance between these two times can be quite minimal so don’t lose the whole season to try and save a few hundred dollars. You can’t put a price on the great riding you will do. The quicker you get the motorcycle of your dreams, the better!