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New Versus Used


What Motorcycle do you buy (New or used)?  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you buy (New or Used) and how old?

    • New Motorcycle
    • Used Motorcycle
    • If used, less than 3 years old (2008 or newer)
    • If used, less than 5 years old (2006 or newer)


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Hi there Will and fellow riders,

 

Wanted to get everyone's input on the following topic:

 

What type of Motorcycle do you buy? Do you buy new? Or do you buy used?

And, if you are buying used, what should we be on the lookout for? What are the usual gotchas?

 

I'm trying the weigh out the Pros and Cons of buying a used Sportbike (Liter bike) and hope that Will and all fellow riders add their comments and advise.

 

I also added a little poll as a little bonus.

 

Will, you might remember me from Laguna Seca (we met there at Thanksgiving 2010)B)

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Ride safe.

Klaus

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Buying new cost a lot of money, as in loss of them when you're selling. The good part is that everything is, well, brand new.

 

I would buy used from a person that is into motorcycles, one that is kept immaculate and regularly serviced. Generally speaking, the best preserved bikes are the ones that gives you most for your money. The difference in price between an excellent motorcycle and a neglected one is quite slim, and getting a neglected bike back into top condition is very costly. But polishing alone isn't guarantee it's been well maintained if the bike is several years old; engine oil and -filter, fork oil, coolant, brake fluid all need to be replaced regularly. So ask the owner how he maintains his bike.

 

Tyres are costly, make sure they are good or discounted for. Same with chain and sprockets. Engines rarely wear out these days, but I would try to avoid buying something with more than 30,000 miles on it - unless it comes with upgraded suspension bits and that things like brake discs are smooth and without significant wear. Upgraded suspension cost a lot to buy but won't have much impact on the used bike price, and these bits can make a big difference in comfort and handling.

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A good method of getting new is getting new old stock. Especially if the latest is the exact same bike as the previous model year or even two. Example, I picked up my '09 kawi when the '10 was the latest. They are identical bikes! Got mine with 0 miles and ~26% off the sticker out the door. Insurance payoff if I totalled it was clearly more than I paid for it. Though I haven't needed to take advantage of that. :lol:

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Unless you just can't get over the need to have a brand new bike, I think buying used is the only way to go. There are enough people out there who bought a bike, treated it like a baby, then decided they would rather have their money than the bike, and sell for a significantly lower price than for new. And, they often did some nice performance mods to the bike, meaning you don't have to tack on that expense on the back end. I felt like I was going to wear out Craigslist, eBay, Cycle Trader, and a few other websites while I was looking for my R6. If you're willing to be patient, shop around, and travel a few hours if necessary, then I've no doubt you can find a used bike that will give you a lot of bike at a lower cost.

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I forgot to add, another part of the reasoning I went new is because after an exhausting experience of trying to get a used one that wasn't modified and would pass a State Inspection. Sooo many had taken off the little reflectors on the forks, changed out the tail light / fender assembly, put on an aftermarket slip-on. In many cases by time the bike could be brought up to the point of passing an inspection it estimated at an additional 1,500 - 2,000 for the oem *stuff*.

 

So where ever you are, be VERY aware of what your local inspection requirements are before buying a used bike! ;)

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Tricky question.

 

For a racebike, the cost of buying new and adding things like fairings etc is verging on the prohibiting. Buy a 1-3 year old bike that has been prepped.

 

For the road, it's more of a personal liking than anything else IMHO. Most of the bikes I've had were bought used. My current roadbike was purchased new, but as over-stock (the 04 R1 had just come out, so I got my '03 extra cheap).

I've added upgrades (slip-on, suspension, PC3, ...) but since I'm not planning on selling, I haven't lost anything so far.

 

Kai

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Hi there Will and fellow riders,

 

Wanted to get everyone's input on the following topic:

 

What type of Motorcycle do you buy? Do you buy new? Or do you buy used?

And, if you are buying used, what should we be on the lookout for? What are the usual gotchas?

 

I'm trying the weigh out the Pros and Cons of buying a used Sportbike (Liter bike) and hope that Will and all fellow riders add their comments and advise.

 

I also added a little poll as a little bonus.

 

Will, you might remember me from Laguna Seca (we met there at Thanksgiving 2010)B)

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Ride safe.

Klaus

 

I know Will is at the track working hard for a number of days in a row - and as it happens, I heard someone ask him the EXACT same question yesterday, so I'm going to pass on what he said. He said for a track bike, especially a race bike, he would recommend buying a used race team bike from one of the larger race teams, becuase they have already done all the trick stuff to it and they are usually meticuously maintained. They do cost more than the average-Joe used track bike but at least you know you aren't buying a bike that has never had an oil change.

 

I thought that sounded like a good idea, and prices for these bikes are probably lower than ever right now. For sure it is cheaper to buy a used track bike, because if you buy a new bike it costs a TON to get it track prepped and you never get that money back in a resale. As an example, I bought a new ZX6R in 2008 (and yes it is a great idea to get the prior year model, as someone else mentioned above) but by the time I bought race fairings, upgraded the exhaust, did some suspension work, levers, rearsets, etc., I probably put another $6-8K into it. But when you sell a bike like that, you just can't get the cost for those upgrades back. So for the next bike, I bought a used race bike, and I have not spent ONE DIME on upgrades, it has everything I wanted already on it, plus it was ready to ride immediately - no engine break-in, no waiting for parts, just push the button and go.

 

For a street bike, I'd be more likely to buy new, so I can break in the engine the way I want, maintain it properly, and know that I am getting a shiny new bike that has never been crashed.

 

Don't know much about the "gotchas" but you may want to look for clean title (I am suspicious of "salvage title" because I think that usually means "crashed beyond recognition then rebuilt in someone's garage") and I guess I'd also be on the lookout for bent frame or bent forks.

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...he would recommend buying a used race team bike from one of the larger race teams, becuase they have already done all the trick stuff to it and they are usually meticuously maintained. They do cost more than the average-Joe used track bike but at least you know you aren't buying a bike that has never had an oil change.

 

I thought that sounded like a good idea, and prices for these bikes are probably lower than ever right now...

I saw listings for a variety of reasonably priced "old" team bikes when I was searching for my R6, and I was tempted to go that route myself. In another conversation, I recall someone (can't remember who) mentioned it's often worthwhile to wait and buy right after the race season concludes, and especially if a new model is being introduced. This because [top] race teams pretty much have to run only the latest model to get certain support, perks, rewards, etc., so they sell off their "old" bikes at heavily discount price vs. new. I will of course make a few mods to my R6, but if I get to thinking I want to race, I'm just going to look for a good used race unit, though at this point I think this is perhaps wishful thinking.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

For the track I bought used from a reputable source and like others have said here already, it was thoroughly track prepped. All I needed to do was to tweak it for a rider my size. The only thing I needed to change were the fork springs (way too stiff) but otherwise it was ready to go. It even came with slicks. The only downside was an electrical gremlin that took some time to exorcise but I don't think the DPO knew about it either.

 

 

Rainman

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For my street bikes I have always bought used, but late models. There is usually a ton of availability (esp. with sportbikes) and with some research and careful shopping you can get one well maintained.

 

Since I do not have a track bike but am considering one, I found the suggestions about buying an ex-race team bike interesting. Does anyone have a suggestion as to where best to shop old race bikes from reputable teams?

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Since I do not have a track bike but am considering one, I found the suggestions about buying an ex-race team bike interesting. Does anyone have a suggestion as to where best to shop old race bikes from reputable teams?

 

I don't disagree with the completely prepped track bike approach. That's the direction I went though for me it was the low end, older, prepped but needs some attention approach. There are tons of fully prepped with nice stuff already done (suspension work, exhausts, rearsets, brakes and lines...yadda yadda yadda) that will cost far less than if you did the work yourself after the fact.

 

So much depends on how much you're willing to spend (I went WAY cheap) and some timing. End of season is a really good time to go shopping as well as just before start of season (when some decide they aren't going to ride). People get out of their bikes for various reasons and our present economy has multiplied that.

 

As I believe you're well aware, NESBA has a good sized forsale section from generally good folks. That's where I got mine! WERA also has their classifieds site now which use to be part of their forums but they made it a stand alone website now. These two sources alone are going to produce a good amount of options.

 

I don't think it's possible to fully know what you've got until it's too late in a person-to-person exchange just like with cars and the like. But I've had very successful exchanges with both resources I listed and have no real complaints.

 

Have fun with it, it's an adventure! ;)

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Since I do not have a track bike but am considering one, I found the suggestions about buying an ex-race team bike interesting. Does anyone have a suggestion as to where best to shop old race bikes from reputable teams?

 

I don't disagree with the completely prepped track bike approach. That's the direction I went though for me it was the low end, older, prepped but needs some attention approach. There are tons of fully prepped with nice stuff already done (suspension work, exhausts, rearsets, brakes and lines...yadda yadda yadda) that will cost far less than if you did the work yourself after the fact.

 

So much depends on how much you're willing to spend (I went WAY cheap) and some timing. End of season is a really good time to go shopping as well as just before start of season (when some decide they aren't going to ride). People get out of their bikes for various reasons and our present economy has multiplied that.

 

As I believe you're well aware, NESBA has a good sized forsale section from generally good folks. That's where I got mine! WERA also has their classifieds site now which use to be part of their forums but they made it a stand alone website now. These two sources alone are going to produce a good amount of options.

 

I don't think it's possible to fully know what you've got until it's too late in a person-to-person exchange just like with cars and the like. But I've had very successful exchanges with both resources I listed and have no real complaints.

 

Have fun with it, it's an adventure! ;)

 

Thanks Gorecki. I have checked out the NESBA and WERA forums but wasn't sure if there was anywhere else I should be looking. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger yet. I have the CSS two-day camp next month so I'll be on the S1000rr again. I've even considered selling my K1200r and buying an S1000rr for my only bike but that probably makes less sense for a new track rider than buying a track dedicated (and much less expensive) bike for building track skills. :D

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Thanks Gorecki. I have checked out the NESBA and WERA forums but wasn't sure if there was anywhere else I should be looking. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger yet. I have the CSS two-day camp next month so I'll be on the S1000rr again. I've even considered selling my K1200r and buying an S1000rr for my only bike but that probably makes less sense for a new track rider than buying a track dedicated (and much less expensive) bike for building track skills. :D

 

No sweat. B)

 

Method to my madness is was already having a track worthy bike (but not track prepped) and was new I was very concerned I would trash it so going with an older and track ready bike would give me the latitude to be a noob, make mistakes and learn on something I was less concerned about causing damage. But it hasn't gone without complcations. Discovering what needed attention through process of elimination I still haven't invested nearly as much as most and have learned a lot about the machine. I expect to work with mine for maybe a couple of years because I'm sure I won't be the fastest guy for a quite a while...and then I'll upgrade.

 

Even if you're not totally ready to buy, you can still get a good idea what you want (or willing to work with) and what it costs. When the one that looks like a winner for you shows itself, you can pounce! ;)

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  • 8 months later...

I'm jumping into this a little bit late, but figured I may as well...

 

I've only bought new once, it was a Kawasaki Z750, I think the '06 model before they started using a funky exhaust... only reason I bought that new is because I was bikeless, got an insurance payout, and needed another bike stat. It just happened that a mate had bought the exact same bike after doing a whole bunch of phoning around and looking for the lowest price, so I went into the dealer and said "oh yeah, my mate just bought a Z750 for $10k, can you do me the same deal?" Sure enough they did, so I was happy about that. Nothing like riding out of the dealership on a brand new bike... I tell you what - that bike was running so smooth as I rode out, I had never felt anything like it, and never have again since...

 

But for my sportsbikes I've always bought 2nd hand (money is the bid deciding factor here), my Gixxer Thou I actually traded my GSX-R600 and an older SV650 on. Now here comes the part about the 'gotchas'... I tend not to get on so well at dealerships, if they know I'm there looking to buy a bike - well it feels like the vultures are circling as soon as they find that out. So I see this black K6 Gixxer with just under 10,000km on the odo (this was probably back in '09), I tell the sales guy that I want to do a trade in, he says okay we'll have a look at your bikes. The Gixxer has a busted front guard, no worries I figure, they'll put a new one on before I take it. There's a light scrape on the exhaust, I don't worry about that either, because honestly are you going to believe someone who says 'never crashed, never ridden in rain'? laugh.gif The thing that was important to me was the service history, so I ask does it have the log book and have all appropriate services been done? 'Yes, pretty sure' they tell me. Okay, we start doing the paperwork. At some later stage I ask again about the log book and service history - 'oh yes, it's definitely all there, all good'. Finally all the paperwork has been done and the bike is out the back ready to go... I check to make sure everything is there and the log book isn't in the usual spot in the tail. So I ask about it, the manager type guy says 'oh yeah, one second...' runs inside to get it. Now get a load of this - he comes back outside with a brand new log book that he has just put a couple of stamps in right then! I was nearly peaking... I mean WTF - I'm thinking is this guy for real? Add to that I only just noticed a small dent in the tank when he had gone inside... spewin'. Well I've never been back to that dealership, I didn't complain or make a fuss because I was just over it, I just wanted a bike... I got home and changed the oil and it was the blackest I've ever seen, so I honestly wondered if it had any oil change after the initial 1,000km (just goes to show how slack they were, an oil change is the least I'd expect on a bike with no service history - especially from a dealer.) Anyway I've nearly got 42,000km on it now, no problems...

 

For a while I was worried about buying a bike that had been 'thrashed', but I don't really worry about that anymore because I figure it would take a very talented rider to be able to outride any modern sportsbike (aside from slamming down wheelies or doing burnouts bouncing off the rev limiter, but you can generally check for those type of things along with other wear and tear). The other thing is that I'd much rather buy a bike from a fast, competent rider because they'd be much less likely to have missed gears or done bad shifts and generally made riding mistakes. But some people may think of a fast rider as 'riding hard' on their bike, to me it's better than buying from a newbie who may seem to have 'babied' their bike but has made alot of bad gear changes and developed a few false neutrals etc. in the bike...

 

There seems to be a bunch of people who just don't ride much, then they desperately try to sell their bikes before there's 10,000km on the odometer - so plenty of good deals to be had there. However many of these bikes could have been sitting unridden for long periods, so I'd prefer to look for a bike that's had regular use. Not sure if that's such a big deal these days...

 

The other thing is buying old models from dealerships, that is last years bikes that are still new and have just been sitting on the showroom floor. I've seem some pretty good savings like $3-4,000 off on a brand new bike...

 

A 2nd story with a 'gotcha' is when I bought my motard. Someone else mentioned about different state regulations... that's kinda where I got caught. I bought the 'tard from a guy who was interstate. I figured that it would be in 'roadworthy' condition since that's what's required to sell in our state. Apparently, no so in his State (unless he did something dodgy, but I should have checked anyway). Just meant that I had to spend a bit on servicing the suspension and give it new chain & sprockets, new brake rotors.

 

Anyway it can be a bit daunting when you're new to motorcycling and trying to pick out a good used bike, seems like no matter how hard you try that it can still take going through the process a couple of times before you're wise to all the tricks & traps. I'd say it's good to take along a friend who knows more about bikes, and then not to rush things, to have a good thorough look over the bike even though it may bore you half to death. tongue.gif

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I'm all for buying used...The one thing about buying a used team bike is that they usually have work done to the motor. The power is great but the longevity of the engine might be limited. I just had a friend sell a CBR600RR '07 that had Ohlins internals, Ohlins TTX shock, STM Slipper Clutch, Power Commander, Galfer Wave Rotors, Vortex clip ons and rear sets, Vortex keyless gas cap, SS braided lines, Intake blanking plates, 1/4 turn throttle and Sharkskinz for 4,000.00 Go price all this on a new bike.

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Not that I disagree with everything that is being said about buying used just telling my story. I purchased a L0 GSXR 1000 new got it for $6,000 off the L1 price (same model). Two monts ago it was parked in town and a delivery truck bumped into it causing it to fall on the bike beside which fell on the bike beside it and so on. Anyway apart from the tank which hit the handlebars of the other bike there were only minor scratches to a number of items (exhaust, mirrors, engine covers, pegs). When I got it assessed for insurance it was a $7,500 repair. I couldn't believe it but as it was a no claim fault the insurance company agreed to repair it. Rather than go for OEM I went for Yoshi titanium full exhaust and PC5, woodcraft rearsets and engine covers/protectors, M4 monombloc Brembo brakes and RCS 19 master cylinder, and my ohlins TTX36 and FGRT 809 are on their way (I had to wait for the MKII components to be avialable). So in my case I got my dream bike with all brand new bits for a discounted price. Buying new is sometimes the right way to go. If I'd purchased second hand I might have only got a new tank and a few extra scratches.

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