bike for sale Summer is finally here and it’s time to reach for the motorcycle leathers and get out on the open road to enjoy the sunshine. However a stark warning comes from vehicle information expert HPI – nearly one in five bikes checked by the company has a hidden history.  HPI warns used bike buyers to remain cautious when shopping around for that dream machine on two wheels. Conducting a vehicle history check like the HPI Bike Check offers used motorcycle buyers the protection they need from fraudsters.

“Unfortunately, whilst cars have become more difficult to steal, motorcycles remain an easy target for thieves,” says Daniel Burgess, Managing Director for HPI. “Bikes are smaller and less secure than cars, making them easier to steal and move on – with many thieves simply picking the bikes up from the street and putting them in the back of a van. Obviously this presents a huge risk to consumers, with 1 in 5* vehicles stolen in the UK reported to bea motorcycle. Buying a stolen bike means consumers could lose the bike and the money they paid for it when it’s returned to the owner.

“Used motorcycle buyers can avoid these risks by simply carrying out an HPI Bike Check, which will tell them if their potential purchase is registered as stolen with the Police National Computer. They can also use the HPI Check information to verify the engine number of the bike as well.”

Buying a stolen vehicle is just one of a number of risks facing used bike buyers. Outstanding finance continues to be a problem, with one in ten motorbikes checked by HPI still having finance on them. Anyone who purchases a bike with an outstanding debt could face losing both the motorcycle and the money they paid for it as the bike still legally belongs to the finance house. In addition, 1 in 10 motorcycles checked by HPI have been written off by an insurance company and could be potential death traps if they haven’t been repaired properly.

Burgess concludes, “Used bike buyers face a number of threats which could see them end up severely out of pocket or worse. A situation where a bike is confiscated and returned to the rightful owner is a heartbreaking reality to some. But consumers don’t have to take that risk. The HPI Bike Check will tell buyers whether their potential purchase has been stolen, written-off or is still on finance, offering valuable peace of mind before they buy. Our dedicated bike check offers an easy and quick way for customers to discover the facts before they buy”

HPI’s Summer Bike Buying Tips


Do your Research

Make sure you go online and spend some time getting an idea of the market value of the bike, to ensure you know the price you should be paying. Also, ensure you know of any specific problems that the bike you are after might have.

Ensure you can Insure

Before you set your heart on a bike, make sure you get an insurance quote – there’s nothing worse than buying a superbike and finding out you can’t afford to insure it!

Where are they?

If buying privately, always arrange to meet the seller at their home address, and make sure this is the one listed on the V5C document.

Look in Light

Never check a bike after dark or in rainy conditions, as this will make it very difficult to spot any defects. Even if the bike is in a garage under artificial light, you will not get a true impression of its condition.

Check the Frame

Examine the bodywork for any scratches or dents, particularly at the rear of the tank, engine cases, foot pegs and exhaust pipes as these could be a sign the bike has been dropped. Also look at the welding around the steering head and engine mounts, there should be no dents, kinks or stress marks. If there is, walk away.

Tread Carefully

Check the condition of the tyre and particularly the tread – the minimum depth in the UK is 1mm. Also see if the edges of the tyres are ‘bobbled’ as this is a sign the bike may have been used regularly on a track.

Engine Issues

Always start the bike with a cold engine as this will make it easier to spot starting problems or excessive smoke. Look around the oil filter for any trace of a white, mayonnaise-like substance. This could be an indication of a damaged head casket.

Do the Keys Work?

Make sure the keys fit the petrol cap and seat lock as well as the ignition – and has the seller got both sets of keys?

Take a Test Ride…

… and change up and down through the gears several times – does each one slot home easily? Accelerate hard in each gear and make sure the bike does not jump out of any. Also see if there are any flat spots in power delivery. Make sure the brakes are working properly.

Get an HPI Bike Check

You can never be entirely sure of a bike until you get an HPI history check, which will tell you if the bike has been stolen, written-off, is on outstanding finance or has a mileage discrepancy.

For further information visit www.hpibikecheck.com or call 0845 300 8905 or follow us on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/hpicheck


*Source: http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/General-news/2011/January/jan2511-1-in-5-stolen-vehicles-is-a-bike/

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