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Buying Second-hand Two Wheeler

Inderpal Ahluwalia 26 February 2018
3.8 (4 votes)

Today India has become one of the largest two wheeler markets in the world. This has also risen the demand for buying and selling of second-hand two wheeler.

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With the availability of two wheelers in good condition, many people are buying a second-hand two wheeler to save money. This article will serve you as a guide on buying a second-hand two wheeler.

Purpose or Use of two wheeler for you

Two wheeler or bike selection needs to analysed based on the purpose you are going to use it. If you are looking for daily commute you should buy a second-hand bike which will give you good mileage and requires less maintenance. If you are buying a bike for joy trips in evening or just on weekends you may consider a luxury bike which may give you a high rev powerful engine sound and probably you may not worry much about the mileage.

Where can you get a second-hand two wheeler/bike

Today many offline and online platform have been formed from where you can buy a second-hand bike. You can approach second-hand bike showrooms or dealers/mechanics, find an advertisement in the newspaper or just go online to websites/mobile apps like OLX, Quickr, Zigwheels etc. The best way to figure out the best bike is to take a trial of different bikes so you can gain knowledge on the options available and evaluate the suitability of the two wheeler based on your personal requirements.

Checking the bike

We often hear the phrase the first impression counts, you can judge by the look of the bike and know if the bike has been used properly or abused. It is very important that you carry out the inspection of the bike during good daylights hours. This is because night light often hides potential trouble spots. It is also recommended to take an expert’s opinion who has decent knowledge on bikes in case you are a newbie in the bike world.

There are two important checks that are required while purchasing a second-hand bike. They are:

  • Mechanical check
  • Paper-work check

Mechanical Check

The basic things you would want to check on the two wheeler are

  • Any Oil-leaks: Check around the engine area carefully for any oil leaks. If the bike has not been washed then it is more evident and easy to find but if the bike is washed you will need to give a minute look for it.

  • Rust : The metal parts of your two wheeler/bike will catch rust over years. A little bit of surface rust is fine and can be treated but if the rust is deep, you may have to replace that body part soon. Check the entire chassis area also for any visible rust marks.

  • Scratch Marks : In busy cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore scratch marks are inevitable due to congested driving and parking areas. A scratch here or there is acceptable but ensure the scratch is not much deeper or openly visible as it may damage the overall look of the two wheeler and cost you big bucks on repair.

  • Accidentally Damaged Two Wheeler: Many people put their bikes/ two wheeler to sell after serious accident and damage to the bike. Don’t be a victim of buying an accidentally damaged bike. Check the handlebar, it should be absolutely straight and should not shake. Check the chassis for any repairing or welding spots, it may be a sign of quick fix repaired chassis. Check rims of the tyre if they appear bent and the alignment.

  • Check Engine: Turn on the ignition of the two wheeler and check engine for any fumes or smoke coming out of it. Also, listen to engine sound, if there are any vibrations or different sounding can tell you the health of the engine.

  • Oil Check: Check the engine oil by removing the dipstick. If the oil is of dark brown and feels rusty then it needs to be changed immediately. Also, check the oil level on the dipstick if there is sufficient oil.

Other Items to Check

  • Spark Plug
  • Air cleaner
  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • Clutch
  • Gears

  • Mileage and Running in Kilometers : In many fraud cases, it has been found that mileage meter has been tempered to show less running of a bike. Wear and tear of tyres and other parts and accessories of the bike are a good indication of how much the two wheeler has clocked and if the mileage meter is showing the true picture or not.

  • Test Ride :Take a good test ride of the bike so you can get a feel of the ride and comfort factor for yourself.

Paper-Work Check

Once you are satisfied with the mechanical/technical aspects and you are happy with the test ride you will need to check the paper-work of the bike. The paper-work needs to be clear and genuine.

  • Registration Certificate - RC book: The engine and chassis number on the bike should match the number mentioned in the Registration certificate. The colour of the two wheeler mentioned, the number of owners, etc. and the other information that needs to be verified looking at the RC book.

  • Tax Certificate: The two wheeler will require a valid tax certificate

  • Valid Insurance: Check if the bike has a valid insurance. Although third-party insurance is mandatory by law, a comprehensive insurance is recommended as it covers own vehicle damages against natural and man-made disasters. If the insurance is not valid then you will need to shell out money from your pocket to get a valid insurance coverage for the two wheeler.

  • PUC Certificate (Pollution Under Control): As per the Indian law, every motor vehicle be it two wheeler or four-wheeler plying on Indian roads needs a valid PUC certificate at all times. Check if the two wheeler has a valid PUC otherwise you will need to bear the expense of getting one.

  • Full-Service History: One of the signs of a good bike is, it will have a full-service history record from authorised service centres. It shows the two wheeler has been regularly serviced and taken good care by the previous owner.

  • NOC: No Objection Certificate or NOC is required to get the two wheeler transferred from One RTO to another.

  • Two wheeler Model Manual: Every two wheeler comes with a manual from the manufacturer. Although it is not mandatory but the manual has details of the two wheeler’s model.

Price and Negotiation

Once you are done and happy with the technical and paper-work it is now the time to sit down and agree on the price. You should know the price of the new model and then minus the depreciation and wear/ tear on the price. For any problem or expense, you may have to incur after buying must be deducted from the quoted price. Once you agree on a price and are happy with the deal it’s the time to sign the paperwork and payment.


A second-hand bike is not a bad choice but you should do a thorough mechanical check and paper-work as mentioned above before buying one. You can end up striking a very good deal for a second-hand bike and save yourself a lot of money. So, follow the above guide and get yourself a good second-hand two wheeler deal and go vroom-vroom on the bike of your dreams!

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