Whatever you’re buying, you want to be sure you’re not going to get ripped off. Buying from a dealer offers at least some chance of recourse, but you should still check everything over carefully.
Buying privately offers far less protection. To know the ins and outs of your rights, and how to check for things like finance owing, check out the Ministry of Consumer Affairs website.
The first thing you’ll need is to invest a bit of time checking the classifieds and online auctions to get a feel for prices, age, kilometres travelled and condition. Do not be tempted to leap in at this stage, even if you see an absolute minter. Wait. Be patient. Others will come, possibly better. There are more bikes than buyers in New Zealand.
Whether it’s a mechanically minded mate, a mechanic or the AA, you can’t beat having a bit of expertise on your side. The earlier you can enlist their help the better, and ensure they come with you to see the bike.
Of the bike and the seller. Use your instincts. If you’re using something like Trademe, this instinct - and a diligent read through feedback - could be the best you’ve got. Ask questions. Does everything work? Has it been crashed? Raced? What’s the service history?
How the seller answers can be as revealing as the answers themselves.
If you’re still interested, it’s time to check the bike over carefully. So long as you know what to look for.