Buying online

Buy a dodgy used car and you probably end up with a lemon. Buy a dodgy used bike and you quite likely end up with a deathtrap. So it’s essential to keep your eyes open and inspect carefully.

Things like internet auction sites have transformed the way we buy all sorts of things, including motorbikes. Where once you’d mostly buy from a nearby dealer or someone living locally, today you might be tempted by an apparent bargain at the other end of the country.

There are downsides, however. One is that it’s hard to just pop over and check the bike out before putting in an offer. Another one is getting the bike home. A long, tiring road trip on a strange bike has proven to be the undoing of too many riders. And the costs (fare there, meals, drinks, overnight stops, fuel, wear & tear) add up.

But you do have options.

Specialist motorcycle haulage

You can search for haulage companies that profess to transport bikes but the best bet is a specialist in motorcycle transportation.

Trailer

If you or a mate have a vehicle with a tow bar, putting the bike on a trailer is a lot less tiring with far fewer risks. You’ll need tie-down straps and at least one wheel chock or stand. Strapping the bike down varies by machine, but there’s plenty of advice online.

Ride it

There’s only one focus here: getting home safely. You’ll need the right mental approach, and watch for weather conditions and fatigue of course.

One good thing is, it’s New Zealand! So you will get to travel through some amazing scenery and maybe even see new places. So relax, take your time and enjoy it. Include plenty of rest stops, where you can check over the bike, lube the chain and inspect for any oil or fluid leaks.

On any really long journey, factor in at least one overnight stop somewhere. Long motorcycle journeys are exhausting. Travel at an easy pace, get used to the bike and feel for anything that doesn’t feel right: especially brakes, steering and suspension. If something is wrong, stop and get it transported.

Taking an overnight bag means you’ll be able to stow extra layers, including waterproof gear. After all, we’re the country that inspired the song Four Seasons in One Day.


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