July 14, 2024


Automotive to Us

Advice on buying used Superbikes in India

Many give up their dream of riding one in our hot, unplanned and hostile roads within a week, month or a year. Some ride them for a good couple of years garnering a few thousands on the odo before setting their sights on their next desirable upgrade.

moralfibre recently shared this with other BHPians.

The pre-owned superbike world is filled with lucrative offers. Being a niche market with very limited takers, the prices of these lightning pieces of machinery on two wheels crash like nothing else. Many give up their dream of riding one in our hot, unplanned and hostile roads within a week, month or a year. Some ride them for a good couple of years garnering a few thousands on the odo before setting their sights on their next desirable upgrade.

Personally started my journey with a Z800 which was brand new closely followed by a 6 month old BMW R1200GS LC Rallye that was barely 6 months old with < 2500 km on the clock. The deal? A whooping 30% off retail price with a few more lakhs worth of accessories thrown in. It is hard to ignore the fact that buying a depriciated vehicle arrests your cashburn should you choose to hold on to the motorcycle for a few years.

Our mod manson has been holding on to this super sexy Honda CBR 954rr for a little over a decade and finds little or no reason to upgrade. He picked up this beauty in its infancy from a well caring owner as well.

So what’s this thread about? Let’s list out eye catching deals, and thumbs up or thumbs down on deals that you come across for fellow riders.


Please avoid justifying or pulling down on asking prices. As they say, the price of an item in the pre-owned market depends on the condition of the buyer and the seller.

Please do not post ads with zero or no details for folks. Posts without a contact option either via a link to the ad or an alternative will be deleted.

Please use the classifieds section for your ad should you wish to sell your bike and thereafter post a link to this thread to index it.

Take this opportunity to ogle at these beauties or hurriedly go over your bank statement to bring that dream bike in your garage.

Friendly Tips:

Tip #1:

Be very very wary of the ownership history of superbikes. It is not uncommon to see most bikes advertised as first owner examples. But, in reality have already changed a few hands. SBK dealers often offer this as a package to buyers wherein they skip the transfer of registration documents and thereafter keep circling the motorcycle to various customers offering buyback prices with exchange options from their inventory.

I had seen a very very rare V-Strom 1000 for sale up north. Was utterly tempted to pick it up when I did a bit of a research to find the same bike with atleast 2 other owners on their Instagram pages. Was shocked to find that the bike was still on the first owners name whereas it had changed 3 owners. Sadly enough, the dealer is a very well followed and respected entity up north with ads filled with glitz and shine.

I’d rather take a bike with known three owners from my circle than one that has gone through two unknown ones. Do wear your sunglasses to avoid getting blinded by the glare of these ads. Many of them might be filled with a history you haven’t heard of.

Tip #2:

Practice extreme due diligence. Was looking for a Ninja 1000 for a friend on Olx and came across a very very neat looking example. The bike was in Kolhapur but most pictures did not show the registration plate. Messaged the seller to know the registration details which he was a bit hesitant to share. But eventually gave in after my persistence. He claimed to be “friends” with the owner whereas in reality he was just a dealer. Ran a query on Parivahan to find that the bike was flood affected and was owned by a bhpian who declared it a total loss:

The ad on Olx:

Pictures received from the bhpian when he declared it a total loss after his bike was flood damaged:

Tip #3:

Patience is virtue. Never give in to temptation. Don’t show any signs of excitement or lack judgement in pulling through these deals. We get it that you are in for thrill from a bike you always dreamed of owning. A little more time and arrest of your feelings will help quell long term pain.

The bike might have the best of accessories, roar of an exhaust or shine of a diamond. Scratch through the surface and you’ll see reality. I’ve used social media to my advantage here. Find the first owner, second owner, third owner on Facebook, Instagram, etc. It won’t be surprising to find them posing with their bikes or posting their videos. Send them a friend request, do notify them of the intent. Observe their usage pattern on these videos, find their riding buddies and look for group ride videos on Youtube, etc. It won’t be tough to do that as I’ve had immense success to find my right bike with this approach. Riding fast is no crime, don’t penalise former owners for doing so. But, riding rash, carelessly are signs of an abused machine. Yes, this surmounts to borderline stalking but you are no ordinary buyer, you are built with passion and going that extra mile will help protect you.

I found one bike in the used market where the motorcycle was parked in a lot a India Bike week in Goa and the owner was revving the pants of the bike at idle. Steer very very clear of such abused examples. No matter how Japanese they are, abuse takes a toll on these machines and you’d be staring at a repair bill running in to 5-6 digits sooner than later.

Tip #4:

Avoid out of state registrations. It is normal for finding superbikes in Maharashtra with a Chandigarh registration or a bike in KA with a Pondicherry registration. Many owners go out of their way to reduce their road tax burden. However, transferring these bikes over to your home state may cost a bomb. More often than not about 15-20% of their ex-showroom value post depreciation. Moreover, resist the temptation of running the bikes on former owner’s docs. It may not be an immediate risk but you’ll end up regretting this should you end up in an unfortunate accident involving other vehicles or worst case a pedestrian. Having your documentation clean will have a cushion of comfort for you in legal troubles.

Stick to your state of registration as it is fairly easy to transfer these locally without paying any additional road tax.

Tip #5:

Do not downsize on insurance. Even a small incident like dropping your bike off its kickstand runs into a heavy repair bill. These bikes are not cheap to run or keep idle. For example, the tank of a Ninja 1000 costs about a lakh of rupees. Legend has it that if you buy a superbike in parts off your dealer, you’ll be paying 40-50L for a 15L rupee motorcycle. Dealers make their profits in service and parts sale. Have your insurance take care of this for you. Zero dep should be the norm for the first 5 years of ownership atleast. If the first owner has skipped it, make sure you have the riders added during transfer.

Insurance is also proof of the history of ownership. A quick glance at the NCB values will reveal the claim history. Please don’t hold a double lens microscope to it. Bikes fall off their side stands, owners can’t handle their weight, etc. Watch for damages beyond these. It is normal for endure cosmetic damages owing to minor parking lot spills. If the sellers are frank about it, you have a deal with a honest biker.

Tip #6:

Avoid dealers. Wonder what their role is in the transaction except for hoarding up a pile of bikes, masking irregularities and then jacking up prices. I am yet to co
me across a competent guy who was true and fair in his assessments. For example, when I put my Z800 on sale, I was approached by a dealer who offered me an atrociously low price. It was lower than an other Z800 from his inventory. To settle scores, I simply offered him the same price to buy the bike from his inventory. I never heard from him again. Although I admit, it is a little bit of an inconvenience in dealing with a barrage of queries on Olx or the likes. Personally, I put up an ad with all details to every last bit of info that one would usually want to know. Despite that, should questions arise, dedicate 10 minutes of your time before going to bed in answering those. Some are genuine while most are timepassers.

I fail to see the logic where folks post “Serious buyers only”. Wonder if they mean someone should bear the expression of a Bollywood villain and send a selfie before responding to an ad or similar. If you have an ad in the public domain, expect a ton of quries. Respond to them patiently, one such query from a suspected timepasser ended up becoming the customer for my first bike.

Always ensure clear documentation and insist on a RC transfer receipt from the buyer before handing him off the keys. As a general practice I’ve followed, we complete the payment formalities and leave aside say 10k towards the end. Handover keys and papers but secure the bike with yourself. Insist that the buyer initiate a transfer or registration before you deliver. Don’t wait for RC delivery, a receipt of submission of docs to the RTO is good enough. Dealers will never do this and you are at a grave liability should your bike be involved in an accident. IF your buyer is from another state, issuing an NOC on his behalf is good enough to absolve you of liabilities. The onus on completing the formalities resides on the buyer from the other state.

Read more about buying used superbikes in India