You have identified a used superbike that you would love to own. So what would make you happier? Getting it at much lower price than what seller is quoting. Of course. But how? There are very simple steps that you can follow to get a better deal.

Here is a haggling checklist to get great deal on used superbike:

  1. Be ready to walk away
  2. Do your homework about finances
  3. Know what you are buying
  4. Points to keep in mind while buying a used superbike
  5. When to call and where to meet
  6. Things to watch out for
  7. What clothes you should wear
  8. Don’t be an asshole
  9. Look for extras
  10. Actual Negotiation
  11. How to store cash
  12. When to know that seller won’t go below the price being discussed.
  13. Remain friends with seller

Tips on negotiating a used motorcycle explained:

1. Be ready to walk away

First principal of negotiation is - Try not to be desperate. There is no Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you can’t crack a deal for this bike, you can always get the next one. No need to go overboard and buy a dud just because you want to show off the bike to your friends.  Better to be late than sorry.

Basically try to do as many things as you can from this excellent article about doing PDI. Rather you should be take extra care because you are buying an expensive motorcycle and that too a pre-owned one.

2. Do your homework about finances

Know exactly how much money you have or can raise. There is no point in you going to buy a bike where seller has quoted 15.0 Lakh when you have 2 lakh in hand. If you need to take a loan, you can do so without even finalising a bike. Have a look at this guide – You can Get a loan for used superbike.

3. Know what you are buying

Have you shortlisted a bike that you want to buy? Are you sure that it suits your purpose? If you need any help in identifying a model that would be most suitable for you, please have a look at – which bike to buy

Are you buying a widely available motorcycle? Or is this rare one off? Does the bike have high brand recall?

Suzuki Hayabusa is the first name that comes to mind of all Indians when it comes to superbikes. Suzuki also launched Made in India version so there are ample models available. But given the brand recall of Busa, it still commands a slight premium on other similar models.

Once you have identified the bike you want to buy, Please read up about it. There are lots of forums online. Many are dedicated to specific models. You can get lot of information about the bike from these forums. Points to be noted down are known faults, weaknesses of the bike. If you are ok with those, let’s go to the next step.

4. Points to keep in mind while buying a used superbike

If a deal is too good to be true, it most certainly is. Nothing is free in this world and no seller will sell the motorcycle below its market price. (unless he is your grandfather/uncle gifting you). Think of it this way, you own an R1, have loved, cherished and maintained it to the topmost condition, would you let it go for 4-5 lakh even to a close friend? I guess not.

So be sure to check every aspect of the motorcycle in the case where you are being sold “Once in a lifetime opportunity”

Illegal / DRI cleared / grey market: Walk away from illegal / officially not launched in India motorcycles. Illegal (or Grey); as the name suggests were motorcycles that were illegally imported and so can’t be registered. They were most probably imported as spare parts and then assembled by some mechanic. They are usually sold with a RC card mentioning some other model. Even the RC cards of total loss legal superbikes is worth a lot. People buy these RC cards and use them for selling their illegal motorcycle by simply changing number plate. How many times have you checked that engine and chassis numbers match with those mentioned on the RC card?

Whatever the seller tells you, just walk away. In case you go ahead with this purchase, you need to keep two things in mind – They (being illegal in the first place) can’t be transferred to your name and they can’t be insured. Do you really want a superbike that can’t be insured? You will be liable for a whole lot of money in case you crash into someone.

Lastly, DRI has been active against all such illegal bikes. In case you are found to be owning such a bike – first it will be confiscated, second a criminal case will be lodged against you. There is no alternative to this. Do you really want to go through these hassles?

I heard you asking about DRI cleared / tax paid bikes – there is no such thing. DRI auctions off confiscated bikes but they are sold with a clear notice that you can’t resell it. You keeping it for whole your life? I don’t think so. Also paying tax does not make that a legal bike. You will be shown a receipt showing 1/2/3 lakh as tax paid. Ask a simple question, can this bike be transferred to my name with correct details about model, cc, cylinders?

Lastly, for any motorcycle not sold by company in India, you can’t buy parts from authorized service centres. Eg. If you buy an illegal R1, Yamaha service centres will NOT sell you spares for your bike even though Yamaha itself sells R1 in India.

5. When to call and where to meet

We have listed in detail about from where to buy a used superbike in our article Checklist for buying a used superbike and this article is only about haggling / getting a deal on used superbikes so we won’t cover that again here.

You should call the seller only during working hours. Even if he is a dealer, he has life other than selling bikes. Would you want to get a call at 11pm about a bike you want to sell? No? Then call the seller only during office hours. Better would be if you send a SMS first. Let us make it yet simpler by giving you text of the SMS

HI, {seller name}. I saw your ad on {where you saw the ad} about {bike name/model}. I am {your name}. I am interested in purchasing it. What would be a good time for me to call you?

Once he replies, don’t bug him to send you more photos / details. You already saw his post somewhere so you have basic details. And NEVER EVER try and negotiate on phone / SMS / Whatsapp. That is the most stupid thing you can do.

Always go to dealer shop / workshop or seller’s home / office. Never meet up on road just because it is convenient. If you go to the seller’s place, you have at least one location to go back to, if something goes wrong with the deal.

Always go to check out the bike in day light. Never ever see / inspect the bike in evening / night. You can’t see many obvious faults unless you see them in daylight.

6. Things to watch out for

These are some simple things that you can watch out for.

Things to observe if seller is a dealer

  • Is the shop located in decent location
  • How is the shop maintained
  • Which other bikes does he have in stock and do they seem to be in good condition?

If answers to all the above points is YES, it most probably means he has a decent quality stock of used superbikes. If the shop is in rundown area, has just two bikes and one is dismantled, it means that the dealer is not one from whom you should buy.

Things to observe if seller is owner

If the owner himself is selling the bike, you should see where he stays, what other vehicles he owns, do they look maintained, how is he dressed etc.

This will give you an idea about the owner. A guy will polish the bike he wants to sell but if his other vehicles are gathering dust with deflated tyres, then we are sure that the bike you want to buy was most probably in the same condition few days back.

Owner who does not keep ALL his vehicles in good condition (we aren’t talking about polished, waxed here) is unlikely to maintain his bike.

7.What clothes you should wear

You are going to buy a superbike (even though it is used, it is beyond the means of most others guys out there) so going to the meeting in your nightsuit immediately will put you in non serious class.

Dress smart. Not smart for a party. Not formal. But make sure that you should look like someone who can afford to buy the bike. Otherwise seller won’t take you seriously.

8. Don’t be an asshole

We wanted to be more polite but can’t. Be a likeable guy. Don’t interrupt while the other guy is talking. Don’t flaunt your money. Don’t flaunt your knowledge. Seller isn’t interested in either. What he is interested in is making the sale. So stick to the topic.

Don’t waste time of seller. Don’t show him ads of similar bikes at cheaper price. Don’t sit on bike without asking him. Don’t start the bike without asking him.

In short, don’t be an asshole. Everyone has one but no one likes them.

9.Look for Extras:

Accessories: Add-on accessories worth couple of lakhs do NOT add value in second hand market. They were fitted by original owner to suit his riding / liking. You need not pay a premium for those. In case the seller wants a premium because of accessories, tell him that you are willing to buy the bike in stock configuration. This will prove a decent bargaining point.

And after you start haggling, ask the owner to throw in the stock parts, accessories or any spares he may have in the deal. You are sure that he won’t be requiring that clutch cable for the bike you are taking away.

This not only saves you money but also makes you ready with spares when you need them.

10.Actual Negotiation

If you have done your homework and observed the above points, you should have a fair idea of how much you can negotiate.

The most important principal of negotiation is not to insult other party. For a bike advertised for 12 lakh, don’t quote 5 lakh. It is stupid. There is no way the seller can / will go down to that price.

From the homework, you would have a generic idea of how much the bike is worth. So easiest option to start negotiation is to use “You are absolutely right in the price you have quoted. But I think it is worth xyz”. Using the term “I think it is worth” or “in my opinion it is worth” takes away the replies the seller has prepared.

Quote an amount that is about 10% lower than the market value that you have found out. You can haggle in two ways. One way is Khatka method and another is Halal. Khatka method is Just quote a flat amount and negotiate slight bit or use halal method where you both can keep coming up/going down in increments. Both methods work. But in our opinion, the first method works better. It saves time for everyone around.

Be ready to pay 5-10k more than what you thought. When you are buying a superbike, this is an insignificant amount and if that makes the seller happy, why not?

11.How to store cash

In these days post demonetisation, cash transactions are rare. But if you are doing an all cash deal, keep an amount about 10% lower than the price in your mind in one pocket. Keep other cash in another pocket. So when the crunch time comes, you can always resort to age old technique “Itna hi paisa hai”.

If you are transferring amount, then this obviously won’t work. But then you can keep harping on “I think it is worth xyz”

Whatever you do, take a receipt immediately.

12.What can be the lowest price?

There is a certain price that the seller has got in mind. He won’t sell below that. Key is to identify that price. Few pointers:

Is he hovering around a certain amount? Is there any other reason why he would want a specific amount?

You need to keep observing when the seller starts getting irritated and reduces communication. That is the point where you are only one step away from lowest possible price. Don’t haggle more than once. You won’t achieve anything (other than irritating seller)

13.Remain friends with seller

Whether you have a deal or not, don’t walk away as enemy. Today you two couldn’t crack a deal but tomorrow you can. Always leave on good note.

Hope the above checklist about getting a good deal on used superbike helps you getting a dream bike home. If you want to read more such articles, subscribe to our newsletter.

So choose wisely and ride happily.

This article is one part of 3 part series of articles. You should read the other two articles to get complete idea about the buying used superbike process. Here are the links -

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