Hello, basically i've done plenty of research and I feel i've settled and decided to buy myself a YZF. I'm trying to get one on finance from a dealership on auto trader. Basically I just wanted to see what advice people could give me when looking to buy a second hand bike at the best value - for example what is a decent mileage for a 125 so I don't find myself having problems with the bike and is the age something to consider if the miles are still low? Thanks.
Buying a Yamaha YZF R125\.
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Is buying new a viable option? I mean having a bike worth 4000, how much is my insurance likely to be? How much will the resell value be on the bike provided it doesn't get serious damage and I keep it for 3 years and get it up to say 6000 miles. Also, how much would i save on servicing etc, how long do I have to run the engine in? Decisions, decisions!
If you get the biking bug you won't have a 125 for long as your experience will ourgrow it and you will want something bigger. If you don't get the biking bug you won't have a 125 for long as you'll sell it and buy a car. Either way 125's are usually short-term options.
So, buy something cheap and modest with a service history and that looks like it has been looked after. That way you won't have too much financial loss when the time comes to either trade up (hopefully) or move on.
I think i'll be keeping it for a while (maybe 2 or so years) and at the moment I don't really have any need for a car so a fairly nippy and very fuel efficient 125 should do all that I need and I feel i've kind of got my heart set on the YZF, also when you pass your test I hear you can actually have your bike upgraded in some way by Yamaha so that could also be an option if I wanted a bit more power.
First off insurance depends on a multitude of factors - not just the bike and its value, so what it's likely to cost is anyone's guess. Bear in mind also that if a bike is attractive to you, it'll likely be attractive to a thief too.
When you buy a bike (especially if it's your first bike), factor in the cost of a drop - faired bikes tend to be expensive buggers when they've been on the floor, plus of course, the more expensive the bike, the more gutting a drop tends to be.
4-stroke 125s tend all to have similar power / performance levels (to comply with learner / CBT rules), so you won't have a huge advantage over the likes of the cheap and cheerful Honda CG125 or the Yamaha YBR125 anyhow.
If your mind is set on it then a YZF is what you will have. And nice little bikes they are too. However, no matter what your intentions are you WILL outgrow it and probably fairly quickly.
Search these forums and you will see many posts from guys either looking to trade up or after more horsepower within a relatively short time. Most modern 125's are not more poweful bikes that have been restricted - they are designed to put out around 12 bhp so looking for extra horses is futile meaning that you will be trading up a lot sooner than you think.
So, if you are going new you will take a bigger hit when you come to sell the bike on. Of course, the same applies to larger bikes but owners tend to hang onto them longer so the depreciation is spread over a longer period making it less painful.
Is there any type of lock that is going to work out best to keep my bike safe while also being easier to carry around or whatever, because I will definitely be investing in a lock. I've decided against a new bike after a few hours worth of calling around some localish dealers and finding out that I can fairly easily get a bike with less than 2000 miles for over 1500 cheaper than a new one would cost (which would then mean I wouldn't have to worry about breaking it in either). I still think I would keep it the bike for about 2 years before probably upgrading to a bigger bike rather than buying a car, for now I just want something that's realiable, enjoyable and faster than my mountain bike!
For what it's worth
I could just about imaging keeping a Varadero XL125V for a couple of years, it's that good - it looks and feels like a big bike, it is a big bike, yet it runs on a sniff of unleaded and is one of the fastest learner bikes out there - and then I'd sell it for slightly more than I paid. Actually I've just helped my kids do exactly that, though each one stuck it for just a year before moving on to bigger more powerful things. Worth more at 7 years old than 5, it never missed a beat. A cheap topbox on the back will hide a helmet and cart around a hefty lock.
I doesn't have the "trick" looking bits and bobs and racy style of the R125, but you might tolerate it for a lot longer in practice. It also affords a better view ahead.
Mind you, the sexy Yamaha does sound all right for a learner legal four stroke single cylinder...
Locks and kit
Check out RiDe Magazine for reviews and recomendations on things like locks and riding kit. They do some good practical research.
Age of second hand bikes.
Firstly thanks for the helpful replies and I will look at that, want to make sure my kit is safe. Just a quick question in regards to buying - is age of the bike a factor at all (other than the fact it will obviously not need servicing if it's less than 2 years old) for example an 09 plate with 2500 miles is surely better than 2010 with 2800 miles or is that not true, is there other things to consider?
Age and miles
are narrow factors - what's generally more important is how the bike has been treated for those miles - a properly cared for bike with higher miles is often a better bet than a neglected and hammered low-miler.
What you're aiming to do is use all the info available (service records, receipts, bills and the bikes appearance, and indeed, the seller) to build up a picture of how a machine has been treated - a comprehensive list of receipts or bills (oils / filters parts) is some evidence of how a bike has been cared for in place of a service record (an owner may have done the work himself). Check the previous MoT records are present and correct.
Most 125s will have been on their side at some point - some lights scrapes are to be expected (dropped), heavy marks and damage may indicate a bike thats been "down the road" (crashed); it'd be wise to check for frame damage.
If a bike has been modified with aftermarket parts, check that original parts are present.
If you're buying from a dealer, you may get some form of warranty (it'll give you a point of contact if you need it too).
If you're buying privately, and especially if you're unfamiliar with bikes, take a trusted mate with you.
I'll only be purchasing a bike through a trader dealership partly because of my lack of knowledge but also because then I can buy a bike on finance. Are there any questions I should always be asking them?
Also I was looking at a 2011 plate with 600 miles on the clock earlier and I decided against it when the man on the phone told me the owner had been ''using it as a toy before he joined the army'' so I was worried about the bike being damaged on the run in period, which I think is still quite important?