Beat autumn traffic on two wheels


Published on 19 September 2014 by Gill

Vehicle information expert HPI is urging British motorists to consider swapping their cars for motorbikes this autumn to beat the winter gridlock. Why? According to recent research* riding a motorcycle – rather than driving a car – is the best way to ease congestion. An experiment which saw the number of motorcycles increased on a busy commuter road revealed that when 10 per cent of the traffic was changed from cars to motorbikes, overall journey times were reduced by 63 per cent. When 25 per cent of the traffic was switched from cars to motorbikes, congestion was completely eliminated. Not only could this alleviate rush hour headaches, but reduce the impact of harmful emissions on the environment.

Before investing in that dream motorbike, HPI advises used bike buyers to remain vigilant when shopping around, as one in five bikes checked by the company has a hidden history. Conducting a vehicle history check like the HPI Bike Check offers used motorcycle buyers the protection they need from fraudsters.

“Motorbikes remain an easy target for thieves. They are simply easier to steal because they are compact and generally less secure than cars,” says Shane Teskey, Senior Consumer Services Manager at HPI Bike Check. 

By simply conducting an HPI Bike Check, consumers can avoid buying a used motorbike with a hidden history. The HPI Bike Check informs consumers if the dream bike has been registered as stolen with the Police National Computer, is an insurance write-off or has outstanding finance.

“Outstanding finance continues to be a significant problem too, with one in four motorbikes checked by HPI still having finance on them. If a consumer purchases a bike with outstanding finance they too could risk losing the bike and the money they paid for it as it still legally belongs to the finance house.  In addition, one in 10 motorbikes checked by HPI have been written off by an insurance company and could be potential death traps if they haven’t been repaired properly.

Teskey concludes: “Consumers face numerous threats when buying a used motorcycle, which would see them end up severely out of pocket or worse. A situation where a bike is confiscated and returned to the rightful owner is an unfortunate reality for some. But consumers don’t have to take that risk. The HPI Bike Check will tell buyers whether their potential purchase has been stolen, written-off or is still on finance, offering peace of mind before they buy. Our dedicated bike check offers an easy and quick way for customers to discover the facts before they buy.”

HPI’s Autumn Bike Buying Tips  

1.    Do your research – make sure you go online and spend some time getting an idea of the market value of the bike to ensure you know the price you should be paying. Also, ensure you know of any specific problems that the bike you are after might have.

2.    Where are they? If buying privately, always arrange to meet the seller at their home address, and make sure this is the one listed on the V5C document.

3.    Look in light – never check a bike after dark or in rainy conditions, as this will make it very difficult to spot any defects. Even if the bike is in a garage under artificial light, you will not get a true impression of its condition.

4.    Check the frame – examine the bodywork for any scratches or dents, particularly at the rear of the tank, engine cases, foot pegs and exhaust pipes as these could be a sign the bike has been dropped. Also look at the welding around the steering head and engine mounts, there should be no dents, kinks or stress marks. If there is, walk away.

5.    Take a test ride…and change up and down through the gears several times – does each one slot home easily? Accelerate hard in each gear and make sure the bike does not jump out of any. Also see if there are any flat spots in power delivery. Make sure the brakes are working properly.

6.    Get an HPI Bike Check – you can never be entirely sure of a bike until you get an HPI history check, which will tell you if the bike has been stolen, written-off, is on outstanding finance or has a mileage discrepancy.   

* Research by P&H Motorcycles found here.

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