Tag Archives: motorcycle sale

Warning on online sales scammers

Riders are warned to be cautious about buying a motorcycle or other vehicle online after a surge in scammers.

In the latest scam operation, the vehicle is offered at a very cheap price by a member (usually female) of the armed forces who needs to sell quickly as they are being posted overseas.

The buyer is asked to submit payment into an escrow account which ends up in a bank account in Romania or Poland and the vehicle is never delivered.

So far this latest scam operation is only targeting cars and is being investigated by Victoria Police.

However, it is similar to scams that have been operating for online second-hand motorcycle sales and is becoming increasingly more common.

Among the many scams are sellers attempting to shift bikes which are unsafe to ride, have a hidden history or are stolen.

The used vehicle market can be a dishonest and dangerous place to conduct business.

But by being aware of common scams and how to avoid them, you should be able to find a reliable, safe and affordable motorcycle second-hand.

Here are a few of the more common scams to keep a look out for.

eBay, Gumtree and Craigslist scam

Ebay, Gumtree, Craigslist and other similar websites have become huge marketplaces for buying and selling used motorcycles. 

Unfortunately, there are many scams out there so always be wary with this route.

As in the above scenario, the seller demands a large downpayment to hold the motorbike. Once this has been received, communication ceases and they disappear.

Clocking2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 scams

Clocking involves winding back the odometer to make the bike appear newer (this is also very common with used cars).

Avoid this scam by looking for screwdriver marks around the casing, seeing if the general condition matches the mileage and by checking MOT and service documents to see if the displayed mileage adds up.


You may think that you have found a huge bargain due to the surprisingly low asking price. However, you will then understand why when the police pull you over for riding a stolen bike.

Avoid purchasing a stolen motorbike by carrying out a vehicle history check, which will also uncover anything else that the seller may be trying to conceal.

This is available from the Personal Properties Security Register in Australia and companies such as HPI in the UK.

You should also be wary of low prices and sellers attempting to speed up the process.Motorcycle theft stolen motorcycles sick skunklock scams

Beating the scammers

Beating the scammers requires you to be sceptical. It sounds awful, but never trust anyone you don’t personally know.

Always view the bike in person, or have a close and trusted friend check it for you.

Do all the relevant checks on the bike’s bona fides. Click here for more information.

If they want you to pay into a third-party or escrow account, insist that you select the account.

Online sellers can also be scammed out of their bike. Click here for details and tips on how to beat the scammers.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Should you leave a deposit on a motorbike?

There can be several reasons for leaving a deposit on a motorcycle.

The most common reason is to secure it from being bought by someone else while you sort out your finances.

You may also want to put a deposit on limited-edition bikes to secure one or to get a special model made at the factory to your specifications.

Also, with some new models released several long months before being available in Australia (such as the Suzuki Katana and Indian FTR 1200) distributors take deposits to secure customers while they are still enthusiastic.

However, there are deposit pitfalls for the unwary customer.

Deposit advice

Retired and honoured motorcycle industry veteran Stuart Strickland says deposits can be a  complex issue if the buyer has not negotiated a full refund around specified criteria.

“Buyers should never leave deposits without a written guarantee from the dealer on delivery date which if not met, full deposit is returned,” he says.

“Dealers can retain deposits or part thereof if they can prove they specially ordered a unit in for the customer that they normally wouldn’t stock.” 

Dealer sale

If you are buying from a dealer, you should be guaranteed of security, but read the small print of the document you sign.

There may be conditions or a processing fee involved if you change your mind, so you won’t get the full deposit back.

Suzuki Katana is a rider’s delight
Suzuki Katana

For example, Suzuki Motorcycles Australia took $1000 deposits online for the new Katana. 

If you changed your mind in the nine months from when it was unveiled to when it became available for sale last week, you only get $450 back as Suzuki charged $500 processing fees, plus 10% GST.

Suzuki Motorcycle Australia marketing manager Lewis Croft says they were the first in the world to offer the online deposit system and may do it more often as it had been a success.

Indian Motorcycle Australia also took $1000 deposits on the FTR 1200 because of the long delay between the unveiling and recent availability in Australia and New Zealand.

Spokesman Christopher Gales says they only had one customer change their mind.

“In general we always give deposits back. It doesn’t do anyone good to hold a deposit of a customer,” he says.

Indian FTR 1200 deposit
Indian FTR 1200

Private sale

If you are buying a second-hand bike through a private buyer, before pay.ing a deposit you should check the credentials of the bike with a REVS search.

It will ensure the bike has not been written off, stolen, still under finance, etc.

You should also do some checks on the seller.

We suggest visiting them at their house. Get a copy of their licence and ensure the address matches.

Also, have an independent third-party witness the written transaction and maybe also record the deal with a photo or video.

If you decide to leave a holding deposit, you can use an escrow account such as Protecti which holds the money until both sides are happy with the transaction. However, fees are involved.

Bikes advertised through major online sites usually offer sellers and customers some protection. Check the website’s conditions of sale which may include a complaints section.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com