Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers

Table of contents

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers


Used purchase

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers
The professionals give tips on buying a used vehicle

“Buy everything” – Such promises from commercial traders can be found regularly on advertisement pages. MOTORRAD wanted to know more precisely how these used machinery businesses work and experienced a day at the side of real professional buyers.

Thorsten Dentges


Bad Iburg in the Osnabrucker Land, a settlement with single-family houses, paved play streets, tidy gardens. Nick Demann rolls onto the driveway in a Mercedes van. A Yamaha Drag Star 650 in orange stands under a carport.

Before Nick gets out, he looks at a piece of paper: “Year of construction 2000, kilometers 12940, no accident, asking price 4300 euros.” Attached is the printout of an email to the seller with the note: “Unfortunately we can only offer you a market price of 2950 euros.” The Schwacke list is valued at 3,000 euros. A man steps out the front door: the owner of the used machine. He seems stressed. Even on the phone, he reacted irritably to Nick’s announcement that he would be a little late. By then Nick had covered about 700 kilometers – a big shopping tour through half of Germany. One delivery, five potential purchases, start at seven in the morning, hardly any breaks, now it’s six in the evening. A normal working day in the life of a professional motorcycle buyer.

Buy complete article

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers
The professionals give tips on buying a used vehicle

4 pages) as PDF

€ 2.00

Buy now

Nick, 30 years old, over 1.90 meters tall, a man’s closet, is not stressed. But worried that this purchase will go bad. First of all, the chemistry with the provider is not right, and second, the information is incorrect. On the right-hand side, there are scratches on the mirror, handlebars, pegs and exhaust. Accident free? Who’s to believe. In addition, bloomed aluminum surfaces, rusty cardan shaft, amateurish drill holes in the silencer. After a few seconds, the professional sees that a lot of work has to be done to freshen up the cruiser. The provider excitedly swears that they have not had an accident and that the previous owner is to blame for the poorly maintained parts. But he only owned the motorcycle for a short time and barely reeled 1000 kilometers. The contradictions are increasing.

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers


Shopping spree: Business is booming on Saturday. The variety of machines attracts interested parties from far away.

Change of scene: In the shop of “Purchase-A30”, In a used motorcycle shop in Melle, right on the autobahn, a father and his cheeky teenage daughter, both in full biker gear, admire a bright white drag star. The price tag dangling from the handlebars wanders through your fingers. 4900 euros. Meanwhile, the daughter is aiming for a great naked bike: “Oh dad, I think they’re beautiful!” The father checks the price tag: “5300 euros, GSX 1400. I don’t know it at all, but it looks really nice”, he turns to a salesperson in the store. This advertises the beefy machine, explains the difference to the Drag Star and makes the machine ready for a test drive.

Meanwhile, Frank Buermann, 43, head of the store and employer of Nick Demann, the mobile buyer, reports: “It’s all about the crowd. There is a large selection of good machines in the store, but you have to get hold of them first. I have specialized dealers for scrap and unattractive machines who, upon request, will take them off my back.” But he also buys quite a few things from other dealers himself – entire packages consisting of several machines that would otherwise block their shops. Brand dealers are typical, for example uniformly decorated Harley, Ducati or KTM stores, where used third-party brands from the Far East are considered ugly. Other retailers, on the other hand, want to fill their war chest at the start of the season and therefore sell off all winter sleepers as quickly as possible. “Anyway, it’s all about price”, says Buermann.

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers


Money on the table: After a successful deal, the customer receives the purchase price in cash. A smooth process is important to Nick.

In Bad Iburg, buyer Nick makes his offer: He would give 2400 euros for the drag star, a maximum of 2500. The seller is loud: “Your boss promised me more. Come on now, no games, not with me. Because I know what makes you tick!” Nick tries calmly to convey to him that the higher offer relates to a perfect used, which would not be the case here. In anger, the provider pushes his motorcycle away, the mood is now completely in the bucket. Nick gets into the van, lights a cigarette and drives out of the yard without result.

“Not a good day”, he sums up. In the back of the hold there are only two machines, a roadworthy but somewhat battered Suzuki GS 500 E, which he opened in the morning for 580 euros in the Bergisches Land and which will probably be pushed on with a minimal surcharge, as well as a perfectly maintained Honda CBF 600 that he was able to shoot for 3300 euros in Gronau on the Dutch border. In contrast to the Drag Star debacle, in the case of Honda suppliers and buyers were on the same wavelength. As a freshly baked grandfather, the sociable border official offered the CBF on behalf of the daughter who, as a young mother, needs money for a children’s room. The used car was even better off than described in the email. No scratches, everything cleaned, papers and service booklet spotless. Buyer Nick immediately estimated that this motorcycle would go away quickly in the store for over four mille. Such machines are extremely attractive. For shop visitors of the “Purchase-A30”, who only have to invest around half of the original price, and for boss Buermann, who just has to post them with a price tag and otherwise has minimal stress with the part.

Report: Out and about with motorcycle buyers


Important when buying: Check whether all inspections were made on time.

The seller in Gronau invited people to sign the purchase agreement in the living room and, visibly relieved that the deal was quick and painless, offered a drink. After a chat about the smuggling activities in the area, he laughed and shook Nick’s hand, and the Honda disappeared into the hold. “This is how it has to go”, Nick remembers the nice deal a few hours ago. He is still a little wrinkled from the broken business in Bad Iburg. On the way home, however, he chats cheerfully again: “Crying and whining is part of the business when it comes to viewing, but don’t overdo it.” He’s been doing the job for ten years now, and he likes being on the move all the time – luckily, not every tour is as long as it is today. In the past three years alone, he has unwound around 350,000 kilometers with the transporter and inspected hundreds of used machines every year. In Germany up and down, Holland, Belgium, Italy, but south of the Alps, there is a lot of junk, so the long journey is hardly worth it.

It is annoying if there are detours through machines that turn out to be carrots. Double crap if the negotiations also fail – apart from expenses, there was then nothing. “Well, you have everything with you, from young to old, man, woman, nice and crazy”, reports the trained well builder, “I enjoy being able to assess them all well.”

In which: “Appreciate people well” For a professional buyer means to find ways and means to get the used one at the lowest price. Nick continues: “Sometimes you just have to stop and wait in silence for the seller to respond. This can take a few minutes. Many salespeople can’t stand it at all and go down with the price on their own.”

In the afternoon negotiations for a Suzuki Intruder 800 in Ibbenbuhren or a Honda CBF 1000 in Wuppertal, this strategy did not work. The providers had clear price expectations and no pressure to buy the motorcycle. Quite calmly, they turned Nick off with the hint that they would rather put their machines in the newspaper after all. “Many people later wonder how much nerve it can cost”, explains Nick. Place expensive advertisements, make appointments with prospective customers, then often get transferred, get rid of intrusive what-is-last-price inquirers and, and, and.

However, professionals such as Frank and Nick also admit that internet platforms such as or have made the buying market more difficult for them because younger owners in particular prefer to post their used vehicles online themselves. There are still enough people who would prefer a quick and smooth process than a few hundred more in their pockets. Nick: “These are often doctors, lawyers and other wealthy people who have no desire to meet strangers in their free time.” But those who have already dealt intensively with the used market via the Internet are difficult to come by in terms of price.

“There must be a profit of 800 euros on each machine”, explains Frank Buermann. Around 200 euros then go away for taxes, proportionately he has to include the wage costs for three permanent employees and two freelancers, as well as the hall rent, costs for advertising (alone around 8,000 euros per month), office, van, fuel, and as a dealer he of the warranty obligation. Accordingly, he is financially upright with technically bad eggs. And since a used business is not a charity, a commercial enterprise is about maximum profit. “Sure, it’s about money,” the buyers see it that way too. Nick: “Sometimes people have to put their motorcycle away with a heavy heart because they need every euro. And then I’ll come and negotiate. Of course I’m the ass of the nation right now.”

He lights a butt and is happy about the end of the day. In Melle on the A 30, the cars continue to rush past Frank Buermann’s advertising tower (“We buy motorcycles here – from top … to scrap…”). Father and daughter have long since left the farm on their 125cc, they wanted to go to another dealer and see what he has to offer. The white drag star and the GSX 1400 found other buyers a short time later.

Buying tips from the professional

  1. If a machine has been in the advertisements for weeks and, according to the provider, there have already been many interested parties who “are still thinking about it, but have actually already bought”, you can save yourself further trouble – the probability of a flop is almost one hundred percent.
  2. Nevertheless, be brave with “abandoned” offers! If interested parties have stayed away so far due to an obviously too high price, simply submit your personal – a bit cheeky – asking price by email or phone in a friendly and polite manner. Amazing how the hundreds can tumble. It doesn’t cost anything to ask!
  3. With every kilometer to the object of desire, the pressure to succeed increases. Rule of thumb: Spontaneous viewing is only worthwhile for journeys less than 50 kilometers.
  4. Inspection, part 2: Find out in advance whether a longer journey is really worthwhile. Be sure to request detailed information. These can be, for example, high-resolution detailed images or copies of vehicle documents, workshop invoices or TuV reports, which can be easily sent by email (jpg or pdf format). Ideally, put two or even three visits in one day.
  5. Bring some time. It is best to discuss this with the provider beforehand and notify any delays early enough. And don’t get confused if the seller is in a hurry – he definitely has enough time, after all, he wants to get rid of the motorcycle!
  6. To be by “you”. Still appropriate among motorcyclists, even when one is a stranger. Negotiations are much more relaxed for both sides. However, you shouldn’t appear sticky and overly jovial.
  7. Check the ambience, because many conclusions can be drawn from this about the used machine. Is the motorcycle standing next to a pile of rubble, leaning against the lantern or in the back corner of the shed? Poorly. Or is it cleaned and lit like a shrine in the garage? Good. If it is parked too close to a wall, you should at least be able to rearrange it in such a way that an all-round inspection (in daylight!) Is possible.
  8. The golden rule: There is no obligation to buy! So solve it emotionally and only strike if the machine is in perfect condition and your own, pre-determined upper price limit is not exceeded by one euro. If in doubt, leave the motorcycle behind – it is not an abandoned pet that you leave behind with a heavy heart. Other good offers are sure to come.
  • Report: motorcycle haters in court

    Schumann counselor traffic & business Report: motorcycle haters in court Motorcycle haters in court Batten & fury A Flensburg point was missing, and an…

  • Driving report Neckarsulm motorcycle from 1902

    motorcycles Driving report Neckarsulm motorcycle from 1902 Driving report Neckarsulm motorcycle from 1902 At the origin 1901 and 1903 – the beginning of…

  • Report: motorcycle design

    fact motorcycles Report: motorcycle design Motorcycle design Ugly or beautiful? Why do we like a motorcycle at first glance and not another one at first…

  • Motorcycle tour through Algeria

    to travel Motorcycle tour through Algeria Motorcycle tour through Algeria The dunes of the Sahara Algeria. The grave road, the sand dunes from Erg…

  • Extreme motorcycle touring

    Breakable 35 pictures Breakable 1/35 No plan, no map, no sat nav, no destination. Not knowing in the morning where the day will end. Driving for the sake…

  • Motorcycle used market Germany

    9 pictures Hertler 1/9 Used motorcycles are trendy. A used motorcycle changed hands almost half a million times in Germany in 2014. More often than ever…

  • Motorcycle parts-Bielefeld classic spare parts

    Siemer counselor traffic & business Motorcycle parts-Bielefeld classic spare parts Motorcycle parts Bielefeld The slaughterhouse for motorcycle…

  • Motorcycle transport guide

    Motorcycle transport solutions Caravans, mobile homes, trailers, transport systems Herder to travel Motorcycle transport guide Motorcycle transport guide…

  • Travel: Halfway around the world by motorcycle

    archive 15th pictures Hofmann 1/15 Steven’s Way of Life: The twelfth part takes Steven over Nepal’s bridges, mountains and valleys. Hofmann 2/15 The…

  • Guide to changing the brake pads on the motorcycle

    Ralf Schneider counselor workshop Guide to changing the brake pads on the motorcycle Change the brake pads on the motorcycle Tips from professionals…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *