‘ They’re ei­ther dead clean or re­ally ropey’

‘You need to make sure there’s no nicks in the belt be­cause it’s ex­pen­sive to re­place’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling - SHAUN LOCK Ser­vice Fore­man at Bridge Mo­tor­cy­cles in Ex­eter

“The VN is easy to ride and has a lovely low seat, so ap­peals to many who want some­thing sim­ply but stylish.

“I think rid­ers get used to them quickly, gain con­fi­dence and then move on to some­thing big­ger or faster. Ei­ther that or they’re the sort of bikes peo­ple buy and then only ride once in a blue moon.

“We’ve also seen some quite high mileage ones, though, and there’s quite a lot to look out for. You see a lot of cor­ro­sion around the swingarm in front of the rear wheel. They’ve also got chrome cov­ers over the heads that look like rocker cov­ers but aren’t. We’ve had lots of in­stances of them cor­rod­ing and be­com­ing hard to get off.

“As it’s belt drive you need to make sure there’s no nicks in it be­cause it’s ex­pen­sive to re­place – much more so than a chain. Usu­ally they last the life of the bike but if you do need to re­place it, it isn’t cheap. Also, check out the wiring loom, as a lot of it runs un­der the mud­guard and can cor­rode and caus­ing prob­lems.

“En­gine-wise, though, al­though a lit­tle old and loose, goes on and on with­out a prob­lem.

“We don’t see that many and only then when new or with a cou­ple of thou­sand miles on. Af­ter that we don’t re­ally see them. They’re ei­ther parked in a shed and never used or used all the time and ser­viced at in­de­pen­dent garages. “That said, I wouldn’t rec­om­mend one for com­mut­ing. If you’re go­ing to use one all year round it’s all open to the el­e­ments and isn’t fea­si­ble re­ally.

“But you can pick up a clean low-mileage one and, as they’ve a low seat, are well bal­anced and easy to ride, they make a learner-friendly bike for some­one who’s maybe come through Di­rect Ac­cess and wants a cus­tom-style ride. They do fit the bill then.

“They tend to be one or the other – re­ally clean and looked af­ter or used ev­ery day and po­ten­tially re­ally ropey. You don’t need to be a me­chanic to suss it out, ei­ther. If it looks badly looked af­ter steer clear.

“With ac­ces­sories, make sure you want the ones on it be­cause some­times it can be costly to put it back to stan­dard, and en­sure they’re pro­fes­sion­ally fit­ted and a de­cent brand.”

Check ex­posed wiring and for cor­ro­sion where a bike has been rid­den all year

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