‘ 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’
“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