I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m a normal bloke with normal commitments. Well, I’m reasonably normal. I have a mortgage, house extension costs, bills, wife…this means that I need to be smart about how I spend my money. While we would all love the latest and greatest gear, sometimes you just don’t have the dollars to throw around or need to maximise what you do have. If you are clever and willing to hunt around a little bit though, there are certain items us ‘common folk’ can buy on the second hand market saving big dollars.
After riding for a few years, my road speed naturally increased as I improved. While safety has always been a concern for me, it was only as my pace rose that I realised the old leather jacket and jeans might not cut it. So I decided it was time to invest in a set of leathers. After doing some research I discovered that you need to spend a minimum of $700 to get a good quality, basic suit and the skies the limit from there.
Now, one of the great things about riding bikes is a lot of people buy them as toys. And some people buy the latest toys to wear while they ride their toy. But like a petulant child they get sick of their toy and then decide to sell the associated toys. And then grown-ups like me (I say this loosely) can swoop in taking advantage of their childishness and buy these toys for cheap. Taking candy from babies can be fun, its gets easier after the first time trust me.
There is everything you can think of online, boots, gloves, jackets. I find one of the best items to buy used are leather race/road suits. This is for a variety of reasons. One, a lot of people don’t ride their bikes frequently and they wear their leathers even less. Two, people get them to wear on track days. It’s often the case that these people only partake in a couple of track days and then move on. This is great for us ‘frugal’ minded people browsing the used market. In my particular case, I managed to find a near new Teknic 2 piece suit for $150 on Ebay. While these suits are not high end, it was exactly what I wanted, saved me near enough on $600 and has served me extremely well. In the future when I want to upgrade, I can on sell it for near enough what I paid for it too.
Now there are particular items I would be reluctant to buy second hand. The first of these are helmets. Probably the only time I would buy a helmet off someone I didn’t personally know is if the seller was able to provide a receipt of purchase and they were selling it new (unwanted gift, wrong size etc.) or very near new. Why? Well, if you’re like me, you can’t really afford to lose any more brain cells. And I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen any new heads for sale lately. I mean if you look really hard in some interesting places you might find one, but the fit might be wrong. The second items I wouldn’t buy are not so much items, but overpriced gear. People are either a bit sentimental or just don’t realise how much things are worth used. Make sure you check how much items are new before you buy. You may find that you can spend a little bit more for the same thing at the local bike shop.
On Gumtree you can find some absolute steals. Just be wary of dodgy pricks though. If your spidey senses are tingling move on, there are lots of good deals to be had elsewhere from reliable sources. Other places to look for some great gear are motorbike forums or website classifieds (Champions Ride Days, http://www.formula-xtreme.com.au and numerous others).
So, don’t worry if your mates are laughing at you and calling you tighter than a ducks ass. They won’t be laughing when you tell them how much you paid for your leathers that cost a fraction of the cost and still in great nick.