When you purchase a new motorbike, it will usually come with a warranty of some sort. If you buy from new, you will not only be the proud owner of some shiny new wheels, you will also be protected by the manufacturer’s warranty for a period of anywhere from 2 to 3 years.
However, if you purchase a second-hand motorbike, you may still receive a warranty with it, but the duration and the cover may vary.
So, what does your motorbike warranty actually mean to you, and should you invest in an extended warranty to protect yourself against future breakdowns and component failures?
A motorbike warranty is an insurance policy that can protect against the risk of mechanical breakdown. This may come as standard with a new bike, or can be purchased as an addition with a used bike or when your manufacturer’s warranty expires. Prices and levels of cover for bike warranties can vary widely, so always be sure to read the small print and look out for exclusions.
A brand-new motorbike should be able to run, trouble free, for a decent amount of time and cover a good number of miles without any problems occurring. Like any product that is mass manufactured however, things can occasionally go wrong.
Depending on the manufacturer and the model of the motorbike, a manufacturer’s warranty will generally cover the repair or replacement of nearly all parts and electrical components that become faulty due to no fault of your own. They will usually run for around 2-3 years, or have a maximum mileage amount – whichever is reached sooner.
Your warranty should include cover for the breakdown of the engine, swinging arm unit and gearbox, as well as the clutch, cooling system, electrical problems, casings and the shaft drive unit. Many warranties will also cover things like the front forks, suspension, brakes and frame.
When you buy your bike from new, be sure to read in detail any documents pertaining to the warranty cover and satisfy yourselves with exactly what is and isn’t covered.
Because some parts of your bike will naturally wear out over time and with use, they may not be covered for as long as some other components. Brake pads, for example, may not be covered for more than 90 days, but the calipers and the rest of the braking system may be covered for the full length of the warranty period.
The warranties supplied with second hand motorbikes can vary dramatically. If you buy through an approved dealer, you may have 12 months of trouble free riding. A smaller independent dealer however, may only offer 3 months of very limited cover. ALWAYS ask to read the warranty cover documents thoroughly before committing to buy.
The availability of warranty products provided by third party insurers is on the rise, and many second-hand dealers will sell these as an add-on to your bike at point of sale.
Again, these can offer incredibly varied levels of cover and duration. If you do choose to extend your warranty, or buy cover designed for a used motorbike, you should make yourself aware of any exclusions in the policy at the outset.
Bike warranties can come with extensive lists of exclusions. You also need to be aware that insurers may have a different interpretation of what their obligations are in terms of “wear and tear”. They may use phrases like “wear and tear” to remove their obligation in respect of tyres, damaged bodywork and oil leaks, amongst other things.
You should also be aware of component failure that is not covered if the fault was caused by the failure of a non-insured component.
There will be a detailed list of exclusions available with any warranty policy. Always read these carefully before deciding to purchase any additional warranty products.