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If buying privately, it's wise to do your research on the seller as well as the vehicle:
Examine all the legal documents, plus any available details of the bike's service history. The V5C Registration Certificate is the official document that records the name and address of the current and previous keepers, registration, chassis and engine number, make, year, model and colour.
The MOT certificate, which must accompany all motorcycles over three years old, is the evidence of the bike's basic condition on the day of the test. Also check old MOT certificates (if the bike is more than four years old) to see if there is a consistent story on the mileage. The general rule of thumb is: the more paperwork the better. A stamped service book is good, but actual receipts for servicing are better. It is not unknown for service books to be faked, so check that the stamps don't all look like they were created on the same day. It is far harder to forge receipts.
next: Checking the bike
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