carVertical presents motorcycle history checks!

Tadas Švenčionis

Tadas Švenčionis

carVertical was founded with the vision of creating a more transparent used car market, where buyers can easily find vehicles without hidden damages or a falsified mileage.

While transparency in the used car market has increased due to the availability of vehicle history checks, there's another market where scams and shady practices thrive. So, to help our two-wheel-inclined customers, we’re proud to present motorcycle history checks!

Since carVertical started operations a few years ago, our clients were constantly asking for an opportunity to check the history of motor vehicles. However, we introduce our products to the market only when we have sufficient data. In 2022, we’ve finally reached that mark. We now have enough data to provide customers with motorcycle history reports, while also working to improve user experience.

So if you’re getting a new two-wheeled beast (or just a scooter), run it past our system first – there are good reasons to do so!

Buying a used motorcycle?

Check used motorcycle history before buying

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Why should I get a motorcycle history check?

How often have you listened to assurances that a used motorcycle is in perfect condition? If you’ve gotten a few, we’re guessing the answer is “decently often.” And even if you come across an honest motorcycle owner, it's better to always prepare for the unexpected.

Why should you get a motorcycle history check

A motorcycle history report is a key to finding important information about the bike's past that the seller is not always willing to reveal. As such, there are at least a few good reasons to check a motorcycle’s history before buying:

  • Getting a better price. Learning the motorcycle’s history provides drivers with a bargaining chip and helps them to negotiate a better price.
  • Avoiding scammers. A 10 or 20 years old motorcycle may have had multiple owners, several damages, and various hidden problems. A motorcycle history report mitigates the risk of getting scammed and paying for junk.
  • Identifying motorcycles in bad condition. If a motorcycle has been in a severe accident, it may not be safe to ride anymore. However, a skilled mechanic can turn a wrecked motor vehicle into a shiny piece of art. It’s common for a motorcycle to suffer damage in one country and then end up for sale in another one. A history report can tell drivers in which country the bike was registered and prevent them from making a dangerous purchase.

Used motorcycle scams – how bad is it out there?

Used motorcycle scams statistics

According to our data, which is based on thousands of checked motorcycles, there’s plenty of reasons to be suspicious when buying a used bike:

  • Hidden damages – 50.38% of all motorcycles our customers checked on out platform had been damaged. Granted, not all accidents should scare you away from a motorcycle, but the serious ones can really have a huge impact on safety, not to mention their greatly diminished market value.

The average value of damages we’ve discovered stands at 6249 EUR, implying a significant proportion of these motorcycles have structural damage, making them less safe to ride.

  • Mileage rollbacks – 16.73% of all motorcycles have a clocked mileage – that’s almost every 5th vehicle you’re seeing on the streets and on marketplaces! Getting a motorcycle with mileage fraud without knowing it simply means you’re overpaying in the best cases. In the worst, it means getting a half-dead bike that may be unsafe to ride.

The average number of kilometers rolled back is 16,479, but in some countries it reaches 30,000 or more! These may not be huge numbers for cars, but they are very significant for motorcycles, which have lower mileage readings in general.

Damages and clocking are just the most common scams on the motorcycle market, but a carVertical report may also help you avoid stolen motorcycles, or ones that have recently failed an MOT inspection.

Used motorcycles vs. used cars – what are the differences?

At first glance, used motorcycles and used cars have more than enough similarities. Although they become the primary means of transportation, they are often sold by dishonest sellers who take advantage of buyers. Yet there are also crucial differences.

  • Hidden damages. Very common both when buying cars and motorcycles, but there’s an important difference – safety. Sure, driving a structurally-damaged car can be risky, but riding a shoddily repaired motorcycle can be downright suicidal.
  • Falsified mileage. A bit more widespread on the car market, but still highly relevant for motorcycles. The difference is in the numbers – motorcycles are typically clocked for fewer kilometers, but every single kilometer on the clock is a lot more impactful on a bike.
  • Forgery of documents. This method is used by fraudsters to hide stolen vehicles or other title issues. Yet motorcycles are stolen a lot more often than cars (simply because they’re much easier to steal).
  • VIN Cloning. This scam involves removing the VIN plate or etching from a salvaged vehicle and replacing it with one from a legally registered vehicle with the same features.

What a carVertical motorcycle history report can tell you

A history report is one of the easiest ways to ensure that a motorcycle you’re interested in has the characteristics indicated by the seller and help you decide whether it’s worth your money

Screenshot from carVertical report: Activity timeline

Motorcycle reports may provide a comprehensive history of activities that took place throughout the bike's lifetime, including ownership history, MOTs, and damages, together with their dates and locations.

Mileage graph from carVertical vehicle history report

Falsified mileage is a common scam in the used motorcycle market. Our report will help you determine which bikes have a real mileage, and which don’t.

Damage related changes in carVertical history report

Everyone wants to buy a motorcycle in the best possible technical condition. However, dishonest sellers know all the tricks to bring a crashed motorcycle back on the road (at the cost of gullible buyers).

Damage visualisation on carVertical motorcycle history report

Even though no recipe can prevent a crash, entries in an accident history report should be taken seriously. In many cases, it will not only tell you an accident has occurred, but also how much money the damages were valued at. This will help you decide whether the deal is worth it.

Checklist on how to make a self inspection for a used motorcycle carVertical report example

A motorcycle history report provides not only valuable information about its past. It will help you with tips and advice on what you do to maintain the motorcycle. For example, it could tell you if there’s an outstanding safety recall on your motorcycle.

Stolen Vehicle Check from carVertical report example

According to the United States National Insurance Crime Bureau, in 2021, nearly 52,000 motorcycles were stolen. However, only 42% of them returned to their rightful owners.

As the statistics show, there's a decently-high risk of encountering a stolen bike. Our motorcycle history report will highlight whether a bike you're interested in is stolen.

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Tadas Švenčionis

Article by

Tadas Švenčionis

Tadas is the Editor in Chief of the carVertical Blog. A fan of all things automotive and tech, he makes a point of making complex topics simple and engaging – after all, what good is a story no one understands? Tadas spends his free days reading, gaming, and bringing music no one’s asked for to Vilnius, Lithuania.