Sunday 30 May 2021

How To Buy Used but Quality Motorcycle Gear Online

The last couple of weeks I've been keeping myself busy looking for motorcycle gear in the second hand market.  If you've never looked before, there is an astonishing amount of kit out there being sold at a fraction of its new price, if you're willing to be patient and picky.

What prompted the first purchase was seeing a Teknic jacket that was a size down from my current one which is a bit too big.  Teknic has ceased to exist so jackets like these are fading away.  I like 'em because they come with my initials printed on them and they're usually pretty disco.  I also find them very functional in a wide variety of temperatures and comfortable to use.

This grey camo/red one appeared on Kijiji for sale in King City, just north of Toronto.  The GTA isn't where I'd usually choose to ride but the jacket seemed in good shape and he was only asking fifty bucks for it.

We met in the ride-share drop off at the 400 and the jacket was indeed in great shape - the seller's brother bought it, used it for a month and then it sat in a closet for several years.  The zips were all in like-new shape and the jacket was unmarked in any way.  The only issue was it didn't come with the liner but since I already have a TK jacket I can just use that one.

Those parking lots always creep me out a bit.  They feel like places that have fallen into the cracks with empty cars slowly melting in the sun and zombie apocalypse levels of human activity.  It always makes me wonder how many of those cars have undiscovered bodies in them.

The ride back across Caledon was nice.  Lots of bikes out enjoying the spring, deep blue skies and scudding clouds; Harley riders arranging tow trucks for their bikes broken down on the side of the road, the usual sort of thing.

A lot of my riding wardrobe is adventure bike based but that look doesn't really suit the slick, shinkansen that is the Concours.  Much of what I own is very tiger-themed (ie: ORANGE) too.  Last week I was poking around on Facebook Marketplace, Facebook's attempt to take out Kijiji, when I saw a blue leather jacket for sale just up the road in Alma.

I finally got out to see it yesterday and it's a perfect fit.  I had a Joe Rocket jacket (new) for my first bike jacket and it cost me over $200 and was their cheapest textile model.  This leather one was their top of the line jacket from a few years back.  The guy selling it had a serious bike accident some years back and never rode again so his kit sat in a closet gathering dust.  This happens an awful lot.  Don't rush out to buy brand new kit if you can be patient.  Keeping an eye on the classifieds can net you some excellent, low mileage kit for a fraction of the cost.

New this model was nearly seven hundred bucks.  It's a complicated bit of clothing with modular forearm panels and elbow pads, a back protector and quality leather construction.  In less summery weather you can zip in waterproof outer pieces into the side panels/underarms and padded liner to make it cold-weather ready.  For the summer you can zip out the armpit panels and you turn it into a mesh/leather jacket with really good ventilation.

It cleaned up nicely (mainly just getting rid of dust) with some leather treatment.  The adjustability of this thing makes it fit very well.  My other Joe Rocket was from their 'new rider' end of their line so I'd assumed that all their kit is built down to a price but this thing is special.

The owner was asking $150 for it and with every zipper like new, the liners all in excellent shape and not a mark on it (it isn't even really broken in), I paid him what he was asking.  For less than the price of the mesh summer jacket I got on sale I've picked up two very low mileage, quality jackets.

If you're looking for motorcycle gear and especially if you aren't in a rush, spend some time keeping an eye on the used market and you might luck into just what you're looking in like-new condition for a fraction of the cost.


Facebook Marketplace:

Lets you look by geographic location or further afield if you want.  Because it's linked to people's verified Facebook accounts you tend to get fast responses and less nonsense.  Since pretty much everyone is on FB you also get stuff for sale from people who are professional used sellers (like on Kijiji).


One of the earliest online marketplaces.  Users who have been on there for a long time know what they're doing but you run a higher chance of dealing with flakes hiding behind pseudonyms on there.  Be more cautious if that's the case.


Can be good if you're looking for very specific things but then you end up dealing with people from far away and the subsequent dodginess and import headaches.  Some people swear by it but I find it more trouble than it's worth.

Your Local Olde Fashioned Newspaper Classifieds:  (you'll need to look your's up)

If you're not looking for anything specific but might consider a surprise, you'd be amazed how often things pop up in your local newspaper that non-digital types have put up for sale.  I've found astonishingly cheap project bikes in local papers that luddites are happy to sell for less if it means they don't have to use a computer to do it.