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Bargain of the year – buying an ex-demo motorcycle

Published: 27 January 2018

Updated: 19 January 2018

Dealer demos offer the biking X factor with a big saving

Motorcycle dealerships up and down the land are selling off their 2017 demonstrator fleets, meaning you can save thousands on a nearly new motorcycle with minimal mileage. 

Known as ex-demos, these motorcycles have been registered and ridden by a dealership, prior to sale but most only have low mileages and are well cared for. 

This pre-registration can reduce the price of a bike by thousands of pounds, making them a bargain buy. As well as saving money, ex-demos are also rigorously safety checked before every ride, to ensure those test riding them remain safe.


One dealership selling off their range is 5-Ways Motorcycles, Hull. The multi-franchise centre have clearance offers on Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Piaggio machines, ranging from 50cc scooters to litre sportsbikes. Some have under 100 miles on the clock and over £2000 off the asking price.

“It’s an opportunity to get an as-new machine for money off the list price,” says Gareth Robinson, Director at 5-Ways. “All our demo bikes are serviced before they go out to customers, so that’s one additional saving you will make too. Then, you’ve got to consider the safety checks. 

“We like to go above and beyond, so they are checked every time they go out for a test ride. It is almost race bike levels of checking because they are checked so often.”

Interestingly the most popular bikes from the deal have been Yamaha’s MT range and 5-Ways have almost entirely sold out of their Kawasakis. 

“They are often low mileage because manufactures are pushing for more demonstrators to be added all the time,” adds Robinson. “We try to use one predominantly and do the mileage on one and then save the other as a low mileage example.

“We are under pressure at this time of year to clear our existing bikes as manufactures are pushing for new demos in March.”

Robinson also dispelled the myths surrounding the abuse test bikes receive at the hands of throttle-happy punters, saying: “The majority of dealers have a recognised testing route and ours is pretty much always adhered to by the people who ride our bikes.

“On our route, it’s very difficult to get a lick on. There’s no real opportunity to abuse them and we control our demos as much as possible.”

So if you’re looking for a good deal, it could already be waiting at your local dealer.

'I bought one'

Yamaha MT-9 ex-demo bike

MCN’s Online Editor Maria Vallahis bought her MT-09 as an ex-demo.

“I was looking for a brand-new Yamaha MT-09 but they were completely sold out from July - December. I also had a specific colour in mind the (Night Fluo), which made it harder to find. My ex-demo from Webbs, Peterborough had less than 1000 miles on the clock, had already been run-in, had its first service and was in the colour that I wanted. I also got over £1000 off! 
It even came with upgraded side radiator covers, tank pads and I got a pair of heated-grips fitted as part of the deal. Result!”

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