How knowledgeable is your export agent?


David McMullan gives you some handy tips to test the competence of your export clerk


When you are placing an order for thousands of dollars’ worth of motorcycles to be delivered to your warehouse or dealership (many times without even seeing the products first) it could be useful to ask some quite technical questions to make sure that your agent is fully aware of the models he or she is selling you. Although you can maybe not expect them to have the knowledge in their heads it’s their ability and willingness to find out which will show their competence.

Here’s a selection of pertinent questions that you can ask-



How many grams per kilo of co2 is emitted by xxx model?


This question has become particularly pertinent in 2016 as EURO 4 conformity becomes law in many countries.


What size sprockets are offered for the rear wheel (amount of teeth on the cog). Is it standard or are there options?


Also ask them the effect of the different sprocket sizes on the motorcycle (top end vs. acceleration etc.)


What is the fuel tank made of? (Usually copper lined steel or fibreglass)


The motorcycle fuel tank will normally be made of copper lined steel or fibreglass, see if your agent knows


How many km has this bike/engine been tested over and what life do the minor components have (kick stand springs, speedo cables)?

This is an important question to ask when deciding which spare parts to receive with your container order


Do you provide a works manual for servicing or is there one available to the consumer?


And make sure they produce it in your language!


At what distance do you recommend an engine rebuild?


If they say 1000 km drop them immediately!


What type of weld is used to build the frame? Arc, tig, mig? Are they hand welded or machine welded?


I’ve seen some really messy welding, ask to see a photo of the welds


What’s the recommended engine warm up time before riding in a moderate climate?


You could ask this question to suit whatever climate the motorcycle will have to deal with


Although it is too much to ask that your agent would know all of this information off the top of their head their ability to research and find this information could give you an idea of their competence and dedication to doing a good job for you. Please let me know how you get on!

April 11, 2016