When it comes to finding and purchasing a used motorcycle, there are some things you should know before making a purchase. What type of bike should I choose? Consider first what type of riding you’ll be doing. Where do you plan to ride? If you plan to go on long trips, then a touring bike will likely be best. If you want to zip down the highway, then consider a superbike. Or a more standard motorcycle would be best if you want maximum flexibility.
Finding Used Motorcycles
Your local paper should be your first stop, then a local circular like Auto Trader or the Pennysaver, then check your local area on sites like Craigslist. It’s a good idea to buy local instead of buying a motorcycle from somewhere out of state or across the country. So make eBay Motors or a national ad site your last stop. When buying local, you avoid any extra fees for transporting or shipping the bike to your location. Once you have a list of bikes you are interested in, narrow down your list to the most promising and make those calls or send those emails to contact the current owners and schedule a viewing.
When going to view a motorcycle, make sure to take a flashlight so you can check the bike out thoroughly. Crucial things to check include the overall appearance. When you sit on the bike, is it straight? You’ll also want to investigate if the motorcycle has been raced, abused or even crashed. When you see more than a few scratches or chips off different areas of the bike, this can be an indication that the owner has raced or crashed the bike, perhaps more than once. You can also check for small holes in bolts, which is an indication of safety wire. You’ll also want to be sure the engine and all cables, nozzles and other small parts are in good condition. Rust can also be a problem with motorcycles, make sure to check thoroughly for rust with a flashlight. Also, check for any problems with the seat and its cover. Be sure to check for chain and sprocket wear. Also, is the exhaust pressure equal on both sides?
Riding the Bike
First and foremost, you must test drive the motorcycle. The brakes should be smooth. Check how well the clutch squeezes. Does it start smoothly? Watch for any leaks when the motorcycle is running. Make sure to check the starting mechanism and engine. Listen for any odd sounds.
You should also make sure to check the warranty and service records for the motorcycle. When was the last time it was serviced? Have any major repairs or part replacements been made?
Title & Paperwork
Lastly, once you’ve decided that you are serious about the motorcycle, you’ll want to make sure that the owner has the proper title and paperwork to be able to make the sale. Buying a used motorcycle can, in many ways, be more risky than buying a new motorcycle, but armed with these tips, you should be able to get a good deal and a good motorcycle.