Shopping for a used motorcycle, especially if it's your first motorcycle, can be an overwhelming and intimidating task. From the condition of the bike to the insurance, there are several things you should take into consideration when buying a used bike. Here are a few tips to help you make an educated decision and ensure you are getting the best deal for your money.
Do Your Homework
Once you have decided on the make/model of the type of motorcycle you are the most interested in, research it online to determine if there are any known issues or problems with this particular type of bike. It's also important to research the average price for the specific model you are interested in. checking local classifieds and online vehicle sites will help you get an idea of the average prices in your area.
Inspecting a Used Motorcycle
When contacting the sellers of bikes you are interested, make sure to ask the seller to not start the bike before you arrive to look at it. A warm motorcycle starts easier than a cold one, so it's often a good sign if the bike is cold and starts easily. If you are planning to look at several motorcycles, take a pen and paper with you to each inspection so you can note down information about each bike, it will help you compare the pros and cons of each bike you inspected. Things to consider during the inspection include:
- Ask the owner if they have the manual, spare keys and a service history.
- Check to make sure the motorcycle has not been dropped. Signs of it being dropped may include scratches on the muffler, levers and/or bar ends.
- Check the oil, which should be light in color and the level should not be below the minimum threshold.
- Inspect the tires to see how much they are worn and the overall condition.
- Make sure the brake pads are not worn.
- Look for excessive oil or stains on the ground where the motorcycle is stored, which may indicate a leak.
- Make sure the lights, horn and indicators are all working.
- Start the motorcycle up and listen carefully for any unusual sounds, such as knocks and make sure there isn't a lot of smoke coming from the exhaust.
If you are happy with the condition of the motorcycle, take it for a test ride. You should never buy a used motorcycle without first taking it for a test ride. Make sure to try all of the gears (several times), ensure that the brakes work and pay close attention to how the steering feels.