How to buy a used motorcycle | Used bike checklist

How to buy a used motorcycle | Used bike checklist

How to make a good deal when buying a used motorcycle?
That is the million-dollar question and the one we try our best to answer every time we are in the buyer's shoes.
Regardless if you are looking for a classic that came out of production, or for the deal of a lifetime on a bike that is still running out of the factory floors, buying used may be a necessity, but how can we make sure we are not getting duped?
If you are one of those that have a trusted mechanic that you can bring to check the bike before you close the deal, this article might not be for you, but if you are a "self-made biker enthusiast," let me try and help you out.

  • Engine:
In my opinion, there is a generalized wrong idea when it comes to used engines.
We all search for the same, low mileage bikes, but is it that so black and white?
Let's say for this example that we found a 10-year-old motorcycle that only has 1.000 miles on the clock.
Common belief would make us think that we will be buying a brand new engine, after all, it only has 1k on it, but is there more to it?
Let's think of an engine as a human heart.
Imagine you are picking friends for a weekend basketball game.
Would you prefer to pick that friend that has been doing a little jog three times a week for the past five years or that friend that is built like an Olympic athlete but sat on the couch all day for the past decade?
An engine that runs consistently will have wear and tear, but it most likely will have a better overall health than one that has not run in years.
Gaskets and seals will not be lubed, oil and fuel deterioration may have installed themselves, bearings may have seized... its a gamble to know what the actual health of that engine is.
A used engine will have predictable wear and tear, one that hasn't run that often?...
Although there is not a perfect number to what is safe millage, keep in mind that you might be better off dealing with a devil you know - regular maintenance on a used engine - than with the one you don't - seeing yourself forced to replace "good" parts that seized up from lack of use.

Used motorcycle engine checklist


  • Frame:
The frame is a hard one to judge, even if it is because it might be hidden under plastics or the fuel tank.
General rust, new patches of paint or damage to any of the major welds are usually a red flag, so bring a flashlight and pay attention to details.

Used motorcycle frame checklist


  • Suspension:
Common sense needs to be applied when talking about suspensions, as a suspension giving bad feedback on a test-drive is not necessarily a bad suspension.
Remember that at the core of any suspension, you have a spring and oil, and those require maintenance that, due to gradual degradation, is quickly forgotten.
Don't back out of a deal just because you felt the bike saggy if the overall condition of the suspension is excellent.
You might just need to do some maintenance to the forks and shock, or adjust the spring to your weight to get a perfect setup.

Used motorcycle suspension checklist


  • Bearings:
A quick look around with a flashlight on the bearing dust seals you can see and a quick active test to specific parts may go a long way into understanding how healthy the bearings are.
Like the engine, bearings that don't run that often will tend to seize up, but always remember that even a new bearing may fail on you without warning.
With that in mind, on a used bike, its good policy to replace bearings as soon as possible, and zero them out to you, so account for that on your budget.

Used motorcycle bearing checklist


  • Drive train and brakes:
Under regular use, this part of the bike is probably the one every responsible rider will pay more attention too.
If many parts of your bike are solely in the hands of your mechanic - like the inside of the engine - even those that are not mechanically savvy should know how to look after their drive train and brakes.
Keeping the chain oiled and the brakes working correctly is a daily responsibility of all riders, so spotting problems on any of these items on a used bike may mean neglect and hidden issues somewhere else.
On the other hand, finding these well taken care off, may be a sign that the bike has always been loved.

Used motorcycle drive train and brakes checklist


  • Wheels and tyres:


Although paying attention to the rim and spokes - if it's a spoked wheel - is good practice, tire condition may be redundant.

Remember that even if the tires are brand new, it doesn't mean they will be the ones you will want to use, or that a state of tire degradation means the owner is hiding something from you.

It might just mean that he used the bike, the tires ran out, and he didn't invest more on something he is selling.

Used motorcycle wheels and tires checklist


  • Bodywork:
Don't be fooled by shiny graphics or a fresh coat of paint.

Look for strange gaps between the plastics, check for color differences between the inside and outside color of the fairings, and ask questions if it's an old bike and all the decals are new.

The overall state of the bodywork on a bike that has never crashed should be on par with the rest of the bike.

Used motorcycle bodywork and plastics checklist


  • The owner:
This point shouldn't be overlooked.

Profiling and judging without knowing isn't something we should do under any circumstance, but when buying used, we should definitely look beyond the bike.

If you find that the owner does not know how to answer basic questions about his bike, wants to meet up at a shady location, or even if you meet up at their place, you can't spot any bike-related paraphernalia, be careful!

Bike owners tend to be bike geeks!

We know every inch of our bikes, useless information about the two-wheel world that will keep anyone talking for days, and our houses/garages? Well, those are just a temple of small parts and bits of bike-related items, from toolkits to helmets and stickers.

I​f it feels shady, it probably is.

Used motorcycle owner checklist


Always remember that a used bike is, by definition, not a new bike.

It is quite common for all of us to forget that as we always look for the most showroom state exemplar we can find, but that may not be the best purchase we can make.

Sound judgment and keeping an eye out for red flags might allow you to get a great price from the get-go, and avoid any expensive surprises down the line.



How to buy a used motorcycle | Used bike checklist

Deixa um comentário

Tem em atenção que os comentários precisam de ser aprovados antes de serem exibidos