What To Look For When Buying A Used Motorcycle

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Buying a second-hand motorcycle is always exciting, and if you are getting your dream bike, then it must be precious to you. It is common to worry about what to look for when buying a used motorcycle. It is very important to check all the vital parts in the bike and if they are in proper shape.

The Ultimate Checklist!

To help you out, we present before you some basic things you have to check out before you take your beloved motorcycle from the seller to your home.

1. The Appearance

The first thing to check is, of course, the whole appearance of the bike. It is quite easy to understand if the bike has been quickly washed or deep washed properly. Make sure to check out the tight spots, places where dirt can be easily accumulated. These are the places where a quick washer will avoid. Usually, the seller might think that you would not check these areas out of excitement, but make sure to check every nook and corner. If you find it deep cleaned, you can be satisfied for the time being regarding the condition of the bike.

If the bike has plastic fairings, make sure to check the tabs which are connected to the frame. If the bike has been in an accident and the repairs were poorly done, you can understand it, if you notice these connection points.

2. Exhaust

This is a very important part to inspect. You have to carefully examine the exhaust before it turns out to be a major problem. Before going to see the bike, ask the seller not to run the bike specifically. If it is already run over, you will be at a disadvantage. Warm engines turn over easier than the cold ones. On starting the engine when it’s cold, you will be able to understand the condition.

Make sure the exhaust is mounted properly and in the right place. The exhaust experiences a lot of vibrations if not placed properly, the nearby pipes and mounts can experience them too, and might fall apart. There could be places where the exhaust has gotten damaged, but it’s either not visible from outside, or seems to be just a bit of corrosion. You have to look at these places closely and request a change. While checking for corrosion, make sure to check for dents too. If the exhaust has dents, it is quite dangerous and might result in road accidents later.

3. Tires And Wheels

As it is a used motorcycle, a smooth even wear is expected. However, if you notice severe wear on the center third of the rear tire, then it is a problem as it would cause tension on the engine. Make sure to check the 4 digit DOT numbers, located on the outer sidewall of the tires. It is the tire manufacturing date, the first two digits are the weeks and the last two are the years. If the tire has been made 6 years and more, it is high time to change them. The tires might be in good condition, but it is advisable to change them for new sturdy tires.

Also, make sure to check the bike, and see if it has any dents. For this, you could ask the bike to be placed in the center stand with its transmission in neutral and spin the back wheel; try to identify if there are any dings or bends there. Do the same for the front wheel, by putting it on the kickstand and asking a person to help you. Keep changing your tire whenever necessary as investing in a great, sturdy motorcycle tire is important to keep unwanted accidents at bay.

4. Clutch And Brakes

The clutch should be operating smoothly. To test it out, sit on the bike, engage the clutch, and release it slowly. If it releases smoothly, it’s all good. Put your bike in first gear and try to roll out your bike, if that takes place smoothly, your clutch is all fine and there is nothing to worry about.
Now, as you have already tested the clutch, test

the brakes too. Take the brake out of gear and roll it in forward. Apply the front brakes. If the bike slowly stops with little to no noise, the brake levers are operating quite smoothly. Try to take it for a test drive, during that time, if you press the brake, you should not feel any pulsing in the lever. If you do feel it, make sure to ask the seller to work on the brakes.

5. Chain And Sprocket

The next thing you have to check is the chain. You can check the tension of the chain by pulling it away from the sprocket in the rear at a 3 o’clock position. While pulling you would notice that it is not possible to pull the chain for more than half the distance from the sprocket. However, if it does move father, it means that it needs replacement.

The chain and sprocket area should always remain clean and smooth. While buying, you should make sure that they have lubricated that area well. In addition to that, after you have already bought the bike, make sure to get a good chain lube to ensure your chain and sprocket last long.

6. Title Or Registration

Lastly, this is one of the most important things that you have to check. Sometimes, sellers do sell motorcycles second-hand, illegally. First, check the motorcycle’s VIN number and license plate number and find out if they match with the title. All the numbers should be easily readable and should not be in any way tampered with.

If the motorcycle has been registered in another state, make sure to contact the required State Department yourself and ask them about the necessary procedures and fees to register under your name, by yourself.

Happy Driving!

After you have checked all these basics and have understood exactly what to look for when buying a used motorcycle, you are ready to make that bike all yours!

Lastly, as we all know that prevention is better than cure, make sure to take the bike to a professional mechanic after you buy it.

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Emanuel Smith

Emanuel Smith

Emanuel has a degree in mechanical engineering and a great interest in the workings of bikes. His articles are always well-researched and are supported by his good knowledge of how bikes work.
Emanuel Smith

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