What to Consider When Buying a Used Motorcycle

When it comes to buying a motorcycle, a person has a lot of options. However, one that is growing in popularity is buying used. This is a great option for getting a quality bike for a good price. While this is true, when buying anything used, it is necessary to know more about the bike and the process. Keep reading for help when buying a used bike.

What to Consider When Buying a Used Motorcycle
[image: pexels by javier aguilera]

From finding a reputable seller like cleanharleys.com to getting the right style and price, there are many considerations. Don't get a "lemon," use the tips here instead to ensure a successful purchase.

Check the Motorcycle's VIN

This is the starting point to any used bike purchase. Everything else touched on here will be useless if someone purchases a hot bike (this means stolen!). Be sure to check the numbers physically (not just on paper) to ensure they have not been re-stamped. If someone is looking to purchase a motorcycle with a high theft rate, such as Harley-Davidsons, they may want to bring along pictures of factory-stamped numbers to compare. This way there is no mistake about what is real and what is stolen.

Once this has been established, look at the title numbers and make sure that they match what is on the headstock. It is possible to fix title issues, but it is a good idea to know if there is a problem when making a purchase.

[image: pexels by norbert norbi]

Look at the Old Bike While It Is Cold

This is a tip that should not be ignored, either. However, it is one that is worth mentioning again. Be sure to see the bike while it is cold. Don't accept that the seller has it warmed up when someone arrives to look at it. It is much easier to disguise issues on any type of hot bike. Be sure to feel the pipes and jugs to ensure the bike is completely cold. If the seller is unable to get the bike to start, or if it sounds like there is a blender full of rocks for the first minute while it is running, there could be some serious issues present with the motorcycle.

Inspect the Footpegs, Levers, and Ends

These should the first things that a person looks like. Their age should match the age of the bike. If these components are damaged, it means that the bike has been in an accident. Also, look for rash, but the levers can provide a few clues, too. The levers will likely "curl" when they come in contact with the pavement. In some cases, they may not be completely broken and the rash may have been buffed away by the seller; however, the curved appearance of these will indicate damage that commonly occurs when the bike goes down. This also applies to "shorty" levers that the seller has re-shaped or cut. Usually, people do not do this unless they have to replace levers that are banged up. Aftermarket pets and levers are also a sign that a crash has occurred. If a seller admits to it, they may be honest about the situation and let the buyer know what happened.

Find Out How Hard the Bike Was Ridden

While hard riding or redlining a bike is not necessarily bad for it, there are some people who really beat their machines down. Take time to examine the tires. If there are tires that appear longitudinally grooved or flat, this is a sign the bike has engaged in burnouts before. For sports machines, be sure to check the tire's edges. If there is pilling or featuring present on the tires, all the way to the edges, this is a good indication the bike was used on a race track.

Be sure to check out the hero blogs, as well. These are indications that the foot pegs are hitting the ground and that this may have impacted the more costly parts, as well. If these have been ground down or if they are gone, then the bike may have been used on the track. This may not disqualify the bike from being considered, a seller who does not disclose this situation may not be forthcoming about some of the other negative aspects of the motorcycle either.

Has the Hooptie Been Ripped Off?

Be sure to check the ignition lock and the fork lock. If either of these is busted or if the keys do not match, there is a sign that someone probably went joyriding on it. If the title has been checked and it was seen that it has the "salvage" designation, then be careful. A theft recovery vehicle may wind up being sold. It does not mean that the bike is junk, but the value of these is not high. Be sure the offer made for it reflects this factor.

Pop Up the Seat

It is important to know what a person is getting into by looking at the wiring. This is especially true if the items that are hooked up to the battery have problems. If there are factor connectors in place and nothing looks "off," that is good. However, if there are fog lights, GPS, and power leads hanging off of the bike before getting into the guts, then there is a problem, and this bike may not be the right one to buy.

When it comes to buying a motorcycle, there are more than a few factors to consider. Be sure to keep the tips and information here in mind. By doing this a person can feel confident they are getting a quality bike and that it will not have any issues. Remember, with motorcycles, there are more than a few things that may go wrong. 

Be sure to review the information here to know what to look for and consider when buying. With peace of mind that everything is working properly a buyer can feel confident in the purchase they ultimately make. This is essential when it comes to buying a used bike.

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