Everything You Need To Know When Buying A Used Motorcycle


Over the past few decades the price of gasoline has risen and seems to be permanently high for the rest of eternity. One of the ways around the high cost of transportation is to get a motorcycle and ride it around town to do most of your causal busywork. Since many motorcycles get 50 to 100 miles per gallon of gas, they can be very economical to ride and fun at the same time.

Usually the cost of insurance is quite a bit lower as are most of the maintenance costs as well. The best part of owning a bike, is that you can almost always find a used one that has very few miles on it, for a very good price. There are some considerations to factor in, here is everything you need to know before buying a used motorcycle from Next Ride. You can check more details about bikes on www.trendswe.com , but here are also few tips

Start By Asking Lots Of Questions

Whether you’re looking online or in some newspaper at used motor bikes, you’re going to want to weed out 75% of all of them over the phone. Get paper and pen out and write down all of the pertinent questions you need to know so you don’t have to drive out and look at a lot of beat up, poorly maintained bikes.

You should ask whether the bike was always stored inside a garage, covered porch, or in the rain. How was the bike used? Was it driven daily to work, left in the sun and rain in a parking lot, and then driven home daily? How many miles does it have on the odometer and were they freeway miles, around town miles, or dirt road miles? Ask how the tires are, when the battery was last replaced, how often the oil was changed and if the seat has any tears in it. Does the owner have service records? That can be a huge factor.

What you’re really looking for is a bike that some middle aged married guy bought for recreational use and then never had much time to ride. These kinds of buys are all over, you just have to spend the time looking for them, they’re there. What you really don’t want is a daily driver that has lots of miles on it and is about to need a lot of repairs and maintenance to keep it going. Young guys that don’t own cars and have to use their bikes for their primary transportation are going to put thousands of miles on a bike, leaving it in the sun and rain all day while they work. The miles wear out the engine, tires, bearings, alternator, and starter, however, the sun ruins the seat, paint, and plastic body parts. The rain oxidizes the wire connections and rusts the cheap metal parts, so everything has its price. The part time rider, on the other hand, may have stored his bike in the garage and only road it 100 miles per year, that’s who you’re looking for when you buy a used bike.

What To Do When You Visit The Seller

Don’t meet the seller in a dark alley at night in a bad part of town, insist on going to their home, bring a “bike knowledgeable” friend and only buy from reputable looking people. The first thing you’ll want to do is ask to see the title. From there you’ll want to find the serial number of the motorcycle and double check both the frame and motor for the same number. It’s very easy to take wrecked or stolen bikes and combine them into one assembled bike. This is illegal in every state so do your due diligence and check those numbers.

Then you need to be systematic in your inspection of the bike. Are the tires original? That’s good sign since they don’t last very many miles and it shows that the bike hasn’t been used all that much. Carefully inspect the spokes on the wheels for signs of rust since they are hard to clean and may be a sign of neglect which you’re trying to avoid. Check the miles on the odometer, but keep in mind that you’re adding that clue to the tires, spokes, and other information to put together an entire history.

Is the seat original or has it been reupholstered? This is a major clue to decide if the bike has been left in the sun for extended periods. The seat materials on most motorcycles is made to last about 4 or 5 years if left outside. Kept in a garage, it could last 10 to 15 years instead. The UV rays of the sun are the biggest  problem with being left outside, it damages all of the plastic and rubber parts of the bike. That means the plastic covers of the gauges will start to yellow, the wrapping around the wiring is starting to crack which allows water to seep into the electrical harness and rust the connections.

You should check the oil, but asking about regular oil changes is more important. Motorcycles only hold about 1 or 2 quarts of oil, so it’s easy to change.  And these small 1 or 2 cylinder motors run at high RPMs so they should be changed very regularly, about every two thousand miles or less. Bikes that aren’t ridden a lot should have their oil changed yearly whether enough miles have been added or not. A bike owner that keeps records of oil changes and other maintenance is what you’re looking for. You should ask that on the phone and check when you get there as well.

Take The Bike For A Spin

Ride the bike slowly and listen to the bearings, shocks, and other moving parts as you pass over ruts and bumps. This is an important step since replacing the valves inside the shocks is very expensive and hard for a novice to do.  Riding slower helps you listen and feel what could possibly need repairs and maintenance on the bike.

After you’ve driven the bike for about ten minutes, checking the brakes, throttle, levers, and gauges, pull over and check for oil leaks on the engine and the shocks. Sometimes sellers wipe these parts clean but they leak again when the bike is ridden.

If everything checks out, and the seller looks reputable and honest, then you should make arrangements to pay for the bike at your bank, if possible. This avoids the problems of having to carry cash and will quickly end the deal of they are dishonest people. Your bank will always offer to let you use one of their desks to complete the transaction safely, that’s their job. Now that you have your bike, you also know what to do to keep it looking and operating in top condition. If you take good care of it, it will provide many years of inexpensive transportation for you.

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