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Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

This is a discussion on Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle within the Sportbikes forums, part of the Types of Bikes category; Any tips? "How to buy a used motorcycle". I want to put together a short list of tips - please ...


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Old 04-06-2006   #1
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

Any tips? "How to buy a used motorcycle".

I want to put together a short list of tips - please post up wit you have thoughts. Or if you know of any helpful websites.

Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2006   #2
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

Bring someone experienced with you.....preferably a motorcycle mechanic that has no ties with the seller.
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Old 04-07-2006   #3
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

Like Timy mentioned bring someone who knows alot about bikes.

Also have the seller take the side plastics off. The side plastics can hide alot of stuff.
Look for missing bolts, leaks, scrapes or even RTV silcone in places to stop leaks.
Look under the tail section for built up rubber. Everyone does a burnout in their life, just make sure thats not what they do constantly.
Fork seals should last a while so if they leak and the bike has 5k miles.. Wheelie happy or stoppie happy.
ask for any maintance records if they got any.
Make sure everything works, lights horn, brakes, clutch..ect.
it should fire right up, and idle smooth

Ask alot of questions...
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Old 04-07-2006   #4
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html

:D
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Old 04-08-2006   #5
DMR
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

Personally I perfer to buy stock used bikes. They seem to last longer because the owner didn't rag the crap out of it. By stock I mean no mods to the engine. An air filter or slip on pipe is fine, but NO mods. Oh, and of course low miles. If your looking for something reliable I would suggest Honda they've never let me down.
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Old 04-08-2006   #6
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

Usually if something's not stock it's accident damage. Always assume the worst. Don't even think of buying a bike if he won't let you ride it with a crash deposit. If something looks fishy, it is. Having said that, tip overs really don't hurt a bike. But rear-ending a car or something can cause invisible damage that makes the bike handle funny forever.
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Old 04-09-2006   #7
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

I asked a knowledgable friend of mine who works at a dealer and this was his response...

Excellent questions! I am not sure that there is a fool-proof system, which is why a lot of people prefer to purchase from a dealer - and that is good for us. Before I worked here I had never done that and did not imagine I would ever do such a thing (buy used from a dealer).

Anyway, back in the day, when buying a used car or motorcycle, I tried to pay even more attention to the seller and where the seller lives and how the car or bike is stored than even the machine itself. If the seller appears reasonable, and lives in a neat and tidy place, and takes care of the bike - I have never had a problem. Check out the security system used - if there is one the bike is unlikely to be stolen. Is the garage neat and clean? Things put away? Then the bike has probably been well cared for.

If the seller has not cleaned the bike while trying to see it, I would walk away. Lazy people do not make good people to buy from. If the seller is not the registered owner, a good way to make the final purchase is to meet at the bank that owns the bike and do the deal there in the presence of a bank official.

Make sure the VIN # on the bike is the same as the one on the title, and get a ride so you can ride your new bike home. Call your insurance company from the bike and get insured before your ride it - never can tell.

The only two times this "system" did not work for me, I did not follow my own rules! We bought an elderly Porsche 911 without ever learning where it was usually parked or seeing the owner's home - and it was a dog of a car. I sold my Muzzy to a guy in another state that I could not meet or check out, and it turned into a long and sorry saga.
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Old 04-09-2006   #8
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Default Any tips? How to buy a used motorcycle

Always, always, always, get it checked out by a compatent mechanic familiar with the specific bike brand/model. Weather this is a friend or a dealership doesn't really matter. If taking it to a dealership, offer to pay or split the costs of the inspection with the seller. If the bike is older or higher milage (over 30kish), have a compression or leak-down (prefferable) check done. It might add ~$50 or so to the price of the inspection, but will tell you volumes about the condition of the engine.

An inspection does two things for you. First, it will give you peice of mind you're not buying someone elses problem, or at least have a good idea of what's wrong. Second, it will give you some negotiating points. Very few bikes have zero problems, and a seller is much more likely to give you a price break when you can present them with a list of needed repairs, and cost estimates.

Other miselanious tips (before you get to the 'other' inspection process):
Never look at a bike at night, it's alot easier to see defects in the daytime.

Ask the seller to NOT start the bike that day until you get there. Hard staring, or smoking when cold are both sings of possibly serious problems and are easily covered up by having the bike warmed up when you get there.

Work up a list of questions to ask sellers about their bike over the phone. Print it out, and have it in front of you when talking to each seller. This will make sure you don't forget to ask something you wanted to, and will give you an easy way to consistantly evaluate the diffrances between sellers/bikes. I usually use a legal pad, with a page dedicated to each bike/car I've called about.

CarFax. Some bikes will come up, some won't, but it's worth a shot.

Ask the seller why the're selling. I'm more inclined to buy from someone who just bought a new bike, or needs to sell to buy a new bike. Storys about needing the cash (particularly with bikes that are almost new), can't afford payments, or no reason at all make me nervous about the care the bike has recived. (Edit, see post immediatly above, great points that are relivent to this section)


Obvious, but I've made some questionable decisions before:
Don't bring your checkbook. I'll sometimes bring a few hundred cash for a deposit, but never the ability to pay for the thing first time out.
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