There are so many things to consider in the process of choosing a used motorcycle. First of all, what kind of used motorcycle do you want? Where should you look to buy it at? What should you look out for when looking at different bikes? Here are some pointers that you might find useful:
- Decide why you need a bike?
What kind of riding are you planning on doing the most? Is it for commuting in the city, touring long distances, racing/sports or a combination of these? Think long and hard before you make your decision. Sure it sounds exciting to own a super-fast sport bike, but is it a viable option when you are mainly stuck in traffic everyday commuting to and from work?
- Where should you look for a used bike?
It is always best to look for a reputable dealership when you need a used bike. This is because there is some reliability when it comes to service later on. Most dealerships offer warranties, and if they don’t, they will repair your bikes if it has any problems within the first few months of purchase. Private sales offer no such claims. However, their bikes are priced at lower prices. If you have no choice but to buy from a private party, make sure that you take the bike to a reputable dealership to have it inspected and assessed by professionals. Dealerships are a safer bet any day because they can also do an ownership history and make sure that the bike is not stolen. If you spend some more money now, it could benefit on the long run
- Check out the bike yourself.
If a bike is maintained well, it should be in good condition even after years of use. A thorough inspection of the bike will tell you a lot about how the bike has been handled and cared for. You can even tell what potential problems you might face in the future. Take the bike for a ride to get a feel for yourself. Make sure you are carrying your license. Test and see if the brakes are smooth and even. They should definitely not pulsate, which is a sign of warped disks. Check the gears. It should be a smooth transformation and it should feel firm. You should feel like you are in complete control. It should not feel choppy. The bike should feel stable on the ride. Test on a clean road without any road humps or potholes. Weave left and right and see if it seems in control. Listen closely for any unfamiliar noises from the engine and excessive vibrations. There should not be any creaking or rattling from the suspension. If you hear anything unusual ask the seller. Sometimes unusual noises are just characteristic of the particular bike and doesn’t necessarily indicate an issue. After the ride, check the bike again for any leaks or drips. Check the oil through the sight glass. Or you could wait for the engine to cool and then use the dipstick. Most semi or full synthetic oils will darken after only a few miles. That is normal.
Ask for the service history so that you know that the seller has been regular in the maintenance of the bike. If available, get an owner's manual and factory toolkit. Before you negotiate the price, make sure you know the fair market value. Do some research for this. Be realistic and be fair. A private seller might see this bike as more than just a sale, thus may feel insulted if your offer is too low. At a dealership, the salesperson will have targets to meet, so there is a limit that he cannot cross when negotiating.