Used Motorcycle Buying Guide

Used Motorcycle Buying Guide—
What To Look for in a Used Bike

There is nothing like riding a bike with the wind blowing in your face and through your hair. This used motorcycle buying guide can help you get onto the road sooner with nothing between you and the open road.


Motorcycles are great pieces of machinery, especially for those who can find the time to enjoy them.

The only downside to motorcycles is that they are not cheap. Luckily, there are plenty of used motorcycles on the market. Many of these bikes offer the same benefits, look, and drivability that brand new motorcycles do.

But you must know what to look for. Whether you are a first time rider or a motorcycle veteran, there are certain things that you must pay attention to in order to avoid making a serious buyer's mistake.

Find a Motorcycle That Fits You

Motorcycles are made by several manufacturers. Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, BMW—the list goes on. Some bikes are larger than others, and some are heavier than others. Some are racing bikes, while others are designed for touring and long distances.

The type of bike that you pick should depend on what you will use it for, as well as your experience level. If you are new to riding motorcycles, don't choose a heavy bike or one that is extremely powerful. Learn the ropes with a smaller, cheaper bike and then move up to a larger one when you're ready.

In other words, don't buy more bike than you can handle. This will also save you some money, since most smaller bikes are cheaper than their larger brothers.

Pick a Motorcycle That Matches Your Desires

Find a bike that will do what you want to do. Some people want to zip up and down the strip every night with some friends. Others want to race, or participate in other sporting endeavors. Still other people seek to tour the country on their motorcycle. These three different needs require three different types of motorcycles.

If you are not sure what type of used motorcycle you need, talk to a salesperson. They are trained to help beginning motorcycle riders make the best purchasing decision.

Do a Visual Check in Daylight

Fluorescent lights can hide a great deal at night. Make sure that you take the time to check out your potential motorcycle during the day. Look for rust, wear and tear, and anything else that could be a problem. Then make a note of it.

Check the:

  • Lights

  • Tailpipe

  • Seats

  • Handlebars

  • Stereo system (if there is one)

  • Brakes

  • Fluids

  • Rotors

  • Levers

  • Pads

  • Hoses

  • Chain

  • Oil

  • Valves

  • Suspension

  • Gas tank

  • Wheels and tires

  • Bearings

Also look for signs of an accident, as used motorcycles that have been in an accident should be avoided at all costs. Check your motorcycle's history by entering its VIN number here before making a buying decision.

Do Your Motorcycle Research!

There is plenty of information on various bikes on the web. Make sure that you know what you are getting into. Find consumer reviews and get a vehicle history on the bike that you're interested in.

Cover all of your bases, so that you can be sure that the bike you fall in love with is going to be the apple of your eye for years to come.

Buying a used motorcycle is about making a careful decision. Don't rush into it! Test drive, and if something isn't right, move on. Used motorcycles are not like brand new ones; you can't just pick one and take it home. Using this used motorcycle buying guide to make a careful buying decision now will help ensure that your used motorcycle isn't a lemon that you'll regret later.

NOTE:The information here is not legal advice and is only presented to you so you can know your options if you purchased a lemon. As with any legal issue, you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney.


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