E-commerce has made it easier than ever to find motorcycles for sale in your area, but the buying process can be a little more complex than at your local dealer. As always with person-to-person transactions, the seller will have more freedom to charge any price and will often be less educated regarding the vehicle being sold. Don’t get swindled. It’s important to be educated about the specific make and model of the motorcycle you’re interested in and how to be sure you’re getting the deal you deserve.
Check The Frame
First thing’s first, make sure there are zero cracks in the frame. Even a small crack or hairline fracture could not only qualify the bike for salvage title, but also could prove to be a safety hazard for you. Remove any parts of the bike that could obscure your view of the frame and, if necessary, use a flashlight to illuminate any parts of the frame that are hard to see. Knowing how to properly inspect a motorcycle frame is a sure way to keep both you and your wallet healthy.
Chain And Sprockets
Although chains – if well-maintained – should last a long time, a neglected chain could very well injure a bike and its rider. While you can usually tell a chain’s condition by simply looking at it, you’ll be glad that you tested all other aspects of its performance. Are the sprockets worn down? Does it rotate smoothly? Roll the bike back and forth until you’ve tested the entire chain. The chain should move without obstruction about one inch in either direction.
Always Check The Battery
Much more than cars, motorcycles suffer greatly from sitting unattended. “Last Ride” is not usually a piece of information included when listing used motorcycles for sale online. Check the battery leads. Clean leads are not necessarily an accurate representation of battery life, but it will suggest that the bike has been taken care of and hasn’t been sitting in the owners garage for the past 4 years.
Suspension And Steering
Sit on the bike, grab the front break and see how the forks react. Do they provide firm resistance, rebounding back to the starting point? Prop the bike on the kickstand and turn the steering head from lock to lock. Does it move freely, without any unnatural bends or obstructions? Lastly, test the tires. Do not kick the tires. Test the tires. Make sure the tire tread is evenly worn and that both tires are properly inflated.
The Test Ride
If your potential new bike has passed this comprehensive buyer’s inspection, it’s finally time to take it for a spin. A test ride is the very best way to get the true feel for the condition of a bike. Remember to bring the proper safety gear with you. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the bike; check the position of the mirrors, the brake lever, the rear brake. Once familiar, ease into the accelerator. There are all types of motorcycles for sale, each with its own specific tendencies, so it’s important to use caution when taking a new bike out for a spin. Test the acceleration, braking, and handling by choosing a long road with turns as well as stop lights or signs. Listen closely. Is the clutch slipping? Are the gears smooth and easy to find?
Knowing how to properly inspect a motorcycle, new or used, can be the key to getting the most value from your investment and will save you maintenance fees in the long run. Get educated, make the right decision, and enjoy the open road.