Motorcycles are a great asset. They help reduce travel time, and they’re fun to ride. A motorcycle is more economical than a car because it costs less to purchase and maintain. It looks cooler than a car.

Many motorcycles are available on the market, from small scooters to large touring bikes. When choosing a motorcycle, selecting the right one for your needs and budget is important. You can buy a new or used motorcycle. If you opt for a used bike, inspect it thoroughly before making a purchase. Today, we will share a checklist for buying a used motorcycle.

Why Buy A Used Motorcycle? 

There are several reasons why you might want to buy a used motorcycle.

  1. Used motorcycles cost less than new ones. The depreciation on a motorcycle is much higher than on a car, so a used bike will be cheaper.
  2. You have more choice when buying used. There are many more used motorcycles available on the market than new ones. This means you’re more likely to find the perfect bike for your needs and budget.
  3. It’s easier to negotiate when buying used. When negotiating the price of a used motorcycle, you have more room to haggle than with a new bike.

What To Look For When Buying A Used Motorcycle 

When inspecting a used motorcycle, there are several things you need to check. Here is a checklist of what to look for:

The Motorcycle Condition 

When purchasing a used motorcycle, you must pay close attention to its condition. Pay attention to this list:

  1. Check for dents, scratches, and rust. These can all affect the value of the motorcycle. A rusty tank is a major red flag. If you find any damage, be sure to factor this into your negotiations as it will need to be repaired.
  2. Inspect the tyres. Check for tread wear and cracks. Worn-out tyres will need to be replaced, which can be expensive.
  3. Check the exhaust. Make sure there are no leaks. A damaged exhaust can be expensive to replace. You’ll want the bike to be cool for the first look. Engines that are warm turn over more easily. When you call the seller to ask him where he wants you to come to see the bike, make sure to remind him not to run it before you arrive.
  4. Check motorcycle frame for cracks. If you find any cracks, this is a sign that the bike has been in an accident. Check the steering head bearings. Rock the bike back and forth while pressing down on the front brake lever. If you notice movement or a clicking sound, the steering head bearings are likely to be loose or worn. Feel for movement by covering the top triple clamp and frame with your hand.
  5. Examine the brakes. Examine the brake pads and discs for signs of wear. Take the bike out of gear and roll it forward while sitting on it. Apply firm pressure to the front brakes. The brake lever should operate smoothly, with little or no noise from the brakes as they come to a stop. Allow the brake lever to return to its original position. Repeat the process with the rear brake pedal.
  6. Check the chain and sprockets. The chain should be lubricated and not too loose or too tight. The sprockets should be in good condition with minimal wear.
  7. Inspect the forks and shock absorbers for leaks. They will need to be repaired before you buy the bike if they’re leaking.
  8. Check the clutch and throttle cables for fraying or kinking. These will need to be replaced if they’re damaged. You can check the clutch by starting the bike in first gear and slowly letting out the clutch lever. The bike should not jerk or stall. Hold the front brake and twist the throttle open to check the throttle. The engine should rev smoothly without any hesitations.
  9. Test the lights and horn. Ensure all the lights are working, including the brake light, turn signals, and headlight. The horn should also be operational.
  10. Check the fuel tank for rust. A rusty tank is a major red flag. If you find any damage, be sure to factor this into your negotiations as it will need to be repaired.
  11. You should check the coolant level. The coolant should be at the proper level and a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze.
  12. Check the oil level and condition. The oil should be at the proper level and should be clean. If it’s dirty, this is an indication that the bike hasn’t been properly maintained.
  13. Check the air filter. A dirty air filter will need to be replaced. It could indicate that the bike isn’t properly maintained if it’s extremely dirty.
  14. Make sure all the instruments work properly. This includes the speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, and temperature gauge.
  15. Check all of the electrical components. Ensure all the lights, horns, and turn signals are working properly. If none are, this will need to be repaired before buying the bike.

The Bike’s Paperwork 

Aside from ensuring that the motorcycle is in good condition, you’ll also want to check the bike’s paperwork. This includes the title, registration, and service history.

  1. Check the bike’s title and registration. Make sure the bike is registered in the state where you live. If it’s not, you’ll have to register it, which can be a hassle. The title should be in the seller’s name and free of liens.
  2. Check the title to ensure it’s not salvaged or rebuilt. A salvage title means the bike has been damaged and repaired. A rebuilt title means the bike has been salvaged and then put back together. Both of these can be problematic and may not be worth the hassle.
  3. Ask to see the bike’s service history. This will tell you if the bike has been well-maintained. Get the service records from a dealer or mechanic. This will give you a complete picture of the bike’s maintenance history.
  4. Check for a recall report. This will tell you if the bike has been recalled for any safety issues. You can check for recalls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
  5. Get a vehicle history report (VHR). This will tell you if the bike has been in an accident, rebuilt, or salvaged. It will also tell you if the bike has been stolen. You can get a VHR from many sources, including Carfax and VinCheck.
  6. Ask for service records. If the seller doesn’t have them, you can ask if he knows where they are. This is important to verify that the bike has been properly maintained. 
  7. Have a licensed motorcycle mechanic inspect the bike before buying it. This will give you a professional opinion on the condition of the bike and whether or not it’s worth the asking price.
  8. Run a bike check. This will tell you if the bike has been reported stolen, involved in an accident, or recalled. The report will also provide the bike’s title, registration, and service history.

Making An Offer 

Once you’ve found a bike you’re interested in and have checked it over, it’s time to make an offer. If you’re financing the purchase, this will be your loan amount. If you’re paying cash, this will be the amount you’re willing to pay for the bike.

  1. Start with a low offer. The seller will likely counter, so it’s important to start low. You don’t have to offer the asking price, but you should be close.
  2. Be prepared to negotiate. If the seller counters your offer, be prepared to negotiate back and forth until you reach an agreement.
  3. Don’t be afraid to walk away. If the seller isn’t willing to budge on price, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other bikes out there.
  4. Get everything in writing. Once you’ve reached an agreement on price, make sure it’s in writing before handing over any money. This will protect you if there’s a problem later on.

Taking Delivery Of The Bike 

Once you’ve reached an agreement on price and have the bike’s paperwork in order, it’s time to take delivery of the bike.

  1. Pay for the bike. If you’re financing the purchase, this will mean getting a loan from a bank or credit union. If you’re paying cash, you’ll need to bring the full amount with you when you pick up the bike.
  2. Transfer the title. The seller will need to sign the title over to you. Make sure you get a bill of sale as well.
  3. Register the bike. You’ll need to register the bike in your name and pay applicable fees.
  4. Take the bike for a test ride. Before taking the bike home, ensure it’s in good working order. Take it around the block to ensure everything is working properly.
  5. Bring the bike home. Once satisfied with the bike, you can bring it home and enjoy riding it!