Guidelines When Buying a Used Motorcycle

Guidelines When Buying a Used Motorcycle

Buying a secondhand motorcycle in Salt Lake City and other locations can be of great value. It is a great way to get your dream bike at a reasonable price. However, it can also be a risky endeavor sometimes. Some things in life are as disappointing and frustrating as the realization that you got the wrong bike and you have wasted money due to an impulse decision.    Here’s a checklist to follow when buying a used motorcycle:


If this isn’t your first bike, you probably have an idea of what kind of motorcycle you want. However, for new riders, it is always best to understand what you are looking for in a bike. Go through the different motorcycles and find out which type and model fits you and your riding style. Do your research on the parts, too. If the parts are hard to find, it is best to check on your next option.

Buying a motorcycle is nowhere like buying a car. You cannot adjust the seat on a motorcycle nor the steering wheel, etc. That’s why you need to understand the right one for you. Make sure the motorcycle seat is comfortable and the whole bike is not too heavy to maneuver.

Check the VIN

It is advisable to request a bike VIN check whenever you’re buying a used vehicle. Make sure the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the bike matches the one on the title. This step should always come first. There is no need to inspect the bike further if you are looking over a hot bike.

Examine the Bike

Man repairing electronics sports black bike

Always see the bike in person so you can inspect the condition it is currently in. Pay attention to these few standard parts:

• Brake levers, Bar ends and footpegs. If a motorcycle was laid down at some point, the motorcycle levers, bar ends, and footpegs are the first to hit the ground. Many people suggest looking over these parts first.

• Engine. The motor is the most expensive component on the motorcycle. Let the seller know that you want to examine the bike cold. A warm engine is easy to start and can hide a lot of issues. You need to hear the engine from the time the motorcycle is started. Take it for a test ride and continue to listen to it until the engine gets to full operating temperature.  If there are rattling, rumbling, or knocking sounds, these might be an indication of a problem. A warm engine should also idle smoothly and not make any spitting or other unusual noises. Additionally, there should be no oil leaks from the engine.

• Frame. Look over the frame for indications of an accident. Check for dents and cracks. The smallest damage could indicate further damage elsewhere on the bike.

• Chains and sprockets. Chains should be well lubricated, waxy in appearance, and adjusted. There should be no rust and you can check how well it moves by pushing the bike forward and backward. Inspect the sprocket’s teeth. They should be relatively clean and not arched on one side.

• Tires. Considering that we are looking at a used bike, there should be some wear on the tires but there should be plenty of thread left and the wear should be even on both sides.

• Brake Fluid. Check the condition and the level of the fluid. It should have a clear and nice pale color and it should be full to the indication mark, especially before you take the motorcycle on a test ride.

Given that this is a big purchase, it is always best to do your research and arm yourself with knowledge on the things you need to look over. This way, you can avoid being pressured to buy a poorly maintained vehicle on a whim.