Buying A Used Motorcycle? Tips For Inspecting It

Posted on: 18 May 2016

Buying used can save you a lot of money if the motorcycle is in good condition. For this reason, you need to make sure you know how to inspect it before you buy it. Below are some tips you should follow so you will end up with a motorcycle that will last you for a long time.

Inspect the Chain

Look at the motorcycle chain closely for any corrosion, such as rust spots. If you find no corrosion, check the flexibility by pulling and pushing a section of the chain. Roll the motorcycle a few inches at a time as you are checking the chain until you are sure you have checked the entire length of it. The chain should not feel real loose at all when you pull and push it.  If so, it is time for a new one. The seller should offer to install one for you. If not, then you should look elsewhere for a motorcycle.

Inspect the Battery

Look at the battery leads to make sure they are clean and have no sign of corrosion. In most cases, the battery is located under the seat. Simply lift the seat up to gain access to it. Ask the owner how old the battery is.  If the seller has maintained the battery properly, and has not left the motorcycle sitting for long periods of time without starting the motorcycle to charge the battery, it should last approximately two to five years.

Match and Check the Vehicle Identification Number

You will find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the engine and there should be another VIN number somewhere on the frame of the motorcycle. Look at both of these VINs to make sure they match. If so, make sure the VIN number matches the VIN that is on the motorcycle title. If any of these numbers are different, you should not buy the motorcycle.

Check Fluid Levels

Dirty oil, low coolant levels, and dirty brake fluid are signs the motorcycle has not been cared for. A bike that has been driven with low fluid levels or dirty fluids can harm the engine. Some motorcycles have separate transmission and crankcase oil so you will have two dipsticks to check.

Ask the seller if they can show you recent maintenance records. If everything looks good, ask a mechanic to do an inspection to be sure there is nothing wrong with the motorcycle, or to pinpoint any motorcycle repair needs. A mechanic may see things that you would not see on your own.