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What Should You Look for When Purchasing a Used Motorcycle

There are a few tips most people are aware of when they are purchasing a used car. No one wants to pay more than necessary and knowing what to look out for when making a deal is key. The same goes for anyone aiming to purchase a used motorcycle. The flags a buyer should be looking for are a bit different, however.  

When a person sees an ad for a restored Bultaco for sale, they may have sudden visions of riding like Jim Pomeroy. They imagine taking 200 pounds of aluminum hubs and chrome-moly frame straight to their own world championship or at least taking the Spanish MX bike on every curvy backroad they can find. But a buyer shouldn’t let these dreams of their perfect bike blind them from making an informed purchase. 

Avoid Red Flags 

There are some things to look for that can throw immediate red flags. Check to make sure the VIN matches the one on the title. If the owner doesn’t have a title, the buyer will have to assume the cost of a title search and anything that comes of it.  

When scheduling to look at the bike in person, a buyer should always ask the seller to leave the bike sitting cold and not start it before they get there. This will ensure that a person can touch and verify the wiring and other features without risking burns. This will also allow a potential buyer to see how it starts up. A few less-obvious details to look for are lever and footpegs. If a motorcycle has been in an accident previously, these will show scrapes or bends that are difficult to fully hide.  

If the owner has disclosed the reason for any damage, then it may not affect a sale, but if they refuse to admit it, it may be a sign of other issues they don’t want to disclose. Keeping these things in mind before giving it a test-ride will allow a person to enjoy their dream bike once they find it. 

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