Checklist For Buying A Second-Hand Motorcycle

Not everyone can afford a brand new motorcycle. Well, if you love to ride and you can’t get your hand on a brand new machine, here is a few important tips that will give you a great secondhand bike that you can still enjoy and use to explore the places around you.

Questions to Ask

  • Appearance: Is the bike clean and shiny?
  • Touch the engine: Is it cold or warmed up?
  • Are there any oil leaks at the engine or gearbox?
  • Do the frame/chassis number and the engine number match the details on the paper documents?
  • Are there bills for regular services available?
  • How are the tires?
  • How is the chain?
  • Are the bearings in shape? (Check by moving the wheel sideways).
  • Is the fork dry or does it have oil around the seal rings?
  • Are the spokes okay? (Take a spanner and glide softly over them. If you hear very high “Ping” noises then they are okay).
  • Are the brake discs okay? (If it is deeper inside than the outside then it is worn)

Helpful Tips

  • From the drum brakes, you might be able to see if there is still a way to adjust the cable. If not the brake shoes might be worn.
  • Check both brakes by taking a test ride
  • Check all the lights, whether they are working or not, and don’t forget the horn.
  • Look at the cables if there are any loose ends that are coming out (that’s a sign such a cable will snap soon).
  • Start the engine and confirm if it starts with a starter or not.

Taking the Test Ride: What to Check

  1. Does the clutch work properly? Does it come sudden or like it should?
  2. Do the gears change without noise?
  3. Does it smoke badly or normal?
  4. If you feel with the finger at the end of muffler there should be no oily fingers
  5. Does it accelerate properly if you open the throttle?
  6. Does it make no noises and clutch doesn’t slip if you rev up to hard?
  7. Are all the Instruments working?
  8. If your brake is there movement in the steering
  9. If you are skilled enough, leave the handle for a second and look if the bike stays in line or if it starts wobbling.

Other Tips

  • If there is blue smoke then it is oil, petrol more black, and with water-cooled bikes, white smoke will point at the water in the engine
  • Again if the engine is cold it will smoke for a while before it´s warmed up – and that’s normal!
  • If it doesn’t make any noises and clutch don’t slip if you rev up too hard it could also mean that some brackets are broken.
  • Wear proper gear before doing any test or before hitting the road on your bike.

You can still find a second-hand bike in great shape. Make sure that you remain patient and shop for a while before making your final decision. And with this checklist of ours, that shouldn’t be a problem at all.

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