Shopping around for a used motorcycle can be an exercise in patience. Prices vary, mileage varies, and quality varies. And, when you think you’ve found the best deal on the planet, your conscience reminds you that deals that are too good to be true usually aren’t good deals at all.
So, what should you do to avoid getting ripped off when buying a used motorbike? Should you buy from a private seller? A dealership? The market is good for buyers, so you can find good deals everywhere. The key to success is looking around, doing your research, and buying a bike that fits your needs. You can see motorcycles here that might be good choices for you.
- Investigate the VIN number
Every vehicle, including motorcycles, has a VIN number. Before you do anything with the bike you are considering, take some time to look into the history of the VIN. You will want to make sure that the major components match. You can also check to see if the bike has been stolen, as many bikes are. If there are any issues with the VIN number, you might want to move on to a different option. Getting a title repaired is not an easy task, especially if you don’t like spending time at the pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
- Look at the wiring under the seat
One of the first places you should look for damage or poor workmanship is under the seat. You should see factory connectors and wiring in various colors. If you see all one color or random items under the seat, then you might end up having trouble with the wiring in the future. If wires are hanging in random places, then the bike could need expensive electrical repairs. You don’t want to deal with that unless you get the bike for an absolute steal.
- Look for obvious damage and not-so-obvious damage
There are other places that will show obvious damage. Look for uneven wear on the tires and odd patterns of wear on the footpegs. Look for road rash on the bike, too. This will tell you if the bike’s been crashed. You can always look at the odometer to see if it’s been tampered with and you can also look for cracks or damage on the engine parts.
- Ask to see the bike when it’s cold
It’s important to know if the motorcycle runs well. The best way to do this is to start the bike when it is cold. Warm engines do not show the same issues that cold ones do. So, when you check out the bike, ask the owner or dealer to keep it cold for you. This way, you can see how it starts and how it runs when the engine hasn’t been warmed. Feel the pipes to be sure that it is cold. If the owner of the bike won’t do this for you, then you should assume the seller is trying to hide something.