BUYING A USED BIKE
If you are a first time rider, you may want to consider buying a used motorcycle before a new one is purchased. Used bikes are a lot cheaper than new bikes and you don't have to worry about getting a used bike scratched as you go through the kinks of falling while learning how to ride.

Replacement parts for used bikes are also much cheaper than those of new bikes. You can probably go down to your local junkyard and find the parts you are looking for.

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Where Can I Buy a Used Motorcycle?
Cycle Trader is a very comprehensive motorcycle magazine that is located at most newsstands. This magazine is the place to sell and buy used bikes. There will likely be multiple ads for the same year and model of bike you are interested in. This will allow to get a good idea of what is a good deal and what is not.

You can also get a good idea as to what the value of a particular motorcycle is by checking out Kelly Blue Book. Kelly Blue Book is a comprehensive listing of how much particular makes and models of motorcycles are selling for in the United States. Included are the asking price, what the bike sold for and what the mileage and condition of the particular bike is. You can use the your Kelly Blue Book finding as a negotiating tool when potential sellers are asking a lot for a bike you want.

You should also consider visiting an auction for seized bikes when in the market for a used motorcycle.

Making Arrangements to Go See a Bike
When you are making preparations to go see a used motorcycle, make sure you plan to see the bike during the day! You need as much light as possible so that you can inspect the motorcycle as thoroughly as possible.


Inspecting the Bike
You must inspect the motorcycle that you are potentially going to buy as systematically as possible. If you miss any damage, you are going to pay for it two different ways. One, you will wind up paying too much for the bike because a bike with damage obviously is not worth as much. Two, if a motorcycle is badly damaged mechanically, you are going to eventually have to fix it. Parts and labor are expensive. Also, mechanical issues can lead to an accident!

If possible, you want to bring someone with you that is experienced with bikes, like a motorcycle mechanic. Even if you have to pay this person $50, having them find flaws can you not only save you money in the long-run, it can save your life.

**Make sure any used motorcycle has never been in an accident!


Things to Look For When Inspecting a Used Motorcycle

1. Tires - Make sure the tires are in good condition. Specifically, the tread is not worn away and that there are no cracks between treads. Tires are expensive. You don't want to have to replace them if you do not have to.

2. Chain - You want to make sure that the chain is not stretched or worn out. Potentially, a damaged chain can snap at any time. What if you are riding on the highway at a very high rate of speed with a faulty chain. If the chain snaps at this time, it will likely wrap around the sprocket of your rear tire, resulting in your motorcycle stopping as if you were slamming on the breaks!

3. Sprockets - Sprockets need to be examined carefully. If you have a worn out sprocket, your bike chain can derail and cause you to crash. Also, if your sprocket is not even on both sides, it will cause your bike to ride strangely, in a wave fashion.

4. Clutch cable - As long as the clutch cable is not in bad physical condition, it is ok. If it is hard to move, it just needs to be lubricated. Refer to the owners manual as to how much lubrication to apply.

5. Front and Back brakes - Brakes are very important. Brakes should always feel strong and silky. If the brakes feel loose, there may be air in the lines that needs to be let out. Also, make sure that the brake pads themselves are not worn down.  In addition, check the reservoir for hydraulic fluid. It should be clean and filled to the proper level.

6. Electrical System - You can make sure the electrical system is operating properly by starting the motorcycle up a few times. You want to be certain that the starter connects strongly each time. If the motorcycle seems to take a longer time to start with each attempt, that is an indication that the battery is going to need to be replaced.

7. Forks - Check the forks thoroughly. Check for rust. If there is a great deal of rust, the forks may wear out, leak, and ultimately need to be replaced. If the rusting is minimal, it can be sanded away with fine grade sand paper. You also want to make sure that there is no oil leaking from the dust covers of the bike.

8. Oil - Make sure the seller knows when the last time the oil was changed. If they can not provide you with an answer, that shows neglect. Run the bike a few times for several minutes. Look under the bike to see if you see any puddles of oil.  Also, check the color of the oil. If it is dark, it is time for an oil change.

9. Has the Bike Been In Accident? - Try and find out if the bike was in an accident. It is possible that the seller is not going to be honest with you. However, if a bike has crashed, it is likely that it fell over on one side or another. Take a few steps back, looking at the bike head on, from the front or the back. If the bike looks crooked at all, the bike has been in an accident. You do not want to purchase a motorcycle that has been involved in any sort of accident that leaves the frame bent and/or crooked.

10. Engine - Let the bike run for several minutes. If smoke starts to develop, the engine is shot. Don't buy a motorcycle that has a bad engine!


Take the Motorcycle for a Test Ride
Going on a test ride is critical. Even if the motorcycle is in excellent condition, you want to make sure that the ride the bike offers is a comfortable one.

We also feature a buyer's guide first time riders.

Selling Your Used Motorcycle - Tips on getting the best price.

**We now feature a motorcycle classifieds section! Get the deal you are looking for!

 

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