Tips For Buying A Used Motorcycle
Get Your License
You can’t ride without a motorcycle endorsement. Take the permit test at your local DMV. We always recommend taking a motorcycle safety class to get your license, but you can also obtain it through the DMV road test. To test ride any motorcycle you will have to present a motorcycle endorsement. Get some riding experience; it will help you determine what kind of motorcycle you want to purchase.
Deciding What You Want
As a new rider, deciding what motorcycle to purchase is probably one of the hardest decisions. A motorcycle can be intimidating. Some key factors to think about are weight, engine size, riding position and price. For a person of a smaller stature, a large bike should not be considered as a first motorcycle. The weight will be too hard to handle and may cause serious harm while riding.
Great beginner motorcycles are between the 250cc and 500cc class range. These types of motorcycles are light enough to handle, but have enough power to ride on the highway. It is important to find a motorcycle with comfortable seat height. When sitting on the motorcycle, the rider should not be on his or her tippy toes. Sport bike and cruiser styles can be found in this engine size category. For a standard riding position with relative comfort, a cruiser style should be chosen. For a more aggressive riding position and harder lean angles, a sport bike style should be chosen.
The more confident in your riding abilities will really dictate why type of motorcycle you would want to ride. The different categories of motorcycles are cruiser, sport bike, dual-sport, enduro, scooter, trikes and customs. What you want to ride is really up to you. Get an idea of what you like a research it. Check out reviews and ride reports. The internet is a great resource for information. You can find market values on auction and classified ad sites. The NADA book is a good resource for what a used motorcycle can be worth.
Selecting the Bike
Everyone always wants the good deal. Scanning the internet and print sources, those deals can be had. There are many motorcycles on the market; you just have to find the one for you. After you decided what type of motorcycle you want, you must check your options. There are free and paid internet sites for buying and selling motorcycles. Most of these sites use distance from your zip code to locate local sales. Distance does not always deter all sales and some are willing to travel many miles for a good deal. It depends on how far you really want to drive. Look for low mileage, good cosmetic condition and good mechanical condition in your prospective buy.
Contact the Seller
Friendly correspondence always garnishes the best results. Contact the seller of the motorcycle and decide on a meeting spot. Use their preferred method of contact whether it is e-mail or telephone. Use a friendly tone and ask questions about the motorcycle. This is not a good time to negotiate price, it should be done after seeing the motorcycle. Some sellers will be weary to meet at their home so suggesting a public place may make them feel comfortable.
Observe and Take a Test Ride
Once a seller has agreed to let you look at the motorcycle, it is now time to take a look. Look at the motorcycle carefully or have a person with more mechanical knowledge help you. Examine the paint, chrome, and exterior finishes. The quality of the exterior of the motorcycle tells a story of how well the owner maintained it. Check for mechanical defects. Check the brakes, cables and tire condition. Check the mileage. Look for leaks and what type of fluid is leaking. Check out every detail. If things are broken, torn or just look wrong, take note of it. This also a good time to ask for service records if the seller can provide them.
Ask the seller to start the bike and listen for any defects. Engine rattles and knocks can lead to big problems down the future. Make sure it warms up to normal operating temperature. If the seller agrees to let you go for a test ride, take the motorcycle for a small ride to see how it operates. Bring the vehicle up to higher speeds and shift through all of the gears. They should shift smoothly. The engine should run smoothly and have good power. Make sure the suspension is right and handles bumps smoothly. Any problems in these categories can lead to costly repairs down the line.