Choose A Used Motorcycle

Know what you’re looking for when you go shopping for a used motorcycle.

A used motorcycle can contain hidden damage that could lead to expensive maintenance down the road or potential injuries from its use. There are a few key areas to look at carefully when you choosing a bike that is right for you. Consider your own experience with a bike and the activities you intend to enjoy with your used bike. Choose a bike that is right for you and to ensure that you enjoy riding it.


1. Pick the type of motorcycle you want. Sport bikes are fast, aggressive and require experience to ensure safety. Cruisers provide a more relaxed ride, which makes them ideal for first-time drivers. Choppers are a comfortable option but can be too ostentatious for some riders. Touring bikes are ideal for long trips. Know which type of bike you want, to cut down on your shopping time. Choose based on your experience with motorcycles and intended activities with your new bike.

2. Shop multiple local used motorcycle dealerships and check the want ads for private sellers. If your budget is low, consider private dealers. There is a higher risk of purchasing a motorcycle with hidden damage when buying from an independent source. Dealerships are more expensive but can provide a detailed history of the motorcycle. Some dealerships include a small dealer’s warranty. The added cost of buying from a dealership is well worth it, especially if you are new to motorcycles.

3. Examine the motorcycle carefully, once you have selected one of interest. Scrutinize the frame. Damage to a bike’s frame can be a serious hazard or lead to expensive repairs later. If you find any damage, such as dents, wear or fractures, move on to other options. These damages can seem minor but they are indicative of more severe frame damage. Remove the seat and other removable items, to continue your inspection of the bike’s frame.

4. Inspect the chain for signs of wear and corrosion. The chain is an inexpensive repair, but its condition tells you if the motorcycle has been well-maintained.

5. Check the battery and tires. If you find damage or corrosion to these, it means your initial purchase will be more expensive due to some early maintenance. Request a thorough history of the bike. Ask questions about maintenance and any accidents in the bike’s history.

6. Test-drive your chosen motorcycle. Ensure it is a right fit for your driving style. If you feel unsure or insecure on the motorcycle, continue shopping. Find a bike that fits your style and feels natural on the road. Listen for any engine irregularities and make sure to check the brake system. Your motorcycle must feel comfortable.