Used Motorcycle

Purchasing used motorcycles is a risky activity, especially for inexperienced drivers who are poorly informed about how to choose a used motorcycle and what nuances to pay special attention to when buying it.

At the same time, a successful deal with a conscientious seller can save a significant amount of money, making you a happy owner of a bike of your dreams. What recommendations should you follow when planning to buy a used bike, and how to protect yourself from unnecessary risks?

How to choose your used bike: useful tips

Having chosen a particular model and brand, it is worthwhile to study in advance as much thematic information as possible, revealing the peculiarities of the object of purchase, its technical and operational characteristics, the most vulnerable and prone to breakdowns places and structural elements.

Even if the inspection of the motorcycle will take place in good light conditions, the flashlight will be useful for detailed examination of hard-to-see places. In addition, experienced drivers advise you to ask your dealer the day before not to heat the bike before your arrival – this will help to better assess the start and performance of the engine.


Experienced bikers, who know how to choose used motorcycles in their own practice, recommend that you carefully examine their exterior condition before buying them.

Scrupulous and picky inspection of the technique will allow you:

  • Identify minor defects (and given that you buy used transport, they will be inevitable) and, as a consequence, reduce the price;
  • exclude the presence of serious damage after falls and accidents.

According to experienced drivers, it is almost impossible to find a motorcycle that has never fallen in the used vehicle market, and the consequences will vary greatly from case to case.

Thus, if the former owner has ever fallen off a motorcycle before, you must make sure that the defects and damage to the equipment are not critical:

  • symmetry of mirrors, handles and levers on the steering wheel;
  • symmetry of turn signals, plastic cladding elements;
  • origin of welds on the frame (all of them must be factory-made);
  • frame geometry and integrity;
  • the position of the windscreen and its fasteners;
  • condition of clutch levers and front brake (factory or replaced);
  • symmetry and evenness of fork feathers;
  • integrity of attachment brackets;
  • integrity and fixing of the seat, condition of its lock;
  • presence/absence of dents, scratches, sliding marks, deformations of individual elements.

It is also worth taking a closer look at the decorating elements that many motorists often use to decorate their vehicles.

It is also necessary to check the strength of the plastic cover and carefully inspect all its joints, paying special attention to those functional parts that are considered the most vulnerable in this model. Check with your dealer which parts on the bike have been replaced and why.

Technical condition

When choosing a used motorcycle, it is important to carefully examine the condition and serviceability of all its systems, units and functional parts – first of all, this:

  • Electrical equipment, electronics, battery;
  • engine;
  • Gas tank;
  • Suspension;
  • wheels;
  • liquids (oil, antifreeze, brake fluid);
  • exhaust system;
  • chain and stars.

Brakes and clutches

When checking the front and rear brakes, the moving motorcycle must stop smoothly, without jerking. Pay attention to the operation of the front brake lever: if it falls off or is pressed without characteristic resistance, it may indicate wear on the brake pads or other problems in the braking system.

Remember that heavy wear and tear on the pads can make braking ineffective until the brake effect is not felt, and when buying a used motorcycle with decent mileage it is worth asking the seller if the clutch has been replaced. If it hasn’t changed, then, most likely, after purchase it should be done to you that accordingly will demand additional expenses.

Electrical equipment, electronics and AKBVs

Lighting equipment, indicators and switches must be in good working order. Check in turn how dipped beam and high beam, front and rear turn signals, emergency switch, stop signals and beeps work.

The condition of the battery can be judged by how quickly the bike starts, but experienced drivers prefer not only to rely on intuition, but also to take additional voltage measurements on the battery terminals. A fully charged battery usually has a voltage reading of at least 12.8 V.


When starting an unheated engine, it is very important to pay attention to how quickly the used bike starts. It is known that the cold engine starts less willingly, and this gives the buyer the opportunity to better assess its condition and quality of work.

Petrol tank

Planning to buy a used motorcycle, do not neglect the opportunity to examine the condition of the tank. With a flashlight inside (not a lighter or matches in any case!), inspect the surface of the walls and bottom for rust, deposits and deposits.


Check the condition of the suspension and take a closer look at the glands and fork pipes. There should be no leaks on the glands and no scratches, chips or other mechanical influences on the pipes. It is important that the pipes themselves are perfectly straight and strictly parallel to each other.


On the fact that the bike has survived more than one fall and maybe even had time to visit the accident, you can guess from the state of the wheels. Both rims should be intact during the test, without any deformations, deep scratches or cracks.


Manything about the condition of a used motorcycle and the conscientiousness of its owner can be recognized by the type of fluids used in the vehicle systems. The fact that the seller paid attention to this aspect in a timely manner is evidenced by the fact that the seller paid attention to it.

Chain and sprockets

Completion of used motorcycle inspection is worth checking chain and sprockets. The degree of wear may be a direct indication of how the vehicle was used. The chain should not be too loose or too tight, and an unevenly stretched chain usually indicates that the previous owner preferred an aggressive driving style, often lifting the bike on the rear wheel and not neglecting to brake abruptly.

For a more accurate assessment of the chain condition, hang out the rear wheel and rotate it in neutral. If the chain is tensioned as the wheel rotates, it sags, which means that it is not evenly stretched and must be replaced, check the teeth of the stars when inspecting the chain: they should be even and symmetrical.

If you are afraid to be among the deceived buyers, do not hesitate to ask for help from specialists and experienced drivers, who know all the details of buying a used motorcycle.