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dirt bikes
touch up paint
dirt bike
telling the truth
eye contact
Used Motorcycle Evaluation: 5 Must ASK Questions
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Used Motorcycle Evaluation: 5 Must ASK Questions

A used motorcycle evaluation is hardly ever straightforward, the only guarantee is that the bike has something wrong with it, even if the owner says it is “like new”, “pristine”, or, my favorite, “never any problems”… yeah, right. If you don’t use the ‘5 Must Ask Questions’ you are missing something, and there is a good chance it will cost you not only money, but time and frustration too. Buying a motorcycle will be easier when you know what to ask.

These five questions are not just meaningless conversation, they are meant to reveal the real condition of the motorcycle – every owner wants to get the best price possible. The goal is not to cheat them out of money, but you certainly don’t want to be stuck paying for unknown repairs. There is nothing wrong with asking, and it will be a little uncomfortable at first, but without asking you will not have an accurate used motorcycle evaluation.

Question 1: Why are you selling? Watch the seller’s eyes, if they make eye contact, they are probably telling the truth, if not, probably not. Common reasons for selling include getting a bigger motorcycle, they need the money, or they don’t ride it enough.

Question 2: Is there anything wrong with the motorcycle? Again, watch the eyes. Do an inspection, bring a friend who knows bikes, or ask to take it to a mechanic, you will be sorry if you don’t.

Question 3: Has it been dropped or wrecked? It is clear by looking at the motorcycle, but look close as touch up paint works very well. This is one question that is VITAL to your used motorcycle evaluation.

Question 4: When was the last time the oil was changed? –or– When was the last service? Oil should be changed every 5k miles or less or every six months for cruisers and street bikes, dirt bikes every 2-4 rides or 200 miles or so, and dual sports should be changed like a dirt bike (off-road) or a street bike (road use) depending on riding conditions.

Question 5: How long have you owned the bike? Watch the eyes. If they are the original owner they will most likely have story after story, along with a deep appreciation for their ‘new’ motorcycle. If not, dig a little deeper – you might even be able to contact prior owners, never a bad idea.

This is a starting point when conducting your used motorcycle evaluation, don’t limit yourself to these questions, but don’t miss any of these or else! If possible, practice the process of asking questions with a bike you have no intention of buying or with a friend, it will help you become more comfortable with yourself and the seller when negotiating. Finally, your used motorcycle evaluation should have a purpose – don’t just ‘see what happens’, you will regret it, guaranteed.

Street Talk

Excellent article. I might add i more thing you must know about the bike. If you mentioned this item in another article, my apologies. Only trying to help. Make sure the seller has clear title. Title issues can be a nightmare. Course if you are buying a parts bike or a track bike, the title is still important, but not a deal breaker.

  about 1 decade ago
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