Gear up for the Best Deal on a Used Bike

Few experiences can compare to feeling the heart-jerking rumble of an engine and the wind whipping against your skin as you lean into the curves of an open road. Hanging out the window of a power-focused pickup truck isn’t the ideal way to get such a thrill, but a motorcycle happens to fit the bill perfectly. Though running out to buy a brand-new model with rave user reviews is an enticing thought, it’s a bit out of price range for many.

Plenty of used motorcycles are out there on the market, just waiting for new owners to add to their lists of adventures. As is the case with any vehicle, knowing what to look for in a used bike can help make the experience all the sweeter.

Price is Secondary

Saving money is the main purpose behind going the used route, but price shouldn’t be your only deciding factor. Mom and dad were right all those years: if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Engine Size Matters

Chances are the smaller the engine is, the lower the price will be. Choosing from the least expensive used motorcycles among the year-range you’re interested in could mean getting less engine than you need. While a 250 or even a 750 in some models is great for smaller riders, larger individuals and those planning for passengers on a regular basis should stick to the many more powerful models available.

Be Mindful of Damage

Be sure to check for road rash on the bars, brake and clutch levers, fuel tank, fenders, pipes, kick-stand, foot rests and other areas of the bike. Serious scratches could indicate past accidents or drops, which is likely to mean more damage beneath the surface. Slightly scuffed pipes and foot rest edges may signify little more than a few nice rides down winding mountain roads on their own, but more significant damage, even if it appears to only be cosmetic, should probably be a deal-breaker.

Check for Excessive Wear

Care and regular maintenance are vital to getting the most out of a used motorcycle as pointed out at While past upkeep records aren’t likely to be readily available, bikes tend to tell their own stories. Look for signs of neglect, like loose drive chains and sprockets, overly grooved brake rotors and uneven tire wear.

Also remember dealerships are held to higher standards than individuals in the resale market. Though prices may be cheaper and stories about the bike’s history a great deal more interesting when buying from a private seller, the overall deal is likely to be more beneficial from a legitimate business. With all this in mind, head to to browse their inventory and make a trip to the showroom to check it out firsthand.

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