Motorcycles represent freedom. There is something about sitting astride one while you race down an open road that gives you a stronger sense of life than you can ever hope to get from driving a car. The feel of the wind whipping in your face and the sound of the engine growling is a great way to temporarily escape from your problems. The most cost effective way to make sure that you can capture that feeling of freedom whenever you want is by purchasing a good quality used motorcycle. Used motorcycles are going to be less expensive than brand new bikes, and if the previous owner has taken care of the bike, you will be able to get many, many years of enjoyment out of it. Here are some tips that will help ensure that you get the best possible bike for your money.
Before You Start to Look
You really need to put some time and effort into researching the different types of motorcycles. Different designs are meant for different purposes. If you are planning on using your bike to go on long trips you are not going to want to find one that is designed for short runs around town. The same is true for riding on the road as opposed to using your bike on two-tracks through the woods. There is no point in you getting a bike that is not designed to suit your needs.
You also need to be honest with yourself about your experience when it comes to handling a motorcycle. If you are inexperienced, you are going to want to look for style of motorcycle that has a reputation for being able to take a few hard knocks and still keep going. The more experienced you are, the less likely you will be to either crash or drop you bike. If you are a smaller person, you are going to want to look for a smaller used motorcycle that you will be able to handle easily. The bigger the bike is, the harder it is going to be for you to manage. Smaller bikes are going to be a lot easier for you to pick up if they fall down.
Spend some time reading up on the market value of used motorcycles. The better your understanding of what the market is, the easier it will be for you to make an informed decision when it comes time to negotiate and purchase. Issues like the bikes body condition will have an impact on how much the bike is worth. Keep in mind that there is such a thing as too good a price. If someone is trying to sell their used motorcycle for a price that is a great deal lower than the suggested market value, you should ask a lot of questions. Sometimes the low price is because the person needs the cash for some reason and is hoping to make a really quick sale, other times the low price is because there is something seriously wrong with the bike that is not immediately apparent and the seller is hoping to get rid of the bike quickly before anyone discovers the problem.
Things to Consider
If you are purchasing the used motorcycle from a dealer, getting background information about the bike can sometimes be difficult. If you are dealing with a private seller you should come prepared with a list of questions when you come to look at the bike. You are going to want to know if they are the bike’s original owner, why they are selling the bike, and what they used the bike for. You should also ask if they ever had any mechanical problems with the bike. If you are lucky, the seller will be able to provide you with a record of all the maintenance work they have had done on the bike.
Most sellers are going to be reluctant to let you take the bike home for a trial period, but you should ask if you can bring the bike to your mechanic and have them look over the bike and make sure that it is in good running order. You will be surprised to find how many sellers are more than happy to let you do this, though you should not be surprised if they ask you to sign a contract that stipulates that you will purchase the bike if anything happens on the way to or from the mechanic. If bringing it to the shop is not an option, you should try to find a mechanically minded friend who is willing to check out the bike and help you determine if the bike is mechanically sound.
Purchasing a used motorcycle not be an impulse decision. Give yourself plenty of time to look at multiple bikes and make sure you only finalize the purchase if you are really comfortable with the bike you are purchasing.