How To Buy A Used Motorcycle at RevZilla.com

howdy let me have your Zilla here to

talk to you today at how to buy a used

motorcycle look there's a million

different ways to sell up and you're

buying a used motorcycle hopefully at

the end of this video though you feel

confident you're not buying a total

bucket of bolts it's going to leave you

stranded on the side of the road now

we've structured this video specifically

for those of you purchasing a motorcycle

private party

so regardless whether you found your

used bike on Craigslist or on eBay or

maybe even in the classified section of

your local paper this video is for you

now that's not the only way of course to

obtain a used motorcycle you can always

wander down your local motorcycle shop

and buy a pre-loved bike from those

folks that process is a little bit

different though those bikes are almost

certain to be Road worthy and you're

probably gonna be paying a little bit

more for that privilege now that whole

process really looks a lot like buying a

new motorcycle so I would direct you to

spur G's video here it teaches you how

to buy a new motorcycle now that video

is just one in a miniseries we have

helping new riders navigate the process

of obtaining their first motorcycle so

be sure you subscribe to us so you can

catch all the videos in that series

let's get back to the used bike thing

though you've got some work to do before

you ever even leave the house evaluate

the seller and evaluate the buyer now

when I talk about evaluating the seller

I mean examine the ad of the motorcycle

you're interested in fairly carefully we

want to see at a minimum clear pictures

cogent text about the bike a good

contact number or email address for the

seller and you also want to see a bike

that's within your economic range

regardless of what a bike is actually

worth you don't want to spend your time

arguing price with an unrealistic seller

it winds up just being a total waste of

time for each of you now I also

mentioned evaluating the buyer and that

means kind of looking inside yourself

and what you expect and what you're

going to give up and what you're going

to get in return

remember motorcycle takes time they take

money and they also take effort so

perhaps you're one of those folks who

has more time than money you can sit

there and wait for the perfect cherry

motorcycle to come along you can scoop

up for a great price then again if you

tend to have a couple extra bucks per

and a hole in your wallet you may want

to actually tick them in employ them so

you get exactly the bike you want that's

in great shape all you lose a few

dollars in the bargain now of course

effort comes into play as well you can

pick up a bike if you're willing to put

some sweat equity into it especially if

it's something that needs a little bit

of TLC mechanically you can throw a

little bit of labor at it and have

yourself a motorcycle that's really

worth riding around on but again if

you're all thumbs when it comes to

mechanicals you might want to avoid that

plan now it's time to get in contact

with the seller in addition to the when

and where you'll be meeting the seller

you also need to cover some finer points

as well the first one you want to go

over is a professional inspection

anybody buying used motorcycle should

have a pro check out their bike

regardless of whether or not it's

mandatory in your state or region the

reason for this is a professional

mechanic is likely to find some safety

issues that you may miss during your own

cursory inspection of the motorcycle the

next thing you want to go through with

the seller too is requesting that they

leave the bike cold the reason is that a

bike that starts easily and runs well

with cold is likely in a very good state

of tune hearing that bike fire up easily

when it's cold should be excellent

reassurance the bikes probably in very

good shape if you ask a seller to leave

a bike holding you get there and you

touch the motor and the bike has been

warmed up you might want to proceed with

caution that could indicate a seller

it's trying to hide something from you

the final thing and arguably the most

important is to make sure the bike has a

title you don't want to buy a stolen

bike that's a big problem for everybody

but most especially you now we found a

great specimen let's go take a ride and

check this bike out yep I drove my truck

because we might be buying a new

motorcycle and you can't load a new

motorcycle into the bed of another

motorcycle now if you look around we're

here in suburbia because most used bike

inspections you're going to take place

somewhere like a driveway now I'm not

buying a motorcycle I have plenty of

motorcycles however my colleague Chris

has been looking for his first bike and

he's been getting lots and lots of

advice from Spurs and I Chris it's time

to get in the game hey Pat hey Chris

how's it going pretty good Mike looks

really good yeah it'll be a shame to see

her go

is that the title you mind if I take a

look absolutely should be up to snuff

whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo this is actually a

really important part of the process

notice that Chris image is verifying the

title exist but instead he's actually

going to check to make sure the numbers

on the title exactly match the numbers

on the headstock of the motorcycle I

don't really care if the seller is the

Pope the Pope better have clean paper

when you consider how easy it is to come

by beginner motorcycles it doesn't make

sense to saddle yourself with somebody

else's titling

let's return to this high-stakes drop

looks like everything checks out

let me take in this bike yeah knock

yourself out can you fire it up for me

absolutely you might want to cover your

ears she's loud one yeah get out yeah

yeah yeah turn this noisemaker off I got

a little surprise for all you out there

in video land we mechanical types we're

great with wrenches but not so much with

crystal balls we can't really take apart

the entire motorcycle to determine how

the internals are so a lot of times

we're using external clues to figure out

how the bike may have been taken care of

generally speaking fluids should be

inside the motorcycle if you see any

type of drips or pooling fluid that's

usually not a very good thing you may

also see seeps too seeps aren't as

aggressive as leaks but you'll typically

see them manifested by oil or grease

kind of mixed in with Road dirt it turns

into a brownish goop that's no good now

when you're underneath the motorcycle

checking things out you also want to pay

attention for the exact opposite a

motorcycle that's too clean underneath

that may be indicative of a seller who's

trying to cover something up and while

we're on the topic of fluids make sure

you check out quantity and quality as

well low engine oil that's a really big


dark brake fluid that may indicate an

owner who is stingy on the service

dollars proceed with caution now the

next big item you want to cover is crash

damage there can be telltale signs all

over a bike that it's been down before

there's all sorts of things you can look

for I'm talking about things like curled

brake levers bent shift levers different

color parts you want to examine the

motorcycle for rash on places that you

wouldn't expect to see it mirrors are

perhaps side plastics and that shouldn't

necessarily preclude you from buying the

motorcycle but still you should know

that if you're uncomfortable assessing

crash damage buying a bike that's been

heavily crashed can be a really

expensive proposition now having said

this you also want to talk to the owner

about the crash if they're forthright

about the fact that bike has been down

and they're honest about the repairs

they made or didn't make that's usually

not too big a deal however if they try

to cover up the fact the bike has been

down before they may be being untruthful

about other items on the motorcycle once

you've got the big stuff vetted out on

the bike it's time to check out some of

the smaller detail items stick your nose

into the gas tank see if it's all rusty

in there similarly you can look at the

paint on the motorcycle if you see deep

glossy paint that's been well waxed

that's usually a good sign you can also

check out the seat covers

well if that's in good shape odds are

excellent the owner did their best to

keep the bike protected from the

elements another item you might want to

check out as well is the tires tires can

give you a lot of information about the

bike if you see a match set on there

odds are pretty good that the seller

didn't mind spending bucks on the

motorcycle similarly also examine the

tread life and condition on there it

turns out the tires cost a couple of

bucks if you're buying your first bike

and you have to immediately slam a set

of skins on it you may be spending more

than you initially planned on generally

speaking if you're paying careful

attention outside of the bike you'll get

a good idea for what's going on on the

inside what voice sounds and looks great

when was the last time you had it

serviced quite recently I actually keep

all the receipts in this folder and

there's a shop manual - everybody's bike

Oh excellent why are you selling the

bike I recently bought a new one

congratulations oh no was the last time

you took this one out I actually wrote

it into work last week hey sorry about

that so it might seem like Kris is just

being Chatty Cathy right now really

pestering Pat about his bike what he's

actually doing politely interrogating

him he's trying to find out a little bit

more about the bike by keeping Pat

talking about it you should be doing the

same thing as the seller why they're

getting rid of the bike or why they

bought it in the first place and maybe

talked into but some of the trips they

took long or particularly memorable

rides anything to get them going about

the motorcycle so you can tease a little

bit of information out about the

motorcycle you can also use non-verbal

clues too does the place look like a

motorcycle junkyard that's probably not

a good thing if you remember Pat

mentioned that he had picked up a new


it would seem reasonable then that he'd

probably be selling a learner bike

thereafter now this is also a great time

when you should probably be asking about

service records service manuals or my

favorite OAM or aftermarket parts

remember Pat's not going to need them

anymore he's probably willing to let

them go for a song now in a bit of

terrible foreshadowing I bet we have a

test drive coming hey I really like this

bike you mind if I take it for a spin I

don't know what if you drop it or what

if you run off I'd rather you didn't

FairPoint I've got 2,500 bucks if I

wreck it

consider the bike bought seems fair give

a helmet sure do


all right while Chris is pulling that

lid onto his melon

let's talk test drive for just a second

now if you have a license and you're

comfortable jumping onto somebody else's

motorcycle there's absolutely no reason

you can't see the test-drive yourself

however if you're uncomfortable

mechanically an apt or perhaps

unlicensed you may want to strongly

consider bringing along a more

experienced motorcyclist with you to

stand in your place for the test drive

now one of the other things to talk

about too is the fact that as you just

saw some sellers are a little bit

reticent to let their pride and joy go

rolling down the road with a complete

stranger on top so one good way to

encourage the seller to give you a test

drive is to negotiate the price of the

motorcycle and then put the cash into

their hand then you can take your test

ride and you know it can be contingent

upon the test ride as to whether or not

you're to buy the motorcycle

of course tradition dictates that if you

put the bike down you're buying the bike

whether you like it or not at this point

it's time for a safety check now this

isn't going to be the same type of check

you've been doing to make sure the bike

is in mechanically good shape

what you're doing instead now is making

sure the bike is actually safe to ride

so some of these things you may have

actually covered now in your MSF class

you may have heard something like the

acronym he clocks

this stands for tires controls lighting

oil chassis and stands these are the

basic things that you want to check

before you get onto a strange bike you

should make a habit of doing this too

because this isn't just when you're

buying a bike this is really when you

jump on any unfamiliar motorcycle and I

probably shouldn't have to say it but I

will anyway you want to pay as little as

you can for your motorcycle you're

likely to want to upgrade your bike or

perhaps replace something after you drop

it once or twice and having a couple

bucks in the bank can make that an easy

process I love it let's do some

paperwork great pleasure doing business

with you I'm gonna grab some tie-down

now once the deal is done you want to

cross some T's and dot some eyes and

that begins with making sure you get the

paperwork knocked out in just about all

cases the seller is going to need to

sign the title over and in many places

you're going to need a bill of sale as

well now there are some states that

require some other stuff too like a

notary signature perhaps you want to

familiarize yourself with your state's

requirements before you ever head out to

check out a used motorcycle now the

final piece of the puzzle here is going

to be getting this motorcycle home now

in a lot of places it's not legal to

just jump on a bike you just purchased

and even if it is legal

might not want to do it especially if

you are unlicensed you may want to list

the help of a friend who happens to have

a truck alternatively - you can also see

if the seller is willing to work with

you and how is the motorcycle for a

while until both you and the bike are

legal don't forget to again - leave some

money in reserve for what I would call

unforeseen expenses a lot of people

forget that motorcycle typically have

sales tax when they're transferred even

when they're used and again you may wind

up needing parts or fluid changes and

don't forget about that all-important

professional mechanics inspections just

in case it wasn't obvious to me

absolutely awful acting that transaction

was staged

be assured that the real deal will look

very very similar now if you're wanting

a little bit more education head on over

to common trip got a couple articles it

should be pretty helpful including some

tips on haggling as well as an article

on how to make sure the bike you're

buying isn't stolen they don't forget to

this video is just one in a miniseries

talking about how to buy your first

motorcycle so check out those other

videos and subscribe to us at RevZilla

coms can catch all our content as we're

rolling it out I'm living I'm out of