Is a used motorcycle purchase in your future?

Motorcycle riding on the open road

Forewarned is forearmed—it’s an old cliché, but it really fits the process of shopping for a used motorcycle. First, determine the type of used motorcycle you want to buy—and, if you have a particular year, make, and model in mind, even better. Next, cast a wide search net to see what’s currently available on the market. Once you’ve narrowed your search to one or two brands or models, do a deep dive to discover what it’s like to own one. Look for an owners manuals, online owners’ forum where you can learn from the experiences of current cycle owners, including common service issues, popular upgrades/modifications, and rider satisfaction or complaints & reviews. Private sellers versus dealers You can expect to pay more for a used motorcycle from a dealership than you might when buying from a private seller. On the plus side, dealers will likely: Buying a used bike from a dealer is probably your low effort, low risk, and savings value path. Motorcycle dealers are in the business for the long run and have a reputation and repeat business to look after. Maintenance history The longevity of a motorcycle is heavily dependent on the timely performance of routine motorcycle maintenance and the quality of that service work and materials. You should already be well versed on the maintenance requirements and schedule of this motorcycle. Feel free to ask questions that will reveal how the current owner has managed maintenance. Most motorcyclists are very fond of their motorcycles and it will show by how they discuss maintenance. In an ideal situation, they’ll provide a service record with invoices from a quality motorcycle shop. Some motorcycle riders are dedicated to DIY upkeep; this can be a real plus, as skilled owners can take the time to do great work on their machine. However, if you know more about maintaining their motorcycle than they do, this is a cause for concern. In any case, it’s time to perform a motorcycle inspection and take note if their maintenance claims check out. 'Til next time, Ride Safe! 


  • Handlebars and Grips 
  • Foot Pegs and lean feelers
  • Wheels/Tires: Are they ready for riding? 
  • Brakes 
  • Clutch 
  • Exhaust system 
  • Frame 
  • Engine 
  • Drive Chain, Sprocket & Belt 
  • Battery 
  • Electrical 
  • Wiring 
  • Cleanliness 
  • Cold Start
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