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How to Buy a Used Motorcycle

Find The bike

Kijiji, Craigslist, Classified,Facebook Etc.

Clear pictures: ask, is that the bike in the picture? Do you have a picture of the other side?Good description

Ad language: be wary about language like Phat tires, the wife made me sell, clearing out, youre bike, sikkest bike, mintest bike in town

Decent price point

Shop around

The inspector Kit (what to bring)




Pressure gauge

Test Strips

Helmet & riding gear

Connect and check

Contact Seller

Mechanical Inspection

Owners and registration (comparison)

Set up meetingLeave bike cold: watch warning lights, ensure it starts easy, listen for noises as it warms up, warm up all the way

Verify Title

Check that Vin # matches

Check license name against title name

No title, mismatched documents = take no excuses

Asses Bike

Fluid leaks/seeps (drips/pooling)

Fluid quality (oil, coolant, brake)

Fluid quantity (oil, coolant, brake)

A bike that is too clean underneath

Lever ball (crash damage)

Bar Ends



Gas tank condition

Paint condition (well-waxed shinny is best)

Seat condition (will tell you if it was protected against the elements)

Tyres condition (this will tell you the type of rider and how the bike was treated) Burnouts? Track days?

Brand new tyres?

Different colour parts

Chain condition/ slack

 Rust for hard to see places

Check voltage (alternator)

Battery Wires

The suspension (leaks, alignment, bents)

The clutch should be smooth & easy gearing

Ask, ask, ask… keep them talking

When was its last service (service records, receipts, etc.)

Why are you selling the bike?

When did you last ride this bike?

Last Sticker (a good indication of when the bike was last on the road)

Ask for manuals

Have OEM parts

Ask about where you rode your bike: trips, etc.

Do you have any other spare parts?

Test Ride - No Ride= No Buy

Assess your abilities

Bring a rider friend

Negotiate price

Leave damage deposit (if seller prefer/ brake it you buy it)

Safety check (tyres, controls, lighting, oil and chassis)

Take ten deep breaths and relax… write on a piece of paper (cellphone) your maximum.

Do not go over that maximum; plenty of fish in the sea

Brake check (pulsating, grinding, slippage)

Smell for burning

Hear for clicking, weird noises

Close the deal

Title signed (give back the plate portion)In Ontario, you require a dated & signed bill of sale (you will pay taxes on the price stated on the bill of sale)

Transfer it to your name


Transportation home

Safety certification (certification)

Get her going

Buy your helmet and gear $$Extra parts $$Maintenance $Storage $Unforeseen expenses $The bike needs what? $$$$$$$

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