Getting the Best Deal When Buying a Used Motorcycle

Posted on: 8 December 2020

Buying a used motorcycle can be a gamble because it is impossible to know how the bike was used by the previous owner. Some motorcycles cost more than others, so if you are buying used Harleys or other bikes that are highly sought after can be riskier, but there are things you can do to minimize that. 

Private Sales

If you are considering buying used Harleys or other bikes from a private seller, it is critical to look the motorcycle over very carefully before you agree on a price. Check for leaking oil under the motorcycle and look carefully at the engine and transmission cases to make sure that there are no cracks in them. 

Often leaks on motorcycles result from gaskets that have dried out over time, especially if the bike has been sitting, but the only way to be sure is to take the time to look the case over thoroughly. Use a flashlight and examine where the case parts come together and where controls like the shifter pass through them.

Ask the owner how they used the motorcycle, and if you are concerned about the history of the bike, you can buy a vehicle history report for motorcycles just like you can for cars. The report is an excellent way to tell if the bike has even had a major repair that was claimed on insurance and to see if the title is clean as well. 

Dealer Sales

Buying a used motorcycle from a dealership can offer you some peace of mind because the dealer will have service records on the motorcycle or have some history, especially if they sold it initially and then took it in as a trade later. Used Harley motorcycles often go through a complete check before the dealer resells them to determine if anything needs repairing on the motorcycle. 

Often, a dealership will sell used motorcycles in the best condition possible and may even sell them with some warranty. If you are buying used, this can be a great way to get a motorcycle that is in great shape, and the dealer will stand behind without the high price tag of a new bike. 

You may also be able to get any remaining factory warranty on a bike you buy from the dealer and a service contract if you agree to return to that dealer for all your service while you own the motorcycle. Talk to your salesman and see what is available or what they can work out for you if you buy a used motorcycle through them.