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buying used bike, opinions

  #1  
Old 06-03-2009, 03:59 PM
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Hello, I am taking the DMV motorcycle in July and will be in the market for a used motorcycle afterwards. I've looked at Craigs List and have found many bikes that I would be interested in buying. However, being I am new to motorcycles, I am not sure what to look for when buying a used bike. I would hate to spend a couple grand on something and then find out it needs repairs.. or worst case..be riding it and have it malfunction. I've heard that many people abuse their bikes and then sell them.. any opinions are welcome. Thank You!
 
  #2  
Old 06-03-2009, 04:36 PM
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Honestly- if you get something for a couple of grand and it's not a 250, it's going to need some work. May be just general wear and tear but, example: my 02 f4i cost me 3k. I'll end up putting another thousand into it just doing things like grips, mirrors, paint, tires, chain/sprockets, oil change, etc. It was a pretty well cared for bike mechanically, it's just time to do stuff.

*always* go see the bike in person. You can tell a fair amount about the condition of a bike just by seeing it, even before you turn it on. Do the fairings fit well? Is the chain clean? Is there rust/dents anywhere? Anything obviously replaced, for bad or good?

If you don't feel comfortable enough taking it for a test drive, have a friend who's more experienced come along. Check out the brakes, the throttle, how's the engine sound- boggy or does it purr steadily?

Also, always make sure the seller has title in hand and it's clean. When I was looking for a bike, we showed up once and the bike was- I kid you not- in a pawn shop. Seller didn't even have the title. If something sounds too good to be true for the price, it probably is.

If you're really concerned, you can ask to have the bike checked out by a mechanic; you won't be able to do that without cash in hand (most people won't let you test drive without cash in hand either) but it could put your mind at ease if you don't have someone along to tell you what's up.

And finally: don't settle Don't buy the first pretty bike just because, make sure it's the right one. When you find the right one, you'll know.
 
  #3  
Old 06-03-2009, 05:06 PM
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+1 pretty much on everything Elfling just said.
 
  #4  
Old 06-03-2009, 05:17 PM
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I would say about 90% of sport bikes older then 2 years old are going to be late on oil changes and have none of the basic maintenance that is recommended. Kids just don't care.
 
  #5  
Old 06-03-2009, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RojerLockless View Post
I would say about 90% of sport bikes older then 2 years old are going to be late on oil changes and have none of the basic maintenance that is recommended. Kids just don't care.
Would this affect the reliability of the bike or does it just mean you have to pay extra to have it done yourself?
 
  #6  
Old 06-03-2009, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Elfling View Post
Honestly- if you get something for a couple of grand and it's not a 250, it's going to need some work. May be just general wear and tear but, example: my 02 f4i cost me 3k. I'll end up putting another thousand into it just doing things like grips, mirrors, paint, tires, chain/sprockets, oil change, etc. It was a pretty well cared for bike mechanically, it's just time to do stuff.

*always* go see the bike in person. You can tell a fair amount about the condition of a bike just by seeing it, even before you turn it on. Do the fairings fit well? Is the chain clean? Is there rust/dents anywhere? Anything obviously replaced, for bad or good?

If you don't feel comfortable enough taking it for a test drive, have a friend who's more experienced come along. Check out the brakes, the throttle, how's the engine sound- boggy or does it purr steadily?

Also, always make sure the seller has title in hand and it's clean. When I was looking for a bike, we showed up once and the bike was- I kid you not- in a pawn shop. Seller didn't even have the title. If something sounds too good to be true for the price, it probably is.

If you're really concerned, you can ask to have the bike checked out by a mechanic; you won't be able to do that without cash in hand (most people won't let you test drive without cash in hand either) but it could put your mind at ease if you don't have someone along to tell you what's up.

And finally: don't settle Don't buy the first pretty bike just because, make sure it's the right one. When you find the right one, you'll know.
I'll second that +1.

I took a good friend of mine with me when I got mine (he actually had an F4i as his first bike, now has a 954RR), and he thoroughly looked it over.

It's also good to set aside some money for basic repairs, like stated above, mostly tires, brakes, and other misc. things that may arise.
 
  #7  
Old 06-03-2009, 11:27 PM
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The only thing I think I can add: Make sure it's the one you want. Maybe not the first, or the second. But I spent hours searching, came across a local dealer, went to check it out. Saw a bike in the back store room, and was wowed. Went home, kept searching, but my mind kept wandering back. I paid about 100 dollars more than I should have. Psh. But really, you want to be happy. I regret selling my first car. Hours on end I put into it, only to sell it at a loss.
 
  #8  
Old 06-04-2009, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Zero1080 View Post
The only thing I think I can add: Make sure it's the one you want. Maybe not the first, or the second. But I spent hours searching, came across a local dealer, went to check it out. Saw a bike in the back store room, and was wowed. Went home, kept searching, but my mind kept wandering back. I paid about 100 dollars more than I should have. Psh. But really, you want to be happy. I regret selling my first car. Hours on end I put into it, only to sell it at a loss.
Thanks! i'm looking at trying to get a 05-06 f4i Thanks
 
  #9  
Old 06-08-2009, 03:34 PM
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Biggest thing. try to find one that hasn't been modded. try to find one as close to stock as you can. I bought my '04 F4i, only had 3300 miles and the only thing that was put on it was an undertail kit, and no-cut frame sliders.

well the guy didnt install the no cuts correctly and one was sitting on the fairing and rubbed the paint off. Then i took the rear tail off because all the connections were just spliced in with the platic crimp on pieces. ended up going back through and soldering all the connections for piece of mind. that and to declutter the rats nest of wires.

Bad part about add ons. you just really never know how people like to put them on. some take their time and do it right and make it look good, while others slap them on so theyre on.
 
  #10  
Old 06-09-2009, 05:49 PM
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Thanks everyone... i went to look at a new 2008 zzr600 today at a dealership, but I guess it would be wiser to get a used bike for around 4k or something
 

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