What to Look for When Buying a Used Motorcycle

2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Planning to buy a used Harley-Davidson near Twin Falls, ID? With used bikes, what you see isn’t always what you get. So, how can you be sure that you’re getting a good deal? Before you seal the deal on a pre-owned bike, you just need to know what to look for!

In this guide from Grand Teton Harley-Davidson, we offer our tips on finding high-quality used motorcycles for sale in the Boise, ID area, what to look for when buying a used motorcycle, and how to assess the overall condition and performance components of a used bike—so that you can buy with confidence. Check it out below, and be sure to follow up with our team if you have any fighter questions.

Research Used Motorcycles for Sale Near You

Before we dive into what to look for when buying a used motorcycle, let’s take a step back. If you want to be sure that a used bike is in good condition, you’ll also need to consider where to look! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Just because you buy a used motorcycle within your budget doesn’t mean it’s a smart purchase. Private sellers don’t need to verify that a bike isn’t going to require major service or maintenance in the near future.
  • Research motorcycle makes, models, and types to be sure that you’re buying a used bike that reflects your preferred riding style. If you’ll be riding mainly on busy roads in Logan, UT, a light and maneuverable model like the Street Glide® is a sensible choice. For long hours on the road, you may want a touring bike with plush seating and room for luggage.
  • Once you’ve decided on the right bike type, research specific models. Then, find reviews from multiple sources for each bike.
  • Finally, decide where to buy a used motorcycle. You may be able to get a lower price from a private seller, but you’ll also have far fewer options than you would at a dealership.
  • That said, many dealerships offer carefully-inspected used bikes priced under 10k. In addition, dealerships offer benefits like in-house financing, warranty, consumer protections, incentives, and more.

How to Assess Used Motorcycle Condition

Especially if you buy a used motorcycle from a private seller, it’s important to check the condition of the bike so that you can be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. When it comes to mechanical condition, here’s what to look for when buying a used motorcycle:

  • Windshield — Properly mounted, no cracks or glazing
  • Battery — Starts the engine without strain
  • Tires — Plenty of tread, no signs of dry rot
  • Wheels — No dents, no wobble when you spin the wheel. Snug, straight spokes
  • Fuel tank — Good overall condition, no paint chips
  • Fenders and side cover — Few scratches and dents, no broken side-cover tabs
  • Seat — No tears, missing trim, or collapsed foam
  • Paint and chrome — No repaired body areas, good general condition. Shiny and rust-free chrome
  • Saddlebags — No signs of damage on hard bags, no tearing or abrasion on soft bags

How to Check Used Bike Performance Components

Used motorcycles for sale should also be checked for issues with the engine, transmission, and clutch. To assess the transmission, ask to take the bike for a road test or watch the owner run through the gears. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Engine Noise — Quiet engine with no knocks, rattles, or rumbles
  • Oil — Correct oil level, no leaks
  • Clutch — Properly adjusted, does not slip or drag during a road test
  • Ignition — Engine starts easily when cold, warms up within minutes
  • Smoke — Move on if you see heavy black or blue smoke
  • Transmission — Engages smoothly, never jumps out of gear
  • Exhaust — No exterior rust bubbles, no leaks, and no broken hardware at the cylinder head

Grand Teton Harley-Davidson: Your Go-To Dealer for Used Motorcycles for Sale Near Boise, ID 

Now is a great time to buy a used motorcycle from a renowned brand like Harley-Davidson. Now that you know what to look for when buying a used motorcycle, start your search with our extensive pre-owned inventory today! Browse our current pre-owned bike specials online, and then visit our showroom in Idaho Falls for more information.

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