Whether you are buying your first bike or just
in the market for a new one because now is the right time, you want to
make sure that you cover all bases before making a deal. A thorough,
top-down inspection of the bike is essential to smart buying. In this
concise article, we are going to show you exactly what to do to go about
a detailed inspection of a motorcycle.
Check the condition
of the drive chain and sprocket. The chain should have around 3/4 inches
of give (up and down) and the teeth of the sprocket should not show
obvious damage or wear. Try to wiggle the chain on the side of the
sprocket. There should be minimal movement. A sporcket should last a
very long time, keep that in mind if you spot a severely work on as that
indicates a very old sprocket or a poor maintenance schedule.
tires are always a plus. As a note on tire inspection, daily drivers
will often have more wear in the middle on the tread, as would happen on
the highway. If there is more wear at the edge of the tread you can bet
that the bike has been taken on the racetrack. This will give you a
feel as to the history of the motorcycle at hand.
seat on the bike and check the condition of the brake and clutch
levers, bar-end weights, straightness of the bars and instrument
cluster. You want to look for anything that would be signs of an
accident or drop as that will instantly drop money off of the price.
More signs of this could be scratched engine cases, foot pegs or exhaust
While checking the forks, run a fingernail
across the brake rotors, feeling for uneven wear or grooving. Look into
the brake caliper to see how much of the pads are left. If the wheels
have spokes, check the overall condition of the individual spokes.
If it has one, put the bike on it’s center stand. Turn the bars side to side. Feel for any roughness in the steering head.
inspecting the frame, check for any dents kinks or visible damage to
the frame. If there is, walk away. Riding a motorcycle with a damaged
frame is extremely dangerous, plain and simple.
Open the fuel tank and check for obvious signs of rust or corrosion using your flashlight (HAZARD:not a match or lighter)
at the brake fluid level. This is usually on top of handlebars, in an
enclosure with a clear window. With the engine running, pull hard on the
front brakes level and release while watching the fluid level. It
should fall and rise. It should rise quickly once the brake is released.