Buying a used bike?
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  1. #1
    Where Am I ?
    San Francisco, CA

    Buying a used bike?

    As a beginner, I know alot of you recommend buying used first but I don't want to be scammed into purchasing something that isn't what it seems.

    This article had alot of good tips but wanted to know if there are any specific indicators to be on the look out for?

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  3. #2
    Still crazy after all these years

    My Bike(s)
    Blue Suzuki GSX 1400 (2003)
    Schliengen, Germany (47.754543, 7.631989)
    Old school common sense -- if the price seems "too good to be true," it is. A newer model bike (especially a race replica being offered for an unbeatable price is probably not what it seems. Look for classic warning signs that it may have been involved in a crash, then thrown back together (check the welds on the frame, look for signs that the forks, levers, pedals or plastics have been repaired or replaced, etc. If the seller refuses to let you have the bike inspected by a mechanic of YOUR choice (not his or her recommendation), then walk away. Quickly.

    You should start with something small and used. Don't expect it to be in perfect shape (cosmetically). A dent or scratch won't cause your d--k to fall off. As long as it is mechanically sound - it starts easily, idles smoothly, rolls straight and stops when you hit the brakes, then it is a good beginner bike. Make sure the rubber is newer - no cracks, enough profile on the tread, etc. No leaks (oil, fluids, etc).

    As the article said, check the market price of similar bikes, so you know what you can afford. Don't blow every cent on the bike - save some money for safety gear (helmet, gloves, boots, etc.) and a new rider safety course (MSF or similar).

    Keep in mind that you are buying your first bike, not your last one. Leave your ego at home and use your brain.

    There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Pizza is not safe around me. - Me

  4. #3
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Can-AM Spyder
    Ocala, FL
    Do your homework as far as what other similar bikes are selling for......and/or what the "blue books" say it should be worth.

    Ask point blank things like: Has it ever been wrecked ?
    Does it have any non-stock modifications ?
    Are there any known problems outstanding ?

    If ANY of those answers is YES or the answer appears evasive or misleading......walk away.

    A seller who says:"It only needs.......anything." is either short sighted (stupid) or is being evasive or dishonest.
    If it really needs something simple, there is no good reason not to take care of it before the sale.

    Finally, if you still are nervous get it to a shop for an inspection with written report.
    Offer to pay half the cost, whether you end up buying it or not; and whoever ends up with the bike also gets to keep the report.

    But in the end, nothing will guarantee that you won't have problems.
    All you can do is minimize the odds.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

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  6. #4
    I have had great luck buying used bikes actually. Depending on the year and model you want, you can save some serious money by buying 2-3 years old.

    I think Inspiron and Easy Rider have some good points, especially about saving money for gear and taking the bike to a dealership for a once over. You don't want to spend everything you have on the bike and not be able to afford a jacket, boot, gloves, etc. And I have done exactly what Easy Rider is saying to do with the inspection report. A buddy was buying an older bike, 2002, with 22k miles on it and had it taken in. We ended up getting it, but it was nice for the reassurance.

    I would also add to keep an eye out for bikes with low miles. You can definitely find used bikes with crazy low miles, just be patient and something will come up. There is always someone who has a bike that is "taking up too much space" or "didn't end up riding it as much as I wanted" looking to sell it at a discount.

    Just my two cents. I hope you find (probably already found) a nice bike to ride.


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