You want to buy a used motorcycle. You have made up your mind. You are going to take the plunge. You can think of nothing else.

Time for to grab you by the hand (ladies only please-men can just to help you to do this right.


There truly is a right strategy to buy a used motorcycle and I am a veteran at such transactions. 

So here we go. And by the way, this information is good regardless of the brand you are looking to purchase. Whatever used motorcycle you are looking to purchase...the strategies for proper buying are still the same.

This is me (Richard) on one of my Goldwings that I had. Sold it February 2005. What a machine. Hope you like it (the bike of Just one of my many used honda motorcycles.

Do Any Of My Motorcycle Buddies Like Country Music? Here Is A Site I Just Visited That I Enjoyed. Hope You Like It Too...Link Directly Below.

Richard's Personal Country Music Website-Enjoy

Where do you start? First off, do you know what type of used motorcycle you want to buy? Do you want a cruiser, a touring bike, a crotch rocket? Perhaps a dual purpose motorcycle that you can use on both trail and street? That is the first step in buying a used motorcycle; determine the general type of riding you are most wanting to do.

Another thing to consider. Are you a novice? An experienced rider? Physically strong or weak? A biker babe or a big guy? These are decisions that I can't make for you but it's this type of decision that will largely determine your enjoyment factor over the time that you own this motorcycle. But I will say this. Don't purchase a bike that will be physically too much for you to handle; especially if you are getting up in years and the prospect of handling that motorcycle will get more difficult each year! Also....DO NOT BE IN A RUSH!! There will always be motorcycles to buy so don't feel compelled to buy the first bike that catches your fancy.

A good way to get a feel of the types of styles of motorcycles that are available is to go visit your local Honda motorcycle dealer. However, I suggest you not buy from them. Not yet anyway. Overall, you will get a much better deal buying through the private sector than purchasing through a dealership.

TRUST ME ON THIS. This is not a negotiable point.

Ok, once your choice of style is determined, you need to find your potential motorcycle. One of your best sources is your local newspaper, and be sure to check the newspapers also of your surrounding communities. Some of my best motorcycle deals were not purchased in my home town but in nearby towns. Also, periodicals such as your local Thrifty Nickel or similar for your town and nearby towns can be good sources. You can access most newspapers and periodicals you need to read through your computer and I know you can do this or you wouldn't be here reading this article. Right?

So now you have found a few motorcycles you want to look at.

Do you know what the motorcycle is worth? What would be a good price for it?

Sources such as NADA or Kelly Blue Book have motorcycle values available to the general public; once again just a click away on your computer. And needless to say, you are not looking to pay full retail for your upcoming purchase. Any purchaser can do that.

Ok, so you have lined up several bikes that you want to see. Time to go to the next page. You now need to figure out if this is the bike you want to purchase. See ya in a minute.

Wow, we have done our homework and we know the values of the used motorcycle we plan to see. And let me please state again, these strategies work equally well when buying a used honda motorcycle or any other brand of bike for that matter. No difference.

Consider the availability of Honda Accessories or Honda parts for the used honda motorcycle you are considering. Same thought for whatever brand you are looking to buy. Vintage motorcycles are great and actually tend to hold their value much better than their modern day counterpart but sometimes parts are hard to come by when needed. So consider this in the purchase deliberation.

Let's discuss a few items while we're driving to the bike.


So we are now calmly getting out of the car to see the used honda or whatever brand motorcycle it is.

First of all, on first view, what is your first impression? Are you still interested? Is it really crappy looking and not at all to the specs that were advertised? If so, just say "thank you" and walk away. No need to waste time.

If it still looks appealing, here's what you must do. First, don't let him (her) start it yet. You are just looking. How does the upholstery and paint look? Is the paint and chrome shiny or does it have a dull lifeless (perhaps faded) look? If so, this bike has probably been sitting outside in the elements. Is the seat torn, ripped, or dryrotted? Another indication of whether it was garaged or not. Remember that anything you must do to bring the "bike up to snuff" is going to cost you money and part of the negotiating factor. Check the tires...NOT JUST THE TREAD. Is there dry rot (cracking along the sidewall). Look carefully. If there is, these are very old tires that will probably have to be replaced. A tire including installation and balancing for a large streetbike can run $150-$400 per wheel. Does it lack equipment that you might want such as a backrest for you or your passenger, luggage bags, etc. Once again, an expense that you must consider.

Are you getting a feel for this? I hope so. It's not so hard once you take the first step.

Ask the owner questions. How long have they owned the motorcycle? Why are they selling it? Ask them what maintainance has been completed: new brakes, clutch, tires....what has or hasn't been done. What needs to be done? Get a feel for the owner as well as the motorcycle. This can tell you a lot.

Ok, now some really important stuff. It's all important but this is REALLY IMPORTANT.

Motorcycles are prone to droppage and it's fairly easy to see what has transpired. Check the brake and clutch levers. Are they broken or scratched at the ends? How about the brake and shifter foot controls? Bent? There are lots of parts of motorcycles that "stick out" so to speak and these tend to break or get damaged if the bike has been down. Fiberglass parts are also a great barometer for checking if the bike has been down as it is very susceptible to scraping, cracking, and breakage.

If the bike shows obvious signs of having been laid down, once again, it's time to walk away. Because there might be unseen frame damage or fork and suspension damage that might make the bike a handful or even unsafe to ride. And look under the bike at the engine casing. Any obvious leaks or signs of leakage. Wetness? And always look for rust. Usually shows up on the chrome, engine cases, and the exhaust system. A bike with obvious telltale signs of rust should be avoided. It will eat away at exhaust systems (expensive to replace) and attack unseen systems such as brakes, etc. And don't rely on the previous owner to tell you everything. He or she wants to sell their used motorcycle as much as you want to buy one. There are some honest sellers out there but you really must rely on your own savvy.

If you're still interested, time to hear and ride the bike. Is it making obvious engine clatter? Most well kept used Hondas or any other brand for that matter will not. Is the owner telling you it just needs a "tuneup"? If that is the case, why didn't he or she just have the tuneup done before trying to sell the bike? If the bike has sat a long time without being run, low mileage means nothing as sometimes a bunch of work is required to get these bikes back into running order. Total lack of activity to a motorcycle is almost the same as abuse.

Let's assume you have heard the motorcycle and ridden it and now you still want it. GREAT!!


Always start low!! Even ridiculously low. Don't be embarassed Remember, you can always go up once you started but there is no way you're going down if you started too high. OK? And you don't know the seller's situation. He or she may really need the money for something else or they may be sick of "lookieloos" that have wasted his time up this point so he or she may be ready to unload to the first person that is for real and has the funds to purchase.

Remember the values that you started with from the nada or whatever source you used. Wholesale is great.......retail is to be avoided. Remember to throw in any factor of work that needs to be done or work or equipment that you will want to do to make the motorcycle most suitable for you.


I thank you for allowing me to be of service and I hope this was helpful to you.

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