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5 Key Areas to Check on When Buying a Used Motorcycle.

Updated on November 2, 2017

The process of buying a used motorcycle can be a difficult one especially if you don’t know what to check on. Unless you are survey enough, the salesperson may end up convincing you to buy something that doesn’t fit your lifestyle, is out of your budgetary constraints or even has some hidden problems.

However, doing some background checks can save the trouble and even help you unravel a gem on a fair price. Herein is a handy checklist you should get right before penning a deal to purchase that motorcycle on offer.


Where to begin It’s paramount to draw up a list of areas to check on and familiarize yourself with the same. It gives you room to do background research and, if possible, find an experienced hand to check on the motorbike.

The 5 Pain Points to Check on Before Buying a Used Motorbike

Rust on the inside of fuel tank
Rusting is often caused by air and moisture that enters the fuel if the seal is loose. Rust in the fuel tank can also be caused by use of dirtied or contaminated fuel. When the rust flakes, the small bits end up clogging the fuel filters and the carburetor.So, always peek inside the fuel tank and keenly search for any signs of rust.

Vacuum leaks

If air doesn’t pass a motorcycle’s carburetor, it isn’t mixed up with oil for ignition.

Such air causes a motorcycle to run lean and this leads to decreased engine throttle response and performance.To ascertain that your motorcycle of envy doesn’t have such issues, ensure the intake boots aren’t cracked or worn out. You can also set the engine into idling mode then splash some water on the intake boots. If the idle RPMs vary, know for sure that that particular motorcycle has a vacuum leak.

Clogged carburetor Over time, parts of the carburetor gets clogged up or worn out. This occurs especially if the previous owner often used stale fuel or constantly run the engine on low fuel. A clear indicator of clogged carburetor is that the engine will only run when the choke is on.

Leakage in fork oil seals Are there oils on the braking components of the motorbike you are trying to buy? If so, the motorcycle certainly has a leaking fork oil seals. Such leakage makes the breaks inefficient and also affects the functionality of the front suspensions.

Originality of the fairings

Basically, motorcycle fairings are those fiberglass or plastic shells that are fitted on the front half of the bike. Motorcycles feature either rear fairing, a front fairing, or a belly fairing.They help minimize air drag, conceal the mechanical parts of the motorcycle and also act as a protective guard against airborne hazards. Besides this, the fairings make it easy to use taller gearing thus improving engine life.Owing to their high pricing and importance, many sellers often go for stylistic add ons just to make the bikes look spectacular in the eyes of the buyer.

If you fall for their plans, you end up paying a higher amount for fairings that won’t last once you’ve bought the motorbike.

How to tell if fairings are original or market copycats

A big sign that fairings are an aftermarket is that they do not usually tightly on the motorbike. This can be dangerous as they won’t handle air drag effectively.Another telltale indicator of aftermarket fairings are if the fairings are of different color from that of the motorbike.

Even if they are of the same color, they may differ in shades.

Parting shot

If you do due diligence, you can end up buying a great motorbike on fair price. Of course, you must know the areas to check on to ensure that the motorcycle on offer is, indeed, worth investing in. This guide is an invaluable tool in your journey to buying a motorcycle that is free of issues that can drain your wallet.


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