Tips for buying a second-hand bike!

Of course, purchasing a used bike will husband your resources compared to a new model. However, if not done cautiously, you might easily end up with scrap. For a beginner, I recommend visiting a local dealer or renowned motorcycle importers who are vetted for ensuring the motorcycles are in decent conditions through certified mechanics. Otherwise, for an old buddy in the industry, there would be no harm in going private. While your first reaction would be to look at the overall appearance, a bike’s audit requires you to go deeper. With a closer look and keen eye, here’s are some tips you should never miss amidst your inspection (PS: take your sweet time):


I’ve had my experience in buying a few used bikes and what I always see fit, to begin with, is the paperwork. After all, there’s no need to go all mechanical only to be put off by the motorcycle’s raggedy history. Performing a search on the bike’s VPN tells you all you need to know about its history. From the title to any major repairs or significant recalls. 

Inspect for damage

Carefully look for visible scratches, dents, or dings. For a hawked eye, it would be pretty easy to differentiate a nice wash for the show from a well-groomed two-wheeler. Check the bar ends, footpegs, the levers, and even pop the seat for deeper inspection. In there, check the wiring that leads up to the battery, if there’s any electrical tape or a whole tangle of one colored wire, then your sixth sense should start tingling. 

Proceed to the exhaust. Bluish coloring on the metal is an indication of overheating. 


An oddly low mileage indicates that the speedometer might have been replaced. Your bike needs to show a significant number of miles on the odometer.

Engine and oil

Normally, I prefer inspecting when the bike’s cold. This way you have a greater chance of spotting any starting problems. It is therefore crucial to clear on this with your seller and confirm it’s ice-cold once you’re on the ground. Start the engine and listen if it knocks or rattles. This can be root for a huge problem or just a bolt-on the loose. Ha!

While checking oil levels, pull out the dipstick, and check the oil color as well. any leaking would also be visible underneath the bike. 

Tires inspection

Check for alignment and balancing issues which are commonly indicated by uneven wearing of the rubber. 

Give it a test-ride

If you’re intrigued by what you see, there’s no harm in requesting a test-ride. I see no reason for your private dealer to decline on this. Otherwise, if they do, they might be a little skittish.