As the weather starts to get nicer, more and more people are dusting off their dirt bikes and hitting the trails. But here’s the problem, dirt bikes are pretty expensive and costs a lot. So, a lot of people think they can’t afford a dirt bike.
If you’re one of them, I urge you to think again. You can save a lot of money by buying a used bike, and there are plenty of great bikes out there just waiting for a new home. You should consider a few things before you hand over your hard-earned money.
In this blog post, I’ll tell you what to look for when buying a used dirt bike so that you can avoid getting stuck with a lemon. Trust me – it’s worth taking the time to check out everything before making your purchase. So, let’s dive in.
22 Things To Do Before Purchasing A Used Dirt Bike
Buying a used dirt bike can be a great way to get into the sport without spending too much money. But it’s important to do your research and know what to consider before you make a purchase. Here are some tips to help you find the right bike.
1. Inspect closely
The first thing you need to do is inspect the bike. This means looking at every inch of it, from the tires to the frame to the engine. Pay close attention to any rust, damage, or wear and tear.
2. Take it for a test ride
Once you’ve inspected the bike, it’s time to take it for a spin. This will help you get a feel for how the bike handles and rides. If possible, try to find a place where you can really open it up and see how it goes. And make sure to pay attention to how the brakes feel, the clutch, and the transmission.
3. Check the fluids
Before you buy a used dirt bike, make sure to check all the fluids. This includes the oil, coolant, and Transmission fluid. These should be at the correct levels and should be clean. If they’re not, it could be a sign that the bike hasn’t been well-maintained.
4. Check for leaks
Leaks are another thing to look for. This can be anything from oil to coolant to gas. Any kind of leak is a bad sign and should be a deal-breaker.
5. Listen for strange noises
When you’re test-driving the bike, pay close attention to any strange noises it makes. This could be anything from knocking to clicking to squealing. These could be signs of serious problems and should be investigated further before you make the purchase.
6. Check the frame for cracks
While you’re inspecting the bike, make sure to check the frame for any cracks. This is especially important if the bike has been in a wreck. Even a small crack can weaken the frame and make the bike unsafe to ride.
7. Check the suspension
Another important part of the bike to check is the suspension. This includes the forks, shock absorbers, and linkage. Make sure there is no damage or wear and tear. And if possible, try to adjust the suspension to see how it feels.
8. Check the wheels and tires
The next step is to inspect the wheels and tires. Make sure they’re in good shape and that there is plenty of treads left on the tires. You should also check the spokes to make sure they’re tight and the rims for any damage.
9. Check the chain and sprockets
If the bike has a chain, make sure to check it for any damage. This includes stretch, corrosion, or missing links. The sprockets should also be checked for wear and tear.
10. Check the levers
Another vital thing to check is the brake and clutch lever. Make sure there is no slippage and bend. Ensure that these levers are adjusted correctly and that they are playing their parts smoothly. Furthermore, be sure the shifter and splines are in good working order.
11. Check the brakes
Checking the brakes is also crucial. There can be two types of brakes on a dirt bike: hydraulic and mechanical. Hydraulic brakes are the most common type, and they use fluid pressure to stop the bike. These are the easiest to maintain and usually provide the best stopping power. In most cases, you will find hydraulic brakes attached with the front wheel.
However, mechanical brakes use a cable to apply pressure to the pads, and they can be more difficult to adjust. Over time, brake pads wear down and need to be replaced. Brake fluid can also become contaminated and needs to be flushed out. If the brake system isn’t in good working condition, it can be extremely dangerous. So, be sure to check the brakes thoroughly before you buy a used dirt bike.
12. Check the throttle
The throttle is a vital part of dirt biking, and you will want to ensure that it is working properly. This includes the throttle cable, housing, and grip. No matter what kind of bike you’re looking at, worn-out or damaged throttle components pose a serious threat.
13. Ask for receipts and service records
It’s always a good idea to ask for receipts and service records. This will give you a better idea of the bike’s history and how it’s been maintained.
14. Carburetor condition
A dirty or damaged carburetor can cause all sorts of problems. Though it might not be possible to inspect the actual condition of the carb, you can usually tell by looking at the air filter. If it’s clean, that’s a good sign. But if it’s dirty or damaged, that’s a red flag.
15. Check the Exhaust
A bike’s exhaust includes the header pipe, muffler, and spark arrestor. These should all be in good condition with no cracks or damage. And the spark arrestor should be clean and free of debris.
16. Seat condition
Are the seats in good condition? If they are ripped, torn, or otherwise damaged, they will likely be uncomfortable. Additionally, damaged seats can be expensive to replace. So, this may affect the price.
17. Handlebars condition
Do not forget to look for any damage on the handlebars. This includes bends, cracks, or breaks. It takes very little damage to make handlebars unsafe, so it’s recommended that your used bike has perfect handlebars.
18. Check the cables
While you’re inspecting the bike, make sure to check all the cables. This includes the clutch, front brake, and rear brake cables. Verify that they are all in good condition and that there are no damages.
19. Check the documents
Make sure you check the bike’s documents thoroughly. This includes the title and registration. You’ll also want to make sure that the VIN number on the bike matches the one on the documents.
20. Dimension of the bike
Some bikes are taller or shorter than others, and this can affect how comfortable you are when riding. So, you need to consider the dimensions of the bike before purchasing it. That means you should check the height, width, and length of the bike to make sure it is a good fit for you.
21. Weight of the bike
The weight of the bike is another important factor to consider, especially if you are planning on doing any off-roading. A heavier bike can be more difficult to maneuver, and it may also put more strain on your body. However, a lighter bike may not be as durable, so it is important to find a balance.
22. Check bike running hours
Last but not least, you should ask the seller how many hours the bike has been ridden. You can also check bike hours if the bike comes with a built-in hour meter. Don’t worry if the bike has a lot of hours, as long as it’s been properly maintained.
Two-stroke dirt bikes tend to last longer than four-strokes. So, keep that in mind as well. However, if the engine is rebuilt according to the recommended intervals, having a four-stroke bike with lots of hours could be a good alternative. So, ask the seller if the bike has been rebuilt, and if so, when.
Helpful Negotiation tips while buying a used dirt bike
While buying a used dirt bike, it’s important to remember that you are not buying a new dirt bike off the showroom floor. So, negotiating well is the key to getting the best deal. There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when negotiating with a seller to make sure you get the best deal possible. Here are some practical tips for you.
1. Be realistic about what you are willing to pay
There is no set price for used dirt bikes, so you need to have an idea of what you are willing to spend before beginning negotiations. This will help you avoid overpaying or getting taken advantage of by a seller.
3. Be prepared to haggle
In most cases, the asking price for a used dirt bike is going to be higher than what the seller is actually willing to accept. If you low-ball your offer, the seller may be more likely to meet you in the middle. However, don’t make an offer that is so low that it’s insulting. This could cause the negotiation process to break down and lead to you paying more than you wanted to.
4. Walk away without any hesitation
Don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal if you aren’t getting what you want. There are plenty of other used dirt bikes out there, so don’t feel like you have to settle for something that isn’t fair. If the seller isn’t budging on price or is being unreasonable, it’s probably best to move on and look elsewhere.
5. Keep your cool
It can be easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re negotiating, but try to stay calm and level-headed. Getting angry or emotional will only make it harder to get the deal you want.
When should you avoid buying a Used dirt bike?
There are certain times when it’s best to avoid buying a used dirt bike. Let’s see when you should not buy a used dirt bike.
1. The bike has been in a major accident
You should avoid buying a used dirt bike that has been in a major accident. This is because it may have damage that is not immediately apparent, and this could cause problems down the road.
2. The bike has been sitting for a long time
If a bike has been sitting for a long time, it may have problems starting up. It’s best to avoid these bikes, as they may need a lot of work in order to get them running properly again.
3. The bike is being sold by a dealership
It’s generally best to avoid buying a used bike from a dealership. This is because they will likely be more expensive, and they may not be as honest about the condition of the bike.
4. The bike is being sold by an individual
If you’re buying a used bike from an individual, make sure to ask a lot of questions about the bike’s history. You should also get the bike inspected by a mechanic before making a purchase.
5. If you are an absolute beginner
If you’re new to dirt biking, it’s generally advisable to purchase a newer model that comes with a warranty. This will give you peace of mind in case something goes wrong.
Also, keep in mind that used bikes may not come with all the necessary safety gear, so you’ll need to factor in the cost of purchasing helmets, gloves, and other protective gear.
What to ask when buying a used dirt bike?
When buying a used dirt bike, it is important to ask the seller a few key questions in order to ensure that you are getting a good quality bike. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:
- How long have you owned the bike?
- How often have you ridden it?
- What type of terrain do you usually ride on?
- Have you ever taken the bike off-road?
- What type of maintenance have you done on the bike?
- Are there any mechanical issues that I should know about?
- When was the last time the oil was changed?
- What type of oil does it use?
- When was the last time the air filter and spark plugs were changed?
- What is the bike’s history? Has it been involved in any accidents?
By asking the seller these questions, you will get a better understanding of the condition of the bike and whether or not it is a good purchase. If you don’t have the expertise to come to a conclusion by hearing these answers, you can note these answers down and discuss them with any professional to decide what to do based on these answers.
Nowadays more and more people are getting into dirt biking. Undoubtedly, It’s a great way of enjoying some thrilling rides. But, you need a good quality bike to enjoy such adventures with ease.
A well-picked used dirt bike can serve you just as well as a brand new one, and in many cases, better. With careful consideration of the above factors and knowing what to watch out for, you can buy a bike that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Good luck.