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By Frank Angerano
So here’s a question. I have seen a few members that have recently purchased a used bike. Also a HUGE amount of so called new members who have purchased a used bike and have come here “just here for a manual”.
Some have been disappointed with the bikes and or knew they were getting a broken bike with some mechanical experience thinking hey I can fix it. So here’s my take on buying a used bike. Anyone who has followed some of mine and other members posts about what to look for when buying a used bike here’s a few pointers on what to look for.
1. I always check the oil and look for moisture, metal shavings and color.
2. Feel the compression or take a compression tester with you.
3. Check for spark (if the bikes not running)
4. Take a small jumper pack to verify that the starter cycle works and the bike cranks.
5. Look for bent or cracked frame/welding that was done on the frame from maybe a wreck.
5. Mismatch plastics by looking under neath.
7. Bolts on the engine/frame that look like they are stripped from someone taking the bike apart.
8. Any kind of scilicone or gasket adhesive that was used on a cover plate or engine seem where the engine was taken apart.
9. Patches on the exhaust pipes with sheet metal or jb weld patch material.
10. Wiring messes on the harness like bundles of tape where the harness was opened up and taped up for an after market device or just plain butchered up.
11. Put the bike in gear (running or not) and roll the bike back and forth to see that the gears work and you feel resistance like the engine is trying to spin while pushing it forward as if you were push starting it
12. I keep a vin# decoder website on my phone as a favorite to double check the year of the bike .
All though nothing is fool proof these tips will help you along while buying a used bike. Not only that but it will help you negotiate a fair price for a bike that may have one of the above problems.
I have minimized this entire process down to about 15 mins. I buy all the time so I don’t expect you to do the same or have a compression tester etc but use some of these tips when buying and go into the purchase with confidence!
I would like to hear anyone else that has any input on buying a bike and what to look for!
By tom reed
May be some of you guys can help me, I've got a 1990 honda four trax 2 wheel drive, the top end has been completely rebuilt. When I bought it barely ran, so I had everything redone BUT, it shifts good until the motor gets up to running temp and it starts getting hard to shift and the longer you run it the worse it gets, it will get so bad that it is almost impossible to get it into reverse. Does anyone know what wrong?
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