- Moto Places
Can you provide Tips on things we need to pay attention when buying used dirt bikes?
TIPS FOR BUYING A USED DIRTBIKE
Are you in the market for a used motocross or trail bike? If so, we have some simple tips that can help save you some big money, because in today’s recession a new bike is an expensive pill to swallow.
Fortunately, there are a lot of used bikes out there, but the buyer better beware.
There can be a host of things to pay attention to when looking at a used bike, so let’s take a look at them…
#1 - Determine Your Budget: No seller wants to hear; “I don’t have enough cash” or get low-balled with a ridiculous offer because you have no money, it’s just a waste of time for everyone involved. If you are going to “window-shop” do it on your own time. This could be a good thing as you’ll get to know what bikes go for and to determine what you can afford. Make sure you know what you have to spend and be ready to pull the trigger quickly!
#2 - Get the Right Bike: Always buy a dirt bike for its intended use - for example, the XR lineup from Honda are great trail bikes, but will not perform well on the MX track. If you’re going to ride motocross, get a motocross bike, period. Don’t try to convince yourself that you’ll “deal with it” because you will be disappointed, and potentially get hurt as well.
#3 - Don’t Buy Junk: Watch out for Chinese clone bikes and beat up junkers. We haven’t seen one yet that has stood up to the pounding of motocross, no matter what the ads say. Another rule of thumb is “Don’t believe it until you see it.” - sellers will write all kinds of great descriptions on eBay, none of which may be true as we’ve seen old dumpy beat up bikes and the ad stated the bike was in “mint condition”.
#4 - Communicate: Once you have narrowed down the potential candidates, it’s a good idea to speak to the seller on the phone or go down to your local dealer. Many times speaking with the seller will result in facts not mentioned in the advertisement or reveal a willingness to lower the price. A visit to a local bike dealer may help you dial in what you really want.
#5 - Be Smart and Do Your Homework:
1) Is the seller a dealer or private? If you are a first time buyer, the dealer is a good option as they can help you with riding gear and usually some good advice. It’s also a must to bring a friend who knows their bikes. That’s invaluable.
2) What’s the history of the bike, has it been raced? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to stay away from bikes that have been raced. Racing requires regular maintenance and specialized (read expensive) parts that you can end up with at a fraction of the cost of new. Bikes that are raced by A level and better riders…well we do recommend being very wary of, as these super-mortals really can beat a bike to death.
3) See what the seller has to say about maintaining the bike, look at the air filter, is it clean? Is the chain oiled? Does it start right up, does it have good compression or does it smoke excessively? These are warning signs of beat up bikes and you’ll need to walk away. Just walk away.
4) Are there any extra parts or gear included? Typically there are. I went to buy a bike once and ended up buying two, 3 sets of gear and the trailer to bring them home. The guy was looking to get out of the sport and needed cash. On that note, remember you’ll need to bring the bike home and you’ll need access to a truck/van/trailer to do this.
5) What’s the market price for bikes like the ones you want? Typically four stroke bikes will cost more because of the complexity and accordingly have much higher engine rebuild costs. Two strokes are quite simple and a real bang for the buck but are getting harder and harder to find. Universally, buyers use eBay to try to determine “market price” a particular model, make and year of bike and we’ve used this method but only by seeing the actual selling prices of the items, not the asking price or reserve.
In closing, it’s tough out there but if you have cash you’ll have the advantage.
Make the right decisions and you’ll get the right bike. Listen to your head not your heart, as these are machines not marriage material. Make sure to bring a friend who knows bikes and you’ll be out on the track or trail in no time.
See you out there!