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Hand-Held Motorcycle – Basic Pre-Buy Inspection Tips

It would seem that it is difficult to buy a motorcycle from your hands, because much more serious work is worth earning the required amount, reviewing hundreds of ads, and bargaining at the wheel is the last final step. But to buy a good motorcycle for its real value or to bargain a certain amount, you need to be careful and meticulous. Do not forget, a bargain is the goal of all previous labors.

The decisive step – came, looked into all the holes, started, listened, traveled, bargained … bingo!

Let us recall the main points that you need to pay attention to when buying a motorcycle from your hands.


Before inspecting a motorcycle, you need to understand what it has with the papers. We live in a world where, as they say, without a piece of paper you … well, you know yourself. If the bike does not have documents, or there is something unclean, then it will be possible to ride it on public streets until the first post and the first stop by the employees of the relevant authorities with all the ensuing consequences.

You can consider a motorcycle without documents only as a “donor” for spare parts, and then, if you are not puzzled by the history of the bike, there is a risk of getting a stolen copy. Once I got such a donor and I don’t want to anymore!

Stock or custom?

Those who like to alter their bikes and modify them in every possible way sometimes overstep the boundaries. For the buyer, this is fraught with two problems:

– externally, one model may be too similar to another. Because of this, misunderstandings arise. The buyer thinks about one motorcycle, but it turns out that he is taking another, close to him – recycled one. Perhaps the seller will even deliberately try to pass off one bike for a similar one, if its history is hard-hitting. Then look in the documents and google pictures, compare with factory photos.

– the changes made will not allow you to register the motorcycle and undergo technical inspection. Yes, that happens too. This means that the modifications were made to the design after the paperwork was completed by the current owner, and he did not register them in any way.

Under the guise of custom, they often try to sell broken motorcycles. When the bike has already wiped off the asphalt from all sides, the owners think: “Since it’s all the same to restore, can it apply a different color, make a different steering wheel, put on a loud exhaust?”. When you have an obviously tuned bike in front of you, you will have to talk to the owner where-how-who and why did all the innovations? What if they are trying to sell you “bitysh” under the guise of an ordinary beautiful candy?

The engine can give out a broken motorcycle. Replacing engine covers costs a penny, so after an accident they are simply polished and tried in every possible way to hide the scratches. Take a closer look at the external condition of the covers. Small kotski are normal, but long lines of scratches should alert you.

Smudges reveal gaps

Technical fluids will definitely find a way out if there are gaps somewhere. It is they who will tell you that a replacement is coming, at best, only the oil seal. So it’s time to bargain and ask questions again! Did the fork move? How does a motor or radiator feel? An oil filter, and which one hit him with a dozen? When was the oil changed and where? Do not forget that there are ancient models who like to eat oil from the factory. It is better to learn these subtleties from the experienced in advance, so as not to buy into the excuse: “yes, he always eats butter”, where this should not be.

The accumulation of oil inside the exhaust pipe is also a sign of so-so. But on inspection, nothing prevents you from reaching all the dipsticks, assessing the condition of the oil in all containers.

Not only oil leaks, but also gasoline. Gaps in the fuel system are dangerous. One suit and here is the ghost rider, the human torch, in person! Inspect hoses for cracks. What do the connections look like?

“Motorcycle fuel system. How does it work?”

Take a closer look at the appearance of rust. She will give you a hint of how and where the bike was stored. And also that she will have to be treated.

Examine the frame meticulously. Do not register motorcycles with an overcooked frame. I personally know sad examples when people saved up for their first motorcycle for a long time, and after buying a motorcycle they were told at the inspection that with such a frame it was not a condition. The welding place was under the tank, under which no one looked before buying.

The most difficult thing is to correctly evaluate a sport bike. Problems can be hidden by plastic, and no one will allow you to remove it so easily. It remains to learn more carefully about the owner’s driving pattern.


A motorcycle in static is one thing, but in dynamics it is another. As long as he stands, everything seems perfect. Hear how the engine starts, how it works. How does the steering wheel turn – easily or do the bearings give out fatigue? How are the levers, gear shifting and brakes? Ask for an explanation for extraneous noise! Squeaks, whistles, rumblings … You want to buy a motorcycle, not a music box. Small noises when starting the engine are not so scary if they disappear during warming up. But when the crackles and whistles build up as the engine heats up, it’s a bad thing.


We are all human, sometimes we want too much to get the model we like, especially if they are selling cheap.

It happens that you like a motorcycle so much that you don’t want to notice obvious problems. You think: “Yes, I like it so much that I will change these oil seals! Put fresh pipes. The color in the documents says “gray”, but it is painted with some kind of silver, well … also gray! The oil is blacker than a cloud in the exhaust pipe with a spoon, you can scrape it out! Yes, for that kind of money with such mileage – you have to take it! “. In order not to take trash under the impression of cheapness and blind faith that everything can be fixed (without knowing what time it will get up), you need a voice of logic. At such moments, it would be nice to have in touch or call someone experienced with you, whose voice you want to listen to.

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