Do the Research
First, develop a short list of bikes to consider, then check out the prices on pre-owned models to determine whether they are within budget. Knowing the value of a specific make and model will inform negotiation.
Check it Out Cold
A warm engine can conceal many potential issues with an older motorcycle. When checking out a used bike, savvy shoppers ask the seller to keep the engine cold until they arrive so they can see how long it takes the engine to crank.
Take a Test Drive
Buyers should also take the bike for a test drive to make sure the engine reaches its maximum operating temperature, gears work correctly, and all electrical components are functioning. The engine is the most important component of a pre-owned motorcycle; if anything is off, don't buy the bike. Look for precise throttling and smooth shifting. Avoid bikes that have a jerky transmission or mushy steering.
Examine the Frame
Look for damage that signifies that the bike has been in an accident. Look for cracks, repair work, a twisted sub-frame, misaligned forks, or a crooked saddle, which are all red flags. Check the wheel bearings, which can provide a good indication of how well the bike has been maintained by its current owner. Avoid judging a bike by bodywork, which is inexpensive and can hide major issues.
Explore Parts Availability
If it's hard to get parts for a bike, it will be difficult and expensive to make required repairs on a pre-owned motorcycle. Stick with models that have common, widely available parts on the secondhand market.
Tecumseh H-D® has an impressive selection of new and pre-owned motorcycles. Buyers can browse our certified pre-owned inventory online, learn more about financing, and schedule a test drive. We are a family dealership that takes pride in serving our customers long after they have purchased their first bike from us.