The preferred mode of transportation for adventurous souls, the motorcycle, is more popular in America than ever before. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there are about 9 million registered motorcycles in the U.S. today. Even more encouraging is the fact that the number of female riders has grown dramatically in the last decade. With that said, there are certain rites of passage that often prove challenging for new riders. One of them is getting a good deal on motorcycles for sale. Here are a few simple tips to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as your new ride.
Buy From A Dealership
While the temptation to save a few bucks from a private seller may be strong, we strongly suggest that you shop at a reputable dealership. Why? As a new rider, odds are you don’t know much about bikes. A more experienced rider could easily take advantage of your ignorance to sell you motorbikes at inflated prices. An unscrupulous seller might even try to move a damaged chopper if he knows you are a new rider. For obvious reasons, a beginner on a damaged bike would be an accident waiting to happen.
We should also mention that private sellers cannot offer you a warranty on a motorcycle whose coverage has expired. Only a dealership can provide a comprehensive warranty package on any model they sell. And because beginners rarely know how to handle maintenance and repairs on their own, we strongly suggest that they purchase a warranty for their first bike.
Look It Over
The good news is that there isn’t nearly as much area to examine compared to cars or trucks. The bad news is that many first-time buyers don’t take the time to properly inspect motorcycles for sale before they sign on the dotted line. A thorough inspection should include an examination of the drive chain and sprockets, the battery, the tires, the fluid levels, and more. If you do not have the mechanical know-how to complete an examination on your own, it’s always a good idea to bring along someone who knows more than you do.
Take A Test Drive
Just as you would with any vehicle, it is imperative that you take the bike out on the open road to see how it performs. On the ride, make sure you run through all the gears. The transmission should feel solid and firm, and there should be no signs of slippage during gear changes and acceleration. You also want to test the brakes to determine the approximate stopping distance on a number of road surfaces. Make certain that the brakes never pulse or vibrate, because that could be a sign that the discs are warped or damaged in some way.
Inspect The Bike Again
Since most motorcycles only leak after they are used, it is important to look for drips after you have taken a long test drive. Because oil leaks are a common issue in motorcycles for sale, you should always check under the engine for any black spots. If you find one, do not let the salesman convince you that drips are normal in most models; they are not! Expensive to repair and potentially dangerous if ignored, you should never purchase a model that can’t hold its fluids.
These simple tips should help you find a reliable first bike at an affordable price.