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Greetings fellow riders!

I am picking up a new bike by the end of the month. I have browsed the breakout threads for common issues that I need to double check. I would like to know if there are any other suggestions as to general things to look for when I pick up the bike. I think this would be a good discussioin that would help anyone when getting a new or used bike. I tried the seach function but I didn't find an all inclusive thread.

So, if anyone has ideas or expiriences about what to look for when picking up a bike from a dealer or even a used bike from a seller, please drop some knowledge!
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about a new bike. I'd check the very basics. I'd probably check the fluid levels just in case the guy that did the prep was having a brain fart. Check the tire pressure and then rock it all day long!!

Remember that it will be back in for it's 1,000 mile in no time at all.

As for a used bike, it would be completely dependent upon the age and mileage of the bike. For some, it wouldn't be much more than with a new bike.

On a used bike, two common and fairly costly things that you should note are the tires and the battery. If a bike is going to need tires soon, tack $500 onto the cost in your mind. And, check the date stamp on the battery. If it is more than three years old, you are probably going to be buying one before too long.

If you are buying an older used bike, you would go over just about everything and further, you would hope to have paper work or other evidence of any service that might have been done. hopefully, you can at least confirm that most of the maintenance has been done as scheduled.

There are some other things that I also look at it that are tell-tale signs of certain things.

Look at the allen bolts and torx bolts on the motor. They tend to oxidize fairly easily. If there is surface rust on those, it is a pretty good indicator if the bike has had a lot of weather exposure. Also, it is fairly difficult to remove them without marring the edges at least a slight bit. You can usually tell which of them have been removed, and if so, you would want to know why unless it was obvious.

I also tend to make some assumptions. I know that this is not always the case, but I usually assume that if a bike has not been taken care of cosmetically, then it probably wasn't taken care of mechanically either. I know that may be a poor assumption, but since I wouldn't want a bike that looks like a$$ anyway, it has never cost me personally.

There's a lot that you can do that is non-envasive. It's just a matter of what the seller is willing to allow you to do, and whether you are willing to walk away if you don't get cooperation. You can visually inspect the plugs and the fluids. Test the battery/charge system with a DMM.

If you are spending decent money, it may even be worth it to have it inspected by a tech that you respect and trust if you have one. That is often the best $50-100 you'll ever spend.

But, the most important thing is to RIDE it. And, that isn't just a joy ride around the block in the first three gears. Get the bike out on the highway and get it up to 65-70 mph and ride it until it gets up to full operating temperature. Otherwise, you'll miss a lot of things that may be issues. If you can't or don't do that, you are taking a risk.
 

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THE Yuppie Outlaw
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10,082 Posts
I wouldn't worry too much about a new bike. I'd check the very basics. I'd probably check the fluid levels just in case the guy that did the prep was having a brain fart. Check the tire pressure and then rock it all day long!!

Remember that it will be back in for it's 1,000 mile in no time at all.

As for a used bike, it would be completely dependent upon the age and mileage of the bike. For some, it wouldn't be much more than with a new bike.

On a used bike, two common and fairly costly things that you should note are the tires and the battery. If a bike is going to need tires soon, tack $500 onto the cost in your mind. And, check the date stamp on the battery. If it is more than three years old, you are probably going to be buying one before too long.

If you are buying an older used bike, you would go over just about everything and further, you would hope to have paper work or other evidence of any service that might have been done. hopefully, you can at least confirm that most of the maintenance has been done as scheduled.

There are some other things that I also look at it that are tell-tale signs of certain things.

Look at the allen bolts and torx bolts on the motor. They tend to oxidize fairly easily. If there is surface rust on those, it is a pretty good indicator if the bike has had a lot of weather exposure. Also, it is fairly difficult to remove them without marring the edges at least a slight bit. You can usually tell which of them have been removed, and if so, you would want to know why unless it was obvious.

I also tend to make some assumptions. I know that this is not always the case, but I usually assume that if a bike has not been taken care of cosmetically, then it probably wasn't taken care of mechanically either. I know that may be a poor assumption, but since I wouldn't want a bike that looks like a$$ anyway, it has never cost me personally.

There's a lot that you can do that is non-envasive. It's just a matter of what the seller is willing to allow you to do, and whether you are willing to walk away if you don't get cooperation. You can visually inspect the plugs and the fluids. Test the battery/charge system with a DMM.

If you are spending decent money, it may even be worth it to have it inspected by a tech that you respect and trust if you have one. That is often the best $50-100 you'll ever spend.

But, the most important thing is to RIDE it. And, that isn't just a joy ride around the block in the first three gears. Get the bike out on the highway and get it up to 65-70 mph and ride it until it gets up to full operating temperature. Otherwise, you'll miss a lot of things that may be issues. If you can't or don't do that, you are taking a risk.
Yes to this.
 
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