Wear spots to look for in used bikes

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7/6/2017 10:05 AM

I always look for scraches on the rims to get a general idea of how new a bike is.
What are some other spots I should check?

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7/6/2017 10:17 AM

Radiator fins. Under the foot pegs and frame rails.

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7/6/2017 10:35 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/6/2017 10:35 AM

I don't know that rims are going to tell you much. I can take a brand new bike to the desert and annihilate a set of painted rims in one ride. The swingarm is a good indicator of excessive sand/desert riding. Those terrains have a unique way of sandblasting everything.

The best signs of wear are going to be where the boots rub - frame rails, ignition and clutch covers, rear brake and shift lever. Everything in that area can give you a really good indication how 'hard' and long the bike was ridden/raced.

I also suggest removing the air filter and running a damp paper towel inside the airbox, especially up close to the intake. This will give you a really good indication how well the bike was maintained. Any excessive dirt/grime/sand, walk away. I would also walk away from any used bike with a rear paddle tire on it.

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7/6/2017 10:38 AM

Swann wrote:

I don't know that rims are going to tell you much. I can take a brand new bike to the desert and annihilate a set of painted rims in one ride. The swingarm is a good indicator of excessive sand/desert riding. Those terrains have a unique way of sandblasting everything.

The best signs of wear are going to be where the boots rub - frame rails, ignition and clutch covers, rear brake and shift lever. Everything in that area can give you a really good indication how 'hard' and long the bike was ridden/raced.

I also suggest removing the air filter and running a damp paper towel inside the airbox, especially up close to the intake. This will give you a really good indication how well the bike was maintained. Any excessive dirt/grime/sand, walk away. I would also walk away from any used bike with a rear paddle tire on it.

I mean the scratches from tyre changes, if the rims are black or colored

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7/6/2017 10:50 AM

Swann wrote:

I don't know that rims are going to tell you much. I can take a brand new bike to the desert and annihilate a set of painted rims in one ride. The swingarm is a good indicator of excessive sand/desert riding. Those terrains have a unique way of sandblasting everything.

The best signs of wear are going to be where the boots rub - frame rails, ignition and clutch covers, rear brake and shift lever. Everything in that area can give you a really good indication how 'hard' and long the bike was ridden/raced.

I also suggest removing the air filter and running a damp paper towel inside the airbox, especially up close to the intake. This will give you a really good indication how well the bike was maintained. Any excessive dirt/grime/sand, walk away. I would also walk away from any used bike with a rear paddle tire on it.

While I don't disagree, I feel the need to mention that I've put some solid wear on the covers after 2-3 rides on a brand new bike.

Also, I don't understand the whole "was it raced?" concern. That's one of the first questions I get with any bike I've ever sold and I don't get where the stigma came from about racing a bike. I'd argue that in general, those who race take care of their equipment better than those who don't. Also, I don't ride it much harder in a race than I do practicing. I really don't understand why racing is the litmus test for a used bike.

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7/6/2017 10:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/6/2017 10:59 AM

Chain slap marks on the swingarm and motor case. That will tell you if they are maintenance oriented .

Pull the oil filler cap and look for wear grooves in the clutch basket

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7/6/2017 11:01 AM

Chain, sprockets, drive train wear. Bottom of frame rails. Loose bearings in swingarm and linkage.

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7/6/2017 11:04 AM

Pull the clutch cover and look at the wear-n-tear on the clutch basket.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

7/6/2017 11:06 AM

tcallahan707 wrote:

While I don't disagree, I feel the need to mention that I've put some solid wear on the covers after 2-3 rides on a brand new bike.

Also, I don't understand the whole "was it raced?" concern. That's one of the first questions I get with any bike I've ever sold and I don't get where the stigma came from about racing a bike. I'd argue that in general, those who race take care of their equipment better than those who don't. Also, I don't ride it much harder in a race than I do practicing. I really don't understand why racing is the litmus test for a used bike.

Seems like the ignition covers are a bit more wear resistant- if that is worn you know it has a lot of hours.

In addition to those mentioned above, here are a few:

Lift up on the swing arm to check for shock bushing wear
Check the front and rear chain sliders for excessive wear
Wheels for bearing wear

I would be most comfortable buying a used race bike from a Vet rider...tongue

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7/6/2017 11:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/6/2017 11:16 AM

TeamGreen wrote:

Pull the clutch cover and look at the wear-n-tear on the clutch basket.

On a KX you can see the basket wear right from the oil filler cap. Can you see that the same in other bikes?

Also a sloppy kick starter will tell you a lot.

Scratched frame, ignition and clutch covers don't really tell you a lot, unless it's some kind of crazy scratches and dents because good riders hang on pretty tight with their feet/boots and knees.

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7/6/2017 11:16 AM

how fresh does the factory paint look?...right where your boots rub...

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scte3.0 pro-line trinity tekin

7/6/2017 11:26 AM

I usually just look at how clean the bike is. If a muddy farm bike is in a picture i keep scrolling. Going up underneath the bike to check for mud is good. Look for stupid crap like jb weld, rounded bolts, dirty air filter, drive train wear, tires, grips, levers. The entire bike basically. Whatever bike you buy, do a top end on it before you ride it just so you can examine the crank and head. Can only trust a new bike. Typically i knock off $25/$50 for everything wrong i have to fix on a used bike.

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

7/6/2017 11:34 AM

I'll check for any sprocket bolt wear. Don't wanna have any excessive play in those bad boys that's for sure.

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#1
KX125

7/6/2017 11:44 AM

Are the forks in good shape, any scratches or fluid leaking. Are there any bolts missing on the bike in very important areas, good sign of carelessness. Is the air filter clean, and is the air box clean underneath that if they will let you take the filter out. If its a two stroke and they say it was just rebuilt I ask if I can take the pipe off to peak at the piston through the exhaust intake. Could have saved myself lots of headaches and money if I had done this when I first started riding/buying bikes. Are the radiator fins in good order. Are the rim spokes all properly tightened. Im sure I am leaving out more stuff, but that's usually my main concerns as far as what I can see on the bike at the time of purchasing or looking

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