Check The Engine Transmission And Clutch
This can be a sticky situation, in that the best way to test these things is undoubtedly an actual test ride. Is the seller okay with you taking the dirt bike for a quick spin? If you can, get a test ride when buying a used dirt bike.
At minimum youll want to start the motor and let it idle. Listen for any unusual engine noise. On a four stroke motor, tell-tale ticking is sometimes indicative of something relatively inexpensive like a worn timing chain or tensioner. On the other hand, if there is discernible engine noise that seemingly gets quieter when the engine is fully warmed, that may be indicative of deeper concerns.
The best way to test a transmission is a test ride, but if thats not permitted at least run the bike through its gears manually. With the engine not running, nudge the gear shift lever into first. Rock the bike back and forth to rotate the rear wheel a bit, and then shift into second, third, fourth, etc, and make sure all gears are engaging and that gearshift changes are smooth.
Checking The Clutch
The clutch is essentially impossible to test without a ride. So if you cant ride the bike, youre rolling the dice on this one. If you are allowed to take it for a spin, try as best you can to ascertain that there isnt a disconnect between how much noise the engine makes as it revs relative to actual acceleration.
Carburetors And Fuel Injection
The Exhaust System
Our Favorite Places To Buy Used Motorcycles
While there are 500 to one million used-car options, motorcycles are still something of a fringe hobby/devotion, so there are really only a few outlets you need to know about when it comes to buying a used motorcycle. They are your local motorcycle dealerships, eBay, Craigslist, Cycle Trader, and Facebook Marketplace. Each has their pros and cons, so were gonna talk about each more specifically.
Do Dirt Bikes Hold Their Value
Dirt bike riding is a growing activity, which creates demand in the market for both new and secondhand bikes. As a result of the continually growing popularity of off-road riding, the price of new bikes has increased quite substantially in recent years.
Consequent to the increased demand for these bikes and the increase in the price of new bikes, used bikes have become more sought after. This has resulted in the used prices of dirt bikes to also increase.
This essentially means that dirt bikes retain their value very well, and if you have a well-maintained but used dirt bike, it will likely fetch a good price on the used bike market.
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Examine The Tires And Wheels
While youre looking at the suspension, check tire and wheel condition. Dirt bikes go through tires rather quickly, so worn tires can influence your negotiation when buying a used dirt bike. Look for cracks or checking, which indicate the bike isnt used much or the owner isnt changing tires often.
Run your fingers over the spokes. They should all be tight and in good shape. Loose spokes indicate the rim is out of true, which could mean the owner hit one too many rocks or other obstacles. New rims are expensive and a possible reason to walk away if youre not willing to spend the money to replace them.
Use A Good Dirt Bike Motor Oil
After you buy your bike, make sure to use a good motor oil to get the most years and best performance from your ride.
AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Oils superior friction-durability properties help minimize clutch slippage, fade and chatter, giving riders consistent clutch feel during takeoffs or when maneuvering around obstacles on the trail.
In two-stroke bikes, we recommend AMSOIL DOMINATOR Synthetic 2-Stroke Racing Oil.
- Excellent film strength for high-heat, high-rpm motors
- Anti-friction formula for maximum power
- Burns clean helps prevent ring sticking and plug fouling
- Protects coated and non-coated racing pistons
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What Size Dirt Bike Do I Need
Its important to understand what size bike you need when buying a used dirt bike.
Size your bike based on your skill level. If youre new to the sport, be honest about your abilities and choose accordingly. Dont buy a powerful 450 assuming you can ride your way into it. Too much power and too much bike increase your chances of having an accident and ruining what can be a great hobby.
If youre new or youre smaller in stature, lean toward a 125 or 150. A dirt bike of this size is easier to handle, less expensive to purchase and maintain, and often delivers excellent power, particularly modern bikes.
If youre an intermediate rider or larger in stature, a 250 will provide a frame about the same size as a 150, but with more power.
Buying A Used Dirt Bike Checklist
Questions to ask the seller when buying a used dirt bike are:
Things to check when buying a used dirt bike are:
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What To Look For When Buying A Used Dirt Bike
Buying a used dirt bike is just like purchasing any other previously owned vehicle you never really know just exactly what you are getting. A seller may claim that its motor has recently been rebuilt. But was that professionally, or was the work done in a shed? And by whom? There are no guarantees. And the quality of previous maintenance is unknown.
Its not always that a seller is disreputable or lying. Some might also be relative beginners to the game. One of the best used bike buys out there can be from another newcomer who purchased a new machine only to find the sport wasnt what they thought it would be.
In any event, it is your responsibility as a buyer to do as much research and investigation into a prospective purchase as possible. The more you know about the specific machine you might buy, the better you will be able to judge its value. Most issues you might come across, however, are common to all makes and manufacturers of machines. So what are the key things to look for?
Inspect The Air Filter
While some prospective sellers are understandably reluctant to have you show up in their garage with a set of hand tools and begin disassembly, its not too much to ask that the seat be removed to check the filter and air box for proper maintenance. If the seller refuses, keep your money and move on.
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Ask The Seller The Right Questions
You can put the seller through a bit of a test of sorts by asking questions that are designed to ascertain his familiarity with the machine. Uncertain answers can be a big red flag.
You dont have to make it seem like an interrogation. Over the course of 15-20 minutes of carefully inspecting the machine, keep it casual and conversational. If the seller stumbles over his answers or doesnt seem certain about what he has or how its been cared for, there is every reason to be suspicious. Confident answers can go a long ways towards establishing the credibility of the seller.
Dirt Bikes For Sales Faq
How much is a dirt bike for sale?
The price of a dirt bike depends on a number of things, like make, model and engine size , but generally speaking it ranges between $250-$2,000.
Where can I buy a cheap dirt bike?
There are a couple of places that offer high quality low-price dirt bikes, Amazon is one of them. They are also reliable in terms of delivery and price.
How can I find a used dirt bike for sale?
Used dirt bikes can be found on websites for auctions and listings, such as eBay, Craigslist and Autotrader. Even Amazon started selling used dirt bikes.
Can I buy a dirt bike online?
Yes. There are a lot of different options when it comes to buying dirt and pit bikes online. There are stores that exist mainly online, like Amazon, that offers dirt bikes, but stores like Walmart actually also started offering these products online.
How can I negotiate good deal on a dirt bike?
Havecash ready if you know youll be buying a buyinga bike, be sure to withdraw some money from the ATM because the bike may costmore than you can withdraw from an ATM in a single day.
Individualbefore shop you stand a higher chance of gettinga good deal on a used dirt bike from a private individual than a shop. Distresssales are always divine.
What time of the year is best to buy a dirt bike?
There are periods when discounts arefeasible:
- The run-up to Christmas
- in June before the end of thefiscal year
- Spring when people start ridingagain after winter
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Should I Buy A Used Dirt Bike
Most people, when first starting out on dirt bikes, don’t know if it’s better to buy a new bike or a used dirt bike. There are aspects to consider when buying one of these machines, and the price is certainly not the only factor.
There are several factors that can steer you towards buying a secondhand dirt bike rather than a new one.
Of course, as with any used item purchase, there are always risks associated with buying a used dirt bike, which is why this undertaking should always be approached with diligence and care. Don’t just fall in love with the first motocross or dirt bike that you see advertised and buy it.
Take your time and shop around the market is full enough of used dirt bikes that you will find one at some point that matches your needs and criteria and your budget.
Check The Steering And Swingarm
The pivot points at the steering head and swingarm are highly stressed, and all require the proper grease. Dry or damaged bearings can add up quick at the parts counter.
Check the steering stem bearings for play by grasping both fork legs towards the front axle and pushing and pulling the assembly towards and away from the frame. There should be no noticeable play. Now move to the handlebars and turn them from side to side, taking note of any uneven resistance or notchiness.
At the rear of the machine, check for swingarm play much like you did with the wheels. Grasp the frame itself in one hand and the swingarm in the other and give it the old push and pull. Also check the play in the linkage beneath the lower shock mount by holding the seat or subframe while lifting the rear wheel.
All of these pivots should exhibit little to no free play. Linkage bearings are often neglected, and the succession of pivot points of a modern suspension design transfers tremendous force to the bearings. When one fails, the others are soon to follow.
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Where To Find Used Dirt Bikes For Sale
PRO TIP!When youre searching for dirt bikes on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, youll miss out on about 60% of the available bikes if you just search dirt bike. Some people forget to include that keyword when they make their listing. In addition to doing a search for dirt bike, also try searching TTR to bring up most of the Yamaha dirt bikes, since their models have TTR in the name. If you want to find Honda dirt bikes, search CRF, etc. In my experience, this brings up TONS of bikes that are available and where the sellers have had few calls, so you can often get them for a good deal.
Facebook Marketplace The Facebook marketplace is accessed by going through the Facebook app on your phone. At the time of writing, you cant use it on the desktop. Im starting to see quite a few dirt bikes popping up on the Marketplace that I havent also seen listed on Craigslist. The nice thing about the marketplace is that there arent as many scammers and spammers.
Craigslist This is probably the most obvious place to check for used dirt bikes. I wont bore you with details of how to use the site, but I do have a pro tip that can help you find great deals through Craigslist.
eBay Motors eBay Motors is unlikely to have many dirt bikes available for local pickup, but if youre looking for something specific and customized, then eBay Motors is the place to go.
Where Can You Buy A Used Dirt Bike
You can buy a used dirt bike at a dealership or from private sellers. Its likely that your local dealership has trade-ins, but unless they find themselves with a surplus of previously owned inventory which does happen theyll usually still charge premium pricing for used units.
Better buys are to be had with private sellers. If you have already surrounded yourself with a circle of friends that ride, thats the best place to start. A near ideal situation can be had when someone you know and trust desires a new bike, but must sell their old one first.
Such an arrangement can be a win-win situation, with you paying your fellow rider less than you would for the same machine through the dealer, but still more than he might receive as trade-in value.
Otherwise, like anything else, motorcycles are advertised all over if youre looking in the right places. Facebook marketplace and other social media, Craigslist, and even a good old fashioned ad in the local newspaper are all places to find a lead. But what should you consider when you find a used dirt bike you want to buy?
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Things You Must Look For When Buying A Used Dirt Bike
When buying a used dirt bike, or any vehicle for that matter, you never truly know what you are getting. Just because the seller says it was rebuilt, doesnt mean it wont grenade on you an hour after you get home. You dont know what exactly has been done to it, and they may not have rebuilt it correctly.
Not everyone lies about what they have or whats been worked on, but some people just dont know. Thats why its YOUR job as a buyer to do as much research and scrutinizing of the bike as possible. The more you know about the model of bike youre looking at, as well as the bike itself, the better you can judge its value.
Inspect The Rims And Spokes Of The Wheels
With the bike on a stand, spin each wheel. Do they appear to be reasonably round? Its helpful to use anything handy an ink pen, a screwdriver, whatever and hold it in a fixed position near the edge of the rim as you spin the wheel. Does it hit it sometimes? Or does it stay uniformly away from it?
Barring any obvious dents or divots, a spoked wheel can be easily re-trued by an experienced mechanic if it is only slightly out of round or has side-to-side run out. The key word there is experienced. Wheel building may fall short of an actual art form, but its far easier to pull a rim out of true than it is to get it right.
Are the spokes uniformly tight? A properly torqued spoke will give off a sharp ping when tapped with a wrench. Loose spokes will sound dull and low in pitch. Take a hard look at the spoke nipples the threaded bit that meets up with the rim for any signs of corrosion or damage.
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Examine The Rear Suspension Swing Arm And Linkage
This is an important step when buying a used dirt bike.
Push down hard on the seat. The bike should rebound in a controlled manner, not like a pogo stick. Climb aboard the bike and bounce on the seat to ensure it offers controlled dampening.
Inspect the rear shock for oil leaks by looking for oil and dirt buildup at its base. If oil leaks and collects on the shock, dirt will stick to it. A rear-shock rebuild costs at least $100, so keep that it mind if you notice problems. Riders normally cant rebuild a rear shock themselves because they dont have access to pressurized nitrogen or the special tools required.
Check the swing arm for excessive play, which holds the rear wheel to the frame. Also inspect the linkage to which the shock connects. Have someone lift the rear of the bike an inch or two off the ground. Try to pull the back tire from side to side to check for lateral movement. Any movement indicates bad bearings or bushings.
Listen To The Engine & Shift Through The Gears
No inspection of a used dirt bike is complete without starting the engine.
It should start readily and run smoothly. Watch for excessive smoke from a two-stroke, which might take a few seconds to even out after its started cold. Listen for any abnormal sounds or loud noises that might indicate piston knock. Rev the engine it should sound smooth.
Take a ride if you can. This is your chance to ensure the bike pulls well through the gears and shifts smoothly. Ensure the clutch doesnt slip or grab. You should be able to progressively shift through the gears with no issues and easily find neutral.
A slipping or grabbing clutch is a great diagnostic tool it can point to worn oil, low-quality oil, worn clutch plates or even a faulty transmission.
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