Buying a motorcycle for the first time can be exciting. Choosing to buy a used but nice motorcycle is a smart choice. Choosing to buy a used motorcycle for the very first time from a private seller can be... well, tricky. The following buying tips should be followed closely when you buy a motorcycle from anyone who is not a dealer.
Absolutely test-drive the bike. If you have never been on a motorcycle before, or you have never been on one as a driver, bring a friend who rides and drives regularly. He or she can test-drive the bike for you to see if there are any noticeable problems with it. While you are at it, ask the owner if you can take it to a mechanic's shop to have the bike checked out. The owner/seller should not balk at this, and if he/she so desires, he/she should be allowed to accompany you to the shop.
Take the Bike to a Reputable Shop to Have It Checked Out
Just as you would with a car or truck, have the motorcycle checked out by a reputable mechanic before you agree to purchase it. Every part and every aspect of the bike should be examined, and the mechanic should give you and the owner a thorough report about the "health" and safety issues with the bike (if there are any safety issues). If the mechanic says it is all good, you can feel confident about buying the motorcycle and not worrying about major repairs just days or weeks after purchasing it.
Ask to See a Vehicle History Report
Ask the owner for a vehicle history report. If he/she does not have one, ask if you can have the VIN number of the motorcycle to look up the bike's history. It is important to know what you are buying, and whether or not the bike was salvage, in an accident, and/or a "flood" vehicle at any time. Any of these incidents appearing on the report may change your mind about purchasing the motorcycle, but the owner has to disclose these details whether he/she wants to or not.
Pay With Certified Check
Pay with a check or certified check. Both are traceable in the event that you need to pursue the previous owner in legal action/small claims. When dealing with really large sums of money, pay with certified check. A certified check is safer than a check drawn on your own account when it comes to thousands of dollars.
If buying from a private seller seems intimidating to you, then consider purchasing from a used motorcycle dealer like Rancho Chevy & Cycle instead.