Buying a used dirt bike or any other used vehicle isn’t as straightforward as it is to buy a zero meter (brand new) vehicle. You don’t know exactly what you are getting. Whether the used dirt bike is worth for your investment or not. You don’t how much the used vehicle has been depreciated over the time. Not all but most of the sellers lie about the quality of the used dirt bike. On the other hand, there are some buyers who don’t know how to assess the market value of the bike and they end up losing their investment. In my opinion, the buyer should go into the deeper details to know what actually they are getting. This post would assist you in this matter; use it as a checklist to assess any used dirt bike or vehicle.
You can get your experienced friend (who has a good attachment with dirt bike) with you. Most probably he would tell you the actual worth of the bike in a single look because they know what to consider. Don’t feel nervous to get this list with you. I will put all the points at one place for your convenience. Take the screenshot of the important points or you can also get a print and keep in your pocket.
- Test Ride
- Trust No Body
- Check Battery Voltage
- Engine Noise
- Panoramic View
- Fuel Tank
- Smooth Transmission
- Frame Condition
- Avoid Cold Start
- Swing Arm
- Air Filter
This article relates to the following types of dirt bikes:
- Trail bikes
- Motocross bikes
What Makes the Used Dirt Bike Worth Buying? – Here are 20 Things to check
First thing first. No one can tell you better about the used dirt bike than a test ride. Poor tires should not be a deal breaker unless other things are in good condition provided that you are ready to replace the tires. You can use the garage sale finder apps to find the used dirt bikes near your location.
Trust No Body
Trust no one when buying a used dirt bike. You don’t what exactly the seller had done to the bike. What parts of the bike has he replaced? Anyone hardly come to know that. Therefore, trust no one. Go in deeper details and check each and everything. Ask your trustworthy friend to help you. Very often the thing which one person ignores the other one catches it.
Check Battery Voltage
The battery voltage should be approximately 12 – 12.8. Check the voltage with a meter. If the battery is out of order, you would need to invest some extra money replacing it.
In my opinion, the main part of the bike is the engine. Check the engine noise. Some bikes give sound until they are warmed up. When the engine is warmed up the sound goes away. Also, never check the engine right after the ride. Because when the engine is hot you can’t examine its performance exactly. An engine with a good profile produces a sewing machine like sound. The sound also depends on the Strokes and model.
Get a panoramic view. Why I said “panoramic view”? Sometimes you can judge the condition of a used vehicle just by looking at it. Get a complete overview of the bike. Look at the frame, wheels, and plastic. Check the rims, if they were put wet often, there will be a lot of rust on it.
Whether the tires are cracked or fine? If the edges are not sharp then you will have to replace the tires with new ones. The sharp edges give an enhanced grip on the ground hence improving performance.
Check the chain of the dirt bike. Check the tensioners on the rear side of the swing arm, there should a reasonable space left. If they don’t have enough room left and are at the end then the chain is no more useful.
Check all the electrical connections. Check whether any connection is lose or wire is out of order. It is not of a great importance but if there is any problem with the connections you will have to spend some bucks on getting the things right.
The fuel tank is one of the core parts of the dirt bike. Look inside the fuel tank, a good fuel tank is rust free. For a more clearer vision, grab a flashlight and look deeper into the fuel tank. If possible, touch the tank with your finger. If there is no rust inside, it’s good to go. An ample of rust inside the fuel tank can ruin the performance of the bike. The fuel filter can also be a good parameter to judge the tank.
This is the part where you must give some extra effort because if the engine is not good then other parts are just like a scrap. Further, check the oil level which must be at least at the lowest level. If there is no oil at all then it can cause damage and it is one of the major reasons of seized engines. Make sure to check the oil before buying a used dirt bike or just before riding.
Check the transmission of the dirt bike which should be smooth enough. The most convenient way to check the transmission is to ride the bike yourself. Gears should shift easily. Prevent false neutral when changing gears. However, some people find it difficult to find neutral of a dirt bike. If you also feel difficulty in finding the neutral, check out the guide written by Jim Harmer on DirtBikePlanet.com.
Check the disk brakes by looking the wear indicator. If the brake pads are near to the limit marks then you need to replace the pads which aren’t much costly. Also, check the drum brakes and brake fluid in the cylinder. The dirty oil needs to be replaced.
The clutch should be easy to pull. If the bike engages immediately when you widen or let out the clutch; it is a good sign. If the bike takes time to engage after the clutch has widened then it’s a bad sign. Also, in a higher gear, if you feel that RPMs are high while power is low; that’s not a good sign.
Check the forks carefully; otherwise, you will go back home with severe pain in your bones; just kidding. You should check whether the forks are dead or are good to go. Pull the front brakes and put pressure on the forks. If the forks go all the way down when you depress them, they are entirely dead. Also, check for the fork seal which keeps the oil from coming out.
You can scrutinize the frame condition by looking at the bike from the rear. Whether the frame is bent or straight. The frame will tell itself if the bike had passed through several accidents. You should check the joints of the frame. Usually, the problem is where the two sections of the frame meet. A minor damage and bent frame should be acceptable. Secondly, check the handlebars, a test ride would be enough to check its straightness.
Avoid Cold Start
Always start the used dirt bike when it is cold. A warmed up engine never depict its original condition. Also, you would never come to know what the seller has done to the bike when the engine is warm enough.
Most of the time, the bearings of the used dirt bike need some grease for a smoother performance. Rotate the wheels to check the bearings. If there is scrap in between, the bearings need to be replaced. The handlebars also have bearings if it’s hard to move, they also need to be replaced.
Put the used dirt bike on the stand and move the swingarm – up and down. Freely moving swing arm is a good sign; otherwise, it needs to be repaired.
You must check the air filter of the used dirt bike. Take the seat off and look at the air filter. A used dirt bike in a good condition must have a clean air filter. Because it tells you, how the seller has kept the bike and its maintenance level. However, it won’t cost you more than 25 bucks to replace the air filter.
Whether you are buying a 125cc dirt bike or 50cc dirt bike, you should examine the condition of the carburetor. However, you can’t examine the carburetor internally, but, you can when riding the bike or at the starting time.
Some maintenance tips you need to follow after purchasing a used dirt bike:
- Change the oil.
- Check the brake pads.
- Examine sprocket condition.
- The tension in the chain.
- Tire pressure.
- Authenticate the engine before going for a long trip. If the engine is not reliable then don’t go for a long trip, a poor engine can leave you helpless in mountains; one of the worst conditions.
A good set of metric wrenches and sockets and tire irons are all you need.
How much does a new dirt bike costs?
Here is a list of real new dirt bikes with prices:
- 1. BETA 125 RR (TWO-STROKE): $7999
- 2. GASGAS TXT80 RACING (TRIALS): $4999
- 3. HONDA CRF450R: $9299
- 4. HONDA CRF150R: $5099
- 5. HUSQVARNA TC50 (TWO-STROKE): $4299
- 6. KAWASAKI KX250: $7749
- 7. KAWASAKI KLX140G: $3699
- 8. YAMAHA YZ85 (TWO-STROKE): $4599
- 9. YAMAHA YZ250X: $7499
This list can give you an idea about how much a new dirt bike costs. Buying a new dirt bike on loan is not a good choice at all, in my opinion. Because from day 1 you will be under pressure, nevertheless, it’s your choice.
Conclusion: Should I go for a new one or buy a used dirt bike?
There are two ways to pursue. If you have enough money for buying a brand new dirt bike, then, I must say go for a new one. It will have la ow maintenance cost for a pretty long time. Because you will get your hands on a brand new dirt bike and you will come to know about its ins and outs. The other option is to buy a used one. If you are confident enough and you have some know how about used dirt bikes then buying a used one would save a lot of money for you.