Top 5 Tips on Buying a Used Dirt Bike - What Things to Look For (Save Time, Save $$$)

buying guide Jun 19, 2022

In this video, we're gonna show you the top five things to look for when buying a used bike.

Is it on? Yeah, it's on, it's been on for a while. Come on, man. Hey guys, Tyler with the MX factory here today, we wanna show you. Five awesome tips. When buying a used bike, we buy a lot of bikes. Here. They come and go. I personally buy bikes off Craigslist or all these used bike sites all the time. And we want to give you some tips to help you along in your bike buying journey.

One thing that we look at is cosmetics. That'd be the first thing you just go over second. Thing's gonna be checking your levers. The third thing's gonna be making sure your wheels are. The fourth is like, does the bike even start making sure the bike runs and the fifth and sometimes most the most important is who's the bike coming from, you know, who's your seller and getting to know them.

Let's do it.

So, first thing you're gonna look at is cosmetics, and this is gonna be the easiest thing to notice off of small pictures online is what are the big blemishes on the bike? The first thing that I look for right away in the pictures, Is what are the cases look like? You can see this bike's 10 years old.

It's got a lot of wear on the cases. So I know right then and there, the bike's got a little time on it. The second thing is, is I'll come over to this side on the kickstart side and I'll look at this whole side of the engine. There's some pipe wear. There's gonna be also your clutch wear your frame wear, and you can check out the kickstart.

Usually it's gonna be a part of the kickstart that has a little more weld aluminum to it. And how scar that's up right here. It looks like it's hitting the foot P here. So you can kind of tell that thing's been kicked a few times. You actually be able to tell pretty quickly through a small picture.

Cosmetically, you know, this bike's been ridden a lot or it hasn't. If it's got a new clutch cover. You wanna make sure it's a stock one? You know, if it's an aftermarket one, you know, maybe the oven was super beat up the stock one's on there and got barely any scratches, someone maybe that was a beginner that didn't know how to turn their feet in was riding it.

Maybe doesn't have a lot of time or it's not been rid real hard. Another thing that I like to look at and when I'm selling a bike, I make sure all the metal on my bike's really clean. And you'll see if you come up close here, you'll see how this metal has been scrubbed down to the aluminum. And it looks really nice when you're buying a bike.

You know, that seller has taken good care of his bike and taken the time to make sure all of the corrosions off and everything's looking good. Another thing is, since we're on the front end here, it's, you know, just, it's not always nice to just run your fingers on the lower stanchions there and make sure you don't have any oil on it.

It's got leaky fork. Not that that's an expensive fix because it's not, however it's annoying fix you get a new bike, you can't ride it right away. You gotta take to the shop, blah, blah, blah, or, and, or do it yourself. You gotta buy parts and get all that. Another thing that's super important. We're thinking about the expensive parts of the bike that we need in intact.

We don't wanna replace. Right. So we go to our radiators here. Make sure first that there's square. You don't want a wavy radiator that's been dropped on and, or could possibly have a leak. Make sure the thing is square in this case, rectangle, but just straight lines. And then also look in the fence and make sure that there's no JV weld in there or no, any generic gum stuck on there.

You know who, whoever could have done whatever to stop that water from leaking. So make sure you check those radiators out. Cause they're typically pretty expensive. You definitely wanna take a good look at your drive train, right? You wanna have all the teeth on this Sprocket?

You don't want the chain to be super beat up or look like it hasn't been looped. You want to know that the person that had a used bike was taking good care of the bike and you'll know right away. Like they didn't care about it, or they didn't know how to care about it. You don't want that bike. Right?

There's definitely used bikes out there have been really well maintained. Some people even enjoy maintaining the bikes more and they like riding them. That's the guy or girl that you wanna buy the bike from another really important thing. Another expensive part that can be tweaked, but the bike still can run.

Suffering. You want to come back to the back of the bike, look down and make sure you got straight edges and straight lines. The back benders tell TIS one way or another. You know, you've got some structural damage underneath the plastic that needs attention. And if that's off, it usually takes the pipe off and then the pipe gets rubbage from the tire.

Then you get yourself a big mess. There's note, all bikes matter, meaning everything that we've talked about applies to all bikes. We have a 65 here. We have a KX, one 10. We have 2 52 strike. We have a 4 54 stroke and 85. In a front endless 85, you don't wanna buy a bike. You show up and doesn't have a front wheel.

We were shopping for bikes the other day. And we came to this one right here and we're like, holy smoke. You know, it's really, you know, it's pretty cosmetically. Nice. It's something in the front end was just missing. And no front tire. And we're like, what is this? Some sort of hover bike or what? And they're like, no, man, no, it's not Ronnie max sold it to us.

You're excited. He said, it's faster this way. You just gotta be able to do wheelies. And I'm like, I can do wheelies haven't you seen my Willy video. I'll take it. Second thing that we look for, how much play is in the levers has this thing being dropped a bunch of times and bending the perch out, back and forth to the point where, you know, your levers flopping up and down.

This one isn't too bad. This is an aftermarket lever in a stock perch. So, you know, at some point this thing was dropped pretty well to break the lever. They've got aftermarket ones on there. So you just wanna make sure that that's as tight as possible. Right. And if they have aftermarket lever, it's a pretty good chance the bike's been down.

So that makes you wanna check out all the other stuff that we've already talked about. Check out the grips. Are they stock grips? Are they stock grips that are torn off? Are they aftermarket grips have been replaced? Are the end just super chewed up and they haven't taken the time to replace. Do they twist like these grips or maybe the mechanic that was working on the spike didn't really know what he was doing.

There's plenty of things that you can think about in this, but just to make sure that you have structurally sound grips and also if they're stock and they haven't been worn, that means the riders kept the bike upright. The bike's fairly new and, uh, it's probably cosmetically good. The rest of the way through, if the grips are good, the third thing is gonna be, what are the wheels like?

Are they in good shape? And if you show up in the front wheels triple the size of the rear wheel, you probably shouldn't buy that bike. Uh, that's so funny. Last time I heard that I laugh so hard. I fell off my dinosaur. Just kidding. So here's what you need to look for when you're, when you're, you know, shopping around.

So there's this silver line. Around the outside of the rim here what's happened is this tires got ran flat and then ridden. And I know that for a fact, because it's mine, it got flat in a race and I didn't want to quit the race. It kept going when it's on the bike, wiggling it back and forth to make sure that the wheel bearings are also good.

Another thing to look at, just making sure the wheel straight. So when you spin it to make sure the bike and the wheels in true as been knocked outta true, the spokes are evenly tightened in the wheels, spinning in the right direction.

Make sure you just give a hand tight check on the spokes as well. I'll usually just run around the bike and just make sure that, you know, majority of the spokes are well tightened and well and taken care of when you're buying a used bike. It's risky business. It's really important that you take the time to go over these little small details, right?

That's gonna give you a good idea of how well the bike is taken care of and to make sure that you're not spending extra money at the end of the day, fixing it as soon as you get it. Another nice thing to know is are the tires, the stock tires that come on 'em do they still have the nipples on the tires?

Are the tires that are on there. Even if they are aftermarket tires or replacement tires, are they in good shape? Are the Nobbies ripping off like this tires got the Nobbies coming off the side. You don't necessarily want that, although it's quick fix, but if you wanna take the bike and go to ride it, you probably don't wanna ride it with the Nobbies falling off the tires.

So make sure you're just looking at these small things. The fourth thing to look at is you gotta make sure the thing runs. You don't wanna get a bike and just roll it in the back of the truck and get home and go to kick it over. And the cranks locked up, but you want to make sure the bike runs before you leave.

You also wanna pull the clutch in, listen for any crazy noise with the clutch in, with the clutch out with the bike in gear, with the bike in neutral and just, you know, pay attention, making sure the motor's running smoothly. Check the fluids. Um, you know, just give a, the motor a good once over, because that is the most expensive part of the bike.

If it goes bad, then you've really wasted a lot of money buying a used bike. Number five, who's the bike coming from? You know, who's your seller. Me personally, I look 'em up on every social avenue that I can. Am I buying a bike from a really fast pro who didn't know how to take care of his bike, who has ridden it in 15 GCC races that were muddy up to his ears.

Right? You need to know this and you could usually find it on any of these social networks. So if you can find that bike, you can find videos at being ridden most of the time. And if you can't, it's usually a good sign. Cause it's probably a vet rider, just a guy that likes to take care of his bike and.

Whatever it is, you can search the seller and kind of have a good idea. Another important thing is, is how detailed were they in their description of sales? Did they give you a log of hours on the bike or how many top ends or when's the last time the bottom end has been done? That gives you a really good idea of, okay, this guy took really good care of this bike and he also documented it just as if you were to take your car to a dealership and they write the mileage up in your corner.

There, you should document that just as if you should on this, you should know when your bike's going through maintenance. And in that way, when you go to sell it, the buyer is super comfortable. That's the seller you're looking for. We have this old saying here at the MX factory is how you do one thing, how you do everything.

So when you meet up with the fellow and, or. How do you say that in women person, when you meet up with this person, pay attention, is their truck door falling off? When they pull up, is the tailgate dragging behind them? Is their dog have dreadlocks? Right. Well, some dogs have dreadlocks is the garage full of crap, and they've dug the bike out of a hole.

So you gotta know that this guy's taken really good care of his dirt bike. Usually you can tell that by how everything else looks. This is what I call jackpot. This is a used bike, which the naked eye can't tell it's used. It has. This has an hour meter, which is nice. It has 7.0 hours on it. If I ride a bike for seven hours, it looks much different than this bike.

That's been red for seven hours. There's nowhere on the bike anywhere. Okay. There's a little bit of rub from, looks like someone's blue jeans on the side here, the stickers that are on the side of the cases, haven't gotten hot, melted off. The plastics are perfect. Other than this little blemish looks like they.

Put their cigarette. I don't know what happened here, but anyways, other than that, the bike is, you know, imaculate. So I found this had a really good deal on Craigslist. The guy was really nice guy. We met up right away. I went through all the stuff that I, that I would typically go through and said, yeah, let's do it.

This bike's brand new, never been blown up. It's never been the engine's never been torn into. I asked all the details there and checked with all the, uh, You know, signs that it had been and all the stuff's, you know, showed me that it's all brand new. So this is the, this is the stuff that you wanna look for.

If you're in the market for a new bike, first, try to find a one that's still new and save yourself a couple thousand dollars. All right, guys, I hope that helps in your bike buying journey. If you get another bike, you get to watch your videos. Speaking of videos, some more up here that are super informative.

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