Buying a used dirt bike is an excellent option if you want to enjoy off-road biking, which saves you a lot of money. You can purchase the right parts for the bike, replace them with the saved money, and modify the bike according to your needs. This article provides a checklist for buying a used dirt bike that you can follow and get the most helpful bike.
As a buyer, it is your job to check the bike before buying it to avoid any problems later. For this, you need to have some mechanical knowledge, or you should take your friend who is an expert in buying and selling bikes.
How to Create a Checklist for Buying a Used Dirt Bike
Let me tell you a few necessary things to include in the checklist.
Set a Budget
If you are a beginner and just started to drive the school to learn how to ride a dirt bike and now want to purchase a used dirt bike, then the first task is to make a budget for how much you want to spend on the bike.
Evaluate the current market price and compare it against the price it is valued at. If you are getting a more expensive bike than your budget, the last option is to buy a used bike.
Estimate maintenance and repair expenses before purchasing a used bike; along with that, some dirt bike components may also need to be replaced. Some other costs are added to it; estimate them also. In some states, sales tax may also be levied, so do not forget to include it in the purchase rate’s total cost.
The cost of title transfer and registration from the local DMV can come to a few hundred dollars. It would help if you also had insurance after purchasing the bike.
Do your research.
Research is vital when buying a used dirt bike. Choose which brand and model bike you want to buy according to your budget, size, experience level, and riding style.
Please choose your options thoroughly so that it makes it easier for you to buy a bike. The forums are very knowledgeable about this. You will get to read reviews of every model and also customer feedback. This information proves to be very useful before buying a bike.
Take a look at the prices in the area around you. Recommended, and you will see average rates on websites like Craigslist. Stay updated with all this information, and negotiate the price of the bike with the help of it.
Used Dirt Bike Checklist
1. The Outer Surrounding Area
It is not just for the bike, but when you go to see it, look at the cleanliness of the garage, where the bike is, and how it is sitting.
What do the seller’s other bikes look like? The bike will be excellent if everything is clean and well maintained, but this is not the only factor in buying a used dirt bike.
If many crashes are seen on a dirt bike, they will be visible on the subframe and frame. Check for unusual bends and cracks at the weld point or where two sections meet.
If the subframe is bent, it will be obvious from the bike’s rear side.
Usually, it will bend the frame on one side. If it is, then in such a situation, negotiate the price because the used subframe will not be less than $50-$200.
Is the tire terrible or good? You will have to see this. The edges should be sharp; otherwise, you must change the tires. Sharp edges maintain the grip of tires on the ground. Tires are a bit pricey; if they need to be replaced, then negotiate with the owner.
4. Fuel tank
The fuel tank is the stomach of a dirt bike. If there is rust inside the fuel tank, then the bike’s performance will be deficient, so do not buy the bike without checking the fuel tank.
To check the fuel tank, take a flashlight and put that light in every corner of the fuel tank to get a clear view of the fuel tank.
If possible, feel inside the fuel tank with the help of your fingers. It will give a good sense of rust. Fuel filters are also an excellent way to judge a fuel tank.
Apply the front brake while driving the bike, and when the front suspension is pressed and comes to its place without any loud noise, then the suspension of the bike is okay.
Make sure that the suspension does not make any loud noises. And the suspension should be clean, shiny, and smooth.
Also, see that there is no oil on the fork seal; otherwise, you will have to replace it with a new one.
Jump the bike by sitting on top of the seat. And see if the rear suspension comes to its usual place or not, without springing up and down.
6. Air Filter
It is crucial to check the air filter. It will know whether the maintenance of the bike was done at the appropriate time or not.
Take some tools with you to remove the seat and check if the air filters are clean or not.
Make sure there is no dust or dirt. It should be nice, clean, and slightly oily, which indicates a well-maintained air filter.
Remove the radiator to see if the coolant is filled to the optimum level. The proper coolant is a green neon colour, and its smell is also sweet.
Remove the cap of coolant and see. It should be green in colour.
If the coolant is brown, then it means that dust and engine oil have taken possession of it. In such a situation, you may have to spend a lot of money while repairing the bike. So do not buy a dirt bike without doing this test.
Make sure to check the radiator before doing the test drive because after the bike is warm, you cannot remove the radiator cap. Look for dents and broken fins on the radiator.
Make sure that the water pipes are correct and there is no leakage. If the radiator is terrible or needs repairing, then do not buy the bike without bargaining.
9. Swing Arm
Check the condition of the swing arm and also make sure the wheel is in the middle. Dents and damage are easily detected on this.
And this has to be taken care of. Make sure it is by swinging up and down.
If it moves freely, that is the right swing arm’s sign; otherwise, you have to replace it with a new one.
The bearing of the dirt bike used regularly needs grease to have a smoother performance.
To check the bearing, rotate the tire. Then there should be no scrap in the middle; otherwise, the bearing will have to be replaced.
Along with this, there are bearings in the handlebars, so check them too.
11. Clutch & Brake Lever
The clutch and brake can be easily bent and broken. It would not have been so expensive if there were not more than one to replace. Rear brake pedals and shift gears may also break.
The shifter should be slightly tight. If it is crooked, the splines are likely to be damaged and need to be replaced.
Check the disc brakes by looking at the wear indicator. If the brake pads are exhausted, then it is essential to replicate them, and they are not very expensive.
Immediately check the drum brakes and also check the brake fluid in the cylinder. It is necessary to change the dirty oil.
It gets bent very quickly as soon as the bike is flipped or wrecked.
You will come to know about it only after seeing it. But once you do a test ride, you will know whether the handlebar is in good condition or not.
Is the seat not torn from anywhere, and is it properly installed? This has nothing to do with the performance of the bike, but our dirt bike should look beautiful.
14. Engine Condition
This is an essential part of a bike; if it is wrong, then the rest of the bike elements are of no use.
So check it very carefully. See the engine oil level, which should be the lowest.
If there is no oil in it, it is a sign of engine damage, which is why the engine would have been seized. So before riding the bike, check it thoroughly.
15. Engine Sound
Allow the engine to start and idle for at least one minute, and listen to if there are any strange sounds, such as grinding, knocking, etc.
If it is 4-stroke and ticks with the engine’s RPM, it is likely a worn chain or tensioner, a relatively simple fix on most bikes.
If a rattle appears when the driver is thoroughly heated, it may be a piston rattle, which will need to be rebuilt.
See the head pipe for dents and bends. If there is any significant damage to it, you will have to get it replaced or repaired. A crushed pipe will lack power.
Also, listen to the endnote.
In general, you can tell when the muffler packing is little to none because it becomes loud and raspy.
A new and fresh-packaged silencer is quite quiet, and its sound is excellent and crisp. Packing is very cheap, but changing it is not a fun task.
17. Oil Leakage
Look at the oil leaks, especially at the front fork seal and the engine’s bottom.
There may be a possibility of oil leaking where the dirt will stick more, so keep an eye on this. In most cases, the seller cleans the bike before you arrive.
So right after the test ride, you must check the bike for oil leakage.
You cannot inspect the carburettor internally, but you can sense how dirty and bad it is when riding the bike.
If the bike takes more time to start or is having trouble, it is a sign that the carburettor needs to be cleaned or repaired. And this happens when the bike stands without being driven for weeks and months.
The bike chains stay suitable for a long time if they are taken good care of.
Secondly, if the chain is rarely or never cleaned and lubed, it can wear out much faster than the top end of a motocross bike.
Check the kinks and see how far it is from the adjuster.
If no space is left in the adjustment, the chain is stretched out and needs to be replaced. If there is a lot of corrosion and the chain skips, it is a useless chain.
The chain usually wears on top of the sprocket.
In general, you get a rear sprocket and two front gears. And you must check that it has no worn, broken, or sharp edges.
FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I look for when buying a used dirt bike?
1. Size of the bike
2. Check the oil in the engine
3. Listen to the sound of the engine.
4. Check the gear by shifting it.
5. Check the time of the bike ride.
6. Check the wheels and tires.
7. Visual Inspection
2. How much should I pay for a used dirt bike?
3. What is the best-used dirt bike to buy?
Suzuki RM250, 2003–2008.
Yamaha YZ125, 2005 & higher.
Honda CR250R, 2002-2007.
KTM 250, 2004 and higher.
KTM 300, 2004 & Higher.
HONDA CR250R, 2000, 2001.
YAMAHA YZ250, 2005 & Higher.
So this is the checklist for buying a used dirt bike you have read.
If you have a reasonable budget from which you can buy a new bike, then it would be our advice to buy a new bike.
Your maintenance costs will be much lower, and you will not have to face any problems after purchasing a brand-new dirt bike.
Before buying a dirt bike, check it thoroughly, take a test ride, and see all the necessary documents.