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What To Look For When Buying A Used Motorcycle?
How many miles is a lot? What is the life expectancy of a motorcycle in terms of mileage? Whether it is buying a used bike or deciding to trade in your bike for a new one; you would want to know the answers to these all-important questions.
Views on what is considered a high mileage for a motorcycle, vary profusely. What seems to be a straightforward question, has but one straightforward answer; it Depends.
There are instances where 50,000 miles on the odometer may not be as bad as it first looks, and instances where 5,000 miles on the bike could well be nearing the end of its healthy life.
What, then, may be the factors that determine how important mileage becomes in determining the life stage of a bike?
Let’s Figure Out 2 Most Distinct Types of Bike
A huge factor in determining what is high mileage of the motorcycle is what you are riding. Largely there are 2 most distinct types of motorcycles; Sports bikes and Cruiser Bikes.
Sports Bikes are the ones with highly refined engines primed for speed and acceleration, and not so much for fuel optimization or comfort. Typically with high revs per minute, Sports bike revel in the rate of acceleration, which directly affects the mileage of the bike.
If you are looking to buy a used sports bike, then a mileage of say above 30000 miles may worry you. It would suggest that it was raced around on paved road at high speeds and burned gas and rubber with little care, every other sunny Sunday.
Cruiser Bikes are typically crafted for easy ride ability, stability and not so much for huge horse power. Cruiser bikes would have relatively lower revs per minute and are largely associated with riding along at constant speeds over large distances.
If you are looking for a used cruiser bike, a mileage figure of around 50000 miles may also be acceptable. Moreover, the bike easily have equal number or more of miles left in it.
How About The Mileage Of Used Bike?
A very important aspect in determining if a certain number in mileage is too high or not, is to determine how the number was attained. If you are buying a second-hand bike, it’s quite essential to obtain the record of bike’s previous owner/s.
This may be difficult because one often purchases bikes from dealers. However, this investigation is well worth finding how the bike has been used as it is integral to bike’s life.
If you come across a 10-year-old bike with 5000 miles on it, it may not be a great a deal. A motorcycle with a surprisingly low mileage for its tenure suggests a lot of sitting around for the bike. This inturn suggests that the bike would be poorly maintained, if at all.
Which would invariably entail falling apart of its key parts, you would need to worry about possibility of Engine Corrosion, rotting of tires, brake fluids, battery, coolant, etc. A well used and well-maintained bike is much more preferable then those which have been sitting around way too long.
Do You Know The Right Ways To Maintain The Bike?
The key to a healthy bike is good and regular maintenance. A well used and a properly maintained bike could easily top a hundred thousand miles before starting to give away. How to check if the bike has been well-maintained:
Check the Record of maintenance of the Engine Servicing, Carburettor and Valve clearances and the types of Engine oils administered over the years.
Look over Tyre Treads- make sure that they deep and show an uneven wear and tear. Wear and tear on the middle of the tyre mean it has been driven largely on highways. Also, if there are more wear and tear on the edges, it would suggest the motorcycle to be ridden a lot on the tracks.
Control the condition of the Drive chain and sprocket. The chain should have a play of 2 - 4 mm and the teeth of the sprocket must not show any signs of damage and depreciation. It should hold on to the chain firmly, even if you wiggle the chain from side to side.
Check the Battery and the meter for the voltage. The voltage should not be less than 12 volts on an idle bike, and not more than 14 volts on a running engine. Pull a couple of fuse out after turning off the engine to check for any signs of corrosion.
For better understanding, check out the below video:
High Mileage is merely one of the indicators of how much life is still left in the motorcycle, and surely is not a single definitive answer. Either way, if you are careful about what to look for you can well make sense of the bike’s Mileage’s relation to its life stage.
Thus, when you are seeking to purchase a used motorcycle, always ask yourself the following questions:
Why do you need a motorcycle? This will tell you if you need to be looking for a Sports bike or a Cruiser bike.
Inspect the bike in broad day light and check for any signs of wear and tear and verify if the bike has been properly maintained.
Lastly, try and enquire about the previous owner/s riding habits to establish if the mileage on the odometer good or bad.
Relate the findings from above and in light of all the facts uncovered, determine whether the mileage on the bike is too high for the bike type, usage and maintenance, or fitting.
Also, see below video to see how to detect if the odometer shows the genuine mileage:
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