To become part of the motorcycle enthusiast's community, one has to invest in a Harley-Davidson. A brand-new Harley Davidson motorbike is very expensive. Therefore, you can choose to buy a used motorcycle from Harley-Davidson dealers to save money. Similar to buying a used vehicle, you have to conduct thorough research on individual models. Avoid purchasing the cheapest motorcycle you come across intending to save money. Remember, cheap is expensive. To help you out, we have detailed the primary factors you should consider when shopping for a used Harley-Davidson. The following is the buyer's guide to getting a used Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Get what you can handle
Most new riders believe that a large Harley-Davidson model can be a breeze to ride. However, purchasing a motorcycle that is difficult for you to handle can cause accidents down the road, and you may end up very disappointed. It is essential for inexperienced and new riders to first conduct thorough research on the best models they can handle. If you have a smaller frame, opt for small models to handle severe curves or stop short easily. To understand the best models that may fit your lifestyle, professionals recommend a few things. Visit a reputable Harley-Davidson dealer and learn more about various models and their features. Take your time and attend Harley-Davidson rallies that Original Equipment Manufacturers sponsor to test-drive various models. Go through reviews from experienced riders. You can also ask friends and experienced riders about the pros and cons of the available models.
Come up with a budget
After deciding the model that suits you, build a budget to accomplish several goals. Begin by eliminating options that are above your price range. With that, you will not be interested in a bike that is above your price range. With the budget, you can get a clear picture of how much to invest in a motorcycle with the specifications and features you want. A budget will also help you know if you can afford the used bike's repairs.
Look for a genuine seller
Start looking for potential sellers of a used Harley-Davidson motorcycle. According to shawneehonda.com, buying from reputable Harley-Davidson dealers has several key advantages: They include: Reputable sellers offer their customers a fair deal: Individual sellers may offer a damaged motorcycle without your knowledge, and unfortunately, you cannot do anything about it. However, if dealers sell you a damaged bike, you can leave them a poor rating and warn potential customers away through online reviews. Reputable dealers maintain an excellent reputation to outdo their competitors. Reputable Harley-Davidson dealers put the bikes through an inspection process. That helps the dealers to note any repair issues and determine the asking price. Most reliable dealers have a service department that allows them to fix any used motorcycle before selling. Dealers have multiple options for their customers. An individual seller may have one or two options, which may force you to drive all over town to find better alternatives. A reliable dealer will allow you to see various possibilities and advise you according to your needs.
Get potential used Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Shopping for a used Harley-Davidson motorcycle has several advantages, but the main benefit is access to customer reviews. With the reviews, you can find out how various Harley-Davidson models perform. That will give you an idea of the model that may suit your lifestyle. Take your time to read online reviews about the available models, and make a list of those you may be interested in exploring.
Check the VIN
Before you begin exploring the bike, work closely with the seller to ensure you are not about to buy a stolen Harley-Davidson. Check the numbers closely and ensure they are not re-stamped. Harley-Davidson has a high theft rate. Therefore, it is essential to bring along pictures of factory-stamped numbers for comparison if you are not aware of how "knocked-over" numbers look. Make sure you check if the title numbers match with the headstock. If they do not match, find another used Harley-Davidson from a genuine seller to avoid buying a stolen bike. According to cyclevin.com, you can also check the sales tax of the motorcycle you are looking for at the VIN report. The price may vary depending on your Zip Code. Some states charge more while others charge less.
Check the bike's history
When buying a used Harley-Davidson motorcycle from a private seller, request maintenance records to check its history. If the owner resists your request, avoid buying from him or her. In the opinion of vikinglandharleydavidson.com, the maintenance records can help you make an informed decision. With the bike history, you can learn if it had been involved in an accident that may have damaged parts of its internal works. Also, check the details of any previous incidents to determine if the bike can become a problem.
Most people interested in buying a used motorcycle go to Harley-Davidson dealers for extra assurance that the bike does not require any kind of repairs. The bike’s owner may get a warranty, a complete service history, and certified pre-owned Harleys from the dealer. If you prefer buying the bike from a private party, you may get detailed information about it, especially when you purchase from a single owner with all the records. Before buying a used Harley-Davidson, you can also conduct a history search on the motorcycle vehicle history report website to determine if any complaints, ongoing investigations, or any recall on a Harley-Davidson model exist.
Check the bike’s overall condition.
It is essential to check the overall condition of the used motorcycle before purchasing it. Even after ensuring it is running well, you will want to consider whether you would want to ride it. Begin with its exterior.
- Check for any scuff marks or scratches on the paint.
- Check if the seat is in good condition.
- Use a flashlight to check any oil in the fuel tank. If there is oil in the fuel tank, that means the motorcycle is not in good condition.
- Ensure the motorcycle's braking system is active. Check if the brake cables and the pads are in perfect condition.
Check the electrical system too. Determine if both the front and the rear turn signals are working correctly. Also, check if the headlight is working. Check if the high and low beams are working.
- Ensure the horn, too, works fine.
- Checking if the brake light is working is also essential.
- Do not forget to check if the bike tires are bent.
You can use a jerk to suspend the motorcycle and spin the tires. Consider the things you find that need fixing as your negotiating power when making your offer. Note that if there is anything you do not like about the motorcycle, you will fix it eventually or find another bike.
Technology and safety
It is essential to note that a used motorcycle may not have the current technology and safety equipment. Various technologies may tickle down each year into more available motorcycles. However, if features such as traction control, riding modes, and ABS are essential to you, then look for a used bike that is almost new.
Examine the bike cold
When buying a used motorcycle, it is essential to examine the bike cold. Request the seller to leave the motorcycle cold before you get there. It is easy to hide starting, and running issues on a hot motorcycle. Once you get to the seller, try to feel if the pipes and jugs on the motorcycle are ice cold. If they feel warm, the bike was started earlier, and you might not get the right results. However, if ice-cold, ask the seller to start the bike. If, for the first few minutes of run time, the bike sounds like a blender full of rocks, it may have mechanical issues.
Remember to check the bike’s bar ends, levers, and footpegs.
The bike’s bar ends, levers, engine guard, and footpegs can help determine if the bike has been down before. If they all look new than the motorcycle itself, the seller may have replaced them after they were damaged. Examine if the levers have a rash. As reported by imotorsportsstpete.com, the levers curl when they hit the pavement. That is enough to prove that the bike has been down before. The levers do not have to break, and the owner may have buffed the rash out. However, an abnormal curve indicates damage. If the seller has re-shaped and cut levers, chances are they had to replace a banged-up lever. If the bike has aftermarket levers and pegs, it is a tip-off that the motorcycle was once involved in a crash. If the seller is open about it, you are dealing with an honest reseller who had a tip-over and tried to fix the bike. However, if they do not mention it to you, the bike could have suffered at the hands of the previous owner or you are dealing with a dishonest seller.
Check how hard the previous owner was riding the motorcycle.
Hard riding a motorcycle or redlining is not bad. However, some riders beat the snot out of their bikes. Examine the bike's tires. If you find that the bike rides on flat longitudinally grooved tires, it indicates burnouts. If it is a used sport Harley-Davidson, check the edges of the tires to see if there is any kind of pilling or feathering. If any of those are present on the tires, it indicates that the previous owner used the motorcycle at the track. Also, check the hero blobs. According to revzilla.com, if the rider had been taking a deep lean with the motorcycle, there are high chances they scraped more expensive parts. If the parts are gone or ground down, the motorcycle has been to the track. That does not disqualify the bike from consideration. However, if the seller is not open to that information, there are high chances that he or she may not be open about other negatives about the motorcycle.
Check if the seller has the original keys.
Check if the keys match both the ignition lock and the fork lock. If they do not match, there is a high chance that someone went joyriding. It is also essential to note that theft recovery vehicles and motorcycles eventually end up on the street. However, that does not mean that the used motorcycle is junk, but note that its resale value is low, and your offer should reflect the same.
Pop the seat of the bike
To access the bike’s wiring and see the items connected to the battery, you will have to open up the seat. If you come across factory connectors and everything looks perfect, the bike is in good condition. However, if you see fog lights, GPS, and power leads hanging from the motorcycle before you pop the seat, do not expect the wiring to be perfect. After removing the seat, look for any electrical tapes, one color wire, or vampire connectors. If you come across these, you should note that the resulting electrical catastrophe could be difficult and expensive to repair.
Understand what you are about to purchase
Do not be afraid to inform the seller that you do not understand a particular procedure. To start a bike using the kick-start or retarding its magneto is a personal task that most riders, including experienced bike buyers, ask the seller. For instance, a used Harley-Davidsons that has not been on the road for an extended period can allow oil past the sealing check-ball into the crankcase. The bike can lose a significant amount of oil from the air cleaner on a newer model or the breather hose on a vintage.
Test and inspect the bike
Before buying the used Harley-Davidson motorcycle, you need to test ride and inspect it to ensure it suits your needs. If you feel that something does is not right, consult the sellers. They may explain the unusual problem, but if they seem hesitant, try a different motorcycle. If you do not know much about Harley-Davidson motorcycles, you can request the seller to send the bike to a reputable mechanic to get an expert's opinion. That will keep the seller honest and note any problems that the previous owner and the seller may have ignored or missed. It is difficult to get a used Harley-Davidson motorcycle that is free from damage or any wear. A professional mechanic can tell you the kind of repairs and maintenance to expect in the future.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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