Buying a motorcycle is a major event for any rider. Whether you have been riding for years or you’re getting your first bike, the excitement never goes away. That giddiness can cloud our judgment, though, masking issues that sometimes become obvious only when it is too late. Follow these tips to be sure you are buying the right motorcycle, and doing it safely.
Ask the Right Questions
When you call about the bike, ask about its history. Has it ever been in a wreck? Are there any known mechanical issues or oil leaks? Why is the owner selling it? Do they have a clean title in hand? This will give you an idea if the bike is worth looking at. This is the time when you can make an offer on the bike, although if you make an offer in person with cash in hand you may walk away with a better deal since the buyer sees you're serious. Be sure to check sites like Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com) to ensure you are getting a good deal. I will usually offer a buyer $1,000 less then asking price and see if they counter offer. Usually, you can walk away with the deal for around $500 under asking price.
Many dirt bikes are sold without titles since they don't come street legal from the factory. If the bike is not titled, do not pay the book value. An untitled motorcycle is much less valuable then a titled one. If you come across a great deal on a bike without a title, send us the VIN and we can give you a quote on getting a title!
Make sure to run the VIN to ensure the vehicle is without liens and is not stolen BEFORE purchasing. You can run the VIN on sites such as https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck for free, or you can call us to run the VIN for you.
Where to Meet
Once you have decided to proceed, it is time to check out the motorcycle. Be sure to meet in a public place during daylight hours. You may even insist on meeting at a police station — anything to lessen your risk of safety. This should be no problem for any legitimate seller of a legitimate bike. We hear far too often of people being held at gun point over a motorcycle sale. If you use common sense, you can avoid that.
What to Bring
If you are a first time buyer or inexperienced, be sure to bring someone knowledgeable to inspect the bike. Know the laws in your state for purchasing vehicles and ensure you take all the necessary steps for purchasing a used vehicle. The DMV can help you with the parts that are up to you, but you should also ensure the seller does his part such as signing the title over to you. It is okay to bring cash for the purchase, but make sure it stays hidden until the purchase. Do not flash cash until you feel comfortable with the seller. Trust your intuition. If the buyer requests cash in hand for a test drive, be sure to have someone with you to avoid the seller running off while you're test riding the bike.
Do not accept anything at a later date. A buyer should get a signed-over title and/ or a bill of sale. If the seller does not have a title on hand, write a detailed bill of sale and take a picture of the seller’s ID. Be sure that the VIN has not been altered or tampered with. In some states, the seller needs to have the title notarized. These states are Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Ohia, Oklahoma, Wyoming. If you are unsure of the titling process, feel free to call us at anytime for assistance.
The Take Away
Used motorcycle purchases are rife with pitfalls, but if you know what you're looking for, you can come out with an amazing deal. Although it's tough to walk away from a deal, if you aren't sure if the bike is right for you, is it okay to take some time to think about it. It can be hard, especially if you have driven hours to go see it. But if you have any doubts, sleep on it. It's better than regretting the purchase the next day.
Once you find the right deal and make the purchase, the next step is getting the vehicle registered. You will need your driver's license, the title, and in some cases, a bill of sale. If the title is out of state, you may need to have a VIN inspection done on your vehicle. The DMV can usually do a VIN inspection on the spot or you can have the local police come out to your location by giving them a call.
Once your bike is registered and plated, you're ready to rip! If your motorcycle has an off-road title, we will make it street legal and even register it for you! Get $20 OFF with promo code "DL2"! Make $50 by referring a friend!