Used motorcycle: this is what you should pay attention to before buying

These are the most important buying tips for used motorcycles

The internet is full of used motorcycle ads. But only those who thoroughly check the two-wheeler before buying it will get a fault-free bike. Here are valuable buying tips!

M.ith the sun comes the longing – a new one motorcycle should it be. Gladly needed, after all, money is tight. The internet exchanges are full, and behind every click there is a temptation on two wheels. Just stupid: No offer can be looked under the oil pan that easily. What’s a bargain, and Which bike should I keep my hands off of?
Ralf Graumann, a motorcycle mechanic and master mechanic at Honda Petrick in Hamburg for 44 years, knows them all, the tricks of the salespeople and the weaknesses of the individual models. “Stay cool and suspicious!“, says Graumann.” Nobody has anything to give away supposed bargains often turn out to be expensive ruins.” And: “Make a checklist for yourself, supplements standard test points such as steering head bearings with model-specific weak points. “

Here are the key points for the tour

The most important Checkpoints AUTO BILD MOTORRAD has summarized it here. Information on typical defects in individual models can often be found on the Internet. Another tip: if possible, visit the bike when the weather is good. Master Graumann: “Plan enough time and always make an extensive test drive. Make sure you have a fresh TÜV sticker, any defects have already been repaired by the seller”:

Important buying tips for used motorcycles


The warning lights must light up when starting and go out for the first few meters of the test drive.

brake fluid

If it is cloudy, there may be water in the system. Too low? The linings are worn or the system is leaking.

Hoses and saddles

Is there moisture on the saddles? Are hoses porous or cracked? What do the brake pads look like?

Brake discs

The minimum thickness is often stamped on the brake disks. Check with vernier caliper or micrometer.

Fork rings

Dip tubes are wiped down to cover up wear and tear – if you look under the cap, you will find the truth.

Steering stop

A fall indicator. If it is bent or hit hard, the motorcycle has likely had an accident.

Brackets, handles, notches

They can provide information on accidental damage. The scratches often reveal that the bike just fell over.

Steering head bearings

Use the stand to relieve the load on the front wheel. When steering from the central position, no detent point should be noticeable.

Swing arm bearing

The motorcycle is on the main stand, move the rear wheel sideways, no play should be noticeable.

Chain and pinion

The chain should only lift slightly from the sprocket. Do the teeth of the pinions look even?


According to the StVO, the profile must be over 1.6 millimeters. The tires should not be more than six years old.

Exhaust system

Does the volume match the motorcycle? Accessory systems require a test mark and possibly a certificate.

Engine oil

Caution is advised if there is a lack of oil. Maintenance ignoramuses quickly cause expensive consequential damage.

Battery and generator

The open circuit voltage of the battery should be above 12.5 volts, and the alternator should be charged with around 14 volts.

Test drive

It should be five kilometers: does the engine pull cleanly? Pay attention to rattling, vibrations and driving behavior.

That is the conclusion of the expert

“Wear and tear is normal, but you should be careful with some quirks”. AUTO BILD MOTORRAD adds: No question about it, worn tires have to be replaced. But, like brake pads or chains, that is normal wear and tear and easy to calculate. It looks different with a rattling timing chain or a bent steering stop. The chain tensioner may be defective or the frame may be crooked. Then there is a risk of expensive repairs!

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