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

These are the most important buying tips for used motorcycles

Shortly before the end of the bike season, many used motorcycles are offered at low prices. But only those who thoroughly check the two-wheeler before buying it will get a fault-free bike. Here are valuable buying tips! the end of the Bike season the temptation comes – a new one motorcycle should it be. Willingly second hand, after all, money is tight. the Internet exchanges are full of offers, often much cheaper than in spring at the start of the season. Just stupid: No offer can be looked under the oil pan that easily. What is a bargain and which one Bike should I better keep your fingers?
The first thing that anyone interested should do is to get a few basic ask place. For which purpose is the machine thought: road? Terrain? Short distance or long journey? Then comes this budget in the game. If possible, the ongoing costs how tax and insurance to be included. A nest egg for unexpected Repairs is also not wrong. This nest egg is followed by the next point: Is there someone who is knowledgeable nearby? Motorcycle workshop?
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Basically there is no mistake in the Dealers to buy. He gives Guarantee and in many cases one too guarantee. At the Private purchase is that different. There has to be an exact one sightseeing be accompanied by an expert. Four eyes a lot more than two.
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, supposedly bargain 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. Notes on typical Flaws individual models can usually be found on the Internet. Another tip: take your bike with you if possible good weather view. Master Graumann: “Plan enough time and always make an extensive one Test drive. Pay attention to a fresh one TÜV badgeAny defects were then already 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. Does the condition of the motorcycle match the mileage?

brake fluid

If it is cloudy, there may be water in the system. Is the level too low? Then the pads are worn out or the system is leaking.

Hoses and calipers

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

Brake discs and brake pads

The minimum thickness is often stamped on the brake disks. Check with vernier caliper or micrometer. How thick are the brake pads?

Fork rings

Dip tubes are wiped down to cover up wear and tear. If you look under the hood, 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, pegs, bench

They can provide information about accidental damage. The scratches often reveal that the bike just fell over. Is the seat worn out? If yes why?

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 pinion teeth look evenly?


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 and engine oil

Are there any leaks anywhere? How is the running culture? 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.

Modifications or tuning

Are there any changes to the motorcycle? Are they entered in the vehicle registration document or are the necessary certificates available?

Papers and bills

Has the maintenance condition of the motorcycle been documented in the service book? If not: Are there workshop invoices that can be used to prove work that has been carried out?

Test drive

It should be five kilometers: does the engine pull cleanly? Pay attention to rattle, vibrations and driving behavior. Can you handle the bike? Are both feet flat on the ground at the traffic lights? Do your arms still reach the handles when the steering wheel is fully turned?

Purchase contract and purchase

Insist on the drawing up of a sales contract, also between private individuals, possibly even family members. That protects both sides. Does the chassis number of the bike match the number in the vehicle registration document? Is the seller the owner of the motorcycle?

That is the conclusion of the expert

“Wear and tear is normal, but you should be careful with some quirks,” advises Ralf Graumann. AUTO BILD MOTORRAD adds: No question, crazy tires need to be replaced. But they are how Brake pads or Chains, normal wear and tear and easy to calculate. It looks different with a rattling Timing chain or a bent one Steering stop the end. Here can the Chain tensioner defective or the frame be crooked. Then there is a risk of expensive repairs!

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