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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I wrote this up pretty fast, so I know there are typos and things I missed. This is just a quick list and comments you the buyer may want to consider.

New you get a warranty. Used you only get a warranty if you buy from a dealer that offers one. A warranty usually only covers factory defects, just like most car warranties. Normally a factory warranty is for 12 months but you can buy an extended plan. No warranty is good if you want to make changes to the bike, IE exhaust, motor work, ECU remapping ect.

New gets a maintenance program. Used you only get a Maintenance program if you buy from a dealer that offers one. Maintenance programs usually cover your oil changes and general maintenance, and they will charge you for just about anything they can find. The purpose for the program is to keep the bike on a regular schedule for repairs and maintained. Not a bad thing if you are not familiar with working on bikes or if you are forgetful.

A new bike should have no issues. A used bike may have issues the seller knows or doesn’t know about, they may or may not tell you. If a new bike has an issue of any kind, the dealership will deal with it providing it is still covered by the warranty. A used bike from a private seller could run great the day you buy it and then die the next. You never know what kind of crazy stuff you will find when you open the bike up for the first time. So if you are good with your hands or don’t mind paying someone to work on it is no big deal. I am not saying every bike you buy used will have issues. There is a balance, when looking at a bike.

A new bike you pay current MSRP. A used bike is normally set to Blue Book Value A new bike you are paying full price, yes you can wheel and deal a little bit but at the end of the day you are never getting a great deal. The exception to this rule is if you buy a leftover model. Ex; if the bike is last year’s model but has been sitting on the show room floor. The bike is still treated as a new bike as far as warranty but they will lower the asking price to try and get it off the floor. With a used bike you can try to talk them down in price or have them include add-ons, like helmets, jackets, or other needed items to ride that day. If a private seller is getting out of the sport they might want to just get rid of everything.

Random things to think about below. Ran out of time so I had to just make bullets.

·******** Try to figure out who you are buying from. It is sad to say it but use stereo types when you look at the bike, try to go to their house not a parking lot or anything like that. You want to be able to look at how they take care of their other belongings and themselves.

·******** Look at their house, car, lawn, if the garage has tools that could at least perform basic maintenance and repairs, how they are dressed, general attitude towards anything.

·******** Don’t fall for the person that brags about how they wash and wax it after every ride, it just means it looks good. It does not mean they did anything else to it like oil changes.

·******** Ask if they have any maintenance records, even if they have a binder full of hand written logs and recites of things they did to the bike themselves. To me if they did the work and took time to create a log book they care about the bike.

·******** Look at the tires, behind the license plate, and any other place where rubber can build up from doing burnouts.

·******** Ask them flat out, how long they have been riding and how long they have had the bike

·******** What they used it for. Riding to and from work, learned how to ride on it, stunting, drag racing....

·******** Look for the obvious stuff. The big things can be ignored without even realizing it.

·******** Everything you find can me something or nothing. A rusty chain could mean the bike was stored outside, it was never lubed, worn out, damaged, or it is just a little surface rust that happens on every chain and it is perfectly fine.

·******** How many owners has the bike had? More owners will cause a raised potential for issues.

·******** ASK QUESTIONS!!! About anything. If they don’t want to answer them, if they don’t want to help you then they are not worth your time. Everyone has bikes for sale. Just because you like the way one looks doesn’t mean you have to buy that one. You can always buy the same make and model and make it look just like that one.

·******** Don’t let the seller convince you of anything, good or bad take it with a grain of salt.

·******** Buying in the off season is great. People are trying to make room for other stuff, or they need the money for the holidays, or whatever. At the end of the day you can find some good used deals in the middle of winter. I just hate having a new toy just sit there for several months all sad and lonely.

·******** Bring a friend with you that can help you look at the bike.

·******** Look, listen, and smell when they start the bike for you.

·******** I know you are looking at Ninja 250’s. They hold their value very well, which is a good and a bad thing. If you buy new you can sell it the next year and get a large portion of the money you spent on it back.

·******** Are you going to keep the bike or just ride it for a season or two?

·******** What do you want out of the bike?

·******** Do you have a way to bring a used bike home? A dealership will set you up with DMV paperwork, a private seller wont.

·******** What are your back up plans if the used bike breaks down?

·******** Usually the newer the bike the higher the insurance.

·******** Don’t let your excitement of finally getting a new bike cloud your decision making. Bikes are not going anywhere any time soon. You have waited this long you can wait a little longer.

·******** Make a call list for Craig’s lists ads. Call them once to get general info and then call them back in a few days to see if the bike sold and if they are ready to come down in price.

·******** Make a list of questions before you go and look at a bike. Again if they don’t want to answer them then they are not worth your time.

Like It is only the tip of the iceberg, but its better than nothing. Have fun shopping and take your time. You have your whole life to ride. I hope this helps at least one person out.

Premium Member
4,247 Posts
Awesome write up Adesiso,
Well thought out and informative!

I was the forth owner of my 2008 250R, and I bought it in 2009!
1st owner put about 11,000kms on it as a daily driver, sold it because he needed a car.
2nd Owner was a friend of his, but didn't ride it.
3rd Owner started learning to ride on it, but was involved in a serious car accident and broke a couple of vertibrae. While he could still walk around, he definately could not ride for a long time!
My point is that even though there were a lot of owners, there was not a single thing wrong with the bike except for a worn front tyre, other wise it was in excellent condition!

1,230 Posts
Super helpful! Thanks Adesiso.

:Sent via the NewNinja iPhone App:
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