To buy a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle is a whole story in itself. It doesn't come cheap. A better alternative is to buy a used Harley bike. But which used Harley Davidson motorcycle is the best? Whether you are thinking of buying a vintage used Harley or a recent model, the excitement is still the same. It's a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Owning one is like owning your own personal 142 foot rigger.
Before plunking down the cash, you have to realize that the cash investment is not the final monetary outlay. You have to have additional budget for the maintenance of the bike. Here are the things to keep in mind when buying a used Harley Davidson motorcycle.
1. Look for color, style, model and how old you would like your used Harley bike to be and match it with your budget that you can afford. The internet help save time than doing your legwork out in the "real" world.
2. Know the price structure of the current market value of used Harley Bikes. So that you will be able to determine if you are going to be getting the best possible deal. Investigate finance and insurance rates as well.
3. You should know if the parts are easily available, in case you might need to replace parts in your used Harley bike in the near future.
4. Check the overall condition of the used Harley bike:
-Look for visible signs of corrosive rust, dents ( bent rims, bent control rods, bent fork tubes), paint scratches, missing handlebar grips and damaged panels.
-Mileage-check it because it's the main basis of the price that is being offered. -Check oil and oil filter. If it smells burned, its a sure sign of engine problems. Look for any lines of oil and hydraulic leaks.
-Check the tire pressure with the aid of a tire gauge. look for cracks,cuts, signs of wear like only of fifty percent of tread is left of the tires.
-Inspect the headlights, taillights,blinkers,turning signals and brake lights if these are working in good condition. If not, there could be faulty battery connection.
-Check the gas gauge and speedometer are operating smoothly. Saves a lot of trouble than always guessing how much gas is left.
-Check for any missing teeth of the chain, gear and sprockets. There should correct tension so that the motion of the chain is smooth.
-Take the bike for a spin. Check if the engine starts without stuttering. Inspect if there is blue smoke from the exhaust pipes which is another sign that the engine is worn.
-Check if the bike runs steadily. If you keep revving up the engine...hmmm...look elsewhere.
-Try different speeds and check if there are unnecessary noises and vibrations and if the gears shift smoothly. You don't want to be always jerking around every time you shift gears. The clutch should feel solid not slips.
-Turn the handlebars throughout its full operating range to check if the steering mechanism is ok. And let go the handlebars for a second to inspect if the bike tracks straight and not wobbly.
-Check rear and front brakes and suspension.Check to see how well the brake pads grip, if not they are unevenly adjusted.
-Inspect the clutch,throttle and brake level are working smoothly. Also the grips of the handlebar.
-Lastly but certainly not the least, ask this question...how does the bike feel for you? Are the mirrors correctly positioned as you are sitting on the bike? Are the handlebars situated at the correct distance from you? Feel how the bike rides,stops and so on.
Now you are ready to part with your hard-earned money but there are few more details to take care of: -Maintenance history. If there is a written documentation of mechanical check up, previous owners,verifying the VIN number - Other miscellaneous costs-state registration fee, license plate fee,title fee and insurance. If you are purchasing from a dealership, its already set up for you, if from a private seller, you have to go to a notary. -If there is no owner's manual, you can look online.