What if spending a few minutes prior to shopping for a motorcycle could help save you time, money, and plenty of frustration?
When shopping for used motorcycles in Dallas, Texas, you might be tempted to grab the first good-looking bike within your budget. It’s only after you’ve been driving for a while that you realize that you’ve bought a “lemon” that will be very costly to repair and maintain, even if you have good motorcycle insurance.
To help you avoid that fate, we put together this guide to buying a used motorcycle in Dallas. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know!
Research the VIN Before Buying a Used Motorcycle in Texas
It’s good to check the VIN number on the bike. That’s because the VIN can give you useful information in both the short term and the long term.
When you check the VIN in person, you can make sure the VIN has not been re-stamped on. That may be a sign that the bike has been stolen before.
Once you have the VIN, you can also use a third-party service to research the VIN. This may tell you information about the vehicle history that can either corroborate what the seller told you or even catch them in a lie.
Deciding on Dealership vs. Private Seller to Buy Your Bike
One of the first things you need to figure out is whether you want to buy a motorcycle from a dealership vs. a private seller. There are pros and cons to each option.
For example, private sellers often have better prices. A private seller doesn’t have any real overhead to worry about, so they can pass those savings on to you.
At the same time, dealerships offer benefits that private sellers cannot offer. For example, dealerships often keep motorcycles in better condition than private sellers do, and they offer more info about a vehicle’s owner history and service history. Finally, a dealership may be in a place to offer a warranty. Either way, you can get your “new to you” bike in time for some Texas spring road trips.
Inspect the Quality of a Used Bike Before You Buy
Depending on how much you know about motorcycles, there are many technical aspects you can check out. Even if this is your first bike ever, there are things you can discover through simple visual inspection.
For example, you want to see how clean the bike looks close up. Some sellers (especially private sellers) will do a quick clean job, but you can still see dirt and grime in the various hard-to-reach places. Just like cars, motorcycles should get regular maintenance.
If all those tight little places are also clean and shiny, this is an indication that somebody has been taking care of the bike and wants to help find it a loving home.
Request a “Cold” Inspection for Motorcycles
You’ll get plenty of hits when you search for “used motorcycles near me.” Eventually, you’ll narrow things down to a few bikes that you’d like to inspect in person.
When communicating with the seller, let them know you’d like to inspect the bike “cold.” That simply means that you don’t want them to turn it on at any point before you get there.
Why not? Some bikes have trouble starting or running, effectively needing to be “warmed up” before they can really function. If you don’t inspect the bike cold, you may buy a motorcycle with some major problems that never showed up during your “hot” inspection.
Check the Service History of Used Motorcycles
If possible, you should always check the used motorcycle’s service history. This is the kind of information that dealerships usually have and private sellers usually do not have (or at least, private sellers won’t provide).
Think of the bike’s service history as if it were a medical record. If the bike has had numerous trips to the shop, it may not be very “healthy.” Instead of purchasing a bike in a good condition, you might be buying a “fixer-upper!”
Always check the service record if possible. If it comes down to a seller who can give you a record and a seller who can’t, we recommend going with the seller who is offering you more information. This helps you grab a bike that is ready for all seasons.
Before Buying a Used Bike in Texas, Take a Test Ride
If you have inspected a used bike and are interested in buying it, then you need to take it for a test ride. As with buying a car, the ride is usually the final chance to make sure everything is running well and you want to spend the next few years with this bike as your ride.
Assuming you are satisfied after the ride, all that is left is to make the purchase. You might also bend the seller’s ear about any recommendations for cheap motorcycle insurance. If you’re not used to buying motorcycle insurance in Texas, he might be able to answer your questions, especially about motorcycle laws.
Post-Purchase Bike Safety Check
Once you’ve made your purchase, we recommend you have your bike inspected by a local mechanic. They will be able to fully confirm that it is safe for the road.
Even if you are a motorcycle guru, it’s easy to miss things during your inspection. In some cases, missing even a small detail can put your life in danger. Keep in mind that 482 people die driving a motorcycle in Dallas each year (which is a major increase over previous years), so safety is very important.
With any luck, the mechanic will report there is nothing wrong with your bike. That gives you the peace of mind needed to really enjoy your next ride!
Getting Affordable Motorcycle Insurance in Texas
Now you know how to buy the best used motorcycle in Dallas, Texas. But do you know who can help protect your new purchase from the dangers of the road?
Here at Baja Auto Insurance, we’re here to protect both you and your ride. To hear more about our motorcycle insurance, you can simply request a motorcycle insurance quote online. Or if you’d prefer, you can always come into one of our local offices and chat with us. Or if you’re busy, just pick up the phone and give us a call at 800-401-6870.