I posted something similsr on another thread a long time ago and it came up agiain It was suggested I post on it's own so it can become a sticky.
It is not perfect I'm open to suggestions/changed/comments and of course you are more than welcome to bash it too
here it is.
Motorcycle Buying Checklist.
Writing pad to take notes plus a pen or pencil.
Screwdriver one that has multiple tips is best.
Rag or clean cloth preferably two
Good working gloves.
A bright flashlight.
Optional but highly recommended a digital camera.
Bring someone who does not have OBF/NBF (old bike fever/new bike fever) to keep things in perspective (might have them hold your money if you really trust them) let them write down anything you find.
Note: Get the owner/sellers permission before performing any mechanical operations or removing any equipment,covers or components on the motorcycle.
First off start off a little distance and just look at the bike is anything out of place? Headlight brackets bent? handlebars crooked? Forks straight? Rear wheel straight? Are there any wet spots on the bike? Look underneath how clean is it? Any of the fasteners buggered or missing?
If the visuals look good move on to the front wheel
- First look at the front fender is the paint faded, chipped or dents? Is it crooked? Are the bolts in place is the fender loose if it has rivets tap on them with the screwdriver to see if they are loose. Now move onto the front wheel, tire in good shape no nails or signs of a plug being used sidewalls cracked, pressure is up? check the wheel it is damaged is the clear coat/chrome peeling or faded, If is a wire or spoked wheel any spokes missing or damaged? Are they all the same type? On spoked wheel run your screwdriver over the spokes look –listen if one sounds off key it might be loose. Check the wheel bearings rust or water damaged
- Brakes is the disc scored or rusted are the bolts in good shape? Pads worn or oddly worn to one side? If dual disc check both sides,
- Front axle are the mounting bolts tight, are they damaged?
- Forks any major dents or dings is the finish in good shape
- Fork seal leaking? sit on the seat hold the front brake and pump it a few times is the action smooth any fluid coming out of the seals?
- Triple trees bolts tight and all present, have your friend sit on the bike and hold it upright grab the fork tubes and pull towards you, you are checking the head bearings if damaged or worn you can feel movement.
- Headlight: damaged lens, body brackets okay any butchered wiring hanging out look for black electrical tape. Also check front turn signals do all the lights work low and high beam left and right signals check front and rear, and as long your friend is sitting there have them operate the brake lever and rear brake pedal check the brake light is working. And check the horn.
Handlebars straight and paint or chrome in good shape, switches working smooth, missing fasteners or mismatched fasteners, if you want take a look underneath for corrosion. Look at the wiring good shape not molested. Gauges work, lights work?
Pop the top off the brake reservoir and look at the brake it is clean and no signs of water (white swirls) if it has a hydraulic clutch same thing.
Next is the frame look it over and mismatched paint or rust spots, is it bent look for bondo or body filler. Look for anything out of place.
Fuel tank look inside any gunk inside is the fuel clean (if any) is the mount bolts tight and in good shape. Fuel valve good shape EFI look for rust or white spots around the fuel pump feed lines, is the wiring under the tank (if visible) in good shape. Any dents or paint damaged look especially around the fuel cap area, look under the tank is the paint a different shade or color (a little difference is okay you are looking for different colors)
Seat in good shape if you can remove and look underneath the seat and check the condition then look at bike itself is all the components in order and good shape.
If you have access look at the fuses are they old or corroded? Also look at anything out of place.
Engine look at all junctions are there any leaks or signs of a blown gaskets is the engine up to the proper level and is the oil clean, does it have any smells to it like gasoline or a burnt smell ?
look at the valve cover(s) any leaks.
Crabs/Injectors pull the air cleaner off or out is the filter clean does it smell of old fuel or oil. On a carburetor is it good condition any discoloration or signs of leakage. Any rubber pieces sticking out, On EFI equip bikes look for leaks around the injectors and the electrical connectors and fuel feed lines are in good shape. Generally look for anything out of the norm.
Next look around the engine under the seat any leaks is the starter okay. If you can access the battery look at battery in good shape are the cables tight. Follow them down to their end are the cable ends in good shape look for whitish powder sign of bad cables.
Rear fender okay? Loose or missing fasteners. Paint good shape? Is it crooked? License plate bent registration current? Light working? turn signals bent.
Next check the swing arm, pivot bolts okay no rust or missing lube. Can you move the swing left to right using the rear wheel? Check the belt or chain good condition and runs straight, any worn or missing teeth on the pulleys/sprockets.
Rear tire good shape cracked sidewall, cuts or nails, plugs being used on the wheel same as the front damage? Peeling paint- chrome. If spokes check them also. Rear brake pads if disc worn evenly does the brake run straight? wheel bearings okay?
Next fire up the bike and listen do you hear any sounds out of the norm like ticking, pinging or chuffing noise like a air leak. If you can ride it does it accelerate and stop smoothly, during a turn does it feel smooth, and any wobbles riding straight on a smooth road. Do you feel comfortable moving it around with just your feet?
Look at your list do you have anything on the list that would cost too much to fix.
You can always use that as a negotiation point during your dealing.