The Complete 10 Step Checklist For Buying A Used Dirt Bike

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If you’re thinking about picking up a used dirt bike it’s important that you know what to look for when you’re checking out the bike. There are a lot of lemons out there and in this post, I’ll be giving you a complete checklist for buying a used dirt bike.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re buying a car, dirt bike, or anything else, you aren’t going to know for sure what the previous owner has done to it or how well they’ve maintained it. They are selling it for a reason and often times it’s because there is something wrong with it (most of the time it’s because they want something bigger or newer).

If the dirt bike has been rebuilt or is way underpriced, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t consider it. Normally if it’s too good to be true, it really is. You’re buying something that’s expensive and something that’ll be beaten up a bit so it’s important you get something that’ll withstand the elements.

If you’ve never purchased a used dirt bike before I’d recommend you bring another set of eyes. There have been a few times I’ve missed something or a buddy of mine has missed something that was in plain view and the second set of eyes will be a big help.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to quickly tell if the bike is worth picking up or turning around and walking away. Let’s jump into the things to look at:

  1. Do a once over. The first thing you should do is simply look at the bike to see how well they actually took care of it. Is it clean and is it covered in dings and scratches? If they didn’t even bother to wash the bike imagine what else they didn’t do. They probably didn’t change the oil enough, clean the air filter enough, or a number of other things. If the bike is perfectly clean chances are the bike is in good condition.
  2. Look around. The next thing you should do is look around to see the surrounding area. If you go to someone’s house and there’s junk laying around everywhere and everything is a mess, chances are the bike will be the same. How someone does something is how they do everything. If they can’t even take care of their house they probably didn’t take care of their bike.
  3. Obvious things. After that, you should check the condition of the obvious things that could be dinged up. Take a look at all the plastic parts, see how the condition of the chain is, how bald are the tires, and if the handlebars are bent. If these are all in good condition, chances are the rest of the bike is as well.
  4. Make sure it’s not stolen. Take a look to see if the chassis numbers have been scratched off. If they are there’s a good chance the bike is stolen.
  5. Check for repairs. Be sure to check for any large repairs that have been done to the bike. Look at the frame to see if there are any weld repairs and look at the rims for any bends/repairs.
  6. Check the fluids. Do a quick check to see if there is enough oil in the bike. Also, take the radiator cap off to see how the coolant level is. If either of these is low there’s a good chance it’s been that way for a long time. I wouldn’t buy it.
  7. Check the forks. Take a quick look at the forks to see if they’re leaking any oil.
  8. Ask questions. Ask the owner some basic questions to see how often they serviced the bike, what did they do to it on a regular basis (oil, transmission fluid, air filter, lube, etc), and if they have any receipts for work done on it.
  9. Check the levers. Take a look at the clutch and brake lever to see how they work. You’ll easily be able to see if they are bent and how smoothly you can squeeze them.
  10. Start the bike. Kick or turn on the bike to see how it sounds. If it’s somewhat saggy when you kick the bike it’s probably been well used. If it is firm when you kick it that’s a good sign. Check to see if the engine is rattling or if it sounds smooth and also make sure it idles properly and doesn’t turn off on itself. Take it for a spin to see how it performs. Is the throttle responsive? Does it shift through the gears smoothly? Does it feel like it’s driving straight? If yes, that’s a great sign.

If all of those boxes were checked you should feel pretty confident in making the purchase. Most of the time when there’s something wrong with a bike you’ll be able to quickly tell by just looking, listening, or riding the dirt bike. All you have to do now is negotiate like a mad man to get the best deal possible.

What Is The Best Used Dirt Bike To Buy?

In my opinion, the best-used dirt bike to buy would be a 4 stroke bike that was used for trail riding. If there’s a 2 stroke bike that was used for racing on the track there’s a good chance it’s taken a beating and might not be the best option. If you need a racing bike that’s fine but if you’ll be using it for casual riding I’d go with something like a Honda, Yamaha, KTM, or Husqvarna.

What Is The Best Website To Buy A Used Dirt Bike?

I’ve never purchased a used dirt bike myself but after doing a bit of research it looks like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace would be the best options.

What Is The Best Time To Buy A Used Dirt Bike?

The best time to buy a used dirt bike would be the end of Summer or the beginning of Spring. This is when people are looking to get a new bike and are trying to sell their old ones.

What Is Considered Low Hours On A Dirt Bike?

I wouldn’t really worry about hours on a dirt bike because there usually isn’t a way of confirming it. It also depends if it’s a race bike or trail bike. The thing I’d look at more is how the bike was maintained and the condition it’s in. If it was always maintained and the condition is good it’ll last for a long time and you shouldn’t have any problems.

How Can You Tell What Year A Dirt Bike Is?

  1. Locate the VIN number just below the handlebars.
  2. Count from left to right and look at the 10th number.
  3. Look at the chart below to find the year.

what year is my dirt bike

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

Looking to get some new dirt bike gear? Click here to check out our recommended gear page to see the stuff we’re actually using and the cheapest place to pick them up.

Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. This site is where I test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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