Motocross & Enduro - tips on buying a used offroad-bike
You want to buy a used offroad bike? We help you with valuable tips for buying used motocross and enduro bikes
The purchase of used MX & enduro bikes isn't rocket science, but should be well prepared, so there are no nasty surprises afterwards. If you follow the advice below, nothing will stop your adventures in the dirt.
Some useful tips in advance
- TAKE YOUR TIME! A detailed bike inspection isn't done in only 5 minutes. Make sure the seller has enough time and don't let yourself be rushed.
- DON'T BE FOOLED! The condition of a used dirtbike can't be determinded only by the looks. A new plastic kit says nothing about the technical condition of the motocross bike. An hour meter isn't meaningful as it can be zeroed or installed later.
- THE SELLING PRICE IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! Sure, everyone wants to make a good deal. But remember that second-hand purchases of bikes always have consequential costs of repairs. The replacement of broken or worn MX parts can quickly become a cost trap. Spending a few houndred Euros more when buying the bike can pay off in the long run.
- GO AHEAD SYSTEMATICALLY! Often, one forgets important details when testing aimlessly. Start at one point of the bike and proceed systematically until you have checked everyhing important.
- THE TEST RIDE COMES LAST! You should take this advice to heart, because it's about your health! Before you start the test ride you MUST have checked the bike technically. Test the brakes, check the bike for loose screws, weak points in the frame, etc. Of course, you should also wear the appropriate protective equipment during a test ride: MX helmets, MX boots, gloves, etc.
You have read that? Then we can now start with the details.
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1. Check tires, wheels and brakes
Working steps (each for front and rear wheel)
- Check tires for tire condition (profile, damage) and correct tire size.
- Check the rims for external damage (dents, cracks, handling). Check the condition of the spokes and spoke nipples. Check the hubs for damage and the smooth running of wheel bearings, as well as wheel bearing clearance.
- Check the condition of the brakes. Are the brake pads heavily worn? Are the brakes sufficiently responsive to the operation of the handbrake and footbrake lever? Is the brake caliper tight or are the retaining bolts already badly worn? Is the brake disc already at the wear limit and must be replaced?
2. Check the suspension
Working steps (each for the suspension fork and the rear shock absorber)
- Check the lower legs of the fork and the piston rod of the rear shock absorber. Are there any marks, rockfalls or scratches?
- Check the fork shaft seals and piston rod seals for damage. Does any oil run out? Then the spring elements are definitely due for a service!
- Check the damping adjustment screws. Can all screws be turned or are the screw heads already badly worn? If so, then there may be problems in setting your suspension.
3. Check the cockpit and the frame number
- Check the handlebar and the fittings. is the handlebar straight and properly fastened? Can the clutch be operated smoothly? Does the throttle jump back to its neutral position by itself? Are the rubber covers and handles still intact?
- Check the streering head and the steering head bearings. Can the bike's handlebars be easily turned? Is the steering head loose?
- Check the frame number. Is it badly worn? Has it been modified? Be careful!
4. Check the cooling system
- Check the coolers for damage. Are the coolers bent? Are the brackets damaged?
- Check the level of the coolant. Is the cooler filled to the top? If not, beware! It's possible that the engine was regularly overheated.
- Also check the color and consistency of the coolant. Oil in the coolant can be a sign of a damaged seal in the engine case.
5. Visual inspection of engine and exhaust
- Make a visual inspection of the engine. Are there any parts of the engine where unusually high amounts of oil run out? Are there any damages or cracks on the ignition cover or clutch cover?
- Check the exhaust parts for dents, cracks and damage.
- If possible, remove the exhaust or pipe (only possible with two-stroke engines) and check the condition of the piston and cylinder.
6. Control of footrest, footbrake lever, kickstarter and swingarm
- Check the footpegs, the footbrake lever and the kickstarter. Are the parts badly worn and without a tight fit? Then the bike has a lot of rides on its back.
- Check the swingarm for damage.
- Check the swingarm bearings for clearance.
7. Control of drivetrain components
- Check the front and rear sprockets for wear. Are all teeth still present? Are all teeth still present? Are the teeth badly worn? Then a new chain kit is due.
- Check the wear and the clearance of the chain.
- Check the condition of the chain slider, chain guide and chain roller.
8. Visual inspection of rear and main frame
- If possible, remove the seat and check the rear of the frame. Often the struts of the frame tail are bent from crashes.
- If possible, remove the tank and inspect the main frame for cracks, dents and damage.
- TIP: Here you can also have a look in the intake stroke of the bike. Check the air filter. Is it properly cleaned and oiled? Is there any dirt in the intake stroke?
9. Start the engine and go for a long test ride
- Warm up the engine and listen to the bike. Does the engine sound clean or is there a strong metallic noise which indicates damage or lack of maintenance (valve clearance, piston clearance, etc.)?
- Pull the clutch and engage the first gear. Even when cold, the gear should be easy to engage. If the bike wants to go forward with a flounce while the clutch lever is pulled, then this is an indication of a worn clutch basket.
- Go ahead and test the bike. Shifting up and down should work without any problems. The engine should accept the gas evenly and not stutter.
- Check the general riding behaviour. Are there strong vibrations? Do the brakes have a steady pressure point? Is the bike steering in a certain direction on its own?
Everything checked and tested? Then you're almost done
- Collect your impressions and take a total look at the bike. All defects that you have discovered during the inspection and test ride should be discussed with the seller. If the condition of the bike is worse than described, then it's a legitimate reason to negotiate the price again.
- Ask the seller if he still has some spare parts, accessories and equipment left over. Often you can negotiate a few good deals here and there and save some money. If available, the seller should also hand out the manual. This contains valuable tips for the maintenance and care of your new bike.
- In any case, use a purchase contract to complete the purchase of the used bike safely. On the purchase contract for motocross bikes, at least the frame number should be noted, if necessary, there's also a type certificate. For enduro bikes, a vehicle registration certificate and a vehicle registration document must be handed out in addition to the bike.
Although there is always a small risk when purchasing used motocross bikes, these tips can help you in the selection of your bike. If you're still unsure, you can always contact us. Write us a message on Facebook
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All that remains to say is: Ride on!
Your Maciag Offroad team