Avoid mistakes when choosing a motorbike with Infinity Motorcycles’ buying guide. Expert tips for picking the perfect bike. Find your perfect ride today.

Purchasing a motorcycle is always an exciting experience. Whether it be upgrading your existing machine or buying for the first time, it’s important to not just use one’s heart when procuring a motorbike. There are certain factors that will need careful consideration before one puts down one's hard-earned cash. Let's look at a few tips that will help make the purchasing process as seamless as possible.

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Considerations when purchasing a motorcycle

Do a visual inspection of the motorcycle and be on the lookout for any significant damage to the paintwork, chrome and panels. Be sure to also inspect the outside of mirrors, exhaust pipes, bar ends and brake levers as these areas would damage first if the bike was involved in a crash or fall.

Check for fluid leaks underneath the bike, around the cooling system and along the braking system (including brake fluid reservoirs). While you’re inspecting the brakes, make sure that the brake fluid is looking fresh and new. Dark-coloured brake fluid can be a sign of poor maintenance of the braking system and, possibly, the entire motorcycle.

Motorcycles usually have a small glass window to check the oil level; ensure that the engine oil is at the recommended level and also check the colour. Dark-coloured oil is indicative of insufficient oil services and a bad maintenance plan.

On older bikes, it's important to take a flashlight to the inspection and inspect the inside of the fuel tank. Rust can build up and, although this won’t happen in the first few years of a motorcycle's life span, it is nonetheless important to check, especially on older bikes.

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Inspect the front forks for any leaks, bends or rust

At the rear of the bike, inspect the sprocket and chain for noticeable wear. It’s possible for the chain to stretch over time, so check for any excess play or lack of tension on the chain.  The suspension on the bike should feel smooth and unobstructed. By placing load on the suspension while stationary, one can easily get an indication of the condition of the suspension components. Excessive movement could also mean that suspension parts may need maintenance or replacing. Find your perfect choice of motorcycle accessories to suit your ride.

Check the condition of electrical components, especially around the battery tray. Here you will notice if any aftermarket connections were made and you can be on the lookout for electrical tape or loose wires. Visually inspect the wiring harnesses coming to the instrument cluster and look out for tampering.

Make sure to check that the ignition/fork lock is in working condition and be on the lookout for mismatched keys; this could be a sign of a motorcycle that has been previously stolen, salvaged or rebuilt.

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Check your motorbike’s tyres

Tyres can tell you a lot about how a motorcycle has been treated. Burnouts can leave long longitudinal lines across the centre surface of the tyre and can also cause flat spots, while small blobs or rubber on the very edge of the tyre is a possible sign that the bike has been track ridden. This shouldn't necessarily deter you from the possible purchase of your new motorcycle, but these are things to consider when checking the overall condition of the bike.

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Additional checks before buying a motorbike

Ask the seller to leave the bike cold when you arrive so that you can assess cold starts, and also notice the difference in engine noise once the bike has reached operating temperature.

Aftermarket accessories aren't always indicative of damaged parts that have been replaced, however, the parts market is littered with cheaply manufactured aftermarket motorcycle accessories. It is therefore important to always check that good quality aftermarket products have been fitted and question any accessories that you are uncertain of.

Ask the seller to show you the registration documents of the bike and check that both the VIN and the engine number match the details on the motorcycle.

Insist on a test ride to ensure that everything on the bike is functional under normal riding conditions. Brakes, gears, gauges and switchgear should all be checked thoroughly during a test ride.

Research, research, research

Do your homework before going to view a bike. The internet makes life easy, and popular online video platforms are an excellent way to find real-world reviews as well as understand possible common issues with a particular make and model. Check the market for similar vehicles and compare prices so that you make an informed purchase.

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AND THAT'S IT!

Lastly, don't be afraid to walk away from a bike if you are uncertain. Sometimes sellers may not be forthcoming around the history of a motorcycle and in the absence of maintenance paperwork, it's their word and your observation that will determine a good purchase or not.