Is the mileage of the motorcycle you want low, but the saddle worn out and the handles also in need of replacement? Then there may be cheating with the mileage. Obviously, the previous owner may have had some very rough pants or sandpaper gloves, but these are points to consider.

Is the oil clean?

How the oil is level and is the oil still clean in the sight glass or on the arrow stick? If it is jet black, it may be that the seller did not consider the oil change a priority, while this is a must for proper maintenance with engine blocks of engines. For the motomarine BRP  this is important.

Check the lighting

Also check the lighting during the tour around the bike, not only the headlight and taillight, but also the turn signals and especially the brake light. It sometimes happens that due to wiring harness problems, the brake light no longer responds to the brake lever or brake pedal.

Chain set

What about the teeth? Check the gears for sharpness of the teeth. If they are sharp or curved, it is time for a fresh chain set. If you pull the chain off the sprocket at the rear, the chain is also worn out.


If you can jack up the bike, it is advisable to turn the wheels and grab them left and right and try to twist them pull left or push right and vice versa. This allows you to see if the wheel has any play on the bearings. Also let them spin for a while to check that wheel bearings are not creaking or the brake pads are running. It is no problem to lightly touch the brake pads, but the wheel must not come to an abrupt stop. Then it is time to overhaul the caliper.


We are almost there. One more check before you can take a tour. What about the suspension? Push the handlebars and saddle a few times and go with your finders over the suspension part of the fork and shock absorbers. If your fingers feel oily, there is a leak and a seal needs to be replaced.

When the motor springs in, the motor must rise directly. Do not get stuck at the bottom or come up very slowly. That indicates bad suspension that needs maintenance and this can be a pricey joke.

Time for the test drive

When the engine is cold, look at the color of the exhaust gases if it is blue, the engine burns oil. If the exhaust gases are white, it is possible that the head gasket is leaking and cooling water enters the combustion. Or the seller has washed the engine a little too exuberantly and there is water in the exhaust. This white vapor should disappear after a few minutes.

Run the engine warm and check that it shifts correctly through all gears under different loads high or low speed. Not as annoying as a fourth gear where it continuously shoots out when accelerating. Then it is time for an overhaul of the gearbox, which is certainly not desirable.

Release the steering wheel and see what the engine does on its own. Does it immediately pull in one direction or start shaking its front wheel? This could indicate low tire pressure, curved rims, poorly balanced tires, a skewed frame or a crooked front fork. Try this at various points while driving, because it can also be caused by the surface.

Estella Miller

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