What to Look for in a Used Motorcycle

Buying a used bike can certainly be an overwhelming experience for a first-time buyer. Knowing exactly what to look for, what to ask about, and how to know you’re not buying a lemon is often somewhat of a learning curve. At Chicago Cycles & Motorsports, we work with buyers and sellers, and our background of the motorcycle market makes us highly knowledgeable. If you’re looking to invest in your first used bike, here are some things to look for when purchasing used Harley motorcycles in Chicago.

Overall Appearance of the Bike

Take some time to carefully inspect the bike’s appearance, including the tight spots and the hard-to-reach places where dirt and grime can accumulate. There’s an obvious difference between bikes that have been quickly cleaned for a sale and bikes that are carefully kept in great condition by a true enthusiast. At the end of the day, the importance you place on the overall aesthetics of the bike is up to you, but a clean bike is typically a happy bike.


One of the most important parts of the functionality of your motorcycle is obviously the brakes. Without the ability to safely stop your bike, there is no point in making it move. When inspecting your bike, take a moment to sit on it and take it out of gear, allowing it to roll forward. Gently apply the brakes to ensure the brake lever operates smoothly and the brakes do not make any suspicious noises.


With most used Harley motorcycles in Chicago, smooth and even wear can be expected and is no reason to worry. However, if there is significant wear on certain sections of the tires, it can be indicative of long-distance freeway riding or excessive burnouts. One-sided scuff marks on the front tire indicate an offset wheel. While tires are replaceable, the current tires can tell you a lot about the state of the bike.


There are plenty of physical aspects to investigate about used Harley motorcycles in Chicago, but one of the easiest and most important things to do when looking for your bike is to ask for all the service records and receipts for the bike. The service records and receipts for the bike will inform you of all prior upkeep and can give you some peace of mind when purchasing.

Contact Chicago Cycles & Motorsports

For more information about buying used Harley motorcycles in Chicago, or to view our current inventory, call us or visit our website!

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