Wisconsin Used Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide


Our UTVs are in the garage waiting for the ground to thaw and my face isn’t threatening to fall off from the cold; it must be bike season! The best thing a person can do for personal growth and fulfillment during stimulus season is to buy a used motorcycle. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting ripped off on that darn internet.


Buying a used bike comes down to two categories: condition and intuition. That’s right; vibes.


First, let’s look at the condition. Is the bike high mileage? Every listing says low mileage, but really anything over 10,000 should be considered high mileage. Not because they can’t last 100,000 miles but because 10,000 miles is plenty of time to screw up a bike..

high mileage motorcycles


Next, are there any scrapes on the fairings, levers, or pegs? If so there is a horrifying chance the bike has had some face time with the pavement. 

how to assess fairing damage on motorcycle

Clutch, Brake, & Throttle Free Play

Is there any free-play on the throttle or clutch cable? Free play is the amount of distance the levers can move before they grab. If either of them feel loose, it means more required maintenance.

Fork Seals

Next, is there grease right below the suspension fork seals? If so the bike will probably need suspension work during the time you own it. 


Lastly for the condition category are the tires. Do they have tread life and are they balanced? You will know if they need to be balanced because the bike will shake when you ride it. While you’re at it, if the brake pads are squeaking you can use that as bargaining power too but don’t let it scare you.

bike tires near appleton wi


That’s it for the condition! If your pending wheels roll on the favorable side of those five criteria, it’s time to look deep into your soul and make the decision. Were there any red flags when you were talking to the current owner or looking over the bike? Knowing who you are buying from will tell you how much life has been exerted from the bike overall. The seller could be bragging about speed, illegal upgrades, or might even have burnout marks right there on his driveway. If the red flags are impossible to avoid, get the heck out of there! That’s not your bike.

When you find the right bike with the right vibes, don’t waste any time because there is nothing worse than having a bike bought out from under you. If you want to skip the line and have peace of mind that your bike is in perfect condition, schedule a test drive at Team Winnebagoland. We have hundreds of certified pre-owned motorcycles and all of them come with a month and a half or warranty so the only thing you need to worry about is what color you want.