The Brain Bucket

Mechanical Checklist to Sell a Motorcycle

Mar 24, 2021 4:18:58 PM / by RumbleOn Road Captain

The Ultimate Mechanical Checklist to Sell a Motorcycle Yourself

If you are having trouble trying to sell a used motorcycle, could it be because you aren’t considering what a buyer is looking for. If someone is looking to buy a used motorcycle, they likely aren’t going to buy your bike at the get-go. If your motorcycle can’t pass a buyer inspection, you will have a tough time closing the deal.

Trade in a motorcycle the easy way, get your free cash offer.

Want to trade for a new ride? Use your cash offer as a motorcycle trade-in value!

Get my trade-in value

The first step to sell a motorcycle is to make sure you are setting realistic expectations as far as the quality of the machine. Give it a thorough inspection and do your research to make sure you are pricing it according to fair market value, not just the blue book value. The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is what a buyer is looking for.

Motorcycle mechanical checklist sell a motorcycle yourself

What a buyer wants to inspect isn’t just the look and feel of the motorcycle. This goes all the way down to the nitty-gritty details, the fine print, the ins and outs of the bike: also known as the mechanical integrity. 

To help you make sure you are covering all the bases here is a checklist of mechanical items that some buyers use to inspect on site. With this list, you can examine every area a buyer will likely pay attention to and make sure everything is in tip-top shape. That way, you know you are selling an all-around great machine that is worth the price.

Want to make sure you have everything covered? Download a printable version of this checklist!

 Download Checklist

  • Oil: Is the oil relatively clean and at the correct level? Are there any leaks?
  • Starting: Does the engine start easily and run within a few minutes?
  • Idle and throttle response: Does the warm engine idle smoothly and respond to the throttle?
  • Noise: Are there any knocks, rattles, or unnecessary rumbles?
  • Transmission: Does the transmission engage smoothly?
  • Clutch: Is the clutch properly adjusted? Does it drag or slip?
  • Exhaust: Are there any rust bubbles or broken hardware at the cylinder head?
Cooling System
  • Coolant level: Is it filled to the correct level? Are there any leaks?
  • Temperature gauge: Does the indicator normally read with the engine warmed up?
  • Coolant fan: Does the fan come on when the indicator approaches the red zone?
  • Fuel tank: What is the general and paint condition?
  • Fenders and side covers: Are there any scratches, dents, or broken side-cover tabs?
  • Seat: Is there any missing trim or collapsed foam? Are there any tears?
  • Paint and chrome: Chrome should be shiny and free of rust, what is the condition?
  • Windshield: Are there any cracks or glazing? Is the windshield adequately mounted?
  • Saddlebags: Are there any signs of damage, tears, or abrasions?
  • Handlebars: Are the bars straight and the grips in good condition? Are the mirrors in place?
  • Levers: Are the levers properly adjusted and straight?
  • Switches: Do all the switches work as they are supposed to?
  • Cables: Do the cables operate freely without binding? Are there any tears in the rubber?
  • Battery: Does the battery start the bike without effort?
  • Lights: Do all the lights, beams, and blinkers work correctly?
  • Horn: Does it work?
  • Charging system: Does the headlight get brighter as the rpm rises?
  • Instruments: Do they all work smoothly? Are they all legible?
Fuel Tank, Lines, and Petcock
  • Fuel tank: Is there any internal rust or signs of leaks?
  • Fuel hoses: Are they secured and in good condition?
  • Petcock: If applicable, does it move freely and are there any leaks?
Tires, Wheels, and Sprockets
  • Tires: Is there plenty of tread left and are there no signs of dry rot?
  • Wheels: Are there any dents, or any wobbles when spun?
  • Spokes: Are all the spokes tight and straight?
  • Wheel bearings: Do the wheels spin smoothly without excess play?
  • Chain: Is the chain lubricated and adjusted?
  • Rear sprocket: Are all the teeth properly formed and straight?
  • Belt: Are there any abrasions?
  • Belt pulley: Is there any excess wear or external damage?
  • Shaft drive: Are there any leaks? Does the wheel turn smoothly without weird noises?
Front Fork, Frame, and Rear Suspension
  • Steering head bearings: Are there any dents?
  • Fork tubes: Are they perfectly straight when viewed from the side?
  • Fork Seals: Are there any leaks or signs of wear?
  • Alignment: Are the fork tubes parallel when the wheel is centered? Is everything straight?
  • Clips: Are all securing clips for the speedometer or brake hose in place?
  • Frame: Are there any repainted areas, welds, or deep scratches due to problems or an accident?
  • Rear shocks: Is there any loose mounting hardware or leaks?
  • Swingarm/suspension pivots: check swingarm for play and check each pivot point
Extra Check Points
  • VIN and engine numbers: Have they been altered, or are they mismatched?
  • Service records and paperwork: Is everything complete and on hand?

Sell a motorcycle the easy way and skip the checklist.

Want to avoid such a thorough inspection altogether? Sell a motorcycle for cash to a ready buyer, RumbleOn will buy your bike on the spot!

Get My Cash Offer 
RumbleOn Road Captain

Written by RumbleOn Road Captain

Your fearless leader in all things to do with motorcycle education. I cover tips and advice for motorcycle riders, motorcycle product reviews, and pretty much anything I think is useful to my fellow bikers.