Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been researching, asking, and watching cycletrader and craigslist for a good value. I just came across a 2008 Honda Shadow Spirit 750 for $2300, it has 28,000 miles on it. Honda Shadow is the bike I've been most leaning toward, and this seems like it might be a great deal. The ad didn't offer much information about the condition of the bike, except that it has a new windshield and a rip in the seat. (Cosmetic flaws aren't a dealbreaker for me at all.)

What should I be asking or looking for (on this bike, or on any bikes in the future as well) to make sure I don't buy something I'll regret?
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
15,670 Posts
There is a checklist on this site, do a search for it and print it out and take it with you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jewel

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,626 Posts
I have done a lot of looking and searching on Craigslist. Some things that I look for...

1) Good pictures. The photos should show all sides. Two bikes ago, I posted a link to the Craigslist ad for a bike I was interested in. Critter said, "There is no picture of the left side, that's a red flag to me." Sure enough, when I got there I found that it had been laid down on the left side.

2) I look for a reasonable number of miles for the bike's age. Motorcycles can be ignored and sit for extended periods of time. But you also don't want a bike with tens of thousands of miles that is beaten to death. I look for a bike with a couple thousand miles per year of age.

3) I avoid anyone who is overly focused on anything. "The bike was dropped by the previous owner. The damage is minimal and does not affect performance whatsoever. It's really isn't a big deal. In fact, you can hardly tell it is there unless you know to look for it. I just wanted to make sure and tell you upfront...." blah blah blah. This is a red flag for me. An honest seller just says, "Bike was dropped at low speeds, see pics." Someone who goes on and on is hiding something, IMO.

4) Must have a clean title. I don't even bother with a vehicle where they claim to be able to get the title, the legal owner is a friend, lost title, etc. Get the piece of paper and we'll talk. I know there are ways around that, but I just don't have time for that. I also don't buy anything with a rebuilt title, mainly just because they are harder to sell.

5) A big long list of recent services can be a red flag. What I am looking for are signs that the bike sat for 5 years and was recently brought back to life. I would much rather buy a bike that was being actively ridden.


Signs of scams....a single photo with an unusually low price...$1000 for a $5000 bike. Weird prices, like $1862.
 

·
Biker
Joined
·
1,638 Posts
Buying a used bike can be tricky but can be less so if you know what to look for.

It is good if the engine is cold or not having been run before you see it, then you have a better idea of how easy or hard
it is to start the bike. How long has THIS owner had the bike? If he has had it for three years, when is the last time a battery
was put in? If the owner hasn't put a new battery in in three years then the battery is at least three years old. If the owner
says he put one in recently, does he have a sales slip for it?

If he says he rode the bike a lot and changed oil and filter, does he have sales slips for those items or from a bike shop that
did the work? has air cleaner been serviced?

If bike is on/off road bike Does head light, tail and brake light and horn work? If it is a street bike, do all direction signals work?
if not and the owner says 'Must be a burned out bulb." To me that won't float. Why? a sticking brake light switch can cause the
bulb to stay brighter a lot longer than it should and quite likely to partially melt lens cover that would be for rear dir. signals that
also work as tail lights. If front dir. sigs don't work, or one does not, why did the owner not put in a new bulb? could be the switch
for that side is 'gone' and that could be a bit of a job.

If bike has a chain drive, how does the rear sprocket look? if the teeth are thin and or pointy, that would show a lot of wear and
the chain? Is it rusty?

Well these are some things to check, Anyone buying a bike should keep all sales slips because they might want to sell it sometime
down the road and to me anyways, why would they NOT KEEP said sales slips for work done or parts bought? even if they never
planned on selling the bike, Life happens and they may need the $ for something very seriously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
I would avoid anything owned by the under 30 shirt tail flapping in the breeze crowd. Usually ridden hard and put away wet. Abused machines are no fun.

Dropped as in fell over on the kickstand or fell over at 100 MPH?

Realestate it is location, location, location. Vehicles and machinery it is condition, condition, condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That helps so much

Thank you all for the great info. Critter, I found the list..so helpful!

2) I look for a reasonable number of miles for the bike's age. Motorcycles can be ignored and sit for extended periods of time. But you also don't want a bike with tens of thousands of miles that is beaten to death. I look for a bike with a couple thousand miles per year of age.
So if I found a 2005 Shadow 600 with 65,000+ miles on it for only $1300, it's probably better to pass it up in favor of a more expensive bike with fewer miles?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,626 Posts
Thank you all for the great info. Critter, I found the list..so helpful!



So if I found a 2005 Shadow 600 with 65,000+ miles on it for only $1300, it's probably better to pass it up in favor of a more expensive bike with fewer miles?
I would pass on that, as a smaller engine generally doesn't go as far as a bigger engine. This isn't to say it can't. But I see those Shadows in the $2000 to $3000 range all the time with under 20k miles, so that is what I would be looking for. Just my opinion, others may disagree.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top