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Anyone interested in a definitive guide to buying a used dirtbike?

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I'm thinking of putting together a used dirt bike buyers guide. I buy and sell a lot of dirt bikes through classifieds and I can remember my first couple purchases and having no clue what I was doing. There are no well detailed guides that I can find online that tell you what to check AND how to check it, so I thought it might be worth putting one together.

The guide would included checklists and instructions on how to check the bike from front to back complete with photos. I'd include useful resources for checking the cost of parts, common problems with different models. etc. etc. It would be a complete guide, not a list of tips. It would be set up in such a manner that you could read through it while your checking out the bike without having to go back and forth from the table of contents.

Does this interest anyone? What would you like to see included or expanded upon in detail? How much would you pay for such a guide?

Thanks to everyone for any advice!

Edited by RideAndRepair

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I think it would be helpful for many. But honestly, I wouldn't pay any money for it. It may just be something nice to do for people here on TT. Especially the younger crowd as they are in search of used bikes.

Just my opinion.

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Realistically, selling such a guide would be a pita, but hey, put it up in the kindle store and see what you see. You would probably do much better to give it away at a dedicated domain like dontbuythatatv.com, and expand it to all offroads. If you have good, I mean good lists and content, combined with community feedback, it could be useful.

Use it to sell ads, eBay or amazon listing referrals, or cycle trader referrals, and establish yourself as an expert with hourly services available.

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Hello all, thanks for the feedback.

The original idea was for the guide to be free, and set up on a small wordpress based website. This plan allowed me to have videos included as well. As the idea came along I realized for the guide to really be useful it had to be something that someone with zero experience could use. This means that a website with printable check list (my original idea) was not as practical and that it would work much better as an ebook/hardcopy combination. This would allow a person to have instant access to the book if they needed it that day, but also to have an actual book on hand because anyone who has tried to work on a bike with a PDF/ebook manual on their device knows it's impractical. (Screen is always shutting off/trying not to get oil/grease on your device..)

So the end result would be a book that someone with zero experience could take with them when they are checking out bikes and have confidence that they can make a good decision. No longer will the best advice in a guide be "bring a experienced friend/mechanic" because lets face it, if you don't yet ride dirt bikes you may not have this friend available.

In the end the idea is not to charge 20$ a book but rather charge 2-10$ to cover the cost of printing, publishing and editing the book as well as cover some of my time over the next couple months writing.

When finished it would be something like a shop manual, to give you an idea of what I have in mind. Although simplified to allow someone with no experience to use it.

Edited by RideAndRepair

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Don't stop being creative with your ideas! Keep in mind you are asking lots of people who dispense free advice here based on experience and even research to help fellow riders . . . so, I don't know. If you did careful research you might be able to identify common problems with bikes in general, or maybe even point out problems specific to existing bikes. Again, it's a heavy lift to offer a product in exchange for money when so many are willing to give the advice for free. It would also be tough to be definitive when, for example, most folks aren't going to bring a caliper, much less a compression gauge, when they look at a used bike. Most wouldn't even ask to see the air filter. Again, don't take the feedback as discouragement, and don't listen to it if you have a great idea. But, do post your punch-list here so this community can benefit from your experience. That's what we do here. At least, that's what I try to do here, and many others do as well.

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Seeing as how the latest TT Facebook post is about building a guide we should see something in the near future. Thanks admin. Seems like it would be a good idea for those who don't know much about bikes or things to look for.

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I'm another that wouldn't pay for something like that but I really don't know if someone would or not. Maybe the total inexperienced rookie, which we ALL were at one time. I do have a problem with actually how comprehensive it could be. For example, certain models of a Yamaha or Honda have, not a weak point, but an area that SHOULD have been maintained by the PO. But those are difficult or impossible to confirm when you show up a guys house to look at a bike. Has the rear suspension linkage ever been greased? You'd have to take his word of it. Does it have good compression? I've never seen anyone check compression on a bike they're looking at Not even sure if an owner would let you mess around with it. Does it shift OK? Test a bike in "Suburbia" and you might get a ticket before you get back. It all sucks a little but I have no solution to the question "HOW TO BUY A USED DIRT BIKE". I've always just checked what I could, took the PO's word for some things, looked at the general condition and admittedly, hoped I made a good decision. So far it's worked.

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Here's how I determine if a used bike is a keeper.

Original tires.

Original chain/sprockets.

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Here's how I determine if a used bike is a keeper.

Original tires.

Original chain/sprockets.

Ehhh, that's not really fair, some people change the tires before they even ride the bike.....

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Ehhh, that's not really fair, some people change the tires before they even ride the bike.....

Life's not fair. lol

If you want a good used bike, find one that's 100% original.

Edited by CamP

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