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advice-what 2 look 4


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Hey am going to be looking for a 2nd hand road bike (yamaha r6 or r1) and was wondering what to look for when buying a road bike. I know what to look for in general like when ive bought a dirt bike, but was wondering what certain things on a road bike to look for. i am going to be looking at one with under 10 000kms or 5000 kms on it if i can.

As this will be the most ive spent on a vehicle(bike or car) any advice when viewing and road testing the bike would be appreciated?

thanks will

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Is this going to be your first street bike? If so, I would absolutely not recommend an R6, R1 or any other "super sport" for that matter. Any of those bikes is far too much for a first time street rider. There are plenty of other bikes that will be much less expensive, cheaper to insure, and far better to learn on. Check out http:www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com for a lot of good info.

That said, I pretty much check the same thing on street bikes that I check with dirt bikes. Make sure bearings are tight, chain and sprockets are in good condition, no "squeaking" from linkage or steering stem (indicating lack of maintenance), good brakes, tires, all electronics are in working order, no unhealthy valve/engine noise. Ask the owner what the valve check maintenance schedule is. If they know it and the bike has reached any of the intervals, has the service been done? If so, ask for receipts for the work. Make sure they have a title, make sure the VIN on the bike matches the title. Not a whole lot more I can think of.

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Hold the front brake and try to rock the bike back and forth. If you feel movement the steering head bearings may be loose; If you SEE movement of the steering stem relative to some non-moving reference point (tank, etc), the frame MAY be egged out where the upper steering race sits. I have first-hand experience thinking "no big deal, just a steering head adjustment".

Front-end whacks are a typical crash experience for streetbikes, but certainly not the only one. It would behoove you spend time looking at the front end area though, especially if you find rash on the bar-ends, levers, pegs, and pedals...........although rash on pegs doesn't necessarily mean a crash. And frankly a crash doesn't necessarily make for a deal-breaker either.

Abnormal/excessive wear and/or buildup of sprocket/chain material could mean that the frame has taken a whack or the motor mounts are bent. It could also mean poor driveline maintenance/adjustment too. but proceed w/ caution. There's also the old admonition to look for safety wire/drilled fasteners if you're apprehensive to buy a race bike.

Any of these things can be hidden of course, and w/ the proliferation of track days over the last decade, sportbikes can see a lot of track action w/ few battle scars, and they can also crash w/ little damage too considering tracks try to engineer ditches, curbs, guardrails, cars and trees out of trackside features in favor of run-off areas.

Hopefully you'll find a bike w/ an honest seller. I've sold bikes that were safety wired, bikes that had been crashed, and bikes that had seen plenty of action in general. I was also extremely plain-spoken about what the prospective buyer was about to get involved with...........and I was also realistic about the price I was asking too. A retired race bike will command a different price than one that spent its life cruising the mall.

Depending on your intended use and the overall vibe, these things can be bargaining points rather than deal-breakers.

Edited by HodaddyB
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thanks for the advice, any info is appreciated. i will be looking soon, prob towards the end of the yr depending when i can sell one of my dirt bikes. i hear you about the r series as a first road bike. but i dont wanna buy little and grow out of it espoecially if when its the most money ill be spending on a vehicle, my mate bought a 04 ninja 636 as his first bike and loved it so ill think ill just go for it. can always start slow and gradually use the power, dont need to use it all straight away.

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All modern sport bikes ive ever had experience with have "bank angle sensors" that detect if the bike has been layed down and shut off the fuel pump.

As stated before pull body panels and inspect very closely for rash/crash damage. I bought a 929 once that had a really poor mig weld job holding the lower steering bearing cup area together (previous front end collison damaged this area). It failed at a pretty high speed and almost cost me a huge accident with my girl on the back. A less skilled rider may have been far worse off then I was and I count that as one of my many "9 lives" experiences!

Ask what the oil change interval has been. Some (Honda) service manuals Ive read state 8000 mile oil change intervals! Some people abide by these rediculous, what I think must have been terrible typos, and almost as bad, many people think sport bikes can go 3000 miles like a car. I personally change mine before I hit 1000 miles and I can feel the difference in the shifter and the bars.

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