What to look for when buying used yz450f

I'm going to check out a 2003 yz450 on saturday. I'm told it has about 35 hours on it. The engine works good and the valves are in spec. The owner wants to get rid of it because he is older and intimidated by the power. The graphics are all original and the bike looks clean in the pictures. What should i look for or ask the owner. Any help is appreciated.

Ask about the maintainence scheduele. Check the condition of the bike. If the bike is dirty, his garage is messy, and the sprockets are worn, chances are he didnt take very good care of it. Ask to ride it, or at the very least make sure it runs and starts easily. Compress the rear suspension and listen for any squeeks(neglected bearings).

Put it on a stand to check that the wheels spin freely and the steering stem bearings are still good. Check for leaking fork seals.

As always, its good to bring a friend along. You have $2000+ in your pocket and your meeting a guy you dont know. Theres always a chance it could turn out bad. Even when i sell stuff i have my dad around just in case. You never know with people these days..

Go by your first impression of the bike. You can tell if a bike has new plastic and stickers slapped on it, but look at how much corrosion and mud stains are on the cases. If it passes the visual test for you, then BS with the guy for awhile and get some more history on the bike. Then if you still on the fence if you want it, fire it up and ride it around. Remember most guys don't like strangers hot rod-en around on their bike, so be respectful.

I would look for;

Leaking fork seals

Chain and sprockets

Would really consider replacing the top end and figure that into your offer.


Plastic if its not clean

Any after market parts? They add up fast on a four stroker.

There is more, but thats the main items I pick at.

Start it cold. If the owner warmed the Yamaha up before you showed up, like many do, start it hot and let it cool down while you check other things. Then start it "cold."

Footpegs are a good indication of use: floppy means it was ridden harder than a (insert own joke here).

Take seat off and look at air filter.

Grab rear wheel. Lots of play up/down or side to side?

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