buying used - what to look for?

I am going Saturday to look at and potentially buy a 2008 CRF70 that I found on Kijiji. From the photos and talking with the owner, it seems to be in great shape. Just wondering from folks on this forum, what specifically should I inspect when I look at it (without getting the toolkit out). Any trouble spots for cracks or that sort of thing? Anything I should listen for etc?


I researched this as I just bought a used one myself. Check that the swingarm pivot is tight by lifting the rear wheel off the ground and make sure there is no side to side play in the swing arm. I've heard that the hole in the frame where the pivot bolt goes through can get elongated in which case the frame is junk. Also check both rear shock mounting points for cracks You'll have to remove the seat to do this. Then check all the usual stuff wheel bearings, lift the bike off the ground and check for side to side play in the wheels, check the chain and sprockets, rim and spokes, check steering head bearings and make the forks and handle bars aren't bent, look at the engine oil condition, check the brake shoe indicators and tires, the condition of the cables. Does the front brake and throttle operate smoothly. Have a look in the gas tank. Of course start the bike and make sure it starts easily and idles smoothly, and then take it for a ride or at least have the owner run it around to make sure it shifts smoothly into all three gears. If the bike is covered in stickers or graphics run your hand over the surface to check for holes, gouges etc.

Roadglider, excellent list...thanks a lot!

Yeah, ditto what roadglider said. Watch out for the loose swingarm pivot bolt. The way I discovered it after it was too late was by pushing on the chain as if checking the chain slack. You could see the swingarm move.

One other thing that seems obvious (but I've overlooked and got burned on) is to check and make sure that there's oil in the crankcase. Just because you wouldn't let it get low on oil doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't. And, it will shift just fine without adequate oil. I've also found that the weld on the rear frame rail under the seat towards the back of the bike might be a little weak. This is close to where the muffler mount is. The bike I bought had obviously been rewelded and they did a bad job. Of course, this was only obvious once I took the side panel/number plate off. But, if you look under the rear fender and near the muffler mount you should be able to see it.

Make sure you look at the bike in good light. I bought mine in mid-winter late in the afternoon when it was getting dark and I was kind of in a hurry and missed stuff because of it. Live and learn.

I can tell alot by how neat everything else is,like the autos,the garage is it organized,if you take care of business then the rest of the things will be in order.Look for rust if there is alot the bike was not washed after being ridden,dirt and grime is a bikes biggest enemy,if it doesnt have dirt and has lots of rust then it was probabley washed for its first time to sell it.

+1 on never buying a bike in a hurry. Always take your time, if you're going to check it out after dark, make sure you bring a flashlight. Bringing a friend never hurts either that way you have two sets of eyes looking for potential problems.

Great list, I'll be writing these and any others down.

Hopefully looking at(and potentially buying) a 2005 CRF 50 this weekend. Is there any years to avoid? What differences, if any, do the newer crf 50s have? It worth waiting for a newer one? The 2005 looks really good and the seller of course lists it as "like new", but you know how that goes sometimes.

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