Street bikes will obviously only let you go so far. There are trails out there, too! So we decided to start looking at dirt bikes and realized that we needed a good list of what to look for so we wouldn’t let looks prevail over logic. Afterall, clean and shiny doesn’t necessarily mean mechanically sound.
We hunted, googled, and searched and found some of the most comprehensive tips on Your Adrenaline Fix . Funny thing is, these apply to buying any kind of bike, so keep them handy! They also might elicit a big “No shit, Sherlock!” from the experienced dirt biker out there. But how many times has logic also been trumped by the “gotta haves”?
Take the below for what their worth — our way of hopefully saving you some money and embarrassment down the road:
Carb to intake boot seal (An intake boot that is not properly sealed to the carburetor can allow unfiltered air carrying dirt and other particles to enter the engine causing accelerated wear of internal parts.)
Check for oil leaks — anywhere.
Same with coolant leaks.
Oil drooling down a fork leg or shock shaft. (This may be disguised as dirt buildup in the area where the shock shaft enters the shock body or where the fork leg enters the slider.)
Any build up of dirt in areas of the engine (oil leaks attract dirt).
Engine case damage (underneath engine or in the area of the countershaft sprocket).
Brake pad condition.
Missing or improper use of fasteners.
Overall condition of cables, hoses and wires.
Anything that doesn’t “look right”.
Frame damage. (Common areas for frame damage are under the bottom frame rails).
And if you decide to buy a used bike, send us a picture and we’ll post it on our Facebook page.