Used Bike Checklist

Just found this when I was sorting out some mail... It's from the maintenance course I did last year (2007).

- Thread depth (legal minimum of 1mm, in reality should be much more)
- Sidewall condition (check for cracks, rips, gouges or damage)

- Check for loose spokes (if applicable), flat spots and trueness (with each wheel raised, spin them). For the front wheel put the bike on the centre stand and get another person to lean on the back and for the rear it should be enough to have the bike on the centre stand. If there is no centre stand you can balance the bike on the side stand carefully and carry this out.
- Check bearings (with the wheel raised look for side to side movement)

- Check headrace (with wheel raised pull back and forward on forks)
- Check control cables (check all for ease of movement and free play)
- Check fork seals (check for oil under and around seal covers)
- Check wheel alignment (run a chord or string from the front wheel to the rear)

Electrical system:
- Check electric start (engine should turn over quickly and start instantly)
- General electrics (check all lights [indicators, main beam, dipped beam, high beam, brake light, number plate light], horn, kill switch, passing light (if present), oil pressure light, neutral light)
- Charging system (with high beams on allow to idle, lights should brighten when revved)

- Check engine oil level (oil should be filled to upper level)
- Check exhaust fumes (should be colourless if 4 stroke, slightly blue if a two stroke)
- Check engine noise (should be quiet with no chain or tapping like noises)

Drive system:
- Chain/sprockets (check chain tension and slack. Pull chain at back off rear sprocket [you shouldn't be able to do this!], check condition of sprocket teeth)
- Drive shaft (check for excess movement in wheel and whine when driven)

Brake systems:
- Hydraulic (check oil level, check pads for wear and check for oil leaks and freeness of wheel. there should be a slight brake drag.)
- Mechanical (check brake arm wear indicator, check brake cable for snapped strands and dragging)

Clutch system:
- Hydraulic (check oil levels and leaks, check for clutch drag and slipping)
- Mechanical (check cable for snapped strands, clutch drag and slipping)

Fuel system:
- Carbs/injectors (check for leaks and smell of fumes, start from cold with full choke, turn off choke and engine should idle)

This is by no means a complete list in my opinion but if you're buying a bike and all of these look good then chances are the bike is ok.