Harley-Davidson is a brand synonymous with quality and longevity, and riding off a dealer lot on a new Harley is a dream for many motorcycle enthusiasts. For many people on a budget though, a new bike remains just that--a dream. Buying used is sometimes a more practical solution to finally becoming a Harley-Davidson owner, but the process also comes with a list of things that need double-checking. Take a look below at the four things you'll want to inspect before making the decision to purchase used.
Basic Electrical Functions
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people fail to make sure that the bike they plan to purchase still has all its basic components in running order. This means checking things like lights, blinkers and brake lamps multiple times to ensure proper functioning. You may need to start the engine to check both the high and low beam headlights. Also confirm that the oil pressure light is lit when turning on the engine.
After you've confirmed that all the basic functions are in working condition, you'll want to inspect the gaskets on the bike. Ask about the kind and quality of the gaskets, as there are many different types: multi-layer steel and load control embossment head gaskets, AFM gaskets used in transmissions and engine cases, and spring steel gaskets used in the base and oil pump.
Leaks and Gas Tank
Check beneath the primary drive for any leaks. If you do find a leak, it may be that the primary seal--located between the main shaft and drive--is broken and leaking transmission fluid. Next, inquire about the gas tank on the model you're looking to purchase. If the model has a tank with a plastic interior, it may be normal to see a milk-white coating. However, bikes that don't feature a plastic interior should have no evidence of residue or rust. Also make sure the lock in the gas cap is functioning properly.
Tires are one of the most important aspects of any motorcycle, new or used. Ask how many years the tires of a Harley have on them, and confirm it by looking at the last two digits of the date stamp on one of the tires. Tires should be changed every three years at the very least. Also ask how many miles the tires have on them, and if they've been installed new or lightly used.