How to Avoid Getting Screwed When Buying a Used Dirt Bike?

The biggest and most common mistake a lot of people make when buying used dirt bikes is, they buy used dirt bikes that have been stolen or just don’t work well and in short, you are screwed. After you find out you were screwed and you attempt to find the seller, they would have disappeared into the thin air.

So, how can I avoid getting screwed when buying a used dirt bike? There are lots of different things you can do to make sure you don’t get screwed when buying used dirt bikes. Such things include asking the seller a question about the condition of the dirt bike, checking that the dirt bike works properly, and you can also ask if the dirt bike has an insurance or a title and VIN to ensures the bike was not stolen.

Every year, tons of dirt bikes are stolen by people and then they sell them to the public as used dirt bikes. And if you think the chances that you will buy a stolen bike are small, you are wrong because it is was not uncommon for you to accidentally buy dirt bikes that have a problem or even have been stolen. Lots of people do this and succeed in making lots of money at your expense. And if you bought a stolen dirt bike unaware, and after a couple of months you discover it was stolen (maybe the owner found it with you), that can cause conflict and you can be dragged to court. So, you have to be careful.

biker making a stunt and jumps in the air

If you don’t want to get screwed when buying used dirt bikes, then keep reading this guide because I will show you all the steps you need to take to avoid 100 percent of buying bad or stolen dirt bikes.

Need dirt bike safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

So, let’s get started.

Pay attention to the price

Lots of people fall into this trap of used dirt bikes that are sold at very cheap prices. Be sure that the seller just wants to sell the dirt bike at a very cheap price. But if the price arouses your suspicion, in most cases, it was because the seller stole the dirt bike and wanted to release it from his hand as soon as possible.

So, you have to be careful and take note of the price. Also, do some research on the prices of used dirt bikes and if you find that the specific model you want is used and sells for a very cheap price that arouses your suspicion, I suggest not buying and taking the risk. However, if you are very limited in your budget, then you can contact the seller and check it out as you continue to read to see what questions you should ask.

Ask the seller questions

The most important thing, in my opinion, you will need to do when buying used dirt bikes is to ask the seller questions, to put the seller through a test and see if he is reliable and serious.

In general, these questions should tell you how much the seller knows about the dirt bike. And you should be concerned about your feeling if you see that the seller is stammering and not clearly answering the questions you ask or he is not calm and nervous, that should arouse your suspicion. If after some questions the seller answer or he tries to wave you, it already means he does not want to answer the questions because he does not know what to tell you. Now, there are chances he stole the dirt bike. 

However, do not be afraid to ask the seller some questions. Besides, 20 questions can be asked and answered in half-hour conversation and you can tell if the seller is really serious and wants to sell the dirt bike. If he is also willing to be with you on the phone for two hours, it might be the seller is really nice.

Well, here are the questions you need to ask the seller…

  • Why are you selling the dirt bike?
  • What is the frequency of maintenance you do for the dirt bike?
  • How long have you been holding the dirt bike?
  • Have you had an accident with the dirt bike?
  • Do you have a title for the dirt bike?
  • Does the dirt bike have insurance & VIN?
  • Do you have problems with the dirt bike?

Well, do not ask the seller if he stole the dirt bike because it is quite obvious that it is not respectful to ask this question and therefore you can ask the above-mentioned questions to help you test the seller.

Trust your gut

Beyond all the questions you need to ask, the most important thing is to always trust what your gut feeling tells you. If you feel, from the first second, that the seller is not trustworthy, I suggest you step away and relinquish the offer and trust your gut because that’s what is right in most cases.

Bring a friend who understands buying dirt bikes

A pretty creative way you can do to make sure the dirt bike wasn’t stolen or is in good shape is to go with a good friend of yours who understands dirt bikes and ask him to help you check the dirt bikes and ask the right questions.

In addition, it is best to find someone who has already bought used dirt bikes in the past. It can be anyone. Just go out to a place with lots of riders and ask who has bought a used dirt bike before and if they can help you buy. You will see that most riders would be happy to help you.

Check every part of the dirt bike

Unfortunately, a lot of people make this mistake when buying dirt bikes. They simply buy the bike from the seller without doing any substantial testing to make sure that all parts and components work properly. And if after a few days, you discover that some parts are not working well, that sucks. In worse cases, the seller will simply disappear and you will not find him, which means you were screwed.

If you want to avoid getting screwed and not buying dirt bikes that work poorly enough with bad parts, you need to thoroughly check all the following parts in dirt bikes.

  • Frame – The first thing you need to pay attention to is the frame. Check that there are no significant scratches and peelings. If the dirt bike has been smashed, you can see it on the frame and you can also see the cracks. That way, if the owner said it hasn’t been smashed before, you can tell he is lying to you and he is not that reliable and better to not buy from him.
  • Wheels / Tires – Make sure the wheels and tires are in good condition and have no cracks in the tire. Especially, make sure the rubber is fresh and in good condition. You can see it by the signs on the tire. The tires can still cost you lots of money between $150 and $200.
  • Suspension – Make sure that the suspension is approved and has the company sticker.
  • Air Filter – Make sure the air filter is not dirty. It is quite common that sellers forget to clean the air filter before selling used dirt bikes. And because of that, I recommend that you ask the seller to open the air filter and see if it is dirty. If the air filter is dirty, I recommend you ask the seller if he can clean it.
  • Coolant – make sure that the coolant is full and clean. If the coolant is not full, ask the seller to fill it with another coolant because the coolant costs money.
  • Oil – Check the condition of the oil. This can say a lot about the handling and prediction that the owner did. I also encourage you to ask the seller to replace the oil if it is dirty.
  • Chain – Check that the chain is in good condition. Chains can last for a long time if they are properly handled.
  • Seat – Check that there is no rip-off seat because it is really uncomfortable to ride on torn seats.
  • Check for missing parts – Check for any defects or missing parts. Any suspicious thing you see, ask the seller.
  • Check out the environment – and finally, check out the environment: how the seller’s garage looks like and if the dirt bike really clean as he said.

In general, these are the parts you will need to check when buying a used dirt bike. Also, I strongly recommend you take the dirt bike on a riding test because the fact that the dirt bikes look clean does not mean they work smoothly. So, it is also important to pay attention to that.
In addition, if you want to view the full list of the parts you will need to check when buying used dirt bikes, you can click here.

Check the VIN and Title

If you want to make sure that the dirt bike you wish to buy wasn’t stolen, the best way to do check the VIN and the title of the dirt bike. Ask the seller for the VIN and title and if he does not give them to you, it shows clearly that you have to be careful and not to buy from this seller.

In general, the VIN and the title will give you the option to make sure that the dirt bike is not stolen. You can check the VIN and the title through tons of internet sites that give you this test option. I highly recommend this site that, in my opinion, is the best. Click here to check the VIN

Take a test drive

If you want to make sure there is no problem with dirt bikes, ask the owner if you can take a test drive on dirt bikes. If the seller does not let you do test riding, it means he is trying to hide something from you, which means a lot.

In addition, when taking the test ride, pay attention to all parts of the dirt bike and make sure there are no problems in any of them.

Test the dirt bike just when they are “cold”

If you want to be sure there are no problems with dirt bikes, ask the seller to bring them just when they are cold, which means they are not yet activated. The reason is that it is very easy to hide loads of problems in dirt bikes that are already working especially if the seller knows there is a problem at the beginning and wants to hide it. So, it is very important to ask the seller to bring the dirt bike when it’s cold.

Meet the seller only in his house

Most sellers who steal dirt bikes or, in general, just want to give you the dirt bike and disappear, which very common, want to meet in a public place so you don’t know where they live. It is not recommended to buy from them because if you found a problem with the dirt bike, you will have no one to contact. So, make sure you only meet in the seller’s house and not elsewhere and when the seller calls to meet in a public place, I would less recommend you take the risk and buy the dirt bike from him.

Need dirt bike safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

If you have any questions or opinions about this article, please write us a comment and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thanks for the reading


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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