If you’re lucky enough to live in the Tampa area, then you are blessed with access to great beaches where you can watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. In and around the city, you can enjoy a variety of urban amenities and entertainment, as well as a variety of places and cuisines to eat. You can cruise around town on a motorcycle, or you can head up or down the coast or even across the peninsula, all while enjoying year-round warm weather.
In order to save money, you might be looking for a used motorcycle in Tampa. The market certainly has plenty available, from those who built them and are looking to make room for new rides to those that barely rode the ones they bought. Still, you need to learn certain facts about your new-to-you previously used motorcycle. Consider that a majority of motorcycle accidents happen on bikes riders aren’t used to being on, rather than rides they’ve put a lot of miles on and got used to. Even if you’ve logged tens of thousands of miles on bikes already, handling a used bike you just got will still involve a learning curve. To enjoy the ride safely, you need to find out the following 7 facts about the used motorcycle you’re thinking about buying:
1) Low-Speed Handling:
If you can, take the motorcycle to an empty parking lot that’s relatively clean. You don’t want bumps, inclines, potholes, slippery stuff, or various other obstacles or defects if you’re going to learn anything. What you do want is a chance to get to know the bike’s quirks. Start with low-speed circles as your eyes stay on the horizon. Practice this until you’re able to a 360 without putting down either foot and your steering is in full lock. You might have to adjust the throttle cable or the handlebar position so that you can smooth out acceleration action. Doing this helps you learn how responsive the throttle is on the bike. Also do tight figure eights without feet on the ground until the bike stops.
The previous exercise should be repeated in both circles and figure eights, but this time, do it at higher speeds. Keeping your feet off the ground and your eyes on the horizon help you learn how the equipment feels through consistent and correct cornering. Vary the engine speed through these maneuvers so you know you can ride in comfort in both city traffic and highway travel.
3) The Cornering:
Follow up the previous two factors with learning what you can about the cornering limits of the used bike you’re test riding. You have to learn to accept any grinding noise that happens without personally flinching anytime a floorboard scrapes pavement. Reflexively jerking just to avoid the sounds of metal making contact with pavement can mean you wind up steering right off of the curve. If you think the bike might need more cornering ability, you can still buy it, but you might need to look into changing some of the suspension components.
4) Calling A Halt:
You need to practice a hard stop at a low speed so that you can learn things like brake sensitivity, tire traction, and how this bike handles when it has a locked rear wheel. You have to know just what will happen in any real-life panic situation, and the best method of accomplishing this is practicing a hard stop with a locked wheel, particularly in any sideways skid. Once you practice the rear action, you should learn what you can about the front brake power. Don’t overdo the activity on the front brake until you know clearly just how much pressure it can take. Again, don’t let anything you learn here stop you from buying a bike you love. You just might need to make a few adjustments to the brake control engagement positions or points in order to suit your own style of riding and stopping.
5) Hit The Road:
If you can, ride the bike back to where it’s supposed to be, if you didn’t do so on the way to the parking lot. Practice your skills on some road with open corners so you can learn how it handles cornering when at highway speeds. A straight section of road is a good place to practice swerving between painted dots. If there’s not traffic, you might have a chance to safely practice hard stops, but be careful.
6) Double The Testing:
If you have someone willing and available, try to repeat all these exercises with a passenger along. You need to know how your ride handles with two on it, even if you don’t plan on carrying another rider with you.
7) Trust Your Body:
Always pay attention to what your body is telling you in all of this. It’s true that you might eventually break in a used bike that’s used to someone else’s body, but if it’s seriously uncomfortable the first time, it might be too much. Trust your fingers, feet, and ears the most. Your physical instincts and senses might detect problems with the bike that are better off just avoided rather than discovered and fixed.
Now that you have read this article, you know 7 things you need to find out about any used motorcycle in Tampa http://nextride.com/ that you’re thinking about buying. Digging into this whole list will let a seller know you’re serious about buying something good, which should scare off anyone trying to pass off a lemon or a dangerous ride. On the other hand, a seller with a genuine passion for bikes will recognize your own enthusiasm and deal with you fairly knowing their old ride is going into good hands.
As always when buying any vehicle, don’t commit to buying anything without being able to test ride it and have a trusted mechanic check it out from end to end. Your mechanic should be able to appraise its condition and value so you negotiate from an informed position.