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10. Transmissions and Clutch

 

The internal engine parts are a little more difficult to get a true picture of, but you can get a good sense of the state of things by listening to the running engine and feeling the smoothness of operation of the shifting and the clutch. During your test ride, make sure the clutch fully disengages so you can put the bike in neutral when stopped, and note whether or not the engagement is smooth and progressive. A notchy feel tells of a worn clutch. During your test ride, also check to see if the clutch is slipping by shifting into a high gear then applying a lot of throttle. I can guarantee that a slipping clutch will not heal itself, and you could easily spend $100 or more to replace it. The transmission should shift easily and smoothly and, of course, not jump out of gear or miss shifts. Don't be timid on your test ride, as it's better to have the seller a little made at you for abusing his bike than to buy a bike that needs $500 or more of transmission work.

 

 

The bottom line is that virtually any brand of off-road motorcycle manufactured in the last five years can be a great bargain. The real keys are how well it has been maintained and how hard it has been used. So be prepared to do a little research on a bike before handing out some major money on a mount that needs even more cash to be a safe and reliable ride. This way, you will avoid painful "buyers remorse."

 

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