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Hey Gents

Made this one pager for buying a used ATV. Please have a read and give me some feedback on what should be left out, added or altered!

the "o" are check mark spots on the word doc. Will send it to whoever wants it.

Scott

When you are going to look at an ATV, you should:

1. Inspect/Check the ATV for:
o Condition of plastic. look for evidence of mistreat or wrecks, Tears/rips or separated seams in the seat, if the front & rear bumpers are dented it might've been rolled or run into a tree;
o Air box and filter. Water trapped in the air box, dry mud under the seat and in the air / filter box. A clean air box and filter is a good sign;
o Exhaust. Has the spark arrestor been removed?
o Tires. (Tread, check rims for cracks bends or warping) Check for worn out tires or tires full of plugs; and
o Hand, foot and parking brakes. Do they operate smoothly or stick? Check front and rear brake pads, rotor, and brake fluid. Look for cracked or broken cables.

2. Raise the ATV up and stand it on the rear grab bar and inspect/check for:
o Undercarriage. Any serious dents or frame damage. Check A-arms/mounts and areas where the frame intersects for broken welds, crack, rust or fresh paint; This is normally a sign of a stress crack and would require welding and repainting;
o CV joint boots (on 4x4 ATVs). They should be in excellent condition. Any crack or tears will allow water and dirt to enter and cause costly repairs;
o Front or rear sprockets, to be uniform. Sprocket teeth should not be worn, bent, crooked, or missing. If they are worn more on one side or have a hooked appearance, a new chain and sprocket set is in order. Look for wear and rust; and
o Also on 4x4 ATVs, if possible remove the front and rear differential inspection plugs. If the gear lube looks like chocolate milk the oil is contaminated with water and there could be damage to the bearings.

3. Set the ATV back on all 4 wheels and inspect/check:
o Shake the ATV back & forth, left to right to check wheel bearings & ball joints. Move the handlebars back and forth check steering free play for worn tie rods;
o Use a jack to raise the ATV. Shake handlebars for play as well as the wheels. Move each wheel in, out, left and right looking for evidence of worn ball joints or bearings;
o Check the engine oil to see if it was properly maintained or whether it looks contaminated. Note color of oil, dark oil means it hasn't been changed in a long time. Light or milky oil means it is contaminated with water. Also note if there is metal flakes in the oil;
o Ask “How often fluids are changed?” Look for milky fluids that would indicate water contamination
o Shine a flashlight into the gas tank and look for rust; and
o Winch cable. Frayed up, worn and kinked. Indicates how it was used stuck in mud/water.

4. Start the Machine and inspect/check for:
o Headlights, taillights, engine shutoff, engage 4x4 and disengage;
o All accessories operating; and
o Idle/rough idle. Stuttering, revving, colored exhaust.

5. Ride the machine!
o Ride the ATV and determine if the bike is pulling to the left or to the right; and
o Cycle the gears and reverse.

More info

10 hours per 160 kms is about average. More km>hours high speed driving less wear and tear. Hours>kms slower speeds or ideling more wear and tear.

Run away from any ATV with a replaced speedo, large cracks in the plastic, snorkeled, zip tied, duck taped, welded or spray painted.

After you buy a used machine, it's a good idea to change all the fluids so that you know you have fresh oil, etc...
 

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Good Info!
 

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Yup.... looks like generally good info.

I also like to look at the way the seller keeps his yard and garage area's.... if these are well kept, it's likely the machine has been maintained well also! Also ask questions and listen/follow for consistancy to machine condition, ect!
 

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I would also add that when you go to look at a used atv.. Insist that the engine be cold when you see it.. Especially machines with carbs.. Many issues can be hidden when the seller has spent 2hrs before you got there getting the machine warmed up and running before you saw it.. I would also insist that the seller be willing to pull at least one spark plug or let you do it with his/her supervision.. Don't tell the seller you want to pull a plug until you're there though so they don't run out and put new plugs in.. Spark plug condition is one of the best indicators of engine health..
 

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Don't waste your time asking "when were or how often were the fluids changed".

That's a great list..
 

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Flippers can hide alot of different things and often beg you to ride the atv. Does the seller have a title or willing to sign a bill of sale with his drivers license available for you?
Look and test drive the bike late in the evening on a saturday night if possible. Tell them you have to talk to your wife and will call back monday. Then call him sunday morning and tell him your ready to buy. If he says that he is not available then more than likely he does not have a reliable machine. Church is the exclusion so make it 2pm. If he refuses its more than likely he cant get parts to fix it...
 

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I prefer to buy anything used from someone who has owned the machine from new. If there have been several owners, it could be an indication of a lemon.
 

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I prefer to buy anything used from someone who has owned the machine from new. If there have been several owners, it could be an indication of a lemon.
I'd say that that would depend on the bike in question. Sure for the larger engine/bikes, but for the smaller bikes, I would have to disagree. Many people buy a smaller bike to get themselves comfortable with riding or their wife/kids. then sell it to upgrade to a larger bike. That doesn't mean it's a lemon. It just means that they planned to sell it all along.
 

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Another good thougtht..... test ride a few similar machines, before you get serious about any paticular model. Then look specifically for what you want.... you may have to wait and watch, but one will surface. This way when you test ride "the one" you'll know!!
 
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