Buying a Used ATV

Not all of us can afford a brand new 2007 ATV with all the bells and whistles. Much like cars or motorcycles or any big vehicle for recreation or pleasure, we sometimes need to begin with buying second hand. Of course, there's nothing wrong with purchasing a used car, bike, or ATV. If you buy used, you need to know what to search for, especially with a vehicle such as an ATV, where you know that there is a chance the previous owner may have given the ATV some serious abuse on the trails. Before you begin to cruise the classifieds, you have a couple of decisions. Is the ATV for? An ATV for an adult is created than one made for a young child. Do you want the ATV for purely recreational purposes? Would you like to race or just enjoy some leisurely? Do you want to use the ATV for a utility vehicle?

The ideal place to start if you have never purchased an ATV before would be at a dealership. You might not be able to afford one off the showroom floor, but you can still go look and select the dealer's brain for information. In the dealership, you can 'test' the different classes of ATVs. Sit on a few to see how they match, each ATV will be different, and you might realize that some are more comfortable than others. Despite the fact that you are trying newer versions, there really won't be too much of a gap between them and the old versions.

After getting all the information you can from the dealership, you'll have some concept of what make and model you will be looking for in a used ATV. While you're at the dealership, also check to see whether they have a bulletin board for additional ATV resources. Sometimes if you contact a club or other organization, they might have the ability to put you in touch with people who have ATV's to market. Advertisements and specialized classified magazines like you see for automobiles or bikes will also be an important resource. And of course, the number one source for finding vehicles is the net. Places like eBay will without a doubt have a lot to offer, the one problem with that is unless the seller is in your region, you have no way to look at the ATV up close.

When you locate the ATV, you need to purchase to check it out. When you find the ATV for the first time, make note of the condition of the plastic on the fenders. The outward appearance of the ATV will give you a fairly good clue as to how hard the previous owner treated the vehicle. When the fenders or plastic parts are cracked and ruined, you can bet that you're going to need to replace them, and replacement parts and accessories are expensive. You have to decide how much you are willing to invest in refurbishing the ATV if parts do need replacing. Check the status of the chair for any rips or tears. Again, a ripped seat is not a big deal and is completely replaceable, but would you like to spend the extra money to do that?

The part of the review will require some work. You may wish to lift the front end of the ATV up to inspect the undercarriage. With the ATV lifted to inspect the framework for any damage. Ensure there are no dents or cracks in any of the linking welds or the frame Note any areas which may have rust and check them for cracks also. Check the handlebars for any loose play and do the same to each wheel. Loose wheels could indicate worn wheel bearings or ball joints that are broken. Oil breaks, and the air filter and air box should also be checked. Ask the owner if they have any records concerning oil changes and maintenance. Some owners may have an owner's manual that they can pass on to you. Take the ATV for a test drive if you can to see how it handles.

Last, if a title is required in your state, ask the owner if they have the name and if it is clear. Most states require a bill of sale with the VIN (vehicle identification number) on it. Whether your state requires a bill of sale or not, it is a great idea to have one to protect both you and the former owner in the case up a dispute crops. Bear in mind that in most cases, you are buying the ATV "as is," which means the former owner is not responsible for any problems you might find with the vehicle after you have bought it and brought it home.

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