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I have been seeing the question " I'm buying a quad what should I look for?" We should make up a good list of things a buyer should do when looking to buy a quad. Remember this list should be for novice buyers. Some one who knows a lot about quads won't need the list.

I will start and every one can just add to it and maybe be made into a sticky.

1. do a walk around looking for any leaks
2. take off the seat to check the air filter to make sure it has one and it looks like it has been taken care of.
3. sit on the quad and bounce up and down to hear any out of the ordinary squeaks and to make sure the shocks work.
4. pull the brake lever clutch lever and throttle to see that they move freely.
5. turn on the quad to make sure all lights work.
6. start up the quad. I like to start a cold engine not an engine that is warm to the touch. A warmed up engine might mean the quad is hard to start when cold. Plus a cold engine you can check the choke.
7. get off the quad walk around it as it is running to check again for leaks and any weird noises from the engine.
8. get on and try the reverse. let out the clutch and let it go backwards.
9. hopefully there is an area to ride the quad. go through all the gears and see how the quad tracks.
10. try an emergency stop with front and rear brakes.
11. turn off the ATV and do another walk around. If every thing looks good load it up and enjoy your new toy
 

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Yup, that's a good idea:) There's already been a few newbies posting threads about buying bikes and needing help with what to look out for.
 

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+1, here's a bunch of stuff I look at when buying, copied from the last "what should I look for" thread.

-Check the tie rods and steering stem bushing by pulling on the handlebars. If there's lots of movement in the bar but none in the wheels, something needs replaced.
-Check the a arm bearings, ball joints, and wheel bearings. Bring a jack stand or something with you. Pick the front end up and put it on the stand so the wheels are off the ground. Grab the top and bottom of the tire and pull in and out, and then grab left/right and pull. Look for movement at the A arms where they mount to the frame, and the ball joints and wheel bearings.
-Check the axle bearings. Pick the quad up by the front bumper or frame so just the back wheels are on the ground. Have your buddy grab the handlebar and lift up and down. You would be looking for movement of the whole frame/swingarm while the axle stays still if they are shot. This will also work for checking the swingarm bearings. If the frame moves but the swingarm stays, they are worn.
-Check out the chain/sprockets and brake rotors/pads. (checking front rotors/pads might not be possible unless they will let you remove the front wheels.)

If any of this stuff is worn use it as a negotiating point.
 

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And some more in depth info on exactly how to check the ball joints and chain/sprockets:

If the steering knuckle (where the ball joints go into) moves at all while the a arms stay still they're no good. Also inspect the rubber dust boots around the ball joint. If they have any splits or cracks dirt goes in and grease comes out. They will eventually get dried up and worn out if they aren't already.

The chain should not be rusty/dirty if it was taken care of. From what I can see it looks pretty brown in the last photo. Probably dirt/rust which is no good and will lead to stretching. Also looking at the 2nd to last photo it *appears* like the chain adjuster is already slid towards the end of its adjustment. This would mean there's not much life left in the chain. If you can grab the chain between the 2 sprockets and move it up/down much more than 1.5-2 inches it is stretched. If the sprockets are pointed like this /\ and are "sharp" they are worn out.
 

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Very good idea. Would have prevented my current thread. Amazing amount of info you guys gave though. Extremely helpful for the New guys like myself.
 

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Yeah. don't buy one that has just been washed before you get there. A friend bought a warrior that had just been degreased and was still warm when we got there, and they wouldn't let him ride it either. He brought it to my house to work on and turned out it was a bear to start cold and leaked oil everywhere. It's gone now.....thankfully
 

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Excellent idea, definitely should be a sticky.
 

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Pay attention to appearances and surroundings too.

Is it relatively clean? Anything caked with old mud would indicate neglect.

Hopefully its been stored inside a garage or at least a shed out of the weather, is the garage fairly clean and organized?

Does the owner seem to be knowledgeable about the quad? "Gas and go" riders who try to fetch top dollar out of bikes because "it's never been raced" is a personal pet peeve of mine. Especially when I know racers tend to take more pride and better care of their bikes than 98% of leisure riders. Somehow the word "modified" becomes a depreciating evil word at re-sale time even though all those high dollar aftermarket parts were added to IMPROVE durability and performance.
 
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