Ask RideApart: Best Place To Buy Used Motorcycle Gear?

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Used Motorcycle Gear

You ask, the community answers. It’s Ask RideApart. This week: What’s the best place to buy used motorcycle gear?

This question hits close to home, following our hotly debated articles ATGATT  On Any Budget and Best Value One-Piece Race Suits. Motorcycle gear is expensive, but it makes riding both comfortable and safe. So, buying used can be a good option to save some money. Reader John Conway asks, “What places would you guys recommend for buying used gear? I’ve searched Craigslist and e-Bay. Where else should I look?”

We should also note that you should never, ever, ever purchase a used helmet. They’re designed to destroy themselves in the process of absorbing impact forces and sometimes that damage can be undetectable externally. Always buy new when helmet shopping and do it from a reputable source.

Where do you buy your used motorcycle gear? Can you give John and everyone else tips on what to watch out for with used gear?

Have a question for us? Post it on our Facebook page, or on Twitter using the #AskRideApart hash tag. We will select the best topic from our submissions and post them here each week.

  • Brian

    http://www.motorcycleleatherexchange.com/used_suits.html
    little known site that I have used for years.

  • DerekB

    I’ve been able to save thousands of dollars buying slightly used gear on eBay. I’m a big proponent of buying top of the line used items then lesser quality new stuff.

  • Mike Fassio

    Undoubtedly this will be repeated, but forums are also a great place to find gear. There is also a little added vetting of the seller by being able to get a feel for the person on the other side of the screen through their forum posts.

    • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

      You can also find a lot of gear on consignment at different local shops, but you won’t know which ones offer it until you check with your local forum. Anyone in the bay area can check out moto shop for starters.

  • Nathan

    I’ve never bought a used helmet and never will. I usually browse craigslist or eBay. You need to watch out for the “china” knock off stuff (an Alpinestars 1pc leather suit for $299 on eBay?) Some things are just common sense. Usually you can get a feel for the previous owner based upon the item description whether on eBay, Craigslist, or a forum. I found a genuine used never been in accident Alpinestars jacket on eBay for $62. Originally $450, pretty sure the wife was selling all her husbands/ex-husbands stuff. The main thing is you have to be patient.

    • Nathan Haley

      +1. Helmets have an expiration date (2-4 years? I think it depends on the manufacturer, someone correct me if I’m wrong) so they depreciate pretty quickly. Even a brand new helmet may have been dropped in the shop, damaging the inner structure – something you might not be able to see without an x-ray machine. It’s not really worth picking up old helmets unless you get a *really* good deal.

  • Dennis Hightower

    Best place is clearly where header photo man shops…

  • MCC315

    I highly recommend Yellow Devil Gear Exchange, http://yellowdevilgear.com/ They also have an ebay store. I got a great deal on a barely used A-stars Tech 1r jacket. Shipped quickly, was packaged nicely and I think is in better condition than the listing described. Most of their inventory is high quality gear for very reasonable prices.

  • Archie

    Riding community forums and eBay are always reliable for me. I’ve bought and sold quite a few things for reasonable prices on my local bike forum and grabbed more than enough bargains on eBay auctions. Best haul was a pair of 2012 A-stars GP-Tech gloves, my size – in black – for AU$90 brand new in the box, against a $350 retail. SCORE.

  • Dave Mason

    I have my sources, but why divulge? It’s like revealing where the best deserted mountain road lies! Hint: Internet forums.

  • Dave Mason

    Oh, and a helmet can often be sent back to the manufacturer for a thumbs up (or down) evaluation. I understand the stance of “never wear a used helmet” but it’s worked out well for me on a few occasions. YMMV

  • JT

    BTW the GPZ is a better bike and Lou Reed RIP even sang about it. “I love that GPZ so much, you know that I could kiss her.”

  • Brian

    also, check out the closeouts on motorcyclegear.com ( which used to be newenough.com ) and also it is worth looking at sportbiketrackgear.com which is the supplier/partner for sportbiketracktime.com .

    • Justin McClintock

      Also, motorcyclegear.com has a used section (again) as well.

    • Alex

      After checking these out, I don’t think I’m going to buy new gear ever again.

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    advrider.com

  • Dennis Newman

    I stick with Craigslist or local forums, because I want to try stuff on before I hand over money. The type of gear you’re looking for dictates the quality of the used market. I bought my Aerostich used. It needed a couple zipper pulls and a zipper repair, but high quality gear usually means a high quality owner. I bought my leathers on CL as well. They came from an ADV guy who though he’d try a sport bike and a track day. He never made it to the track, so the BRAND NEW Alpinestars suit sat in the closet for 3 years. I paid $300 for a one piece suit with back protector. It takes time to find the right deal, but you can get good stuff for cheap. I still buy my boots, gloves, and helmets new, because those are items I feel should really break in to your shape. Also, no one wants someone else’s foot stink.

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Buying a used motorcycle? For sure. Bying a used gear? No way.

    If you are on a budget, go find something in the closeout section of RevZilla and other numerous motorcycle gear sites. Also vendor sites, like shop.triumphmotorcycles.com, frequently run promotions at super deep discounts; I bought a brand new mesh leather jacket with MSRP of $430 for $99 last season.

    • Christopher Murdock

      I picked up a used Dainese two piece suit with a bad zipper for $200 it’s in perfect condition, I’m having the zipper repaired by a guy that builds customer leathers for people. Dropping the same $900 on this new just wasn’t in my budget. I think a blanket “No way” for used gear is a bit much. Used helmet? Nope. Worn once boots? Sure There’s a lot of opportunity to save money for those willing to be patient to score some great deals and get better gear than they would otherwise be able to afford.

  • blackcayman

    WERAclassifieds – I got a “like-new” one piece Vanson leather for 300 bucks!

  • deckard

    Watch out for counterfeit gear. Ebay is swimming in bogus Alpinestars. A lot of buyers who get hooked, once they realize it will resell the counterfeit items through craigslist, forums, etc..

  • kawatwo

    I’d just like to find an 87 750 ninja in perfect condition like that :)

  • Jesse VanderWeide

    I second (or third or whatever) discussion forums. Folks are willing to let their gear go to a friendly home, to a brother or sister with the same bike.

  • anthony

    Buy virtually new gear from newbies after they fail the course/test ;)

  • ‘Mike Smith

    I bought a sweet, barely used armored Yamaha leather jacket for $35 on Craigslist.