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It is risky to buy anything used because you don't know the history of the engine or body. But here are some things you should definately check for:

Engine runs smoothly - If the engine sputters or cuts out, it can usually be easily fixed by cleaning out the carberator or air filter. But if it is missing, backfiring (when gas is on), or not acting right, you might want to consider looking at a different bike.

Check sprokets and chain - Check these things to ensure that the chain won't be falling off. Look for chips on the teeth or a really loose chain (usually can be adjusted) just to be safe.

If the bike had been sitting for long periods, it may smoke a little (4-stroke, 2-strokes always smoke) but not much. If it is smoking alot, you may need to get new rings.

If you drive a 2-stroke, it is completely normal for it to smoke. If it doesn't, there is something seriously wrong with it. If you buy a 2-stroke, remember to mix the oil in with the gas (in most cases).

Check the transmission - Make sure that all of the gears work properly. Also, make sure that the clutch does not slip when starting out or shifting gears (if the clutch slips, then it will wait a second for the gear to catch on, or seem like it).

Again, this is just a quick check. Some of the things above are minor, such as sputtering or backfiring when not gassing it and can be repaired for little or nothing. Consult with the seller for records.