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Motorcycle buying guide: Tips on how to purchase your first motorcycle
Step-by-step instructions to find and finance your dream bike.
How to buy a motorcycle in 7 steps
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Costs to keep in mind
The cost of the actual motorcycle isn’t the only cost you need to consider.
- Insurance. We mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating: Motorcycle insurance is expensive. Compare different quotes to find the cheapest rates.
- Maintenance. Depending on how much you ride your bike, you’ll have to pay to keep it in shape. This can be as little as around $10 to $20 a month but can get much higher if you have to replace tires.
- Gear. Helmets, jackets, pants, boots, mounts, rain gear — this can all add up. Some people actually end up spending more on gear than the motorcycle.
- Safety or training courses. If this is your first bike, it might be worth learning how to ride — and some states this might even be required if the rider is under 18 or 21. This can cost as much as $250.
- Tax and registration costs. When your seller cites a price, ask if they’re including sales tax and vehicle registration costs. These vary from state to state and influence how much you need to borrow.
5 factors to consider when buying a motorcycle
For most people, buying any sort of vehicle can be a big financial commitment — including a motorcycle. When it comes to buying your own motorcycle, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration.
- Buy new or used. You need to look at your finances and work out whether buying new or used is more suitable to your budget. If it’s your first bike, a second-hand motorcycle may make more sense as you can see how much you really like it.
- Model and price. Compare the price of the model you want at multiple lenders and work out your finances to see if you can fit it into your budget.
- Safety. Bringing the bike to mechanic you trust before you start riding. If you buy a second-hand motorcycle from a private seller, you’ll generally be taking a greater risk than if you bought it brand new and fully checked from a dealer.
- Your experience level. Make sure you get a bike that’s going to compliment your skill level — a bike with too much power will undoubtedly be overwhelming for a new rider.
- Type of riding. Determine what kind of bike you want: on- or off-road, sport bikes or cruiser. This helps narrow down your search.
- Accessories. Make sure you factor in the cost of the accessories you’ll need when riding your bike. Items like a helmet, jacket, gloves, rain and weather gear, boots and eyewear can get expensive, so shop around to find the best deal.
- How you’ll pay for it. There are a number of different options that you can look at when it comes to making your bike purchase, such as financing from the dealership or a personal loan.
Above all else, don’t into any decisions. If you don’t do any research, it could end up being a costly or even a dangerous mistake.
Putting time upfront can give you peace of mind when you’re buying your motorcycle. It also cuts the risk and issues that could arise from buying a defective or unsafe bike. Remember to compare your loan options if you’re considering finance to find the best deal on the market.
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