Motorcycle buying guide: Tips on how to purchase your first motorcycle

Step-by-step instructions to find and finance your dream bike.

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For some, a motorcycle is a dream purchase. Knowing what you want out of a bike and how to get the best deal can make sure you choose a great ride. You’ll also want to know what kinds of bad deals and scams to look out for.

Car Loans Canada

  • Min. Loan Amount: $7,500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $55,000
  • Interest Rate: 3.99% to 29.90%
  • Loan Term: 12-84 months
  • $0 down options available
  • All credit scores considered
  • Quick and simple financing
  • Safe and secure loans

Car Loans Canada

Search thousands of vehicles online, including $0 down options, from dealers across the country and get matched with affordable financing options. Auto loans are also available to those with bad credit, consumer proposals and bankruptcies to help rebuild credit.

  • Min. Loan Amount: $7,500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $55,000
  • Interest Rate: 3.99% to 29.90%
  • Loan Term: 12-84 months
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How to buy a motorcycle in 8 steps

Compare motorcycle loans

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Interest Rate Fees Loan Term Min. Credit Score
CarsFast Car Loans
$500
4.90% to 29.90%
Varies by lender, loan type and province
12 months - 8 years
300
Browse thousands of vehicles from dealers across Canada and get matched with financing that meets your needs. Apply online to purchase a new or used vehicle and get the vehicle delivered to your door.
Car Loans Canada
$7,500
3.99% to 29.90%
Varies by lender, loan type and province
12-84 months
300
Search thousands of vehicles online, including $0 down options, from dealers across the country and get matched with affordable financing options. Auto loans are also available to those with bad credit, consumer proposals and bankruptcies to help rebuild credit.
Loans Canada Car Loans
$500
0% to 29.99%
Varies by lender
3-96 months
300
Get access to financing from multiple lenders across Canada through a single application with Loans Canada. Bad credit, CERB and EI borrowers are considered.
Carloans411 Car Loans
$500
1.90% to 19.99%
Varies
Up to 72 months
300
Get connected with suitable lenders through CarLoans411. Finance your next car, van or truck with loans available in amounts from $500 to $50,000. Check eligibility for this loan through LoanConnect.
LoanConnect Car Loans
$500
10.00% to 46.96%
Varies by lender, loan type and province
6-60 months
550
Get access to 25+ lenders through LoanConnect's brokerage. Receive pre-approval in as fast as 60 seconds and get your funds in as little as 24 hours.
Auto Arriba Car Loans
$3,500
8.99% to 29.50%
Contract fee of $499.00
6-84 months
N/A
Auto Arriba offers car loans starting at $3,500 up to $100,000, with as little as a 30 minute loan turnaround time. On a limited number of approved loans, Auto Arriba is currently offering a rebate of the amount of your first scheduled payment 30 days after it has been processed up to a maximum of $500.
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
$5,000
19.99% to 23.99%
Varies by province
3-10 years
560
Fairstone offers secured personal loans up to $35,000.
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Representative example: Anton buys a Harley

Anton, a B.C. resident, has his eye on a 2020 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe priced at $25,000.00. After making a 15% down payment of $3,750.00, Anton applies for dealership financing to cover the remaining cost of the bike. Thanks to his solid credit history, he is approved for a loan to cover the outstanding amount plus 12% GST/PST ($21,250.00 + $3,000.00). Along with the cost of his loan, Anton also pays approximately $50.00 to register his motorcycle with the ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia).

Cost of new vehicle$21,250.00 total purchase price ($25,000.00 less $3,750.00 down payment)
Loan typeAuto loan (term loan)
Loan amount$24,250.00
Interest rate (APR)5.90%
Loan term6 years
Additional fees4.00% origination fee ($970.00)
$0.00 application fee (waived by dealership)
Payment $400.75 monthly or $184.76 biweekly
Total loan cost$28,854.00 with monthly payments or $28,822.56 with biweekly payments

*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.

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 to . Some people actually end up spending more on gear than the motorcycle.
  • Licensing and safety/training courses. Each province/territory has its own rules regarding driver licenses and insurance, so check to see if you’re required to own a license before buying a bike. Do not plant to drive off the lot with your new bike without being a valid license-holder; you can always have some who holds a valid license drive your motorcycle off the lot for you.
    Motorcycle riding courses and safety training courses can cost around $250 – $550 (potentially more), but prices may vary depending on the type of course that you take. Taking such a course could potentially lower your insurance premium, however, so it may be well worth the buy. Make sure the course you take is recognized by your provincial licensing department or you may not get an insurance discount.
  • Tax and registration costs. When your seller cites a price, verify if they’re including sales tax and vehicle registration costs. These vary from province to province and influence how much you need to borrow.

Compare motorcycle loans

7 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Type of riding. Determine what kind of bike you want: standard, cruiser, sport, touring, dual-sport, off-road, scooter, moped etc. This helps narrow down your search.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 rush into any decisions. If you don’t do your research, you could end up making a costly, or even a dangerous, mistake.

Bottom line

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 different loan options such as dealer financing, outside lending services and getting a personal loan if you’re considering financing to find the best deal on the market.

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