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Motorcycle buying guide

Wondering how to buy a motorcycle? Follow our step-by-step instructions to find and finance your dream bike.

You can buy a motorcycle in Canada by following the steps outlined below for buying a new or used bike. Find out more about motorcycle prices in Canada for various types of bikes and compare financing options to fund your new purchase.

How to buy a motorcycle

The steps you’ll follow for how to buy a motorcycle will vary depending on whether you buy a new or used bike:

How to buy a new motorcycle

Follow these steps to buy a new motorcycle in Canada:

  1. Calculate how much you can afford. Make a budget to determine how much you can afford to spend. Expect to pay between $4,000 and $16,000 for a new motorcycle (or up to $60,000 for a high-end bike such as a Harley).
  2. Compare local dealers and pick your bike. Check out local bike shops and shop around to get the best motorcycle prices in Canada. Pick the motorcycle you want to buy and make sure it’s in your price range.
  3. Secure motorcycle financing if needed. Find the best motorcycle financing option for your needs. This may involve getting a line of credit, taking out a motorcycle loan or applying for financing directly from your dealer.
  4. Pay for your motorcycle. Pay for your motorcycle with your savings or with whatever motorcycle financing you choose. If you use financing, you’ll need to begin making repayments on your motorcycle right away.
  5. Drive away or arrange delivery. Drive your motorcycle off the lot or ask your dealer to deliver it if you want more time to practice riding. Just make sure you have insurance and registration in place before you hop in the saddle.

Compare motorcycle financing options

How to buy a used motorcycle

Follow these steps for how to buy a used motorcycle in Canada:

  1. Calculate how much you can afford. Used motorcycle prices in Canada can range from $3,000 to $12,000 for a standard bike. They can skyrocket to over $20,000 for a Harley or a higher-end sportbike. Determine how much you can afford when buying your used motorcycle.
  2. Shop around. Find out if a nearby dealership has used models or shop in an online marketplace such as Kijiji, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Compare used motorcycle prices in Canada to find the best fit for your needs.
  3. Negotiate with the private seller. Negotiate used motorcycle prices with your seller once you’ve settled on the bike you want. You may be able to haggle a private seller down substantially if they’re looking for a quick sale.
  4. Check the VIN and get an inspection. Schedule an inspection before you buy a motorcycle from a private seller if you’re unsure about the condition of the bike. You should also check the VIN and make sure there are no outstanding liens on the bike.
  5. Secure motorcycle financing if needed. Buy a used motorcycle with your savings or with whatever motorcycle financing you choose. Used motorcycle prices in Canada are often lower than new bike prices, so you’ll often need to apply for less financing – though you could end up paying higher interest rates.
  6. Pay your seller. Hand the money over to the used motorcycle dealer or private seller and then drive or haul your bike away. Just make sure that you have insurance and registration on the bike before you ride it.

Can I lease a motorcycle in Canada?

You may be able to lease a motorcycle from some dealerships, but it’s not overly common. Leasing lets you use the motorcycle in return for regular monthly payments over a certain period of time. You won’t own the motorcycle at the end of your lease unless you make a balloon payment to purchase it outright in some cases.

Leasing may be a good idea if you want a brand new motorcycle but you don’t have money for a down payment. It could also make sense if you plan to move overseas or you just want to have a motorcycle for a few years without worrying about selling it at the end of your term.

Compare motorcycle loans

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Ratings APR Range Loan Amount Loan Term Broker Compliance Requirements Long Table Description
Loans Canada Leisure Vehicle Loan
Customer Survey:
1.49% - 31.99%
$500 - $35,000
24 - 120 months
Loans Canada is a loan search platform. Get matched with a suitable dealer based on your credit history and borrowing requirements.
LoanConnect Leisure Vehicle Loan
Customer Survey:
9.90% - 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 120 months
Requirements: No min. income requirement
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
Not yet rated
19.99% - 23.99%
$5,000 - $50,000
36 - 120 months
Requirements: Established credit history and own your home

Types and prices of motorcycles in Canada

There are several types of new and used motorcycles that you can pick from. These are outlined in the chart below along with motorcycle prices in Canada for each type of bike.

Type of bikeDescriptionAverage motorcycle prices in Canada
StandardThis is a standard motorcycle with an average seat height. Engine size ranges from 125cc to 1,000cc.
Best for: new riders and various skill levels
$3,000 to $25,500
CruiserCruisers have high handlebars and a leaned back seat position (more like a chopper). Engine size ranges from 125cc to 1,000cc.
Best for: weekend riding and more advanced riders
$5,000 to $26,000
SportbikeSportbikes have a higher seat and a leaned forward riding position. Engine size ranges from 500cc to 1,300cc.
Best for: sport racing, weekend riding and more advanced riders.
$4,500 to $35,000
TouringThese are larger bikes with more storage, wider seats and an upright neutral handlebar position. Engine size ranges from 1,000cc to 1,800cc.
Best for: extended trips and long rides.
$18,500 to $54,000
Adventure sportbikeAdventure sportbikes are more versatile and let you ride on and off-road. They come with more aggressive suspension and larger storage. Engine size ranges from 750cc to 1,300cc.
Best for: all-purpose riding at the intermediate/expert level.
$6,000 to $24,200
ScooterThese bikes are meant for city driving and come with a lower seat height and upright neutral riding position. Engine size ranges from 50cc to 500cc.
Best for: city commuting (no highways) and new riders
$500 to $5,000
Off-roadAlso called dirt bikes, these motorcycles come with a taller seat height, more aggressive suspension and off-road tires. Engine size ranges from 125cc to 450cc.
Best for: off-road trail riding
$6,000 to $,9000
The prices above reflect new motorcycle prices in Canada. You may be able to pay less than what’s indicated if you search for used motorcycle prices in Canada.

Different types of motorcycle financing

There are a number of different financing options available to help you buy a motorcycle:

Secured loan

  • How it works: Secured loans use your new bike (or another asset) as collateral to secure your loan to buy a motorcycle.
  • How much can I borrow: You’ll usually be able to borrow the full amount of your motorcycle or at least a portion of it.
  • How to apply: You’ll need to find the bike you want to buy and then apply for a motorcycle loan from a bank, online lender or dealership.

Unsecured loan

  • How it works: This type of motorcycle loan relies on your credit score to qualify you for funding. It lets you borrow a lump sum of money that you’ll usually repay over 3-7 years.
  • How much can I borrow: You may be able to borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on what type of motorcycle you want and what your credit score is.
  • How to apply: You can contact any bank or online lender that seems like a good fit to fill out an application.

Line of credit

  • How it works: You can use a line of credit to access a “wallet” of funds to pay off all or part of your motorcycle. You can also use this money to pay for repairs/maintenance.
  • How much can I borrow: You may be able to borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000, with repayment periods of 6 months to a few years.
  • How to apply: You can apply for a line of credit with most banks, credit unions or online lenders.

Representative example: Anton buys a Harley

Anton has been saving up to buy a new Harley Davidson motorcycle. He plans to upgrade his old cruiser to a 2021 Electra Glide Revival (ringing in at $35,000). He makes a down payment of $10,000 on the bike and is left with a $25,000 payment. He applies for dealership financing for the remaining amount, with an interest rate of 6.2%.

Cost of new motorcycle$35,000
Down payment$10,000
Loan amount$25,000
Interest rate (APR)6.2% (or $4,139 over 5 years)
Additional fees/strong>4% origination fee ($1,000)
Monthly payment$486 per month for 5 years
Total loan cost$29,139 + $1,000 upfront origination fee

*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.

How can I find the best motorcycle financing for your needs

Think about the following factors when you get financing to buy a motorcycle in Canada:

  • Term. The term is the period of time you take your loan out for. Shorter terms come with higher monthly payments, but you pay less interest. Longer terms offer lower monthly payments but you pay more interest over time.
  • Interest rate. You can choose fixed or variable interest rates for your motorcycle financing. You may want to find a rate that’s below 15% for fixed rate loans. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over time.
  • Repayment options. Most loans are repaid through automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Find a loan that fits your needs – whether it requires monthly, bi-weekly or weekly payments.
  • Fees and charges. Find out if you’ll need to pay extra fees or charges to your lender for setting up your loan or for making early or late payments. These can add on to your overall loan costs over time.

Other costs to keep in mind

You’ll need to consider the following costs if you plan to buy a motorcycle:

What you need to buyDescriptionCost
Motorcycle gearHelmet, jacket, boots, pants, mounts and rain gear$300 to $3,000 (depending on the quality of the gear)
Licensing and registrationExams, road tests and licence plate costsUsually under $150
InsuranceThird party liability, collision or comprehensiveVaries by province. Average of $700 but can cost anywhere from $400 to several thousand dollars per year.
GasFuel for your motorcycleUsually under $100 per month (but depends on how far you drive)
MaintenanceOil changes, air filter replacements and new chainUsually under $1,000 per year
New tiresChange or replace tiresAround $500 depending on the tires
Safety training coursesTraining to learn how to ride a motorcycle$250 to several thousand dollars
TaxesPaid on the purchase price of your motorcycleCan range from 0% to 15%, depending on where you live.

Should I buy a motorcycle?

The decision to buy a motorcycle is a personal choice that will depend on your lifestyle and budget. That said, it could make more sense for you in the following situations:

  • You have a motorcycle licence. You’ll need to have the appropriate licence to be able to drive a motorcycle. This requires taking a written exam and paying for licensing fees.
  • You don’t mind paying extra insurance. You may have to budget for motorcycle insurance costs on top of what you pay for other vehicles (if you have them).
  • You have extra room in your budget. Buying a motorcycle can cost an extra $2,000 to $10,000 per year – especially if you have a loan payment to worry about.
  • You have a garage or place to store a motorcycle. You’ll need a place to store your motorcycle so that it doesn’t get stolen or damaged.
  • You’re willing to accept the risk. Motorcycles are notoriously dangerous and you and your family need to be willing to accept a heightened risk of injury if you get into a crash.

Compare motorcycle financing lenders

Bottom line

Figuring out how to buy a motorcycle can take a significant amount of time and energy. That said, it will likely be worth the effort when you finally hit that big open road. Use this guide to find out more about what type of motorcycle you want, where you can buy it, how much it will cost and what types of motorcycle financing are available.

Frequently asked questions about buying a motorcycle

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