Whether you’re buying your first motorcycle, upgrading your bike, or adding your fifth bike to your collection, there are definitely a few things to consider before you commit to the big (and exciting) purchase. Factors like your current financial situation, out of state purchases, dealership discounts, and more can all affect the best time to buy a motorcycle.
We’ve come up with a handy guide to help you calibrate your decisions and get the best deal on that beautiful piece of machinery when the time comes.
When is the Best Time to Buy a Motorcycle?
The first thing you have to determine is the reason you’re buying this motorcycle.
For new and experienced riders alike, we advise putting together a new or used motorcycle buying checklist. Every rider will have different things that are important to them, and listing it all out will come in handy as you track your options now and for the future. List things such as comparative prices if you’ve shopped around earlier, location-specific prices, maintenance and quality control checks for used bikes, and how you plan to pay for the motorcycle.
One of the best ways to enjoy your motorcycle even more is to know you got a great deal on a quality piece of machinery.
Best Months to Buy a Motorcycle
With natural scenery and the great outdoors being such an influence on many motorcycle riders, it’s no wonder the number of motorcycles purchased goes down in the winter. This is especially true in colder areas where you can’t take your bike out on the road.
Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle
When getting into the logistics of a new bike, its cost, and the quality, here are some things to consider:
- Choose the right type of motorcycle for you: Even if there is a great deal on a sportbike or cruiser, you might not be comfortable on them, or they might not suit your style. Many beginners will want to start on a standard, and buying the wrong type may dwindle your enthusiasm for learning or even riding in general. Stick to your checklist of most important features and don’t be deterred by a “good deal.”
- Shop around: You might know the right bike type, have a budget in mind, and see one that catches your eye. Purchasing it immediately might not be the regret of a lifetime, but it probably wouldn’t be fun to learn there was a better deal or slightly different fit that you liked more had you spent some time shopping around. A little patience goes a long way!
- Bike specs: Within all types of motorcycles, you still need to know whether the seat height and bike weight is going to be manageable for you and your riding style. These will vary depending on the specific bikes, and realizing this after it is too late will be annoying.
For used motorcycles: There are several key points to consider here, and they all carry a lot of weight-
- Make sure it’s not stolen. Do this by checking the VIN and making sure it matches the bike and title. You can check this with your local DMV to make sure.
- Write a bill of sale, and make sure all the appropriate numbers are verified by both parties. Also, make sure there are no liens on the title- this will be trouble more often than not.
- You might not always be able to take it for a test ride. This is for liability purposes, and you probably shouldn’t ride the bike until it is registered in your name. Frustrating, but practical, unfortunately.
- Tune it up! Whether it’s you or a mechanic, don’t trust the seller to have done all the little things before getting the bike ready for sale. This is a great way to establish a relationship with a mechanic if you haven’t bought a motorcycle before.
For new motorcycles: There are fewer things to worry about with buying new, but it doesn’t mean certain items don’t need to be examined.
- Your credit will influence the purchase: Your credit can influence your overall price, the type of loan you can get on a vehicle, and even your insurance. Ultimately, it probably won’t stop you from getting a new bike, but it can be a financial hindrance.
- Do your homework before going to the dealership: This can apply to many aspects of buying a new bike, but specifically know what type you want, your budget, and the gear you’re interested in. Don’t get talked out of your price range or into a purchase that won’t suit your style just because you’re in a showroom with someone offering you the world.
- Shop around even harder: This applies to the timing of buying, as well as looking at other dealerships, or even considering an out of state purchase. Much like a normal car, there is a lot of room to consider your options, so don’t be too hasty just because the bike in front of you is shiny. We know it’s hard, but doing your homework will help you get the best deal possible.
- Buy last year’s model: This is similar to buying in winter for all bikes. When dealers know they have to roll their inventory over or markdown to create room for the newer models, it creates double leverage if you time it right. Sounds good to us!
- Make sure to factor insurance into your equation: We recommend you get full coverage, meaning a policy that contains liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, comprehensive, and collision coverage. These will all save you in the long run- trust us.
This should be a great way to get you started in the process of buying a new motorcycle. It is an exciting time, and putting in the effort to find the right bike can make a huge difference long term.
Get the Law Tigers’ Free Rider Benefit Card
At Law Tigers, we want to make sure you’re covered no matter what type of motorcycle you’re riding. Our free rider benefit card is a great item to pair with a new bike so you never ride alone.