If you are ready to buy the used motorcycle you’ve always dreamed of, do your research before making this major purchase. Consider these 10 tips to help you make an educated decision.
If you are planning on long rides — even cross-country — you may want a touring model with all the bells & whistles (heated grips, seat and foot warmers, surround sound, cruise control, etc.) to make your journey a little more comfortable. A sport bike, however, might be more appropriate for shorter rides. You should definitely evaluate your riding needs before deciding on which type of used bike to buy. Also, consider the following:
In addition to sources such as Kelley Blue Book and NADAguides, which provide market pricing, you might want to see what comparable models are selling for in your area. Try checking local classifieds or visiting online vehicle sales and pricing sites. These sites can provide thousands of sortable, customizable motorcycle classified ads nationwide.
Motorcycle insurance can vary based on a number of factors, including the class or model of motorcycle you are purchasing. Make sure to talk to your insurance agent to investigate your options and the associated costs prior to purchasing your used motorcycle.
You should evaluate the pros and cons of buying from a franchised or independent dealership, or from a private party. For example:
The goal is to know what you are buying and how much additional money you’ll have to spend to make it roadworthy. It’s critical that you thoroughly inspect the motorcycle, because one missed problem could make your purchase more expensive than you anticipated.
This is your opportunity to make sure that you are not buying a bike beyond your skill or experience level. A high-performance bike, for instance, should not be driven by a novice rider. It will also give you a chance to make sure that the bike fits your body. You don’t want to ride a bike that’s too tall or not tall enough for you, as it could be difficult for you to control and maneuver. Again, the benefit of the manufacturer-sponsored bike rallies where you will be able to take test rides is something you should keep in mind.
A well-cared-for bike may come with a file of maintenance receipts. By reviewing these records, you could be able to determine how well the motorcycle was taken care of and if there were any mechanical issues you should be aware of before making your purchase decision. Also, ask if the owner’s manual and factory tool kit are available.
Consider doing a title history search, which can be done easily by visiting a motorcycle vehicle history report website.
Now that you’ve found the motorcycle you want to buy and have done your research on its condition and history, it is time to make an offer. There are four prices you may wish to consider at this time:
To find an Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course class nearest you, visit the MSF website. Not only will it make you a better driver, there’s a chance it may lower your insurance rate as well, according to DMV.org. If you are already an experienced driver, consider taking an advanced rider class to improve your skills.