4 ways to get a better deal on a used motorcycle

November 3, 2015

Whether you've been riding for years or are brand new to motorcycles, everyone wants to get a great deal when they buy a used bike. Here's the lowdown on how find a quality used motorcycle for a fair price.

4 ways to get a better deal on a used motorcycle

1. Pick the right type of bike for your needs

  • The first step in buying a used motorcycle is to decide how it'll be used.
  • Just like passenger vehicles, motorcycles are available in numerous body styles.
  • Ask yourself if you're looking to use the bike for commuting to work, for fun weekend rides, on off-road trails, or at the track.
  • While it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of motorcycles available, the most common types include scooters, touring bikes, cruisers and sport bikes.
  • Narrowing down to your needs will make your search easier.

2. Choose between a dealer or a private party

  • While buying from a private party offers many advantages, including the likelihood that the seller will be more flexible on price, this option can also have some disadvantages.
  • A dealership may charge a premium for the used motorcycle, but they've likely been inspected and certified for use.
  • Buying from a private party can be a gamble. There's no protection if something's wrong with the bike that wasn't noticeable during the test drive or stated by the seller.
  • Ultimately, what type of seller a person buys from is likely going to be dependent on their budget.

3. Give it a test drive and an inspection

  • Going for a test drive is imperative. It's perhaps the most important part of any transaction.
  • Be sure to come prepared with the proper motorcycle gear and be ready to accept responsibility for the bike while on a test drive.
  • If you're new to riding a motorcycle, ask an experienced driver to join you at the inspection. This person can offer their opinions of whether or not the used bike is fit for the road.
  • Ask the seller for service records to check that they've done proper maintenance. Check for oil changes, properly inflated tires and a clean chain and sprocket.

4. Make a fair offer

  • Regardless of whether you're buying from a private seller or a salesperson at a dealership, it's important to make a fair offer for the bike.
  • Ultimately, all parties should be satisfied with the transaction.

Few things are better than experiencing the open road from the saddle of a motorcycle. But to get there, you'll need a bike. With the right knowledge, and a willingness to walk away from a bad deal, you can find the bike you need at a price you'll like.

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