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Purchasing a motorcycle from a reputable dealer offers peace of mind, reliable financing options, and access to a diverse range of new and used motorcycles.
From setting a budget to finalizing the sale, this article delves into the step-by-step process of acquiring your dream bike from a trusted dealership.
- The average cost of a motorcycle typically falls within the range of $4,000 to $20,000
- Research the reputation and reliability of each dealership to ensure a positive buying experience
- The best time of year to buy a motorcycle is typically during the late fall and winter months
- If paying upfront isn't feasible, securing financing for your motorcycle is a viable option
8 Steps to Buying a Motorcycle from a Dealership
From setting a budget and determining whether a new or used bike suits your needs to securing optimal motorcycle financing and finalizing the deal, we've got you covered with expert advice to make your motorcycle buying experience from a dealer smooth and successful.
1. Set Your Budget
Before venturing into the motorcycle buying process, establish a clear budget that aligns with your financial capacity and preferences. The average cost of a motorcycle typically falls within the range of $4,000 to $20,000, but prices can vary based on the make, model, and additional features.
Determining your budget will help narrow your options and ensure you find a bike that fulfills your riding aspirations and financial goals.
2. Choose Your Ideal Motorcycle Type
Selecting a motorcycle that suits your riding style and preferences is essential. Common types of bikes include cruisers, sport bikes, touring bikes, and dual-purpose/adventure bikes.
Consider your riding experience, intended use (commuting, long trips, off-road adventures), and ergonomics. A valuable tip is to test ride different types (if the dealer permits it) to gauge comfort and handling, ensuring a perfect match between you and your future motorcycle.
3. Decide Between Buying a New Motorcycle vs. a Used One
When purchasing a motorcycle, you'll decide whether to opt for a brand-new or pre-owned bike. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks to consider.
Pros of buying new include:
- The latest features
- Warranty coverage
- Peace of mind
Buying used can offer its own set of benefits, including:
- Cost savings
- A wider selection of models
- Potential customization options
Assess factors like depreciation, maintenance history, and budget constraints before deciding.
4. Explore Online Motorcycle Dealers
Many dealerships list their motorcycle inventory for sale on dedicated websites, offering a vast selection at your fingertips. Popular platforms like eBay, Craigslist, and Cycle Trader provide access to private sellers and dealers.
To begin your search, research online and browse these platforms to explore the diverse range of motorcycles available. Remember to verify the credibility of sellers and schedule inspections whenever possible before finalizing any purchase.
5. Visit Local Motorcycle Dealerships
Visiting local motorcycle dealerships is crucial for a hands-on experience and personal interaction with potential sellers. Explore multiple standard motorcycle dealers to compare prices, inventory, and customer service.
Research the reputation and reliability of each dealership to ensure a positive buying experience. Don't hesitate to ask questions and seek recommendations from fellow riders to make an informed decision.
6. Shopping for a Motorcycle
Once you've found a preferred dealership, visit them to peruse their inventory and explore various motorcycle styles. Take the time to test-ride different models, paying attention to what you like and don’t like. Share your feedback and preferences with the sales representatives.
Be sure to inquire about ongoing promotions or discounts to secure the best price possible. Finding the perfect motorcycle that aligns with your riding aspirations is key, so avoid letting your excitement take over to rush the process inadvertently.
7. Secure Motorcycle Financing
If paying upfront isn't feasible, securing financing for your motorcycle is a viable option. Dealerships, manufacturers, banks, credit unions, and online lenders offer financing choices.
Ensure a smoother process with a good to excellent credit score, enabling better borrowing flexibility and lower interest rates. Before committing to any loan, compare terms and rates from multiple sources to find your budget's most favorable financing option.
8. Complete the Sale
Before finalizing the purchase, review and sign all relevant documentation, including the sales agreement and financing terms. Take your time to read the fine print and clarify any uncertainties with the dealer.
Once all the paperwork is in order, it's time to pick up your new motorcycle. Conduct a final inspection to ensure the bike is pristine before hitting the road. Remember, attention to detail during this phase ensures a smooth and satisfying ownership experience.
What You Need to Know When Buying a Motorcycle from a Dealer
Buying a motorcycle from a dealer requires careful consideration of essential details to ensure a successful and safe purchase. Understanding the prerequisites, such as having a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license, as well as the importance of necessary protective gear, are vital aspects we'll delve into in the following sections.
Let's explore these critical elements to equip you for a memorable and secure riding experience.
What Do You Need to Buy a Motorcycle?
When embarking on the journey of purchasing a motorcycle, several crucial elements come into play to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. To set you on the right path, here are the essential requirements and steps to consider:
- Having a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license: Before hitting the road, ensure you possess the necessary endorsement on your driver's license, indicating that you've passed the required motorcycle training and tests.
- Scheduling an inspection for a used motorcycle: If you opt for a pre-owned bike, arranging a thorough inspection by a trusted mechanic will help identify potential issues and give you peace of mind.
- Getting motorcycle insurance: Protect your investment and yourself by obtaining adequate insurance coverage, a legal requirement in all states. And know that in all states except Florida, you must provide evidence of motorcycle insurance before registering your bike and obtaining a license plate.
- Securing motorcycle financing if needed: If paying upfront isn't feasible, explore financing options from reputable sources to find a plan that fits your budget.
- Purchasing the necessary protective gear: Invest in high-quality protective gear, including helmets, jackets, gloves, and boots, to prioritize safety while riding.
- Getting a title on the motorcycle: Ensure that all necessary paperwork, including the title, is appropriately transferred to your name upon purchase to establish legal ownership.
Do Motorcycle Dealers Allow Test Rides?
Test ride policies vary among motorcycle dealerships. Dealers that permit test rides are typically required to carry insurance on the vehicles available for testing due to the higher risk of accidents and associated costs.
However, most dealers refrain from offering test rides due to the prohibitive insurance expenses. Some dealerships may allow test rides on select bikes, accompanying riders on a pre-determined route lasting approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Do Motorcycle Dealerships Deliver?
In many instances, dealerships offer motorcycle delivery services upon purchase, but confirming this beforehand is crucial. Discussing delivery options before finalizing the purchase may present an opportunity to negotiate a better deal or even secure free delivery as part of your purchase conditions.
Don't hesitate to inquire about this convenient service to enhance your buying experience and save on additional transportation costs.
Can You Return a Motorcycle After Purchase?
Generally, brand-new motorcycles bought from a dealership are protected by a warranty, making returns possible under "lemon laws." State lemon laws often cover motorcycles as "consumer goods," allowing returns if the bike was purchased new, received a written warranty, and was primarily intended for personal use.
However, used and privately purchased bikes are typically exempt from return policies. Reviewing the specific lemon laws in your state and thoroughly understanding the warranty coverage before attempting to return a motorcycle is essential.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle from a Dealer
Buying a motorcycle is an exhilarating decision that demands thoughtful consideration. To ensure you make the right choice, there are essential factors worth examining before finalizing your purchase:
- Motorcycle price: Determine a budget that aligns with your financial capabilities and explore bikes within that range.
- Bike condition: Inspect the motorcycle thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear, ensuring it meets your expectations for quality and reliability.
- Motorcycle power: Consider the engine size and power output best suits your riding style and skill level. Know that for those new to motorcycling, consider 250CC, 300CC, or 400CC engines. These engine sizes provide ample power, striking the right balance between performance and maneuverability, making them ideal choices to kickstart your motorcycling journey confidently.
- Bike technology and safety features: Evaluate the bike's technology advancements and safety features to enhance your riding experience and prioritize safety.
- Your riding skills: Be honest about your riding experience and choose a motorcycle that complements your skill level.
- Service and parts availability: Research the availability of service centers and spare parts in your area to ensure convenient maintenance and repairs.
- Protective gear: Invest in high-quality protective gear to prioritize your safety while riding, including helmets, jackets, gloves, and boots.
How Much Money Should You Have Before Buying a Motorcycle?
The money you need before buying a motorcycle depends on various factors, including the motorcycle's price, taxes, insurance, and potential financing costs. A down payment of 20% to 30% of the motorcycle's total cost is advisable to secure better financing terms.
Lenders offering motorcycle financing options include Lending Tree, LightStream, and SoFi. When purchasing your dream motorcycle, these reputable institutions may provide competitive rates and terms to suit your financial needs.
Final Word: Find Your Dream Bike at a Local Dealership
Now that you know how to buy a motorcycle from a dealer, take the proverbial wheel and embark on an exciting journey to find your perfect two-wheeled companion. Explore local dealerships, consider essential factors, and prioritize safety as you make this thrilling investment.
Trust your instincts, gather valuable information, and confidently choose the motorcycle that resonates with your riding aspirations. What is right for you? Make a decision, and let the open road be your guide. Happy riding!