Thinking of purchasing a new or new-to-you motorcycle? With the plethora of models, brands, and styles out there, filtering all the information you’re going to be hearing and seeing to find the one that’s just right for you can be a daunting exercise. It is also lots of fun. Here are some tips to guide you in the right direction.
10 Tips for Purchasing a Motorcycle
- Riding Preferences. Consider the kind of riding you’ll be doing most of the time. Not only do you need to think about whether it’s a cruiser, sport bike, touring, off-road or dual sport, think about whether you’ll be regularly carrying a passenger, luggage and the weight capacity of the bike.
- Compatibility. Purchase a bike that’s compatible with your skill level and riding experience. Don’t buy something that you can “grow into” and don’t get talked into something that doesn’t feel right for you. This is risky behavior and will jeopardize your safety and enjoyment.
- Comfort. Sit on the bike in the riding position. How comfortable is it for you? Is it a stretch to reach the controls or the ground? Can you picture yourself in this position for extended periods? Feel the wind in your face.
- Convenience. Consider how often you are going to have to take it in for service, how convenient the location is and their hours of operation. Ask for and talk to references to determine their credibility and service level.
- Maintenance. Ask about the frequency of maintenance and expected costs. If you like to perform routine maintenance yourself, how simple is it to do? Do you need to purchase other equipment such as a lift or specialized tools? How readily available are replacement parts?
- Sales Rep. Purchase from a salesperson who is also a rider. Enough said.
- Customization. All bikes can be customized – at least to a certain extent. If you see one that’s just right for you except for a few adjustments or accessories, ask what’s available (and where) to make that bike yours.
- Trusted advisor. Bring an experienced rider with you. They may pick up things that you miss. Just remember, ultimately, it’s YOUR decision.
- Shop around. Resist the temptation to purchase the first bike you see. There are lots to choose from. It’s an important purchase and your safety and enjoyment depend on you making an objective decision.
- Research. Talk to other trustworthy riders, retailers, insurance companies. Beware of forums. While you can find valuable advice, you usually don’t know whom you’re talking to so can’t reliably assess their level of expertise – even though they sound like an expert.
Do your homework, take your time, ask lots of questions, and then listen to your heart. Make an informed decision. Then embrace the adventure – wherever your road leads.