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How to buy a motorcycle

Compare handy tips for buying a motorcycle today.

Not sure where to start when it comes to buying a motorcycle? If you're looking to buy a motorbike, there's a number of things you'll need to keep in mind. Like any other big purchase, it pays to understand your options and find the deal that is right for you.

Motorcyclist riding near mountain range

Quick tips on buying a motorcycle

Purchasing any sort of vehicle can be a big financial commitment for most people and this includes buying a motorcycle. Having a motorcycle can be a wonderful experience for those with the confidence and experience to ride one but when it comes to buying your own motorcycle there are a few things that you need to take into consideration.

  • Price

    Buying a motorcycle needs to be given the same thought and consideration you would exercise if you were making any other considerable investment. As is the case with cars and trucks, buying a motorcycle can be a costly affair, as the price can be quite high depending on the type of motorcycle you are looking for and whether you buy new or used. Buying a secondhand motorcycle can help save you money, but you should try and ensure the bike is in good condition to avoid the risk of costly repairs in the future. Many auto dealers operate on monthly sales targets, so you may be able to secure a better deal towards the end of the month if the dealer is struggling to meet its targets.

  • Safety

    In addition to the financial side of things you also need to look at other important issues, such as the suitability of the machine that you are looking to purchase and also the safety aspects. For example, if you buy a second-hand motorcycle from a private seller you will generally be taking a greater risk in terms of safety than if you bought a brand new and fully checked motorcycle from a dealer.

  • Your experience level and type of riding

    Your experience level should give you an indication of the type of bike you should be looking at when buying a motorcycle. And so will the type of riding you think you'll be doing. On-road or off-road, sports bikes or more lifestyle-suited models, make sure you get a bike that's going to complement your skills and needs.

  • Accessories

    There are various other things you'll need to purchase along with your bike, so make sure you factor the cost of them into your budget. Remember things like a helmet, jacket, gloves, rain and weather gear, boots and dedicated eye gear if you need it. All of this doesn't come cheap, so make sure you shop around.

  • Take your time

    It is important not to get carried away and rush into any decisions when you are buying a motorcycle, as this could otherwise end up being a costly or even dangerous mistake. You have to respect that these are powerful machines and safety should be paramount. This, coupled with the variety of other considerations that you need to think about, means that you should do your research before you purchase a motorcycle.

Finder survey: Do Australians of different ages buy their bike new or used?

Used / demo32.26%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

What to look for when buying a motorcycle

You need to remember that buying any sort of vehicle, including a motorcycle, is a big step and there are a number of things to consider before you take the plunge. Some of the things you need to think about before you purchase a motorcycle include:

  • Whether to buy new

    Most people would, of course, like to be able to buy a gleaming brand new motorcycle but this is dependent on your budget amongst other things. You need to look at your finances and work out whether you can afford to buy new or whether you need to be looking at your second-hand options.

  • Decide which motorcycle you want

    Some people will already know exactly which make and model of motorcycle they want when buying a motorcycle. However, others will be more flexible. If you are open to different makes and models at the right price, make a list of features you want from your new motorcycle, such as the engine size, and you can then target your search accordingly.

  • Compare models and prices

    Whether or not you have a particular make or model in mind, it is important to compare prices on motorcycles before you commit, as there could be a big difference in price based on where you buy from. This is something that you can do online, which means that you don't have to go out of your way to try and find a good deal.

  • Safety aspects

    Motorcycles are big, powerful machines so to reduce the risk of accidents and issues, you need to take action to ensure that the motorcycle you buy is safe. This is particularly important if you are buying a used motorcycle from a private buyer, as you do not have the same safety checks and reassurances as you would with a new machine. You can consider employing the services of experts in the motor industry to carry out checks before you commit. Even if you have to pay a little cash for this service, it could save you a fortune in the long run and more importantly could save you from serious accidents resulting from riding a faulty motorcycle.

  • Ways to finance your motorcycle

    Whether you buy a new or used motorcycle, the cost is likely to be quite high, so one of the first things you will need to look at is the funding for your purchase. There are a number of different options that you can look at when it comes to funding. You may be lucky enough to have the money in savings to make your purchase outright, otherwise you will need to look at options such as financing from the dealership or a bank loan to make your purchase.

What to remember when buying a motorcycle

Putting some time and effort into doing your research before you make your decision means that you can enjoy greater peace of mind when you are buying your motorcycle as well as cutting the risk of problems and issues that could arise from buying a defective or unsuitable motorcycle. Remember to compare your loan options if you're considering finance to ensure you get the best deal.

Picture: Shutterstock

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