Buying a Used Motorcycle

If you're someone new to buying a motorcycle, you're probably confused about what to do.  There are tons of things that factor into buying a used motorcycle that you'll probably have a problem if don't educate yourself in the buying process.  Whenever buying a new car or bike, the first thing you should do before you finalize a purchase is have it inspected by a reputable auto shop.  While most dealers will pay for an inspection, not all will, and will require you to spend your own money.  However, the cost of an inspection is less than $20 which is manageable for most people.  An inspection is key to the buying process because it can save you thousands of dollars through foreseeable signs of wear and tear found during the process. 

Make Sure You Have a License

Do you have your motorcycle license?  In order to ride your bike on the streets you need to get a license from the state.  While you can go and buy your motorcycle at any time (even without a license), you'll want one to be able to enjoy the bike.

If you're tempted to buy the motorcycle before getting a license, don't do it.  There have been people that bought their bike, got their license, and then discovered that they hate riding on their model for whatever reason.  Each motorcycle you can buy rides a little bit differently than another so you want to be able to test drive them with a license before you buy.

Why are You Getting Your Motorcycle?

You should ask yourself questions about why you're getting a motorcycle.  Each of these questions play an important role in the bike you should get.

  • Are you getting the motorcycle for fun?  Is it just for the occasional spin on the weekend?
  • Is it an alternative form of transportation of avoid high gas prices?
  • What are you going to do on stormy days?  Are you going to ride it when it's pouring rain or snow?
  • What are you going to do about transportation for work?  Are you going to ride your motorcycle? 

You should know the answers to these questions before choosing a place to buy your used motorcycle from.  Also, after those questions, you should have an idea of what you want to pay for the bike.  Before you go to a dealer, you should know your absolute maximum price range.  Never let the salesperson talk you into something higher than your maximum.  If you are having problems with a high pressure salesman, walk out.  It's your money.

Where to Buy From?

Choosing to buy your used motorcycle from a dealer, auction, or individual is completely up to you.  While buying from a dealer is the easiest solution for most people, it's not always the cheapest.  Dealers make bad credit motorcycle financing really simple if you're someone with a poor credit score.  They also handle registration and other state fees.  Dealers are especially helpful if you don't know what you're doing.

Buying from private sellers, or individuals, is typically a much slower process.  Plus, there will be times when you're working with someone with no clue about how to sell a motorcycle.  Because of that reason, you'll want to buy your motorcycle from a dealer if you don't want to deal with the hassle.

Buying from a private seller isn't always a bad choice though.  Just remember it can be fairly difficult at times.  When buying from an individual, always make sure you get the motorcycle inspected.  Again, you don't want to deal with hidden problems six months from now.  Offer to take the motorcycle to an auto shop for an inspection.  Ask the individual to accompany you.  When working with a private motorcycle seller, expect to end up paying for the inspection.


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