How to Buy a Motorcycle on a Budget

Posted By: Shelby
Post Date: 01/10/2020

Motorcycles are great fun to ride, and you don't have to be independently wealthy to own one. If you have limited financial resources right now, here's how to buy a motorcycle on a budget.

Look at Pre-Owned Motorcycles

First, forgo the new bikes and look at the pre-owned motorcycles for sale instead. Just as with cars, pre-owned motorcycles tend to cost much less than their new counterparts. 

Prices for pre-owned motorcycles naturally vary a lot, and what any one bike costs will depend on its year, model, condition, and mileage. In general, though, you can expect to spend somewhere between $1,000 and $16,000 for a pre-owned bike that's in decent condition. You can readily find pre-owned bikes in this price range.

Investigate Motorcycle Prices in Different Regions

Second, look at the pre-owned motorcycle prices not just in your local area but also in other regions. You might find geographic location is just as big a factor as year, model, condition, and mileage. One bike can range in price by $5,000 depending on where someone is selling it.

As far as locations go, Ohio is one of the best places to check. Motorcycle prices in the state tend to be some of the most affordable in the country.

If you do find a bike that's more affordable out-of-state, you could arrange to have it shipped to you. If possible, though, an inter-state road trip would be more fun. Consider taking some time off to go and purchase the bike, and then ride it back to your home state yourself. What better way is there to break in a new motorcycle than by taking a trip?

Stick With a Smaller Engine

Third, stick with models that have smaller engines even if the powerful and loud big engines tempt you during a test ride. A motorcycle that has a smaller engine will save you money in two ways. 

The initial purchase price of a smaller model will probably be less than that of a larger one, since smaller engines require fewer materials. 

You'll also save on insurance if you get a bike that has a smaller engine. Motorcycles that have large engines and are high-performance are viewed as having higher risk factors than lower-powered bikes, so insurers don't have to charge as much to insure smaller ones. The lower insurance premiums provide savings up-front on insurance and every time you pay premiums thereafter. 

Trade-In a Motorcycle You Have

Fourth, you certainly can trade-in any motorcycle that you already have. Whatever your motorcycle is worth is money that you can directly apply to the price of one that you buy. This could lower your purchase price for another model by hundreds or thousands, depending on what you currently ride.

If you have a motorcycle to trade-in, make sure you take it to a motorcycle dealership and not a generic car dealership. Car dealerships will often accept motorcycles as trade-ins, but their staff often won't be as knowledgeable as the staff at a motorcycle dealership. Without motorcycle-specific knowledge, car dealers will often offer a lower value than bike dealers will.

Finance the Motorcycle Purchase

Finally, finance your motorcycle purchase when you're ready to actually buy a pre-owned bike. Financing lets you spread the cost of a bike out over many months. Loans are available for anywhere from two to seven years.

The longer a loan lasts, the lower its monthly payments are. With such a range in duration, you should be able to find one that has monthly payments you can afford.

If you're in the market for a pre-owned motorcycle, check out the inventory at Lancaster Sport Cycles.


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