When deciding between new or used motorcycles, how do you decide which is right for you? On the one hand, a new bike comes with fairly iron-clad guarantees of reliability. On the other, used motorcycles tend to require far less initial cash outlay. Which is the right choice? The answer depends on a few factors.
Price is a deciding factor for many riders. Once a new bike rolls off the lot, depreciation sets in, making a used vehicle a sensible choice, strictly in terms of impact upon the wallet. Simply stated, the price for last year’s model is likely to be far lower than the shiny new rides on the showroom floor. With a small sacrifice in terms of bells, whistles, and the latest technology, it may be possible to buy a higher quality bike than one could otherwise afford. It’s important, however, to weigh the total cost. Used motorcycles show the wear and tear of having been ridden. The bike that seems like such a great deal might, in fact, need a lot of work, or be due for major maintenance. If you are not an expert mechanic, it may be wise to buy from a dealer, who has a vested interest in ensuring that the bike is at least mechanically sound. They may hope to build trust with customers who will then return for maintenance, repairs, and accessories.
A rider’s personal mechanical ability comes into play when deciding between new and used motorcycles as well. Most riders are enthusiasts, and many have tinkered around with engines, at least to some extent. Not all riders, however, have the knowledge to spot a bike that has been laid down, causing a bent frame, or know the signs of a hog that has been ridden hard and poorly maintained. An honest assessment of your own ability, willingness, time, and resources is necessary when considering a pre-owned machine. Are you willing and able to perform repairs? Do you have the resources necessary to replace parts, carry out necessary repairs, and recognize signs of damage or wear?
Finally, it’s wise to consider the future. Buying used motorcycles through classified advertising or online sales sites is always risky, but a savvy buyer may choose to go in that direction if a particularly good deal presents itself. It may be prudent, however, to consider buying from a dealer, whether you decide upon new or pre-owned. You will have the assurance that the bike has at least been looked over and assessed for wear, tear, and the potential need for repairs. Most dealers offer more than just motorcycles. They’re an excellent resource over the long term, whether you need maintenance, repairs, accessories, or just advice. The riding culture is built upon relationships. Building a solid connection with a local dealer not only supports the community as a whole, it provides you with a valuable resource for help down the road. Whether you buy new or used, make sure to buy the ride that’s right for your needs.