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There’s always been a big debate about whether or not one should buy a new motorcycle versus a used one. There’s really no right answer for this question, rather it is a specific preference for each individual and it all depends on what you like the best and what you feel is right for you.
I have purchased over a dozen motorcycles in my life time so I’ve been in the spot trying to make this very decision myself. Because I’ve been in this situation so many times, I’ve been able to do a lot of research and asking around about which decision was right for me.
Now I can explain to you what I’ve learned and researched and give you an unbiased review of a new motorcycle versus used so you can make that decision for yourself.
Modern Systems for the New Motorcycle Pro
This article will cover the pros and cons of buying a motorcycle. The first point I’d like to bring up is the fact that Modern mechanical systems make riding a motorcycle safer. These systems can include enhanced braking, suspension, or fuel functionality.
Every motorcycle that is made must go through several tests to ensure it functions properly and that the brakes work correctly. If the motorcycle was not modified/disassembled by previous owners, its braking system will be acceptable.
The nice thing about new motorcycles is that they’ll generally come with updated disc brakes that are anti-lock, also known as ABS (anti-lock braking system). This electronic safety system ensures that the motorcycle’s disc/drum brakes are properly controlled so that the wheels and tires do not lock and slide despite being fully applied to the brakes.
The new motorcycles come with a fuel injection system, which eliminates all the hassle that comes with having to clean and fix an older carburetor every year.
New motorcycles will have an updated suspension. If you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle with poor suspension, you know exactly how important it is to have good suspension. The technology on this system is better than it ever has been before, so if you buy a new motorcycle you’re guaranteed to have that comfort last even longer than previous motorcycles made.
The New Motorcycle Pro: More Finance Resources
You have many financing options if you are looking to buy a new motorcycle from a dealership. You have two options: you can apply for a loan through your bank or finance the car directly at the dealership.
Because of the convenience of not needing to go back to your bank and the dealer, a lot of people end-up getting loans directly through the dealership. Sometimes dealers can provide their own financing, but they may also work with multiple banks.
If a dealer does not have its own financing, they will contact several bank partners and provide your information. The dealership will then send the information back to your address and inform you about the best interest rates. As compensation for providing financing, the dealer will charge an additional percentage.
The dealership might inform you about the best interest rate offered by one of their banks, such as 5%. The bank would have offered you a rate of 4%, and the dealership would have taken 1% every year as a payment for all the work they did.
If you decide to go through your own bank, you will save the 1%-2% the dealership would have charged you, but you’ll have to do the investigating yourself.
You can’t buy a used motorcycle with a loan for recreational vehicles from the bank. A personal loan can be obtained to purchase a motorcycle. However, the interest rate is much higher. The average interest rate is between 10% and 30% depending on your credit score.
New Motorcycle Pro: Less Maintenance
Every motorcycle needs some maintenance. This includes changing the oil and maintaining pressure. But the newer the motorcycle you have, the less amount of maintenance you’ll need to do outside of the basics.
Notifications on new motorcycles will report any system that is not performing well, report the oil level, and how thin the brake pad are, among other things. It keeps you on the right track and prevents you from being left in the dark about what you should do.
New technology for motorcycles makes riding more enjoyable and less stressful. Every year engineers continue to amaze us with new technology. This could also be a sign that there are motorcycles that make maintenance easy, perhaps even easier than the ones they currently have.
Used and older motorcycles tend to require more fixes because of the natural wear and tear it’ll get from regular usage. Poor throttle response, electrical issues and braking problems are some of the possible fixes. These fixes can add up and be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know how to fix them yourself.
New Motorcycle Pro: Warranties
A warranty can be purchased with new motorcycles. Some people may think that a warranty is not worth it and they don’t want to spend the money, but others think it’s absolutely worth it, especially if they know they’ll be using their motorcycle a lot right after they purchase the bike.
A motorcycle warranty is an agreement between the manufacturer and the owner of the motorcycle. It promises that the manufacturer will fund and pay for repairs within a specified time period. You can get a manufacturer’s warranty which is usually added into the motorcycle purchase or can be added into your loan if you get one.
You can also get an extended warranty which is an additional protection plan that takes effect when the previous manufacturer’s warranty has run out or expired. Either you buy the motorcycle and get the extended warranty, or you can choose to purchase it later if you wish. However, it must be purchased while the original motorcycle warranty is still in effect.
You will not be charged any additional fees for a warranty. These repairs typically include engine, fuel, exhaust, electrical, cooling, brakes, chassis and engine repairs. You should note that not all repairs are covered under warranty, including spark plugs, filters and spark plugs. Each manufacturer covers different repairs so make sure you discuss them.
New Motorcycle Pro: It Will Last More
You may think this point is a no-brainer, but a lot of people don’t consider this point when they’re going through the dilemma of deciding between new and used motorcycles.
If you buy a new motorcycle, obviously it will last for you and you’ll be able to keep it a lot longer than you would with a used motorcycle. You can also bet that your new motorcycle will have a longer lifespan than older models due to the improved technology.
New motorcycles are safer to ride because of the advancements in technology. These technological advancements include anti-lock brake systems, adaptive headlights and automatic transmissions. Tire pressure monitors can also be monitored. Vehicle to vehicle communication is also possible.
The more reliable your motorcycle is, the longer it will last. Essentially, if you don’t crash your motorcycle and get into some sort of wreck or accident, you’ll have less wear and tear to maintain in the future.
New Motorcycle Pro: You Know What You’re Getting Into
You know full well that the dealership will attempt to convince you to buy more motorcycles than you need. But the salesman (from the dealership) cannot lie about the product they’re selling. The really nice thing about getting a brand new motorcycle is knowing exactly what you’re getting into.
If you were to purchase a brand new motorcycle, legally a dealership/manufacturer can’t make any custom changes to it without letting you know. If they did, the dealership would be required to compensate you.
I have never heard of a dealership/manufacturer making any customizing changes to their motorcycles outside of the standard procedures they do to all of their motorcycles. Basically, you won’t have to worry about any surprises.
All too often I have bought a motorcycle from a private seller and, surprise surprise, I’ve found some modifications done on the motorcycle that was not made aware to me by the seller. I’ve usually been able to overcome those modifications, but it was still time consuming, pricey, and incredibly annoying.
The Depreciation & Appreciation of Used Motorcycle Pro
This article will focus on the benefits of buying a used motorcycle. There’s no doubt about it, purchasing a used motorcycle will be much cheaper than purchasing a new motorcycle from a dealership. Even if you bought your motorcycle from someone who has just bought a brand-new motorcycle, you still have a great deal. This is due to depreciation.
When you drive a brand new purchased motorcycle off the lot, you will lose an instant 11% of it’s value in depreciation. A Honda CB650R can be purchased for $9,000. After you take your bike off the garage, it will be worth $8,000 with 11% depreciation. Your insurance company will not pay $8,000 to replace your motorcycle if it is in an accident on the first day of ownership.
After the initial depreciation, motorcycles lose on average 10% of their value every year. If you’re swaying towards buying a used motorcycle, let someone else pay for the depreciation for you that first little while.
A motorcycle that is a little older than ten years could start to appreciate. This means it will have a higher value over the course of time. This can be caused by increased demand, reduced supply from the manufacturer, or changes of interest in the particular bike.
This does not apply to all motorcycles, but motorcycles do give a high chance of this because most people love old vintage motorcycles, especially when they’re brought back to life. You could make some money if you purchase a used motorcycle when it is right for you.
The Value of a Used Motorcycle Pro: You Can Upgrade
Unlike a new motorcycle, upgrades you do on a used or older motorcycle will generally increase it’s value. This is especially the case if you’re able to do the upgrades yourself.
An upgrade to a motorcycle could include new seats, new tires and a rebuilt engine. If you were to try to sell a motorcycle with a blown engine or a ripped seat, it wouldn’t sell as much as a motorcycle in a good running and cosmetic condition.
This applies especially to people who want to repair and flip motorcycles. That’s what I did during college to help pay for my tuition. I bought motorcycles that had been broken down and fixed them up before selling them.
I usually bought a motorcycle for around $700, invested about $1,000 to fix it up and upgrade it (I turned most of them into cafe racers), and sold them around $5,000 – $5,500. This was usually a minimum of $3,000 profit. You can find my guide here to how to flip a bike for a profit.
Customizing and adding any upgrades to a new motorcycle won’t increase it’s value at all (usually). A brand new motorcycle purchased directly from the manufacturer will not increase its value if you take it home and add a new seat or paint to some of the panels.
Doing any customizing on a motorcycle can cause it to lose its value more quickly than normal depreciation.
The Customization of a Used Motorcycle Pro is Easier
I have customized every motorcycle I own. This is a common practice. You want your motorcycle to feel unique and to reflect you.
Though all the new motorcycles come with some exciting and convenient bells and whistles that make riding easier, if you plan on doing any customizing at all on a new bike, it’ll be quite difficult because of said technology.
Everything is going electric nowadays and most motorcyclists don’t know how to deal with the electric components on a a new motorcycle. If you are to take it in to a shop and make custom upgrades on a new bike, it’ll be more expensive because of all the expertise required.
Motorcycles that are older than their original years and still in use are easy to handle. If anyone is willing and able to do some research, they can customize most of their own products. (Click Here to see my recommendations for tools to maintain and customize motorcycles) The majority of older motorcycle frames were made from steel tubes, which were then welded together to make a specific chassis. This makes it easier to work on and do most any customizing you’d like to do on the frame.
The new motorcycles are made from titanium, carbon fiber or aluminum. This material is more costly and requires professional assistance. And because this type of material is harder to work on, it’ll be that much more expensive to customize if you have any frame work that needs to be done professionally.
A Used Motorcycle Pro: Less Expensive
There is a lot of technology on new motorcycles, as I have mentioned. It’s nice to have that, but it’s not nice to fix. And later down the road you’re going to have to fix them eventually.
Used and older motorcycles are a little more basic and don’t require as much work to fix them. Granted, newer motorcycles aren’t as susceptible to needed repairs, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect machines and will never break down. You can expect repairs to your motorcycle, no matter what make it.
For example, if I need to replace the carburetors on a motorcycle, the average cost would be between $100 – $200. If I need to replace the fuel injection system on a newer motorcycle, the average cost would be around $200 – $400.
This was how I was able buy several motorcycles and turn them around for a profit. Parts were so cheap that I could buy all I needed even though I was a poor student and didn’t have to wait long before I had the money.
Other than the fact that used or older motorcycles are more affordable to fix, Insurance for motorcycles on used bikes is much cheaper than for new ones. Insurance premiums will rise because new motorcycles come with more expensive parts.
An average cost of insurance for a used motorcycle is $20-60 per month. A new motorcycle, on the other hand, will cost $100-$200 per monthly.
Used Motorcycle Pro “Kinks” Are They Already in Place?
Many people find comfort knowing that a lot of the components were still in good condition when they bought a used motorcycle. “kinks” These issues are being worked out. The original owner has experienced the issues with the model and has hopefully resolved them.
All motorcycles would be perfect and last forever in a perfect world. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Even after being purchased, brand new motorcycles can have issues. This is especially applicable to newly designed models of bikes where manufacturers are still experimenting a little to see what works and what doesn’t.
One example is the Harley Davidson Sportster XL Ironhead. This bike had a reputation for being difficult to start. The owners had to use a lot of effort to get it moving. These bikes often required a whole new lever system.
If you were to buy a motorcycle like this, the previous owner would probably have already replaced the starter and you wouldn’t have to worry about it. If the bike were not fixed by previous owners, they would be required to sell it at a lower price.
Used Motorcycle Pro: You Know It’s Reputation
Each motorcycle has its own reputation. With the world of the internet accessible at our finger tips, you can find out any information needed about any machine that’s ever been made.
It’s a good idea to do your research about any motorcycle you buy whether it’s new or used. The best thing about purchasing a used motorcycle? Thousands of people have tested the bike and can provide an honest opinion.
Don’t plan on a dealership or manufacturer to give you a complete answer about the reputation of a motorcycle; a dealership couldn’t give you a good answer anyway because a new motorcycle model hasn’t been out long enough for people to know what it’s really like.
I did extensive research before I bought many of my motorcycles. A few websites provide information about what people like and dislike about the bikes, as well as their crash ratings and brake systems.
You can solve large problems by doing extensive research. You may notice vibrations or poor acceleration. This can help you decide whether or not it’s a good motorcycle to invest in. You can’t do that with a new motorcycle.
When did motorcycles first use fuel injection systems? In 1980, the first fuel injection system was developed. Carburetors were usually what motorcycles had up until about the mid 2000’s. Motorcycles with fuel-injected engines are more reliable and simpler to use.
What is the average price of a brand-new motorcycle? Prices for motorcycles vary greatly depending on their make and model. It will cost $5,000 to $10,000 to buy a new motorcycle for beginners. This depends on your needs and preferences.