Wednesday, November 6, 2013
New Or Used Motorcycle Buying Guide - Seven Great Tips
Buying a motorcycle? Find out what are the essential seven things you need to know about before you rush into purchasing that bike.SELECT BEST MOTORCYCLE FOR YOUThe most common question I hear is "What's the best bike?"It's easy when you only have one choice, like Ural in the former Soviet Union. But here, in the land of opportunities and freedom, you've definitely got much more to choose from. There are over 300 motorcycle models you can consider!Whether you're new to motorcycles or you've been a rider for a long time, you have to do your research first. Look online, in the magazines, read reviews, look at the visual appeal, specifications. If you're a new rider, don't pick an expensive motorbike or a big motorcycle. If it's too big, it might be too hard for you to handle.If you are a beginner rider, don't fall for the expensive and loud Harley-Davidson motorcycle. While these cruisers are extremely popular, this is definitely not the bike you want to start with. I wouldn't recommend you starting with a sport bike either, unless you are mature enough to handle the power of the sport bike. Consider starting with a used standard motorcycle or even a scooter.Go to your local motorcycle dealer and work with him to help you in selecting that best bike for you. Sit down on the model you picked, and make sure you're legs are not dragging on the ground. A good dealer will have truly knowledgeable sales people. First, they should be riders themselves. Second, they should be able to answer any and all technical questions. You're not looking for a salesman; you're looking for an adviser.Now you know what kind of bike you want, think about the price and whether you can spend the money for a new motorbike or you'll be happy with a used one.NEW OR USED MOTORBIKEMany people do not realize what a huge mistake it is to buy a brand new motorcycle. Sure, everyone wants a nice, sparkly, clean, shiny brand new motorcycle, but as soon as you drive it off the showroom floor, you have lost a LOT of money.This is a mistake many people make when making the decision to purchase a new motorcycle. Buyers feel they are choosing something that is safe from breaking down, they feel they are getting a better deal that way. In reality, if you choose to buy a slightly used motorcycle, you are getting a much better deal.Think about it this way, the original owner, paid full price, may have used the motorcycle very few times, but he/she (the original owner), took all the depreciation on it. You are now able to buy it for a LOT less than the original owner, yet it still has a warranty, looks new, and IS new to you! You get the best of both worlds that way.BEST MOTORCYCLE PRICEThe best price for a used motorcycle is $0. Yea, it's when you get it for free. You'll be surprised, but I know this guy who's got a talent in getting used motorcycles for free. Well, yea, he's talking about motorbikes all the time, whoever he's with at the time, and where ever he is at. He got 1976 Honda CB750 from a friend of his good friend which only needed a minor fix (not the friend, of course). Another bike he got from his aunt's third husband or something, I think it was 1973 or 1975 CT 70. Smoke is coming out of it when you start, but my friend still rides it sometimes (the smoke goes away after a minute or two). Recently he told me he pulled next to a guy pulling an old motorbike behind him and started talking. He ended up with the bike, for free. I don't know how he does it or what he says.Seriously, you need to take your time and investigate the current prices for the brand, year and model of the motorcycle you're about to buy. You can check the blue book value of the motorcycle at many web sites such as Kelly Blue Book or Nada. I personally like to use eBay to research the prices for the used motorbikes. You have to register with eBay (doesn't cost anything), then you'll be able to view completed sales for all motorcycles and other things. eBay often has good deals, but you have to look for them.If you ended up buying a new motorcycle from a dealer, most of the time you should be able to buy your cycle for less than the advertised price. Take a look at sites like CycleBuy.com to learn the invoice price - what the dealer pays the manufacturer. Most dealers will be happy if they can sell you a bike and make a 10% profit.MOTORCYCLE INSPECTIONWhen I hear that one of my friends is ready to buy a motorbike, I always offer to go with him. And you should too, bring a friend who can inspect the motorcycle you're about to buy. Of course, it would even be better if you bring a mechanic with you, that way you can concentrate on the price negotiations while your friend mechanic is making sure the motorbike is in a good condition. If you don't know any mechanic (hard to believe, I know), you can probably find one that will come with you for a service fee. Or maybe you can take the bike to a certified motorcycle mechanic and have him do a thorough inspection. It will cost you a few bucks, but it could also save you hundreds of dollars.When you inspect the motorcycle, take your time. You don't want to miss that scratch on the gas tank which you will find later just to get yourself upset that you rushed through the inspection. Ask to go for a test ride for a 20 to 30 minute, don't just go up and down the road and think the motorcycle is in good condition. Make sure you ride different speeds for at least 2-3 minutes each.FINANCING YOUR MOTORCYCLE PURCHASE (CASH VS LOAN)I always try to pay cash for my cars and bikes. I'm sure lots of people would argue with me on this, but many people would agree with me. Why would you want to pay $1000 in interest for over 3 years to the motorcycle loan company if you don't have to? Of course, if you don't have enough cash but still want to ride a motorcycle, consider a cheaper motorcycle or even a scooter to start with. Or, don't buy a new motorcycle, buy used and save yourself thousands.If you're going to finance the purchase, check out your loan sources before you go to the dealership. The dealer may have a low-interest finance package to offer you. On the other hand, they may work through a bank and actually charge you a few percentage points more - their profit - than you'd get by going direct to the bank..MOTORBIKE GEARYou've bought your cycle and are raring to go. All set? Not quite.A motorcycle purchase isn't complete without a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet. Most states require that motorcyclists wear them. Study after study shows that helmets are the most effective piece of safety gear available to a rider. After all, it's protecting your head!When choosing a helmet, consider these attributes: helmet type (full face, open face, hybrid, etc), safety, comfort, helmet shell material, helmet weight, size, ventilation, helmet safety liner, visor.Make sure your motorcycle gear is comfortable. Comfort and safety are always my priority.MOTORCYCLE INSURANCERates for motorcycle insurance can vary a lot. Motorcycle insurance depends on your age, the motorcycle model, your driving record, your home location and other factors. If you're 19 years old and you bought a brand new Harley, your motorcycle insurance will be much higher than if you're bought a used 3 - 4 year old one or if you've been riding a bike for a couple of years or more (other things being equal).Motorbike insurance payments can differ a lot between different motorcycle models. From one bike to another, they can be five to ten times different. For example, $200 for insuring a small commuter-type motorcycle can easily inflate to more than $1,000 for a high-horsepower, canyon-racer sport bike.Think about what coverage you need. Maybe you can save on collision and comprehensive if your bike is old. Also, check with your regular medical insurance at your workplace, it may already cover your major medical expenses. Compare costs between different insurance companies and on different motorcycle models. Most insurance companies will give you a free quote online, for some you'd have to call.