Purchasing a motorcycle, for many, is a lifelong dream. The thrill of the open road has somewhat of a symbiotic relationship with American culture and brands like Harley-Davidson further promote the ideals of freedom and the pursuit of happiness through these iconic roadsters.
By the same token, purchasing a motorcycle can come at a premium price. The average price of a new motorcycle is close to $15,000. While purchasing a used bike may knock a few thousand off the ticket price, there a still a number of considerable costs to take into account before signing your name and riding off into the sunset. Prior to making a purchase (that may drive you off the deep financial end) consider repair costs, motorcycle insurance, taxes and fees.
Buying New or Used?
The first thing you'll need to decide is if you want to purchase a new or used motorcycle. While the appeal of a brand new bike may be enough to get the adrenaline coursing through your veins, it's necessary to take a step back and evaluate your financial situation. As we previously mentioned, the average price of a new motorcycle is close to $15,000. If you don't have that type of cash on hand you're probably contemplating a loan, right? Unfortunately, getting a loan for a motorcycle is significantly harder than with a traditional vehicle because of the risks involved. Lenders see motorcycles as 'high risks' which means they'll be more stringent with credit checks and are more likely to deny your loan for mishaps in your financial portfolio (i.e., high credit card balances).
Now, if you opt for the used route from a private seller, you may increase your chances of getting a better sales price, but you also forfeit the traditional warranties and maintenance packages that dealers offer. You'll also need to come up with the cash upfront which could pose an entirely separate challenge.
Taxes and Fees-Taxes and fees will also apply to the purchase of a motorcycle. These are largely dependent on your purchase price. Inquire with the seller or dealer as to what they might be prior to signing on the dotted line.
Accessories Add Up
A new helmet, riding suit and gloves can easily run you a $1,000 or more. Not to mention any accessories you'll want to purchase for your motorcycle-customized handlebars, lights and leather saddlebags sound nice. If you're not careful you could definitely splurge souping up your ride!
Repairs and Maintenance Run at a Premium
For exotic or specialty motorcycles maintenance/repairs could come at a premium. For example, the cost to replace a part on a Mercedes Benz will be significantly higher than the identical part on a Ford, even if comparable labor is required. The same holds true for certain motorcycle models. You may have to get all maintenance performed at a specialty shop or from the dealership directly. Plus, if it's not covered by the warranty you'll be paying for it out of pocket.
Insurance is a Necessity
Liability and comprehensive coverage are a must for motorcyclists. Select a provider that offers a policy with property damage and bodily injury liability, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage at the very minimum. You can add on additional coverage options like guest liability insurance and side car coverage if you frequently have guests onboard, but again that varies from rider to rider. Some of the best motorcycle insurers are Allstate, State Farm, and GEICO to name a few. They all boast high ratings among customers and guarantee quick claims.