Buy a Motorcycle

What Do I Need to Buy a Motorcycle?

Motorcycles are a great way to enjoy the freedom of the open air and spend less on gas. Get tips on buying your favorite ride.

What You’ll Need to Ride Your Bike

Most motorcycles have great gas mileage and can cost less than a new automobile. Just like a car, you have to have a valid motorcycle license or endorsement and motorcycle insurance to ride on pubic roads. Off-road motorcycles generally don’t require an operator’s license but it is always a good idea to have insurance no matter what type of motorcycle you prefer.

Getting Your License

Learning how to ride is the most important part of owning a motorcycle. It is highly recommended to go through a motorcycle safety course. The dos and don’ts of motorcycle riding are clearly instructed in the course. Not only will you learn from a qualified instructor you will have had practice on an actual motorcycle before hitting the road. 

A license can also be obtained through first passing a written test to obtain a riding permit and then a riding test at your local department of motor vehicles. Refer to your local department of motor vehicles for qualifying motorcycle sizes to take the riding test. Certain motorcycles/scooters may be too small in engine displacement to qualify. 

Establish a Budget

A budget is very important when looking to purchase a motorcycle. Not only do you have to factor in how much you are willing to spend on the motorcycle, but also the cost of insurance, taxes and registration fees. If you only want to put a down payment on the bike and pay the rest off over time, the finance manager at a dealership can steer you in the right direction. You can also use an internet-based finance calculator. 

Motorcycle Helmet and Gear

It is important to have the proper gear before getting on any type of motorcycle.  Before going on any ride make sure you have a DOT helmet and protective gear on to help protect against injury as well as the elements. Get more information about motorcycle helmets and safety gear

Finding A Motorcycle

Once you have learned to ride a motorcycle and are properly licensed with a budget in mind,  it’s time to find your ride. You have two options – buy a new motorcycle or buy a pre-owned motorcycle. 

Purchasing a New Motorcycle

When purchasing a new motorcycle, you can visit a dealership and take a test ride (Pre-ride inspection link) to see if the motorcycle is comfortable for you. New motorcycles are typically more expensive, but they will also be covered under a factory warranty if anything were to happen within the first couple of years of owning the motorcycle. Dealerships will be able to process any paperwork regarding the title and registration of the motorcycle and assist you with financing if necessary. 

Purchasing a Used Motorcycle

When purchasing a used motorcycle, it is important to make sure the motorcycle is everything you are looking for. Internet classifieds and private sales can have misleading information. Having a mechanic survey the motorcycle can give you a piece of mind that the motorcycle is in sound operating condition. A factory warranty may still be active on the motorcycle depending on how old the bike is, but in most cases a used motorcycle will not have a factory warranty. Some private sales will allow a test ride, where others may not. Make sure that the vehicle is properly registered and insured, before taking it out on public roads. Unlike a dealership, the paperwork will have to be done at the local department of motor vehicles. The title will need to be transferred and a new registration will be needed. You will need to secure insurance before getting the motorcycle registered. 

Whether you are looking to buy a new or used motorcycle, you are no longer limited to local options. There are a number of online buying options too. 

Obtaining Motorcycle Insurance

Before you can ride your new or used bike off the lot or wherever, you need to get insurance for your motorcycle. In some dealerships, insurance can be obtained right at the point of sale. When purchasing a used motorcycle through a private sale, insurance will need to be obtained to register the motorcycle and ride it from the seller’s property. Most states require liability insurance to legally operate the motorcycle on public roads. If you are financing, in most cases, you will be required to obtain physical damage coverage. Talking to a licensed insurance agent will help you make an informed decision for the best coverage to suit your needs. You can also learn about motorcycle insurance.

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