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Is Buying a Used Motorcycle a Bad Idea?

Is Buying a Used Motorcycle a Bad Idea?

Ever dreamed about riding a motorcycle on an open road or highway? This sounds exciting if you have never ridden a bike before. However, you must know a few facts before you plan to start riding a motorcycle.

Motorcycles are costly, especially if you want to purchase a brand-new one. The used motorcycle market is also significant. You may be interested in knowing if buying a used motorcycle is advisable or not.

The advantages of buying a new motorcycle are obvious. However, there are several disadvantages associated with purchasing a used motorcycle.

A new bike is shiny and error-free. It has all the latest accessories and features. However, it is very expensive. Sometimes, it is preferred to buy a used motorcycle if you want to save a lot of money. However, the rider may find various drawbacks that are not visible at first sight.

Well, is it wrong to buy a used motorcycle? Not necessarily. If you research, you can get a great used bike for yourself. Continue reading this article to learn whether buying a used motorcycle is bad.

Is Buying a Used Motorcycle a Bad Idea?

1. The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Motorcycle

1.1 Pros of Buying a Used Motorcycle

Here's why a used motorbike is a perfect ride for you:

Save Money

One of the main reasons why used bikes are preferred over brand-new ones is that they are cheaper to acquire. This, in turn, allows you to buy all the cool stuff. These include a helmet, leather jacket, motorcycle boots, gloves, and accessories. You can buy a cool helmet and a leather jacket that not only guards you from harm but also keeps you warm. You can also buy a phone mount for the navigation system during the ride. You can have it all if you go for the used bike option.

Slower Value Drop

The drop in the value of motorcycles is faster. However, it slows down after a few years. Therefore, if you take proper care of your used motorcycle, it is possible not to lose money if you decide to sell it later.

Suppose you purchase a used bike and, after one year, want to replace it with a larger bike. Because you purchased it used, the depreciation will be less, and you will get a better amount for your used bike.

Already Broken In

New motorcycles require proper care and handling for a while. The rider must operate the new bike while being cautious. This is referred to as the ‘break-in period’. Used bikes have already gone through the break-in phase. You can start to ride the used bike like a pro.

A secondhand motorbike is used to face and overcome challenges. It’s such a relief to get a pair of comfortable shoes that do not require any ‘breaking-in’ on the first day of wearing.

Make it a Perfect Match

Minor aesthetic imperfections, such as scratches, may occur in some bikes, like an occasional small hole in jeans. But that can be a good thing. It allows you to redesign and repaint the bike to give it a new look.

The used motorbike can be made to suit the owner’s preferences. You can always change the color of the part and replace it with a new one. You can also just treat the small marks and scratches.

The paint on a used motorcycle may look dull, but through customization, you can make it look cool, new, and unique.

1.2 Cons of Buying a Used Motorcycle

You can always go to buy used motorcycles. This will save your hard-earned money. However, there are several issues with used motorcycles that can make things complicated. Let's dive deeper into the cons of buying a used motorbike:

Mystery Machine

It is always better to know the entire history of the used bike. A used motorcycle may be involved in an accident, need repairs that one cannot diagnose from the outside, and result in extra expenses later on. Also, it is not suitable for a safe riding experience.

No Warranty

New motorcycles are provided with warranties. You can get free repairs for a certain amount of time. You will not get this benefit if you are using used motorcycles. Therefore, you will have to bear the expenses of all the repairs.

Hidden Issues

Unlike a new motorcycle, a used one may have some issues you did not notice. You will have to deal with these issues later, causing you more expenses and troubles. These hidden problems include brake pads, electronics, and other components that have gradually worn out.

High Mechanic Bills

Used bikes may require several repairs over time. It can range from simply changing a punctured tire (which is not a serious issue) to completely overhauling the engine (a major concern). This can result in high labor and repair costs.

Finding the Perfect Fit is Key

Not all motorcycles available in the market are of the same quality and type. There are smaller or larger bikes that come with different engine sizes and have different styles. Controlling a motorcycle with a bigger engine and excessive power can be difficult for a beginner. It is like borrowing clothes from an elder sibling that will not fit properly.

Buying a used bike may be a little more time-consuming. You will need to spend more time looking for the right bike that fits perfectly. However, it can be a fun process to look for a used bike.

Needs Detailed Inspection

It is like a detective’s job to find a perfect used bike. While negotiating with the owner, inquire about the bike's background and politely ask about any repair work that may have been done.

Take a test ride to experience the smoothness. Listen for any unusual sounds that may be produced by the bike. Finally, get it checked by your preferred mechanic before purchasing. They can determine if any hidden gremlins can harm the used bike. They can also ensure that the bike is safe for motorcycling.

2. The Pros and Cons of Buying a New Motorcycle

Do you want a new motorcycle with a nice shiny exterior? Of course, there are advantages to taking a new bike out of the showroom that has never been ridden. But before you spend all your savings on a new bike, there are also a few things to remember. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages you can encounter while buying a brand-new motorcycle.

2.1 The Pros of Buying a New Bike

Zero Miles, Zero Worries

A new motorcycle is best for those who prefer peace of mind. Everything is fresh from the factory. The smell and feel of a brand-new motorcycle is something that you have never experienced. You are less worried about the ride. You can travel miles without being worried about any breakdowns and interruptions due to mechanical failures.


New bikes come with a warranty. It is like a protection for the bike in case something bad happens. If something happens to a new bike during the warranty period, the dealer will repair or replace the part at no extra cost. It is advantageous, particularly for new riders, who may hit or drop the bike accident.

Comes with the Latest Features

New motorcycles are fitted with the latest features and technology. These advanced features make them appealing to most riders. The latest ride-assist technology in motorcycles includes Traction Control, Cruise Control, Ride Modes, and ABS. The display units are also enhanced. They come with colored and touch-screen features. This makes it easy for riders to read the information and change settings during the ride.

The premium modern bikes also feature top-end suspensions with long wheel travels for superior comfort and handling. These bikes have smart sensors, wheelie control, drag slip control, and hill-assist features for enhanced safety.

These latest features allow riders to experience the most thrilling and safe riding experience. You are special if you ride a motorcycle with all these premium features.

The Unmatched Feeling

The experience of riding a new motorcycle is unmatched. It’s shiny, powerful, smooth, and only belongs to you. It feels like getting a new home, love, or a partner.

2.2 The Cons of Buying a New Bike


A brand-new motorcycle is usually quite expensive. This means you will have less leftover cash to spend on equipment and maintenance. You may not be left with adequate resources to register yourself for the motorcycle safety course.

Fast Value Drop

The value of new motorcycles depreciates very fast, particularly during the initial years. Hence, if you plan on selling the motorcycle later, you will get less cash than you initially spent to buy the new bike.

Not Exactly Unique

New motorcycles come out directly from the production line. For this reason, they miss the element of uniqueness. Every new model in the showroom has the same look. You will not be able to differentiate between a recently produced lot of a specific model parked in a queue.

There will be other riders who also have the same bike. Sometimes it is comparable to going to school and wearing the same clothes as all the other students. You can make them unique and give them a personalized touch through customization. However, most new motorbike riders prefer not to go for customization, as a bad decision can greatly depreciate their value.

3. Tips for Buying a Used Motorcycle

If you have decided to buy a used motorcycle, there are a few tips that you must consider. Do not buy the first bike you come across. Below are some useful tips to help you get the best-used bike that will not betray you:

3.1 Do Your Homework

Ready to buy a used motorcycle? You must learn about the particular model first. If you are better informed, you will be better positioned to make a good decision.

Some of the ways to gather relevant information include:

  • Browsing through online forums to check out reviews.
  • Watching motorcycle videos.
  • Asking experienced riders.

3.2 Know What You Want

Not all motorcycles are the same; various types are available on the market and have various designs and purposes. Almost every motorcycle on the market today has specific unique characteristics.

Consider what kind of motorcycle riding you prefer. These include on-roading, off-roading, adventure riding, dirt trailing, cruising, and touring.

Ask yourself the questions below to know your preferences:

  • Do you need a fast bike to reach your destination quickly?
  • Do you need a large and powerful motorcycle for a long highway ride?
  • Do you need a small-sized bike to learn to ride?

If you’re sure of what you are looking for, it will take you less time to get what you want.

3.3 Learn Everything about Motorcycles

A motorcycle's different parts and components are unique in design and functionality. One should learn the various terms used by sellers. It will enable you to ask sellers the right questions. You must know everything about the motorcycle before you meet the seller. The seller can make you a fool and quote a high price if you know nothing about a motorcycle.

First, you must learn about terminologies such as engine size, horsepower, torque, suspensions, and ABS.

3.4 Get a Mechanic on Your Side

If you plan to buy a used motorcycle, take it to a mechanic of your choice for inspection. He can help you point out any signs of trouble you may not see. Though paying the mechanic for his services will cost you a little, it can save you a lot of money in the long run.

3.5 Inspect Thoroughly

The word of the seller is not enough. Take the time to look at the motorbike and pay special attention to details. Check for any signs of wear and tear that may be present in the form of dents, scratches, and damaged parts. Take a test ride and ensure it is right for you. Check if you are comfortable with the size of the bike. See how the bike feels and sounds. You must also check whether the bike is making any unusual vibrations, whining sound, or any other form of noise.

3.6 Seek the Records

Request the seller to show you the overall history of motorcycle maintenance and the registration documents. This will indicate how well the bike has been maintained.

4. Getting the Best Deal

4.1 Do Your Research

It is always wise to know beforehand how much it usually costs to buy a motorcycle. This must be done before you make an offer. Consult the online marketplaces and individuals who have sold or purchased similar bikes. This will help you estimate the average cost of a particular model.

4.2 Be Prepared to Walk Away

If the seller insists and does not agree to lower the price, it is wise to let go of the deal. Also, walk away from the agreement if the bike is in terrible condition. Don’t forget, you have a lot of options to choose from. The used motorcycle market is massive, and it has your dream bike. You just need to make an effort to find the perfect match.

4.3 Cash is King

Cash is widely preferred by most sellers over other forms of payment. This can give you more room to negotiate the price of the used bike.

These tips will help you find your desired used motorcycle that fits your budget.

5. Conclusion: Should You Buy a New or Used Motorcycle?

Now that you have learned everything about new and used motorcycles, their benefits and drawbacks. It must be easier for you to tell which one is suitable for you.

A used motorcycle is a good option for people who cannot afford a new bike. Despite being secondhand, you can get a good quality bike that you can use for leisure. You save yourself a good amount of money by purchasing riding gear and accessories, and can also modify the bike. You can also get the used bike inspected by a professional mechanic.

On the other hand, if you want the latest tech features and a factory warranty and can afford them, buying a brand-new motorcycle may be what you’re looking for. It will save the time and effort of looking for a bike that looks great, performs exceptionally, and you are certain of its history. However, you must know that new bikes are priced higher, and their value depreciates faster.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose a new or used motorcycle. The purchasing process is an exciting and fun endeavor. Make sure to do your homework, know what you want, and have fun while riding. However, always prioritize the safety.

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