If you’re ready to get your first motorcycle, we’re here to help! Here’s all you need to know about buying your first bike.
It’s always best to have the financial details of a large purchase squared away before you start shopping so you can avoid disappointment later. You can save up for your bike, charge it to a low-interest credit card or apply for an auto loan from Olean Area Federal Credit Union for affordable interest rates and payback terms to best fit your budget.
Brush up on your motorcycle safety
Before you shop for a bike, it’s a good idea to complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course. This is similar to driver’s training, and it will help ensure you can ride your bike in better safety. Depending on your state, you may also need to obtain a special motorcycle license.
In some states, motorcycle insurance is required by law, but even if your state does not mandate it, consider purchasing it anyway. If you finance the transaction, it will likely be required you carry full coverage. As is the case with auto insurance, you’ll have the freedom to choose how much coverage you’ll have, with more robust coverage directly increasing the cost of your policy.
Choose between a new and used bike
A used motorcycle can save you thousands of dollars, but finding one in decent condition can be challenging. Avoid bikes that have mileage exceeding 20,000 miles, and are difficult to start-up, run and/or stop. It’s also a good idea to get a VIN check on your potential new bike and to have it professionally inspected.
A new bike, on the other hand, will be in perfect condition but is a lot pricier. It’s a good idea to run the numbers before setting your heart on a particular motorcycle.
Choose a motorcycle type
- Sport bikes-equipped with a leaning design, these bikes can be a good choice for thrill-seekers, but an uncomfortable option for riders planning to take long trips.
- Standard bikes-an an upright riding posture and lack of accessories make these perfect for beginners and the budget-conscious.
- Cruisers-tend to be heavy, but offer a relaxed riding position, making them an excellent choice for tall riders seeking a stylish ride.
- Touring bikes-these motorcycles are loaded with extra features for long trips, including saddlebags to accommodate luggage and large fuel tanks.
Once you’ve chosen your ride type, research models from popular brands and check out ratings and reviews from current owners. When you’ve narrowed down your choice, you’re ready to visit dealerships and private sellers.
Important features to consider
A motorcycle’s seat, handlebars, and foot pegs are not adjustable, so it’s important to choose one that fits comfortably. Consider the weight of your bike, too, since a heavier bike can be difficult to maneuver.