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Home > Blog > Buying a Motorcycle: A Guide for Purchasing New and Used Motorcycles

Buying a Motorcycle: A Guide for Purchasing New and Used Motorcycles

A new motorcycle owner going for a long drive at sunset.Purchasing your first motorcycle is not the same as buying a car. There are some different things you’ll need to consider such as the type of riding you want to do, your budget and whether you want a new or used bike. There may also be some other factors that you may not think about prior to your search, so we’ve created a guide with all the major decisions you’ll need to consider.

5 Tips for Buying a Motorcycle

  1. Take a motorcycle safety course.

A motorcycle safety course is similar to driver’s education for standard vehicles. These courses are designed to keep you and the other drivers on the road as safe as possible.

  1. Decide what kind of insurance you need.

In many states, motorcycle insurance is required before you can ride on the road. If your state does, you’ll need to decide which type of insurance is right for you. Liability only, personal injury protection (PIP), collision and comprehensive insurance are just a few options. Speak to your insurance provider to see what they offer, and which one is right for you.

  1. Decide what style of motorcycle you want.

There are several different types of motorcycles to choose from, and each has its own purpose. Standard motorcycles are great for beginners and commuters, but they’re not designed for riding long distances. Sport or street bikes are perfect for those wanting performance, but they’re not ideal for new riders and those looking to keep insurance costs down. And if you want to ride for long distances, a touring motorcycle will be perfect for you, but it can be more costly and doesn’t do well with city-riding. Decide what is most important to you so can narrow down your options.

  1. Find out which motorcycle will fit you.

Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t come with adjustable features. If the bike is too large for you, it won’t feel comfortable on a ride. You may have your heart set on a sports bike, but if you suffer from back problems, you’ll be very sore very quickly. Consider the sitting style, seat height and bike weight before making a purchase.

  1. Consider buying a used motorcycle.

Buying a used motorcycle is a good idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you’re new to riding and owning motorcycles, you may decide after a short time that you don’t enjoy it as much as you thought. A less expensive, used motorcycle will be easier to sell than a brand new one, and you won’t have to worry about paying back a loan for a bike you don’t want. Secondly, you will eventually drop your bike – it happens to every motorcyclist. With a used bike, you’ll be less worried about this and just count it as part of the learning experience.

6 Tips for Buying a Used Motorcycle

  1. Bring a friend with you – even better if they’re an experienced biker.

Unfortunately, you never know who’s on the other end of that private ad. It’s always better to have someone with you for safety. Even if the seller is perfectly safe, having an experienced rider go with you can be beneficial. They can help spot issues that you may not have noticed otherwise.

  1. Inspect it before you buy it.

Bringing a friend can be helpful with this as well. Make sure you do your research and bring any questions you may have with you.

  1. Make sure it’s not stolen.

Check the VIN (vehicle identification number) and make sure the one on the bike matches the title paperwork. You can also check with the local police department or DMV to make sure it’s not flagged as a stolen vehicle.

  1. Watch out for “as is” sales.

Once you make the purchase, any issues with the bike will be on you to resolve. An “as is” sale often means there’s something wrong with the motorcycle, and that could cost you a lot more soon.

  1. Make sure you write up a bill of sale.

This can help get you out of any legal issues that could pop up afterwards. A bill of sale should include both the buyer’s and the seller’s information, VIN, model, miles, date of sale and both parties’ signatures. Websites such as LegalZoom have easy ones you can create and download in a flash!

  1. Take it for a tune-up before you ride it.

No matter how good the bike’s condition looks when you buy it, you should have it maintenance done before you take it out on the road.

Store Your Motorcycle with Storage World

If your new bike won’t fit in your garage or you have an apartment without a garage, a self-storage unit with Storage World is your answer. Our car storage solutions are perfect for vehicles of any size — including boats and RVs! You can also have peace of mind knowing that your motorcycle is behind gated access, surveillance cameras, alarm systems and other security features.

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