7 Things Everyone Needs to Do When Buying a Used Motorcycle

Harley Davidson Street XG 750

Source: Harley-Davidson

Much like with cars, people looking to buy motorcycles often find the used market difficult to resist. Depreciation hits vehicles with two wheels just the same as it does those with four, which makes a lot of used bikes incredibly affordable. Even used, though, motorcycles tend to be fairly reliable and inexpensive to insure. Especially for beginning riders and riders who want to maximize the amount of bike they can get for their money, buying a used motorcycle is often the best way to go.

If you’re fairly new to the process of buying a used motorcycle, it can be a little bit overwhelming when you consider how many different bikes are out there and how many directions you could go. Breaking any complicated task down into a series of steps usually helps simplify it, though, so here are 7 steps for buying a used motorcycle.

Yamaha Star V Max

Source: Yamaha

1. Assess your situation

How much you enjoy a new bike is going to depend on how well it fits your lifestyle. If you’re looking to use your motorcycle as your daily commuter, you’re going to want to buy something different than if you intend to use it as city transportation. Bikes that are great fits for either of those two scenarios probably won’t be what you want if you’re mostly going to be riding in the mountains on weekends.

The type of bike you buy isn’t the only part of your situation that you need to consider. What’s your financial situation? Are you capable of doing your own repairs? What’s your experience level? Depending on how you answer those questions, you may want to change which motorcycles you look at buying.

My Honda Shadow 750 didn’t exactly light my heart on fire, but at the time, I needed a bike that would comfortably handle a 90-mile daily commute while returning respectable gas mileage. Money was also tight, so I needed something that may as well have been guaranteed to never break down. My Shadow fit exactly that description, making it the best choice for me, even if it wasn’t the most inspiring.

It’s certainly possible to road trip a standard, commute on a sport bike, or enjoy a cruiser in the mountains, and if it’s worth it to you, I don’t see a problem with doing so. You may also be able to get away with riding a powerful bike without having much experience, and even if money is tight, you might be willing to skimp on meals to work on an unreliable bike you love. It’s just important to go into a purchasing situation aware of how your needs and wants are going to have to be balance.