Is there anything better than cruising Minnesota's lakeside roads in the fall on your Harley-Davidson? Or feeling the raw power of the engine and the feel of the wind rushing over your leathers on a summer road trip along Highway 96 with your best friends? A motorcycle isn't just a machine, it's a collection of memories.
But if you are thinking of buying your first motorcycle, or simply your next one, should you buy new or used? Here are the pros and cons of both approaches.
Benefits of a New Motorcycle
Buying a new motorcycle is a guaranteed way to get a bike that hasn't been meddled with. Motorcycle owners like to tinker with their machines, but sometimes this can be a curse if you're buying used. The previous owner may have made adjustments that compromise the quality and safety of the bike. With a new model, you get a fresh, blank canvas.
New motorcycles will also come with the latest safety and technology features, and will also be tested and certified. None of these features will be faulty or damaged, which may be the case with a used motorcycle. This can bring a lot of peace of mind, especially if you are inexperienced. New motorcycles will also often come with a warranty.
Running costs are also likely to be cheaper with a new motorcycle as well. This is because having the latest technology, or simply a brand new engine, will make the bike much more fuel efficient than a used model, especially if the used bike hasn't been cared for properly.
Drawbacks of Buying a New Motorcycle
This security and quality won't come cheap though. Although financing options may be available, new motorcycles are usually going to be much more expensive than used models. This can be a costly commitment for a beginner rider in particular. Insurance is also likely to be more expensive, whether you're a beginner or not.
Benefits of a Used Motorcycle
The biggest benefit of buying a used motorcycle is always going to be the price. Used models are almost always going to be cheaper than new ones. For beginner motorcyclists, this is a huge draw. Why spend more money for a brand new Harley-Davidson if you're not sure you want a bike long-term? Buying used may be the best choice for beginners as a way to get them into riding.
If you are an experienced rider or a collector, buying a used motorcycle is the only way to get models that are no longer in production, or are considered vintage. The used market is a perfect way to expand your motorcycle stable.
A used motorcycle will also hold its value better when it comes to depreciation, so if you eventually decide to sell it on, you won't lose quite as much money. You can also use pre-owned bikes as a cheap source of spare parts for your main motorcycle.
Drawbacks of Buying a Used Motorcycle
The biggest drawback of buying a used motorcycle is the unpredictability. There may be a laundry list of mechanical problems that the previous owner neglected to divulge. You also might not have a warranty to protect you if purchased from a private seller, meaning you could end up paying for the previous owner's mistreatment or questionable mechanical skills.
The mileage on used motorcycles may be a hidden cost. After a certain number of miles, motorcycles that haven’t been properly maintained will require a full, and sometimes expensive, service. Buying a used motorcycle may be cheaper initially than a new one, but make sure to factor in potential service costs and who you’re buying it from.
You may also need to tinker with a used motorcycle before it fits what you want. Motorcyclists like to fiddle with their bikes to make them more suited to their particular riding style. If the previous owners style differed drastically from yours, it could take time to rectify.
MN’s Trusted Harley-Davidson Dealer
Here at Zylstra Harley-Davidson, our team specializes in getting riders into the saddles of new and used Harley-Davidson motorcycles. With high quality service professionals on staff, you can be sure that your new or used motorcycle will be ready to rock. Visit our showroom in Elk River, MN today to view our selection!