Motorcycle Buying Guide: What You Should Know


When buying a motorcycle, you should select a model that suits your taste. This will guide you to consider your skill level, the terrain you’ll be riding on, and your intended uses for the motorcycle to help narrow down your options. Buying a motorcycle is a big step and you should know the basics of what the process consists of. Here is a motorcycle buying guide for all purchasers and what to consider before buying a motorcycle.

New vs. Used Motorcycle: What’s The Best Choice?

There are a lot of things to think about before purchasing a motorcycle, whether it’s your first one or you’re an experienced rider seeking to improve. Before making a final decision, you should consider your riding preferences, your financial situation, and the availability of both new and used motorcycles.

Buying a New Motorcycle

The purchase of a new motorbike, much like the purchase of a vehicle, a house, or any other significant item, requires extensive research. Despite this, purchasing a new motorcycle can provide you with some degree of assurance and peace of mind.

Pros of a New Motorcycle

Motorcyclists have a penchant for tinkering with their bikes, which can be both a blessing and a curse when shopping for a pre-owned motorcycle. It’s possible that the bike’s former owner made changes that decreased its reliability or safety. Every time you buy a new model, it’s like starting over.

All brand-new motorcycles will be rigorously inspected and certified, and they will have the latest in safety and technology. The majority of the time, a warranty is included with the purchase of a brand new motorcycle.

Cons of a New Motorcycle

The cost of the security and quality will be high. Although there may be financing possibilities, new motorcycles are typically substantially more expensive than pre-owned models. For a rider who is just starting their journey, this might be a costly commitment, no matter your level of experience. Also, insurance will probably cost more.

Buying a Used Motorcycle

Compared to brand-new motorcycles, used ones offer the best value because of their lower purchase price and slower rate of depreciation. However, if you don’t know much about motorcycles, it might be challenging to locate a used bike that is both reliable and safe.

Pros of a Used Motorcycle

You may save money by buying used motorcycles, and there are different places you can look for them. Dealers frequently sell pre-owned bikes that come with a warranty. Of course, websites like eBay Motors and Craigslist also provide virtually limitless choices.

Cons of a Used Motorcycle

The unpredictability of used motorbike purchases is its major disadvantage. There could be a long list of mechanical issues that the prior owner concealed. If you buy from a private seller, you might not be covered by a guarantee, which means you might have to pay for the prior owner’s negligence or dubious mechanical abilities.

A hidden cost of used motorcycles could be their mileage. Motorcycles that haven’t been properly maintained will eventually need a full service, which can be pricey.

The Best Value For Your Money

Make sure you know how much you can afford to spend before you start looking at ads or visiting dealerships. Finding the greatest deal and financing options for your motorcycle are essential steps to getting the best value for your money.

Best Ways to Finance a Motorcycle

Getting a motorcycle loan from a financial institution close to where you live can save you a lot of money. You won’t find better prices or terms anywhere else.

There are other places to get a loan besides banks and credit unions. You should research these thoroughly because they are potential choices. It’s important to check the lender’s legitimacy, so do some digging. Look for testimonials from satisfied clients.

Motorcycle Loans And Financing That Fit Your Budget

Other Motorcycle-Related Expenses

Once you’ve made the decision to take on the bike trails, there are five expenses you need to take into account. When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle in particular, then you know it’s going to be an investment and come with additional expenditures, just like any significant purchase. These are the five costs that you must budget for.

Motorcycle Insurance Cost

In the event of an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage, insurance will cover the costs associated with these losses. It may help pay for things like hospital expenses, car repairs, and more. The average annual premium for motorcycle insurance is between $200 and $500 and is mandated by law in most jurisdictions.

Motorcycle Maintenance Cost

The frequency of servicing will, of course, be directly proportional to the sort of bike you choose. The average cost per year for routine maintenance (oil changes, chain maintenance, etc.) on a motorcycle is roughly $1,000. This varies from 5,000 miles to 20,000 miles.

Helmet and Riding Gear Cost

You should at least wear a helmet. Helmets meeting the standards set by the ECE and DOT can cost anywhere from $70-$300. A good set of boots, a jacket, gloves, and pants will set you back at least a couple hundred bucks (expert riders advise spending at least $1,300 on gear).


You won’t get very far if you don’t have gas. The average yearly mileage for a motorcyclist is 4,500 miles, and the average fuel economy for a motorcycle is 55 miles per gallon. Your yearly petrol costs should be about $245 at a national average price of $3 per gallon (AAA).

Motorcycle Tires

Motorbike tires are more expensive than automobile tires in part because the motorcycle market is much smaller. The number of cars is far higher than the number of motorbikes because motorcyclists only have two wheels. This causes demand to drop, which in turn lowers prices.

Finding the Right Motorcycle For You

Before everything else, you should consider what bike would suit you best. Almost every bicycle may be placed in one of the classes described below:

Types of Motorcycle


For most uses, a standard motorcycle will do just fine. Their lack of fairings and saddlebags, as well as their riders’ tendency to sit bolt upright, are defining features.


Harley-Davidson cruisers epitomize the category of cruisers because of their upright seating position, plush suspension, and powerful V-twin engines. Average weights for these bikes are far over 500 pounds, making them unwieldy for a novice or short riders.


For extended trips, touring motorbikes are outfitted with features like wind-deflecting fairings, saddlebags that can hold a lot of gear, and huge gas tanks.


Sport street bikes were developed with performance and speed in mind, making them perfect for those looking for a rush. These motorcycles are distinguished by their severe forward-leaning riding position and massive plastic fairings designed to increase aerodynamic efficiency.


In order to handle the rough terrain of off-road riding, dual-sport bikes often have a long suspension travel, and wide, knobby tires. Shorter riders may have trouble finding a comfortable position on a dual-sport bike due to the often high seat height.


Scooters may be more approachable for new riders than motorbikes because of their lower starting weight and standard transmissions. Scooters are convenient for errands because they typically come with a storage compartment, but not all motorbikes do. There are three types of scooters:

Small Scooters

These models are the most fuel-efficient and provide up to 100 mpg on cruise, making them ideal for new riders. They are also the smallest, lightest, and easiest to manage. Prices for small scooters (with engines of 50 cc or fewer) typically start at $1,000. All of them are automated, have electric starters, and have a seating arrangement more like that of a chair than a motorcycle’s.

Mid-Sized Scooters

More power is available in mid-sized scooters, making them preferable for keeping up with traffic, transporting passengers, and general use. Nonetheless, using them on highways is not a good idea. They are as simple to operate and ride as smaller ones, with features like electric ignition and fully automatic transmissions.

Large Scooters

Large scooters might be a suitable option for travelers who love the look and feel of a scooter but need the highway capacity and range of a cruising motorcycle.

Motorcycle Engine Sizes

In reality, there’s more to consider than meets the eye when shopping for a motorcycle. Each model of motorcycle has its own unique power plant. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these engines. Depending on your intended terrain and riding style, many engine options will be available.

You may classify the vast majority of motorbike engines as follows:

  • Single-Cylinder
  • Parallel-Twin
  • Flat-Twin
  • V-Twin
  • V4 (Rarely V5)
  • L-Twin
  • Inline
  • Rotary
  • Electric

Note: According to the Motorcycle Legal Foundation, the 600cc engine size is a good starting point for beginner riders.

Where To Buy a Motorcycle

Buying a motorcycle is a big deed, but more than that, you should be aware of the options you have for getting one. There are two main ways of buying a motorcycle: Buying from a dealership and buying a motorcycle from a private seller/owner. The choice will depend on your budget and your commitment to the purchase.

Buying a New Motorcycle From a Dealership

Suppose you’re looking for a new or a certified pre-owned motorbike. In that case, a motorcycle dealership may be able to help; more so if you’re looking for a specific brand and model but don’t have time to scour the classifieds for a used motorcycle, a dealership is your best bet.

You may be able to get low-interest financing from the dealership, giving you more time to pay off the purchase. Nonetheless, if you have poor credit, this choice may not be open to you. If you’re not very mechanically savvy, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes with a new motorcycle warranty from the dealership.

Buying a Used Motorcycle From an Owner

A private seller or owner is someone who is not in the business of selling motorcycles professionally. There is a wide range of possible selling motivations, from losing interest in bikes to having a young family and little free time to ride. However, when dealing with a private seller, you take on a lot more risk. In addition to the above-mentioned reasons for selling, the motorcycle may also have outstanding payments, have been in an accident, or even have been stolen.

Five Tips For Buying a Motorcycle

We’ve compiled five things you should be aware of before purchasing a motorcycle so you can be sure you’re choosing the best choice for you:

Consider Why You Want to Buy a Motorcycle

Have you always wanted a motorcycle? Motorcycles seem very nice, we won’t lie. There is an unquestionable appeal to traveling on open roads and experiencing the breeze on your skin. However, there are a few things to think about before you purchase a motorcycle and the appropriate clothing to go with it. Make sure you ponder all ups and downs.

Don’t Skimp on Good Motorcycle Riding Gear

When you buy your first bike, it’s the perfect moment to invest in a full set of safety equipment. These are the main things to get:

  • Helmet (authorized by the DOT).
  • Jacket
  • Goggles
  • Gloves (leather)
  • Boots

Considering the importance of the purchase to your safety, it’s usually recommended to test on the gear before making a final purchase. Don’t be scared to send something back if it doesn’t fit properly after you buy it online. It’s an inconvenience, but you’ll be glad you did it when you’re enjoying a stress-free ride in well-fitted and comfy gear.

Get Good Insurance On Your Bike

Your budget for buying a motorcycle may be in order, but hold on there for a second: insurance is also a significant expense. Motorbike insurance is mandatory in many jurisdictions, so be sure to factor that cost into your budget.

If you cause harm to another person or their property, insurance can help cover the costs. Medical expenses, theft, property damage, and more may all be covered.

If You’re Buying Used, Inspect The Motorcycle in Person

Whatever bike you end up purchasing, more so if it’s used, it’s important to do your research. Inspecting the motorcycle in person is a must and, if possible, a test ride. Since you’ll be the one riding it, you should take the time to learn as much as possible about it—and the owner—before you buy it.

Find The Motorcycle That Fits You

The motorcycle’s seat, handlebars, and other controls are not adjustable. This is why it’s so important to try out many models and makes before settling on a motorcycle purchase. Something that feels great for a split second in the display case might not be so great for a five-mile drive around town.

The many variations of motorcycles out there warrant careful consideration. Popular types of motorbikes include “naked” or “sport” models and “sports” bikes.

Southeast Financial

Allow Southeast Financial to guide you and help you discover the perfect finance for your next motorcycle/scooter since we have the network, connections, and web resources to get the perfect bike for you!

Last but not least, keep in mind that purchasing a motorcycle, whether new or used, is all about enjoyment and new experiences. If this is your first time purchasing a motorcycle, take your time to find the ideal model to drive all your desired roads. At Southeast Financial we can make things easier for you and your dreams.