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     Buying a motorcycle is a big step and merits some research. Obviously, there are important decisions to make on which style (learn more about motorcycle types), manufacturer or motorcycle is right for you. Once you have identified which bike you want, there are many factors to consider in the buying process itself.

     There are benefits to buying a motorcycle new from the dealer. Buying a new bike comes with the security of knowing exactly what you're getting. New bikes come off the manufacturing line with a consistency that cannot be found among used motorcycles. You also have the benefit of any factory warranties to take care of any early problems that do arise. Obviously, a new motorcycle is going to cost more than a used one and you will need to factor the interest from any loans you take out into the purchase price of the motorcycle. You can minimize this additional strain on your wallet by doing your homework on any loans ahead of time (View Motorcycle Financing Options). Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to minimize the depreciation of the motorcycle itself. The minute you ride your new motorcycle off the lot, its value will decrease dramatically.

     Buying a used motorcycle has certain benefits. Buying a pre-owned bike means that the original owner will absorb the initial drop in value. The trade off for this lower price is the uncertainty of not knowing what happened to the vehicle while it was in the original owners hands. This is more of a concern with motorcycles than cars because of the very nature of the vehicles. Many car owners use their vehicles as just a transportation tool getting them from point A to point B. The average car owner will not put the car in high-risk situations or place unusual demands on the vehicles. Motorcycle owners are more likely to ride for recreation or sport and push the limits of their vehicle. Used motorcycles are also riskier than used cars because unlike four wheeled vehicles, bikes have a knack for tipping over if mishandled. If a motorcycle is laid down at speed, it can be hard to conceal the damage and there will usually be signs, however, it is much more common for bikes to be drop in a parking lot or driveway when coming to a stop. It is also more difficult to identify damage from an incident like that, though it does not mean it isn't there. Another concern is how a used motorcycle was ridden early in its life. There are usually strict procedures the must be followed to ensure that the motorcycle is broken-in properly and there are often more demanding maintenance procedures to consider early on. If the original owner neglected these break-in steps, it can lead to consequences down the road. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know for sure whether or not the motorcycle was handled properly. One benefit of buying from a private party is that you may be able to talk them into letting you test drive the motorcycle. Though riding the motorcycle is one of the best ways to tell if the bike really suits you, many dealers will not allow test drives. The chances of incidental damage from people riding an unfamiliar bike for the first time are just too great.

     One good resource when shopping for a used motorcycle is eBay. A quick search will give you a general idea of how commonly found a certain motorcycle model is and what price range you can expect. Ebay allows users to search completed auctions so you can see how many bikes have sold recently, for exactly how much and how many other people we interested enough to place bids. To access this function, you do have to be a member but you can easy sign up for free at When searching to buy on eBay, it is usually best to search locally. Shipping a motorcycle can be a hassle and many sellers will tell you up front that it is completely up to the buyer to either pick up the vehicle or make all arrangements to have it prepared for transport, packed and picked up. If you do find a bike on eBay that is not local but you can't resist, make sure you factor the additional transport costs in before you decide on how much to bid. Buying through eBay does offer you some security since you have some recourse if the motorcycle is not in the condition described.

eBay Shopping Tips
  • Before bidding, decide on a maximum price and do not bid beyond that maximum. Don't get caught up in the moment; don't get emotionally attached. You're looking for a deal, if the item is no longer a deal - you don't want it! Check completed auctions of similar items so you know what the average price is so you can set a good goal.
  • Check the auction counter. Try to avoid high-traffic auctions, the prices tend to get unusually high.
  • Search for common misspellings. Since they will get less traffic, you have a better shot at getting a good price.
  • Search for broad terms or browse through categories looking for generic titles. If an eBay seller does a bad job listing his item, they might leave out important keywords like brand names or model numbers. This will make his listing harder to find. Use your product knowledge and a little legwork to find a diamond in the rough.
  • Auctions without pictures will tend to attract less bidders. This can make for good deals but always ask the seller to email a photo and give detailed descriptions of the condition.
  • Check other listing services like or for more potential deals.


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