Photo Credit – Motorcycle Shippers

Editor’s Note: The following article about things to consider when buying a motorcycle is the second in a series of Guest posts provided by our friends at


Summer is in full swing, and it is the best time for you to buy a motorcycle. Buying a motorcycle is not just about choosing a vehicle for your commute. For many, motorcycling is a lifestyle and a personal statement. For this reason and many more, there are several things to consider when buying a motorcycle.

Through their bikes, hardcore riders define who they are. This is the reason why many motorcycle manufacturing companies are launching stripped-down bikes with minimal aesthetics and accessories. These motorcycles provide an untouched canvas that riders can customize according to their needs, preferences, and riding style.

Whether you are a novice rider who has just acquired his riding license or an experienced rider looking to upgrade to a bigger and heavier bike, taking the decision to buy a bike is a huge step. Before you make the purchase, you should consider multiple factors, including your budget, riding skill, the type of motorcycle you can handle, engine displacement and outputs, and preferred styling.

Never impulse buy a motorcycle because you like the paint job, are attracted to its leather saddlebags and stylish plastic bodywork, or are impressed by the engine power.

If you are unable to control the bike, sit comfortably, or make the long-distance trip you always wanted, the bike will cause disappointment and become a burden on your finances.

This article aims to help you determine whether you are into racing, touring, or want a motorcycle to hone your skills, before you buy a bike and join the motorcycle community.

Table of Contents

1. Determine How The Bike Feels & Handles
2. Determine Your Budget
3. Consider the Resale Value
4. Consider Customizability
5. Consider a Second-Hand Motorcycle

1. Determine How the Bike Feels & Handles

Image of a man leaning on a motorcycle around a turn with mountains in the background. Photo Credit: The Manual

Photo Credits – The Manual

Any bike that looks good to you, is within your budget and fits you comfortably is the perfect bike for you. For example, if you are into motorcycle camping, then a Harley Davidson Road King might be your perfect bike.

On the other hand, if you prefer a lightweight, high-performance bike designed for urban power cruising, then Harley Davidson Low Rider S might be the best choice.

To find the perfect bike, also check whether its ergonomics suit your build. We recommend that you take a test ride and see if:

  • The forward and foot controls are within easy reach
  • You can touch the ground easily at a standstill
  • Your arms are bent but not strained as you grip the forward controls
  • The seat is comfortable. Perforated seats ensure breathability for summer rides.

Also, consider if:

  • The fuel tank should not feel uncomfortable against your knees
  • The footpegs or floorboards make for a comfortable footrest
  • You can drag the bike and stop it from toppling over easily
  • The engine does not feel intimidating
  • Speed is controllable
  • You can easily hold your motorcycle upright.

2. Determine Your Budget

Graphical icon of a plan with a checklist and stylized coins to indicate a budget. Image Credit: Dreamstime

Photo Credits – Dreamstime

When buying a bike, most riders focus on the bike’s retail price. But you should also consider the maintenance costs, insurance costs, and the cost of safety gear. Oftentimes new bikes that cost low do not come with many essential accessories, such as fairings, windshields, crash bars, and passenger seats. You should also add these costs to your payment plan.

Many riders do not have immediate cash to pay for the bike and end up getting loans. While you can easily find financing options, make sure you research thoroughly and visit multiple local moneylenders and banks to get the best financing plan.

Also, try to avail discounts to finance your insurance as it is a necessary evil.

3.  Consider the Resale ValueImage of a salesman talking to a man about options when buying a pre-owned motorcycle. Photo Credit: CNPC Autos

Photo Credits – CNBC Autos

As soon as you ride your bike out of the dealership lot, your motorcycle starts to depreciate.

In the first two years, a bike depreciates about 5% and up to 27% by the end of the second year of your ownership. On average, the bike loses at least 5% or higher each year after that. The rate of depreciation depends on the demand for the bike, the type of bike, the condition of the bike, and your location.

Some bikes tend to retain their resale values better than others. Make sure you research the market trends.

You can also calculate the resale values of different motorcycles at online platforms such as Kelly Blue Book and J.D. Power.

If you find two or three bikes in a similar price range having similar features, then choose the one with a better resale value.

4.  Consider Customizability

Image of a customized motorcycle with blue and gold paint and gold rims. Photo Credit: Thunderbike

Photo Credits – Thunderbike

It is great to have a bike that offers everything you need, such as an Indian Roadmaster or Harley Davidson Street Glide. These bikes are decorated with a stereo system, stylish fairings, tall windshields, motorcycle luggage, infotainment screens, heated grips, and plush seats.

However, after spending a fortune on these bikes, there is little room for customization. If you enjoy customization projects, then look for a bike to which you can add unique accessories.

Something as small as fuel tank decals can give your bike a new look. So custom accessories are something you should consider when buying a bike.

5.  Consider a Secondhand Motorcycle

Photo of keys about to change hands with a motorcycle in the background indicating a sale. Photo Credit:

Photo Credit –

If you are a novice rider looking to upgrade to a cruiser or a sports bike after riding a standard bike, it is recommended that you buy a used bike instead of a brand-new one. These bikes don’t come with the baggage of initial depreciation and if you maintain them, can be resold. Especially if you realize that the motorcycle does not suit your style or needs.


As soon as you get the keys and possession of your new bike, make sure to go for a celebratory ride. Buying a bike is a memorable moment. You can make it even more special by spending quality time with your brand-new bike.

In the beginning, ride in deserted streets to familiarize yourself with brakes, acceleration, and other controls to prevent getting into accidents. Make sure you invest in a DOT-certified helmet to ensure safety.

If you have picked up the right bike, you will keep and ride it for years. Never neglect regular maintenance of your bike if you want to enjoy its performance and aesthetics for a long time.

Many riders prefer to ride their bikes on long distances. When doing so, make sure you read the owner’s manual to not exceed the weight and storage limit of your bike as overloading your bike can damage tires, engine, and other mechanical parts.

Special thanks for this guest post by Viking Bags

If you’ve enjoyed this article click below to check out the previous article by Viking Bags:

Hero Image for a blog by Viking Bags about common causes for Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

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