Used Motorcycles: Are They Worth the Investment?

Whenever riders consider purchasing motorcycles, the first question they need to ask themselves is whether to buy new or used ones. There’s no one correct answer to this question, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way for riders to decide what’s right for them before spending money on bikes, whether they’re brand-new or just new to them. This article will offer some insight into one specific aspect of used motorcycle ownership, which is whether or not they’re worth the investment.

Defining Value

For most people, buying a used motorcycle isn’t just about seeing a return on investment. Many riders don’t consider that at all beyond how it will impact their abilities to fund future bikes. Determining whether buying used is worth the investment thus requires defining what that means to each individual. There’s nothing wrong with balancing finance against function, but keep in mind that a bike that gets ridden hard all the time isn’t going to hold its value as well as one that sits in a showroom for most of its life.

Purely Financial Considerations

When it comes to pure financial value, motorcycles tend to lose value very quickly within the first two years after purchase. However, their value virtually stops depreciating at around ten years as long as the bikes were well-maintained, and at the 20-year mark, vintage motorcycles can start increasing in price. What that means is that monetarily, buying used vs. buying new makes sense as long as riders know what they’re looking at in terms of bike condition.

The second thing to consider when it comes to purely financial matters is the cost of maintaining the bike. New bikes typically come warrantied, as do some more recently manufactured certified used models. Older motorcycles rarely come with warranties or prepaid service contracts, so don’t forget to factor in the cost of maintenance and expected repairs, which tends to be higher with used bikes.

The True Value of a Used Motorcycle

The true value of a used motorcycle is subjective. There are plenty of riders out there who have always dreamed of finding the perfect vintage bike, no matter the cost. For them, the question of whether that specific used motorcycle is worth the investment may be more related to personal enjoyment than financial returns.

Even for those who don’t have a specific used motorcycle in mind, the true value of a newly purchased used bike may be greater than what’s listed on the price tag. Motorcycle riding has been shown to have physical, mental, and emotional benefits. For those riders that love nothing more than hitting the open road on a perfectly tuned motorcycle, regardless of when it was made or how much it will sell for when it’s time to upgrade.

How to Get a Good Deal

For most riders, there’s a balance to be struck between financial gains and personal enjoyment. Reaching that balance requires purchasing a reliable motorcycle at a reasonable price, which usually does not mean buying a motorcycle from a private party that may or may not be worth what the seller says it is. It means heading to a used bike dealer that offers a range of motorcycles to fit different buyers’ needs and budgets. That’s the best way to get a good price now and ensure that the motorcycle will hold its value in future years or decades.