Why buy a used motorcycle rather than a new one?

Why buy a used motorcycle rather than a new one?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012 5:33 PM

Choosing a used motorbike can save you thousands

Choosing a used motorbike can save you thousands

When it comes to buying a motorcycle, almost all riders would love to be in a position to splash out on a brand new model. However, there are a number of reasons why a used bike may be a better purchase for you.

The final decision will depend on your personal circumstances, but before you sign the finance deal for a state-of-the-art 2012 Japanese motorbike, it is at least worth considering what you could gain by opting for a second hand machine.

Save money

Perhaps the main reason bikers opt for used motorcycles instead of new ones is that the purchase prices are much lower. While bikes do not suffer the same kind of immediate depreciation as cars, you can expect to save a four-figure sum by choosing a 12-month-old model instead of a new one.

Of course, the comparison is not quite as simple as looking at the two prices and then selecting the lower one. You also need to consider the condition of the second hand bike and whether it comes with a warranty.

Good motorcycle dealerships offer 12-month warranties on used machines and also give them a full service before putting them on sale, so you will have peace of mind that you are getting a reliable bike in good condition. It is often cheaper to buy from a private seller, but you will not receive any type of guarantee and it may be difficult to get any money back if the machine turns out to have a mechanical problem.

Motorcycles for learning

A used motorbike is a sensible choice if you need something to learn on. You are likely to drop the machine as you get to grips with the finer points of bike handling, but will be less concerned about scratches if it cost you £1,500 rather than £3,000.

Once you have passed your test, you face the prospect of being restricted to machines with a maximum power output of 25 kW for the next two years. As it is likely you will want to progress to a bigger motorcycle after that period, it makes sense to spend less on your first bike and start saving for its replacement.

Classic bikes

While many riders love the hi-tech nature and super-efficient engines of contemporary bikes, others prefer the romance and style of years gone by. There are plenty of new models that mimic the style of 1950s machines, but if you are a genuine enthusiast, only the real thing will do.

There is a well-established market for classic motorcycles and you can find details of specialist dealers in bike magazines. Models that are in a good condition tend to be quite expensive, but it is not difficult to locate restoration projects. You will need plenty of spare time to return an old machine to its former glory, together with lots of patience when it comes to sourcing parts through owners' clubs. 

Weekend motorbikes

Motorbikes are great, but if you have a busy family life, complete with children and pets, you will eventually have to bite the bullet and buy a car. Lots of people in this position own a motorcycle as well, although it only sees the light of day at the weekend.

Whether you want a cruiser for long rides in the country or something for some off-road action, you probably won't have too much spare cash for your leisure bike. Buying a used machine is an excellent way to keep the cost of your hobby down.