Buying a motorbike can be an exciting time, but with so many options and choices available, you may not know where to begin. Let us guide you through the various factors to consider, to ensure you get the right motorbike to suit your needs.
Before you start the process of buying a motorbike, there are a number of considerations to make and questions to ask yourself:
Once you’re able to answer these questions, you should be in a great position to buy a motorbike!
While the prospect of buying a used motorbike may be appealing, it’s important not to get blinded by excitement. There are a few important considerations and red flags to look out for during the buying process. And while a motorbike up to two years of age may still be in relatively good condition, older motorbikes will require more careful examination.
Make sure you ask to see all the used motorbike’s paperwork, and verify that it is accurate and legitimate – this is something you can ask to be prepared in advance before meeting with the seller. You should also check the motorbike’s service records, MOT history, as well as conducting an HPI check.
Inspect the bodywork for rust and signs of scuffs and damage. Ensure the lights work properly, that the chain is oiled and correctly adjusted, and that the suspension, steering, brake pads and tyres are in good condition. Depending on age, the battery may also need replacing. The older the bike is, the more likely these components may need to be replaced – the costs of which can quickly add up, even surpassing the total asking price of the motorbike.
It’s a good idea to bring a pad and pen to make note of anything that stands out. Any problems you find can be raised with the dealer and used as potential haggle points.
For further details of checks you should conduct when buying a used motorbike, visit the GOV.UK website.
It’s very important to consider the various buying options when buying a motorbike.
Buying a motorbike outright can be a good option if you have the capital to do so, as you’ll have no additional outgoing payments after the purchase. If you don’t have the funds available yourself, you could consider a personal loan to help.
Leasing a motorbike is a popular option for many, though like with leasing a car, you won’t ever technically own the vehicle. You’ll simply be renting its use for an agreed period of time, for a fixed monthly fee. You are typically restricted to a mileage limit when leasing a motorbike, so there are certain restrictions to consider
Finance agreements require fixed monthly loan repayments over an agreed time period, and in some cases a final payment before you become the owner of the motorbike. Some finance deals require a deposit, which can be cash or from a part exchange of another vehicle you own.
The capacity of a motorbike engine is an important factor when considering buying a motorbike, as this impacts performance and costs of the vehicle. The capacity of a motorbike engine is usually measured in terms of ‘cc’, which stands for cubic capacity. Motorbike engines typically range from 50cc to 1500cc.
Lower cc motorbikes will generally be cheaper to buy and more economic to run but will have less power so it will compromise on speed and performance. Depending on what you plan to use your motorbike for, you should consider the size of engine carefully, so your bike delivers what you need.
There are several common types of motorbike, ranging from cruiser motorbikes, touring motorbikes and sports motorbikes. As well as personal preference, you should consider what you intend to use your motorbike for, to ensure your ride is comfortable and the bike suits your body.
When choosing a motorbike type, be sure to consider –
Read our in-depth guide on motorbike types for more help and advice.
Each motorbike brand offers something different and unique. There are many to choose between, such as the world’s largest motorbike manufacturer Honda, to trusted vehicle producer BMW, or perhaps the most recognisable and iconic name in motorbikes, Harley-Davidson.
Your choice of motorbike brand should fit your personal preference and affordability. Some makes and models are more desirable so hold their value better than others, but these often have higher running and maintenance costs too.
When choosing a motorbike brand, be sure to consider –
Read our in-depth guide on motorbike brands for more help and advice, and be sure to visit our motorbike finance page for further information on motorbike financing, motorbike loans and bad credit options.