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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Motorcycle

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Motorcycle

Purchasing a motorcycle is an exciting opportunity, but many people aren’t fully aware of all the responsibilities that come with motorcycle ownership. Whether it’s always been a goal of yours to have a motorcycle in your garage or you’re just beginning to wonder if you’d enjoy a bike in your life, consider the following facets of motorcycle ownership.

Initial Price Point

While it’s true that most motorcycles cost lest than cars and use less fuel, many people shopping for a bike are surprised to find out the price. If you’re hoping to buy a new bike that’s appropriate for a first-time motorcycle owner, you might be surprised to find that you’ll be somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 dollars. While there are certainly bikes at a lower price point, be prepared to spend at least 5,000 dollars for a reputable brand that will perform well.

It Drives Differently

If your primary reason for purchasing a bike is to save money at the gas pump, you’ll need to carefully consider all aspects of bike ownership. While it’s true that the total costs of owning a motorcycle might be slightly less than car ownership, it’s an entirely different mode of transportation that not everyone enjoys. When you’re driving from the comfort of a roomy car, you might not be completely aware of your surroundings. If you’re hoping to become a motorcycle owner, consider taking a class to help you adjust to the new style of driving.

Think Before You Buy

Insurance can be More Expensive

Many people mistakenly believe that owning a motorcycle is significantly cheaper than owning a car. If you’re hoping to save money on transportation costs, be aware that insurance for a motorcycle can be quite pricey, even if you have an excellent driving record. If you’re still sold on a new bike but you’re hoping to save money on insurance, seek out a Cleveland insurance agency and ask about their rates for responsible motorcycle drivers.

Always Perform a Pre-Ride Inspection

While it’s recommended for car drivers to give the vehicle a quick once-over before getting on the road, it’s even more important for motorcycle riders. While you have plenty of protection from the walls and airbags of a car, one unexpected malfunction on a motorcycle can be disastrous. If you have a belt-driven bike, it’s essential that you take a few minutes out of your day to do a quick inspection before driving to your destination. It’s better to run a few minutes late than to skip this important part of motorcycle ownership.

Frequent Tire Swaps

When you drive a motorcycle as your daily mode of transportation, you should expect to go through tires fairly quickly. Even though motorcycles have fewer wheels than cars, their tires are more expensive and the price can add up quickly. While you can find a full set of decent car tires for around 600 dollars in most parts of the United States, a set of motorcycle tires usually runs about the same price. Since motorcycles need tire changes around the 4,000-mile mark, you’ll need to set up a motorcycle maintenance budget to keep track of all the expenses.

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  1. Good points overall, with a couple dissenting notes:
    – I live in a large west coast city. Insuring two automobiles costs $958.00/year. Insuring two motorcycles costs $300/year. It’s been my experience over the past five years that motorcycle insurance is much cheaper than auto insurance.
    – My experience, and that of others, is that motorcycle tires are good for 10K – 12K miles. You must be running high-end racing tires if you’re only getting 3K miles. My bikes are a Yamaha touring scooter and a Yamaha cruiser.


  2. I agree with DaveR that tires usually are both cheaper than the article states, and last longer, though nowhere near as long as car tires. Also I don’t know what having a belt driven bike has to do with a pre-ride inspection. EVERY motorcycle needs a pre-ride check. And I would strongly urge everyone to take classes, not just consider it. Even if you are a returning rider after a few years off, professional training can save your life. And consider your climate and what you need your transportation to be able to do. Even in the Pacific Northwest, riding year round can be a dicey proposal, and many areas it’s just impossible. And many things are hard to transport by bike. Also have a healthy budget for protective gear. Don’t spend $10K on a bike and buy a $100 helmet. And NEVER buy a used helmet, even if it looks good. Consider how important your brain is. And don’t forget riding jacket, pants, gloves and boots. Whew!

  3. Good article, but.
    Seems you are discouraging people from ownership. While I agree one should go into motorcycle ownership with an open eye, New “starter” bikes can be had for under $5000, and insurance is usually less than a car, not more. Tires last on my bikes , H_D Sportster and Yamaha Virago about 12-15 thousand on the front and 8(give or take) thousand on the rear. Yes they are more expensive, but there are only two not four. Just saying…..

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