Where to Buy a Motorcycle

Are you looking for the best option on where to buy a motorcycle? If so, that is great news! It means you’ve already decided to buy a motorcycle, so congratulations! If it’s your first purchase, take your time and enjoy the process — you’ll never buy another first motorcycle. If you’re a veteran motorcycle shopper, then you already know the buying process can be an exhilarating process that culminates in a great new ride.

Plenty of people and businesses have motorcycles for sale, but how do you decide where exactly to begin your search? We’ll divide the options into two main groups: buying local and buying online. Both are perfectly viable, and you may end up using a combination of both to find your next motorcycle.

Where to Buy a Motorcycle Locally

Buying locally has many conveniences. Primarily, you will likely get your motorcycle faster. You’ll also get the opportunity to see the bike in person before you buy. Far fewer scams happen during in-person transactions. But they can still happen and it’s a big purchase, so keep your eyes peeled even if your deal is 100% local.

When buying locally, you can either shop at a local motorcycle dealership or find an individual private seller. Both have their pros and cons, and you should consider both. Dealerships are more expensive on average, but don’t totally rule them out. Consider your specific situation and all of your buying options.

Your Local Motorcycle Dealership

One of the more obvious local options is to visit your local motorcycle dealer. Many buyers skip right over this option when considering where to buy a motorcycle. But there are a couple reasons you may want to at least consider it.

Whether it is an authorized dealership for a specific brand or an independent shop, your purchase is backed by a local physical business. This is probably the #1 reason to consider paying a premium and buying from a local dealer.

If you’re buying a new motorcycle, a dealership is also really your only choice. New motorcycles are always more expensive than used, but you are the first owner and you get a factory warranty. The warranty it’s usually one or two years in length.

New motorcycle purchases from dealerships also usually offer the most competitive financing offers. Sometimes you’ll even find manufacturers offering loans with 0% interest rates to entice you to buy their brand.

When it comes to used motorcycles for sale you have plenty of options on where to shop. Dealerships are not the only game in town, but sometimes they are still a good option. Many of them have large selections, so you can browse around and get a feel for a variety of different motorcycles all in one location. Even if you don’t ultimately make a purchase, there is a lot to learn by visiting a motorcycle dealership.

Other Local Sellers

Where do you buy a motorcycle locally if you don’t want to shop at a motorcycle dealership? Simple, you buy it from another motorcycle owner. When you buy from someone who is local, even if it isn’t a dealer, you have the advantage of seeing the bike, meeting the previous owner, and making sure everything is in order.

Now the hard part can be finding a local person with the exact motorcycle that you are looking to purchase. You can ride around looking for “for sale” signs, but that is going to be a long process that involves a lot of luck.

The reality is that this is one of those situations that you need to combine local and online searching to get the best results. If you really want to keep it 100% local, you should of course let all your fellow riders know you looking for that next motorcycle. Also make sure to ask around at local biker events and biker-friendly establishments.

There are a couple other more obscure local options. First, if you have a local powersports auction that is open to the public. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, especially if all sales are final.

Second, sometimes a car dealership will end up with a motorcycle. The may have accepted the motorcycle as a trade-in. Unfortunately for them, not that many people shop for a motorcycle at a car dealership, so they often resort to selling them at a wholesale auction or listing them online. If you can swoop in before that, you may find yourself a decent deal.

Where to Buy a Motorcycle Online

When you buy a motorcycle online, you usually have a larger selection of bikes and pay a cheaper price. However, that doesn’t mean there are not downfalls. You have to be far more cautious of exaggerations, misrepresentations, and outright scams and con artists. These are not the norm, but you do need to make sure you are careful.

The first step to finding a good place to buy a motorcycle online is to look for a website that help you avoid some of the more painful scams and tricks.

Online Motorcycle Classifieds Sites

There are plenty of small online motorcycle classifieds sites, but it’s best to stick with one of the bigger sites like CycleCrunch or CycleTrader. The big sites have the most listings, and thus a bigger selection. They also do a better job vetting their listings and thus are more likely to be real and not scams.

Other Places Online

There are other more generic places you can look for motorcycles to buy online. Most of the generic marketplaces have limited selection and sometimes less serious buyers and sellers.

eBay Motors usually also has some motorcycles for sale. The sellers here are vetted to certain degree which is good. The disadvantage here is that the selection is often limited. Some of the motorcycles for sale here are also in the auction format, which has it’s pros and cons.

Craigslist also has motorcycles for sale. You have to browse in limited geographic areas, so it’s mostly only useful for very local purchases. This limits its usefulness as an online option for many shoppers looking for that perfect dream bike.

Facebook Marketplace is another up-and-coming spot to find a motorcycle to purchase. Like eBay and Craigslist, the selection is limited. You also have to use your Facebook account to inquire about any motorcycles which can be a privacy issue for some buyers. Do you really want the person you might buy a motorcycle from to have seen your Facebook information? This will be a bigger issue for some more than others, but you should take it into consideration.

The Best Place to Buy a Motorcycle

As with most things in life, it turns out the best place to buy a motorcycle is the place that is most comfortable for you. Everyone has their idea of the perfect motorcycle buying experience. And a motorcycle is a big purchase, so you should do it your way. Don’t think so much about where to buy a motorcycle, but instead think about where you will have the best experience buying a motorcycle.

Some people want the convenience of walking into a dealership, signing some paperwork, and walking out with a brand new bike to ride home. Others like to spend their time researching and browsing for that perfect motorcycle. That might mean a killer deal they found halfway across the country or that specific vintage motorcycle in excellent condition that they’ve spent years hunting down.

Whatever you decide, before you actually make the purchase make sure you are ready to buy a motorcycle. If you already have another motorcycle, you may also want to consider if you should sell that motorcycle before or after you buy this one.

Have other ideas on where to buy a motorcycle? Or maybe you have a great story about the last motorcycle you purchased? Let us know in the comments.

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