Used Or New: The 1st Bike Question Investigated

New or Used Motorcycle – It’s still the same old story, a fight for love and glory, a case of do or die.

Your first motorcycle is a huge commitment, and perhaps the first — and biggest — question is, “Used or new?”

New or Used Motorcycle

New or Used Motorcycle

Taking the History
Buying used means the person could have taken immaculate care of their bike or left it outside to rot. That its only blemish is a scuff on the muffler, or that the bike was crashed in a fireball of glory and then taped back together. With a new bike, however, you can be sure that no one other than you has been in charge of its maintenance, repairs, and general care. That’s peace of mind.

Advantage: New

The Customizer Rider
Let’s face it, if you customize your bike, you customize your bike. It doesn’t matter if it is new or used. So does an EMD ribbed cam cover cost any less on a new or used machine? ehhh, no.

It’s awesome when you buy a bike with aftermarket exhaust installed, less awesome when the guy before you tried to wire HIDs without any idea of how to do it; hacking the wiring harness to pieces in the process. Buying a bike used leaves a lot of unknowns and opens you up to a lot of risk. When you buy a new bike, it usually comes with a 12 or 24 month, unlimited mile warranty and will cover any mechanical defects.

Advantage: New

The 1-Stop-Shop Thrifty Rider
After you spend some time on a stock bike right out of the factory, you may realize you want a luggage rack, different handlebars, or a sissy bar. If you buy a used bike, you can shop around and find something with all the extras you’ll want already added on, at a fraction of what it cost to add them.

Advantage: Used

The Braggadocio Rider
There’s a “wow” factor in having the newest bike on the block. It looks good, it smells good, it starts, stops and rides like a dream.

Advantage: New

The Thrifty Rider
The number-one reason to select a used anything, of course, is price. A 2007 fresh-off-the-lot Harley-Davidson Nightster ran $10,000 new and is available for $3,500 today. When you consider used, you do have more options.

Advantage: Used

The Tech Savvy Rider
There is an technological arms race year after year. As bikes get faster and better, new technologies are being added that help keep you safe on the streets. When looking at new bikes versus used bikes, it’s important to consider things like ABS, adjustability, fueling, and suspension/brake components when evaluating what any motorcycle is worth.

Advantage: New


Things To Avoid When Buying A Used Motorcycle

  • Salvage title: Normally motorcycles have these when the cost to repair them is more than the bike is worth. I’ve bought a salvage title bike once and it was ok, but it wasn’t great. In my experience you should stay away from these.
  • Stunted / Great wheelie machine!: Stunting is a no no, it trashes your engine, transmission, and your suspension. If a motorcycle has been stunted STAY AWAY, unless you plan on doing some stunting of your own.
  • Bent frame: Don’t buy a motorcycle with a bent or dented frame! It’s just plain old unsafe!
New or Used Motorcycle

New or Used Motorcycle

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