The U.S. is made for motorcycle enthusiasts. With thousands of miles of open roads to explore, it’s no wonder so many people are registered motorcycle owners; in the state of Colorado alone — one of the most scenically beautiful states in the country –, there are approximately 184,549 motorcycles registered. We know you’re itching to get out and ride those expansive roads yourself, but you need to do one very important thing first: buy a bike! Whether you’re retired, entering middle age, or just graduating college, be sure to ask yourself these questions before making a purchase.
How Do I Intend To Ride?
Buying a motorcycle is an exciting experience, but it shouldn’t be rushed into. Before you go taking out loans and cracking open your savings, you need to know what you’re looking for; by understanding how you want to ride, you can better determine what bike — and therefore what price range — you should be dealing with.
Think about what circles you’ll likely be riding in; if you’re looking to drive your bike to an Eagles reunion concert rather than speeding down raceways, a traditional motorcycle is probably going to be a better fit. Conversely, if you feel the need for speed, you’ll be more interested in sportbikes that allow you to test your limits. Touring bikes are ideal for those who live the RV lifestyle and enjoy dinner theater, while individuals looking to put a little bit more excitement into their daily commute would benefit from a cruiser bike. Take the time to do your research; once you have a general idea of what you want in mind, you’ll be able to move on to the nuances involved in actually paying for it.
How Much Do I Want To Spend?
Setting a budget is extremely important when making a big purchase. Since motorcycles range greatly in price (usually between $5,000 and $25,000), you’ll need to figure out what you’re comfortable with spending — and what you can actually afford to spend.
Consider your monthly purchases: bills, mortgage payments, and groceries need to be accounted for before you drop a few grand on a Wild Hog. Once you set a limit, it’s crucial that you commit to it; if you end up with something you can’t afford, you’ll end up tanking your credit and destroying future financial situations in no time.
Also remember to look out for any hidden expenses like taxes or accessories you may have/want to buy. Tires are especially important here, as there were 738 motor vehicle fatalities in 2017 due to tire-related crashes. Buying a new set of tires for your motorcycle can be pricey, but more than worth it for your safety. Be sure to look out for any other hidden expenses, and talk with the seller regarding these.
How Do I Want To Finance This Purchase?
Speaking of credit, you better have a stellar credit score if you’re looking to take out a loan to pay for your bike. To qualify for most loans, your score needs to be above 700, but higher is always better; with a great credit score (800 or above), you can get the best interest rates and deals, saving you more money in the end. If you’re fortunate enough to have several thousand dollars sitting in a savings account juts waiting to be used, you don’t have to worry about interest at all!
When you take the time to consider the above questions — and are honest with yourself regarding their answers –, you’ll find yourself on the back of the perfect bike in no time.