Comprehensive Guide to Purchasing a Used Motorcycle

May 23


Mark Andrews

Mark Andrews

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Discover essential tips and advice for buying a used motorcycle, ensuring safety on the open road, and understanding the benefits of both new and pre-owned bikes. This guide will help you make an informed decision, save money, and enjoy the thrill of motorcycle riding.


The Allure of Motorcycle Riding

There's nothing quite like the sensation of the wind in your hair and the open road ahead. Riding a motorcycle offers an unparalleled sense of freedom and adventure. While renting a bike can give you a taste of this experience,Comprehensive Guide to Purchasing a Used Motorcycle Articles owning your own motorcycle takes it to another level. However, the cost of a brand-new motorcycle can be prohibitive for many. Fortunately, the used motorcycle market offers a plethora of high-quality, well-maintained bikes that are more affordable than you might think.

Why Consider a Used Motorcycle?


A used motorcycle is generally much cheaper than a new one. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average depreciation rate for a new motorcycle is around 20% in the first year and 10% each subsequent year. This means you can get a relatively new bike at a significantly reduced price.

Fuel Efficiency

Motorcycles are known for their fuel efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, motorcycles can achieve up to 56 miles per gallon, compared to the average car's 24.9 miles per gallon. This can result in substantial savings on fuel costs over time.

Resale Value

Used motorcycles tend to hold their value better than new ones. If you decide to sell your bike later, you are less likely to incur a significant loss. In some cases, you might even make a profit, especially if you’ve maintained the bike well.

Key Considerations When Buying a Used Motorcycle

Maintenance and Condition

Before purchasing a used motorcycle, it's crucial to assess its maintenance history and overall condition. Look for bikes with comprehensive service records. A well-maintained motorcycle is not only safer but also more reliable.

Fit and Comfort

Every motorcycle has unique handling characteristics. It's essential to test ride the bike to ensure it suits your build and riding style. This trial period will help you determine if the motorcycle is the right fit for you.

Dealer vs. Private Seller

Established Dealers

Buying from an established dealer offers several advantages, including warranties and the assurance that the bike has been thoroughly inspected. Dealers are often experienced riders themselves and can provide valuable advice.

Online Marketplaces

Platforms like eBay can offer excellent deals on used motorcycles. However, it's crucial to do your due diligence. Check the seller's ratings and reviews, and ensure the bike comes with a detailed description and clear photos.

Essential Accessories

When purchasing a motorcycle, don't forget about the necessary accessories. Proper gear is vital for safety and comfort. Here are some must-haves:

  • Helmet: A high-quality helmet is non-negotiable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives in 2017.
  • Riding Gear: Invest in good-quality leathers, boots, and gloves. These can protect you in case of an accident.
  • GPS and Communication Devices: Modern GPS systems and communication devices can enhance your riding experience and ensure you never lose your way.

Safety First

Safety should always be your top priority. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled. Always wear the best safety gear you can afford and stay vigilant on the road.


Whether you opt for a brand-new motorcycle or a used one, the thrill of the open road awaits. By following these guidelines, you can make an informed decision, save money, and ensure your safety. Happy and safe riding!

For more detailed information on motorcycle safety and statistics, you can visit the NHTSA and IIHS websites.


  1. Kelley Blue Book
  2. U.S. Department of Energy
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  4. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)