Is it Possible to Lease a Motorcycle?

If you want to buy a motorcycle, but don’t know if you want to keep it for a long time, then you might be wondering what your options are. You finance the bike and make payments or even buy the bike outright in cash, but you might end up spending a lot of money during the time that you own it. Otherwise, you could consider leasing a motorcycle, but is that even possible?

Leasing a motorcycle is a lot like leasing a car

In this photograph taken on February 13, 2015, Indian customers and salesmen look at Royal Enfield motorcycles at a showroom in New Delhi.
In this photograph taken on February 13, 2015, Indian customers and salesmen look at Royal Enfield motorcycles at a showroom in New Delhi. | (MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

As it turns out, it is possible to lease a motorcycle. However, it’s important to know what that entails. If you have ever leased a car – or even paid rent – then you’re somewhat familiar with what leasing is.

The basics of leasing are simple: a lender owns the bike and you pay the lender for a specified amount of time for an agreed-upon price. After that time is up, Motorcycle.com notes that you will have a few different options:

  • Trade in the motorcycle for a newer one
  • Buy the motorcycle outright by paying off the residual value
  • Turn the bike in and walk away

Why would anyone want to lease a motorcycle?

Leasing a motorcycle might sound a little odd considering bikes are typically used as toys as opposed to main modes of transportation like cars. Making lease payments on a toy might not make that much sense to most part-time riders, however, it can work well for those that use their bikes more frequently.

More specifically, leasing can work for the subset of riders who like the thought of having a new bike every couple of years. Also, for the riders that rack up a ton of miles on their bikes every year, leasing can work since they’ll be able to turn the bike back in without having to worry about selling at a much-depreciated value. On the other hand, if you were to finance a bike for a few years, racking up a bunch of miles on it, and then try to sell it, you might not get much for it.

Leasing is also good for buyers with bad credit. Motorcycle.com notes that it’s much easier to lease a bike than it is to finance it. So if you’re desperate to get into a motorcycle, but are credit challenged, then leasing can be easier and more beneficial to you. That goes to say that if you were to lease a bike and make all of the payments in time, then it could actually improve your credit situation in the end.

There are two companies that currently offer motorcycle leases

Motorcyclists gather, as the Arc de Triomphe, wrapped in silver-blue fabric as it was designed by late artist Christo, is seen in the background, during a demonstration against a parking reform for Paris which will impose paying parking for non-electric motorcycles and scooters, on September 18, 2021, in Paris.
Motorcyclists gather, as the Arc de Triomphe, wrapped in silver-blue fabric as it was designed by late artist Christo, is seen in the background, during a demonstration against a parking reform for Paris which will impose paying parking for non-electric motorcycles and scooters, on September 18, 2021, in Paris. | (SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)

If you find that leasing a motorcycle is right for you, then there are currently two different companies that offer the service” Motolease and Speedleasing. Unlike car manufacturers, which typically have their own financial arm, motorcycle dealers participate with either of these two companies to lease bikes to customers.

The process is simple: You fill out an application for a lease approval, agree to the terms, and then ride off on your new motorcycle. Each leasing company has different terms to fit your budget and length of time. For example, Motolease offers leases on bikes for up to $20,000 with a down payment of 10-30%, while Speedleasing offers leases with no down payments. Although, your results may vary.

Either way, it is possible to lease a motorcycle and although it might sound unorthodox compared to financing or paying cash, it could be the best route in getting the bike of your dreams.

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