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Buying a new vehicle can be an overwhelming process. Should you buy new or used? Which manufacturer is the best? What do the reviews say? What can you afford? Everyone goes through this thought process at some point whether they have an idea going in what they want or not. But what about buying a motorcycle? Is that process the same?

Are you in the market for a motorcycle?

A motorcycle shopper checks out a bike on display
A man inspects a motorcycle | Scott Olson/Getty Images

If you’re considering getting a motorcycle, you’re not alone. Bikes are a popular option for those that like a little adventure. With so many styles and types to choose from, you’ll need to decide where and when you plan to ride and what your budget is, as well as consider your size and experience level.

Most motorcycles aren’t used for daily use. For example, in winter, you won’t be able to ride as much and will likely need a second vehicle and if you want the motorcycle for off-roading, you’ll need a specific kind designed for that purpose. 

But according to U.S. News, buying a motorcycle is actually a lot like buying a car. You have to narrow down the type you want, know how much you can afford, and then start shopping around.

They recommend visiting several dealerships to see what all is available and get the best deal. They also encourage you to look at manufacturer end-of-year deals and to ask about special discounts that may be available for specific situations, such as military members. 

The hidden costs of buying a new motorcycle

While buying a motorcycle does have some similarities to car-buying, there are some definite differences that often get overlooked. That’s because, when you buy a motorcycle, there are some hidden costs that can easily add up.

First, insurance coverage is different due to the higher risk of damage and injury in accidents. It’s a good idea to price that before you finalize your purchase, especially if this is your first motorcycle.

There’s also a special endorsement for your driver’s license that some states require, which can have an added expense associated with it. For first-time buyers, there’s the cost of education classes for that motorcycle endorsement, which is required to legally ride.

If safety features are important to you, you can expect to pay extra for some, which may not all come with the motorcycle at the time of purchase (like adding extra mirrors). 

Owning a motorcycle also involves extras such as a helmet, gloves, a jacket, and other riding gear meant to keep you safe. Today, the technological advancements in cars have expanded into the motorcycle world, with special Bluetooth helmets as an option, which ups your cost considerably for the added luxury. 

Some motorcycle dealerships sell gear in their shop, too, and U.S. News suggests seeing if you can negotiate gear into your bike purchase. They also encourage you to choose who you buy from wisely since you’ll likely be going back for more accessories, maintenance, and questions. 

Is buying a motorcycle worth it?

Obviously, this can all add up, and while motorcycles are often cheaper than cars, you need to factor everything in so you’re not surprised by hidden costs.

Many people forget to budget all these factors in, but it’s more important to have the added safety of gear, for example, than spend extra for a nicer looking bike.

Knowing all this, is it worth it to you? Do people end up regretting buying a motorcycle? Only you can determine if a motorcycle should be in your garage, but knowing the hidden costs can get you one step closer to making the right decision. 


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