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When Is the Best Time to Buy a Harley-Davidson?

If you’ve been eyeing a Harley-Davidson as your next motorcycle, it’s almost the right time to buy. As the snow begins to fall and motorcycles and sports cars alike retreat into garages, a unique opportunity appears. With fewer riders on the road and almost none buying bikes. Harley-Davidson’s sales figures show the end of the year is the time to buy. According to Harley-Davidson, fourth-quarter sales suffer the most, year over year.

Never buy a brand-new Harley-Davidson in spring or summer

A photo of a Harley-Davidson Sportster on the road.
Harley-Davidson Sportster | Harley Davidson

If a beautiful sunny day has inspired you to go out and buy a new Harley-Davidson, you’re already too late. Great weather usually means that spring and summer have already arrived, marking the beginning of the high sales season. Instead, you’ll want to buy exactly when no one else wants to, winter. During the second quarter of 2019, Harley-Davidson managed to sell 42,762 bikes. In contrast, fourth-quarter sales saw that figure cut in half to 20,204.

The reason why you’ll want to buy when no one else wants to has largely to do with the way motorcycle dealerships work. According to RevZilla, motorcycle salespeople typically have a monthly quota they need to reach. If sales are significantly slow, they are more likely to be willing to cut a bigger deal to ensure the sale.

Dealerships are more likely to put out aggressive deals on Black Friday as well as holiday specials. Aside from saving money on the bike itself, you’ll most likely be able to get a great deal on riding gear, with some dealers throwing it in for free to secure a sale.

Why shouldn’t I buy it at the beginning of the year?

A photo of a Harley-Davidson Sportster on the road.
Harley-Davidson Sportster | Harley Davidson

RELATED: Harley-Davidson Isn’t the Best Motorcycle Brand, According To Consumer Reports

Buying a bike during winter at the beginning of the year is a great idea, just not a Harley-Davidson. According to RevZilla, the best time to buy a motorcycle is in February. The reasons are largely because it is the shortest month of the year, meaning it is difficult for salespeople to meet their quotas. Additionally, it is just before riders get their tax returns and have extra cash to spend. However, Harley-Davidson buyers are a completely different demographic with unique spending habits.

According to CNBC, an average Harley-Davidson buyer is a married man in his early 50s. Additionally, Harley’s average buyer has an annual income of about $90,000. As a result, wealthy bike buyers likely aren’t waiting for tax returns to fund their next purchase. This is likely the reason why other bike brands experience their low season at the beginning of the year, while Harley-Davidson’s sales figure shows it suffers the most toward the end of the year.

Forget buying new, buy used

A photo of a Harley-Davidson Sportster on the road.
Harley-Davidson Sportster | Harley Davidson

Not that we’ve discussed what time of year you should buy, the next step is to skip buying a brand-new Harley Davidson entirely. Instead, you’ll maximize your savings by buying a used example. Let’s take the Sportster 883 as an example. According to Motorcycle Habit, the Sportster 883 depreciates around 18 percent in its first year alone. From there, it dips an additional six percent in year two. Things begin to stabilize around year three when the bike loses around five percent of its value year over year until it is 10 years old. As a result, you’ll get the absolute best deal on a Harley-Davidson if you purchase one that’s between three and 10 years old around the end of the year.