Buying a Motorcycle

Thinking about buying a Bike?

true cost of owning a motorcycleAutumn (aka end of riding season in the Northeast) is a great time to get a good price on the purchase of a pre-owned motorcycle from a private party.

Late in the fall through the middle of winter is prime because people thinking about buying a new bike know they won’t be riding over the winter. They don’t want to store their old bike over the winter. Nor do they want to pay for a new one that they won’t be riding, so they plan on buying in the spring.

After they have had their last fun ride of the season they are eager to bank some money for their new one.

So why does this period extend until mid winter? Because if the bike is not selling the owners tend to drop the prices as November turns to December.

Conversely, spring and summer is the worst time to buy. Tax return time rolls around, so people have some money to put towards a bike. Savvy sellers know these trends and command top dollar.

Motorcycle “True Cost of Ownership” Aspects

You should be aware of all of the costs of owning and operating a motorcycle prior to shopping; especially if this is your first motorcycle.

You may choose to calculate based on a full year, six months to match most insurance premium periods, or monthly. The key is to compare each item in the same time frame.

Price of the Bike

Whether you bought from a dealer or a private party, the amount you actually paid is the starting point.

Interest on Your Loan

If you took a loan to buy the bike, either use your monthly payments if you are calculating monthly cost, or multiply by six or twelve for semi-annual cost or annual cost. Don’t forget to include your down payment.

Taxes and fees

If you purchased from a dealer, be sure to include the sales tax you paid, as well as any dealer fees.

License and Permit

If it is your first bike, be sure to include the cost of getting a motorcycle learner’s permit.

If you are under 18 years of age and do not have a drivers license, you will be required to get a motorcycle permit, after completing a drivers education course.

More info here

Be sure to account for the cost of the license plate as well.

Maintenance and Repairs

Annual maintenance costs are going to be an estimate, unless you have some special gifts to see into the future.

The main point is to allot some money for the unexpected repairs by knowing the replacement cost of parts and the average life of items like tires, electrical components, head and tail lamps, and so on.

A new bike will have little to no repair needs under normal riding conditions for three or more years. Conversely, used bike maintenance and repair costs could be immediate and will vary greatly depending on the age and condition of the bike you purchased.

It is usually best to overestimate the repair costs to account for the completely unexpected, rather than have a shortfall that prevents you from riding.

Insurance Premiums

Obviously motorcycle insurance is a Pennsylvania Commonwealth requirement. However, the minimum amounts required by law are absolutely not adequate to cover most riders after an accident.

To make matters worse, many vehicle drivers that you will be sharing the road with are either uninsured altogether or under-insured.

What does this mean for you? It means you need to carry enough insurance coverage to counteract this deficiency.

Why? Because all the money that is usually available to get your bike fixed, your medical bills paid and you back to earning income may come solely from your insurance.

It is no joke. Inadequate insurance can ruin your future.

So make sure to buy as much insurance as you can afford, with adequate UM/UIM coverage.

Learn more about motorcycle accident insurance shortfalls, call Lee at 1-888-292-5352 before hitting the road.

Protective Riding Gear

Can you ride your bike without leathers? Sure, but motorcycle riding gear, such as boots, jackets, leggings, and gloves are an important layer of protection when it comes to motorcycle safety. And most importantly, budget for a good motorcycle helmet.

Don’t skimp on paying for durable and proven riding gear. It is good insurance that you only pay for once.

Costs vary greatly from buying used gear on Craigslist to local dealers or online merchants. Just choose a reputable source and if buying used, check for protective integrity.

One source is Philadelphia’s own Revzilla (, offering gear and expert gear for any type of rider.

Estimated Fuel Costs

Another item that only you can estimate is the cost of your fuel.

It is simple to calculate by estimating how many miles you will be riding in the time frame you are calculating (monthly, bi-annually, or annually), figuring the average dollars per gallon your local stations charge, and asking whomever you purchased from the average miles per gallon the motorcycle gets.

Why Calculate The True Cost Before Buying?

The most important reason to calculate the true cost of ownership may be an unexpected one – protection.

Think about it this way, what elements from the above list are you probably going to skimp on when money gets tight?

If you are like most people, it will be the motorcycle insurance, and the protective gear.

Most people don’t put enough consideration into those items. Why? Because they never think about accidents in that happy moment when they are purchasing their new toy.

As an experienced Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer I can assure you motorcycle accidents do happen! And they can happen to anyone, at any time while riding.

Please don’t make the error in judgement of that you are a safe enough driver that you can avoid the drivers who are not. Or assuming other people carry adequate insurance to cover your motorcycle injuries in an accident.

You Don’t Have to be in an Accident to Call Lee

Please call me at 1-888-292-5352 to get my take on how much motorcycle insurance you may need. I am passionate about helping motorcycle riders before and after an accident occurs, so don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and learn more about what I do for riders in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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