Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

Home / Blog / Motorcycle Insurance / What Are The Tips Before Buying A Second Hand Motorcycle

Tips on Buying a Second Hand Motorcycle: Read This Before You Buy

Tips on Buying a Second Hand Motorcycle: Read This Before You Buy

Buying a used bike is practical for many reasons. Whether you’re an avid biker or new to the world of motorcycles, buying used can save you money and still get you access to great rides. But not all used bikes are the right buy, so you’ll want to know what to look for (and avoid) before you start shopping around for your next ride.

Keep reading for tips on buying second-hand motorcycles so you can hit the road in your dream ride.  

Free Motorcycle Insurance Comparison - Save up to 30%

No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.

No Signup required

Choose Motorcycle Type

One of the most important tips on buying second hand motorcycle bikes is to know what you’re looking for before you start shopping, or else it can quickly become overwhelming. If it’s not your first motorcycle, you might already have a model in mind. Otherwise, you’ll want to ensure the bike you choose lines up with the riding experience you’re looking for. For example, are you looking to do longer road trips or are you aiming for shorter trips around town? There are so many options to choose from, including:
  • Standard
  • Cruiser
  • Sport Bike
  • Touring 
  • Off Rod
  • Moped
  • Dual Sport
  • And more
By having a good idea of how you’ll use the bike and the type of bike you want, you’ll be able to narrow down your search and find great options faster. 

Find Options

Now comes the fun part. You get to shop around for your dream used bike! Keep in mind that the source of your used bike could be either a dealership or a private seller, and both are great options. You may have more trust in buying from a dealership, but you can find some incredible deals on private sales. Either way, be sure to do your research on each particular bike before closing the sale. 

Compare Prices

Once you’ve found a great option, it’s time to do your homework. You’ll want to compare the cost to market prices for the same make and model to ensure you’re paying a fair price. NADA Guides and Kelley Blue Blue can help you be sure the price is right for each bike based on its make, age, and condition. 

It’s not a bad idea to also research the cost of maintenance and parts for that bike, so you get an idea of how much you might be spending down the line. If parts are hard to find or expensive, then the great deal on the bike might not be such a great deal after all. 

Free Motorcycle Insurance Comparison - Save up to 30%

No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.

No Signup required

Inspect the Bike

Now that you’re fairly confident you’ve found the right bike, it’s time to visit your potential new bike in person. This step is critical because you’ll be able to inspect the bike and even hopefully take it for a test ride.  There are a few things you’ll want to look for, including:
  • Tires are in good condition without excessive wear
  • Check the body for scratches, dings, and rust
  • The fuel tank should be free of rust and dents
  • The drive chain and sprocket should not be easy to move
This also gives you a chance to chat to the owner or dealership about the history of the bike and its maintenance, so you have a better understanding of what you’re buying. 

Don’t Forget Insurance

Once you’ve found your dream bike, make sure you secure motorcycle insurance before you pick up your new ride. Motorcycle insurance is similar to car insurance, but you can’t use your existing car insurance for a bike and you want to have the best insurance in place to protect your new ride.  Just like car insurance, you’ll want to choose the level and type of coverage you need, keeping in mind that each state has minimum amounts of coverage you’ll need to have before getting on the road. You’ll most likely need to have at least bodily injury liability insurance in place, but you can also add other coverage on top of that, including:
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Property damage
  • Personal injury protection 
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical payments
  • And more
It’s always a good idea to have more coverage than you think you might need, for peace of mind and financial protection. You might even consider pay-per-mile insurance if you’re not planning on riding your bike very far or often so that you’re only paying for the insurance you use. No matter which route you go, you’ll want to ensure your coverage is ready to go for the day you pick up your bike. ConsumerCoverage gets you free quotes quickly and in many cases, you can even start your coverage today. 

Key Takeaways: Tips on Buying 2nd Hand Motorcycle

Buying a used motorcycle can save you money while riding fantastic bikes. But like buying anything used, there are always risks involved. These tips on buying a secondhand motorcycle will help you steer clear of the pitfalls of buying a used one and land a superior bike for the right price. 

Insurance is easy to overlook, but it’s just as important for a used bike as for a brand new motorcycle. Be sure to explore your coverage options and decide how much protection you’d like so that you can set up the right coverage before taking your new (to you) bike for its first ride. Start by getting access to free quotes quickly thanks to ConsumerCoverage, so you can check “insurance” off your list. 

Happy cruising!

Lauren Lewthwaite Lauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.

Stay Up-to-Date
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive alerts, offers, education, and updates in your inbox.