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How To Know If A Motorcycle Is Outside Your Budget

Finance | 08/19/2022 22:00

With the last few days of summer looming on the horizon, everyone is itching to make the most of it. And for a lot of people, that means getting in as many motorcycle rides as they can. 

It also means that it’s a great time to buy a motorcycle if you have been thinking about it. Many people sell their bikes as the summer winds down, so you might be able to get a great deal on your new wheels. But how do you know if it’s a motorcycle you can afford?

Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of buying a motorcycle and how you can decide if a motorcycle is outside of your budget.

How much does a motorcycle cost?

In general, buying a motorcycle is cheaper than buying a car. There is a pretty wide range of costs, depending on what type of bike you want. But there are additional costs that come with a motorcycle that you will also need to think about.

The motorcycle

A new motorcycle can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000. This is a pretty wide range, so it is important to do your research and determine what you are looking for in a motorcycle. Will this be a bike for commuting? Or is it for leisurely weekend drives? This can affect what type of bike you should select. There are lots of different types of bikes, such as cruisers, touring bikes, and standard motorcycles, which all vary in size and functionality. 

You should also decide which is better for you, a new bike or a used bike. Used bikes are significantly cheaper–you can usually find a decent one for less than $5,000–but they tend to need more maintenance and repairs.

Additional things to consider include:

  • Does it fit your height and weight?

  • Is it an appropriate engine size for your experience level?

  • Does it have the technology that you want?

Once you select the bike that you want, do research online to find the best prices. If you are a novice rider, you should consider going to a reputable dealer. They will help you determine which bike is the best choice for you as well find you the best deals around.

The repairs and maintenance

Motorcycles pose a much greater risk of injury to the driver than a regular car does. This means that keeping your motorcycle in top shape is extra important. Routine maintenance such as regular oil changes and tire replacement will keep you safer on the road. You should expect to pay about $1,000 per year on maintenance, with additional repair charges as needed.

The safety gear

While cars are outfitted with the latest and greatest safety mechanisms, motorcycles are not. Motorcycle safety requirements vary from state to state, but there is a general consensus that every rider should have a well fitting and protective helmet, a jacket, boots and protective pants. You can expect to pay up to $1300 on these safety items, but it’s well worth it (after all, it’s cheaper than a stay at the hospital).

The additional costs

In addition to the motorcycle, repairs, maintenance, and protective gear, there are other costs associated with buying a motorcycle.

  • Motorcycle License. In addition to your regular license, you will need a specific motorcycle license. These typically run about $30.

  • Motorcycle Insurance. Most states in the US require motorcycle insurance. The average price for annual insurance is about $700.

  • Riding Courses. Some states require you to take a riding course and skills test before issuing a motorcycle license. A typical riding course is about $100. These courses may make you eligible for insurance discounts, so they could pay for themselves over time.

All in all, a new $5000 motorcycle will cost you an additional $3000 in the first year, and another $1500 to $2000 per year after that (not including gas).

Can I finance a motorcycle?

Buying a motorcycle is similar to buying a car. You can finance it as you would any other vehicle, but you should consider the benefits and drawbacks of financing before you commit to any payment plan. 

The motorcycle payments you will have to make will depend on:

  • The price of the motorcycle. This will depend on if it’s new or used as well as the make, model, and year.

  • Any additional taxes and fees. You will have to pay sales tax as well as any administrative fees.

  • The interest rate you are offered. This will depend on your credit score, your income, and the market rates.

  • The down payment you make. It’s a good rule of thumb to put 10-20% down on your motorcycle. This will help stave off depreciation.

  • The repayment period you want. The shorter your repayment period is, the higher your payments will be as you have less time to pay the principal off. Keeping a shorter repayment period will also lessen the amount of interest you will have to pay over the life of the loan.

How do I know if a motorcycle is outside my budget?

Your motorcycle payments will depend on a lot of factors. It’s a good idea to sit down and come up with a budget to determine what you can afford. If you are planning to use your motorcycle to commute, you may find that its gas efficiency saves you some money on transportation costs. 

When you look at your budget, be sure to consider:

  • Your motorcycle payment

  • Your insurance payment

  • Safety gear

  • Maintenance and repairs

  • Additional fees

Lets say your motorcycle payment is $350 per month and insurance is $50 a month. You know that on average it is $1000 per year for maintenance. We can round that up to $100 per month. That means you need $500 every month to pay for your motorcycle. On top of that, be sure you are adding to your emergency fund in case an expensive repair pops up.

The only way to know if a motorcycle is outside of your budget is to sit down with your finances and do the math. 

That’s what you need to know about buying a motorcycle and how to decide if it’s outside of your budget.

Buying a motorcycle can be expensive. But with some planning and research you can be sure that is within your budget.

If you already own a motorcycle and think you might be overpaying on your monthly payments, consider refinancing your motorcycle loan with Auto Approve. We’ve helped thousands of bikers save money on their monthly payments. What are you waiting for? Head over to Auto Approve today to get your free quote!


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