Buy New Or Used For My First Motorcycle?

That’s the question I am thinking about loud about, Should I buy new or used for my first motorcycle? This new-verses-used bike indecision is what is going through my head right now.

In reality, I feel I have been spending too much time wondering and not thinking about it. So I made a list of the pros and cons of buying a new motorcycle versus buying a used motorcycle. I am open to suggestions, if you have any, please feel free to leave a feedback in the comments below.

Now buying a new first motorcycle sounds easy, just go to a dealer and pick out what you want and buy it. Here is my list of pros and cons with new first motorcycles.

Should I Buy New Or Used For My First Motorcycle, The Battle Begins!!!
Ready for riding, now need a motorcycle.

Buy A New Motorcycle For My First Bike Pros:

1. No Drop or Body Damage.

Motorcycles are frequently dropped; it happens. Falls from losing wheel traction, stopping on gravel, losing footing, or poor balance when moving the motorcycle by hand is typical.

2. New Motorcycle Tires.

Yes, new tired with 100% of tread for those new-tire-burn-outs.

3. Little Motorcycle Riding Start-up Costs.

What this means is no immediate schedule of motorcycle maintenance or waiting for motorcycle parts. The motorcycle is ready to ride.

4. The New Motorcycle Emotional High.

That feeling when you get a brand new toy and no one ever played with it. Something you can say was always your own, and no one else. Yeah, this one is weird.

5. A Motorcycle Ready To Ride.

Dealers can act as agents of the state and get your new motorcycle registered and street legal. Often they help with communicating with your motorcycle insurance carrier and get your bike covered on day one.

6. Easier Motorcycle Financing.

Now Not a fan of third-party financing, but many motorcycle dealers will have existing arrangements with local lenders to help you get financing. Not everyone is a guru with the bank lending process, and loans can be time-consuming if you’re not experienced with banks.

Even if you want to use your lender, your local bank, or credit union, dealers will help with filling out the loan application paperwork(VIN, make, model information) to speed up the process.  

7. New Motorcycle Warranty.

New bikes are advertised with new warranties, or even some states have implied warranties, or federal laws cover certain emission system warranties. This pro means if there is a defect, the seller will have to pay for repairs.

This feature is something some people love about buying new, and any problems are the seller’s problems. And because of this, many sellers will ensure a motorcycle is sale-ready before showing the motorcycle to you.

8. A Blank Canvas For Upgrades And Customization.

With a stock motorcycle, any customization will be yours. You can fine-tune how your motorcycle will look, feel and ride. Also, you can save any stock parts if you plan to sell your bike; many motorcycle purchasers will want the original parts when they buy the motorcycle used.

Having the original parts will help you with resale value. Also, you can replace the stock parts before the later sale if you want to.

Should I Buy A Used Bike For My First Motorcycle?

Buy A New Motorcycle For My First Bike Cons:

1. Motorcycle Cost.

Buying a motorcycle off the showroom floor is typically the most the motorcycle will ever cost. Its price includes the “new factor” cost and ancillary costs. Costs of the showroom, employee salaries, and necessary profit margins keep the Motorcycle Showroom open for business.

Some motorcycle manufacturers keep their costs low while still offering a snazzy-looking motorcycle. Royal Enfield as an example: Royal Enfield Himalayan A Good Beginner Motorcycle?

2. Motorcycle Insurance.

Face it. Most people buy motorcycles through financing. Even if your lender doesn’t require it, motorcycle insurance is a good idea. Losing your motorcycle due to theft, or an accident, is terrible.

Having to continue to pay for a lost motorcycle is just downright painful.  So you will want full-coverage which adds to the cost of new motorcycle.

3. The First Scuff.

Remember when you went to school with new sneakers, especially white ones, and how it felt when the first person stepped on your foot. Well, wait till you pay thousands for a motorcycle and notice the first mark. It could be a scratch from your boots.

Scratch from road gravel. Or maybe, parking lot damage. You know your new motorcycle is a shopping cart magnet.  


This no motorcycle test rides is a serious con for me. Motorcycle dealers will let you sit on a bike to test body ergonomics, but no test rides. The Dealer cannot risk letting a ‘stranger’ and possibly a new motorcycle rider ride an unfamiliar motorcycle. 

So based on the above pro-con list, should I buy a new motorcycle? Not done…

Buy A Used Motorcycle For My First Bike Pros:

1. The Reduced Bike Price!

There is an intrinsic cost(manufacture, showroom floor expenses, employees, profit margins, etc.), but the first buyer absorbed those costs. Now the motorcycle is worth what the used market is willing to pay and how desperate the seller is.

Some motorcycle sellers are very motivated, spouses wanting them to get rid of it, needing the money to upgrade, or just walking away from the hobby. With a motivated seller, you have the best chance to get a good used motorcycle at a low price.

This way, I would look for advertisements with “for sale motorcycle for sale by owner” labels. These are typically your motivated motorcycle sellers, and they are just trying to recover the cost of the motorcycle.

Dealers selling motorcycles are interested in covering the cost of the motorcycle, the cost of selling the motorcycle, and a profit margin to stay in business.  

2. Motorcycle Reviews.

You can research makes and models of motorcycles and find which ones have the reliability and fun factor characteristics you are looking for. 

3. Motorcycle Test Rides!

Now a motivated seller, seeing cash in hand, might let you test ride the motorcycle. The test ride might not always happen, but you have a better chance of getting that test ride than trying to test-ride a new motorcycle.

4. Cheaper Motorcycle Insurance.

Since the cost of a used motorcycle might be so low, you might opt not to get full coverage and use the savings towards any needed repair or even a motorcycle upgrade later on.

Should I Buy a New or Used Motorcycle - Beware of possible fraud?
Buyer-Beware almost zero miles, but look at the bike’s condition.

Buy A Used Motorcycle For My First Bike Cons:

1. Hidden Damage And Fraud.

The motorcycle seller might have damage that is covered up, forgotten, or not even know. The motorcycle seller might even lie about the condition of the bike. This con is a severe risk, and an educated buyer is the only defense.

2. Wear And Tear.

Everything wears out with time, and why we have to replace parts as we continue to ride the motorcycle. These warn-out parts can the tires, the brake pads, even a seat cushion.

Again and educated buyers will recognize typical motorcycle maintenance items and factor them into the actual value of the motorcycle.

3. Not Ready To Ride.

This con can be simply a maintenance item, like a bad battery. With something as simple as a bad battery, many motorcycles cannot even start. Also, severe motorcycle damage can prevent the safe riding of the motorcycle.

Some states will not allow even newly purchased motorcycles on the road without a complete registration process. Insurance, if you have a less-than-friendly insurance provider, you might not get coverage immediately and risk some serious problems if you suffer an accident just riding the motorcycle home.  

4. That Used Feeling.

The sense you are using something that has lost the luster of being a new motorcycle. The dull color for sun-faded paint. The lack of shine due to wind-worn clear coats.

It can take the fun out of owning a bike. Prepare for this. It can sometimes make a person turn away from a good used motorcycle solely because it might need a good washing.

5. No Warranty Or Reduced Warranty Coverage.

Now, this con might be different with who is selling the motorcycle, dealers often offer some warranty, or your state might even have some lemon law that applies to used motorcycle purchases. Often I see motorcycles ‘as-is’ from private sellers and many dealer sellers. Buyer-beware.

After Laying This Out, How Should I Buy A Bike?

Putting It All Together: Buy New Or Used For My First Motorcycle?

This list, used versus new motorcycle, is just a mental reference tool and might help me initially decide how to go with looking for my first motorcycle.

Choosing between a new or used first motorcycle will come down to the individual sale opportunity. I might not lean towards used or new if I can get a cheap option, but toward closing the deal.

Decisions, decisions, I want to start riding motorcycles, so I haven’t even decided with I want a cruiser, adventure, or dual sport. At this point, I want to get my ‘knees in the breeze,’ so maybe a moped is in my future.

It might be safer for me and my wallet to go with the moped solution, but this sounds funny. But, first I’ll try to decide should I buy a new or used motorcycle. FYI, looking for Looking For Motorcycle Riding Buddies… to learn from and answer new rider questions like mine.

New or Used Motorcycle, I just want to feel like a bird in the wind.  EAGLES! (Scrubs reference).
I want to feel like a bird in the wind!

Stay tuned. I might come down to an actual decision soon. Maybe. Share what your experience has been…

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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