From Harley Davidsons to Kawasaki Ninjas - Australians have had a long love-affair with motorcycles.
And while they may be less costly to buy than a car, you should approach the purchase with the same considered thought.
There are a number of factors to consider when bike shopping.
Naturally, the first consideration should be price. Buying a motorcycle is a considerable investment and the cost will vary greatly between models.
In addition, you will need to factor in costs that go beyond buying the bike itself. Consider your insurance and upkeep, such as servicing costs and maintenance. Depending on the style of riding you do, you may need to replace parts such as tyres, drive belts and chains more often.
Unlike a car where you can drive in virtually any clothing, riding a bike requires protective gear such a helmet, a jacket, gloves and boots - all of which must be worn at all times. These items can be quite expensive and will eventually need to be replaced.
If you're new to riding, you may also want to pay for lessons.
Your level of experience should guide your purchasing decision, as it will help you determine the amount you spend on your bike as well as the style of bike you purchase. Consider whether you'd prefer an off-road or road bike, a cruiser etc. Make sure your decision fits your lifestyle and habits. Do you plan to ride the bike daily, or would you prefer something you can enjoy for a weekend cruise?
The weight of a bike will dictate the type of riding you do and will largely depend on your frame. Heavier bikes are generally harder to manoeuvre and will be much harder to get off the ground if you drop it.
New v. used
If you're an inexperienced rider, you should consider saving yourself some money and buy a second-hand bike. Inexperienced riders are more prone to drop their bikes and the last thing you'd want to do is damage your brand new toy. You may also find that your riding style and preferences change as you become a better rider and buying a used bike will allow you to upgrade with the peace of mind that you haven't spent a fortune.
Of course, there are downsides to buying a used bike, as you have less choice and depending how old the bike is, it may not come with a manufacturer's warranty. When buying used, the trick is to be patient, as you never know when the bike you want could become available. You should also ask for a service history and get the bike checked for crash damage. Where possible, take the bike for a ride before buying.
If you have the budget to buy new, you will be able to choose the exact bike you want.
If there's one rule when buying a motorcycle, it's to be informed. Know what you want and have a clear expectation of how much you're going to spend. Happy riding!
And remember, if you need help with financing or would just like more information about the vehicle buying process, speak to your local Mortgage Choice broker today!