So, it’s time to replace your motorcycle. Maybe you want something a little bigger, with a little more oomph. Where do you start?
The internet is a great place to begin. Not only can you research the specs and prices of bikes you are interested in, but you may just find what you are looking for down the street, or in the next town.
Here are a few tips for buying a bike online.
1. First, it’s a good idea to only buy a bike that you can physically examine and evaluate in person. That means you should use online sources only as a way to find bikes that are within a reasonable driving distance. Unless you’re looking for something really rare, you can probably avoid buying something sight unseen.
2. A good place to start your online search is www.americanmotorcyclist.com under “Shop” in the Members Only Classifieds section https://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Shop/AMA-Classifieds. Although the ads can be read by anyone, only AMA members can list bikes so you know you’ll be buying from an experienced motorcyclist.
3. Another popular site is www.cycletrader.com, but be aware that a large number of the listings there are new models being sold by dealers.
4. The local “motorcycles for sale” pages of Craig’s List are another good web-based source, although these listings tend to be grouped around large metropolitan areas.
5. Auction sites like eBay are another possibility, but in our opinion they aren’t the bargain-producers they once were. Good deals can be found, but generally, auction sites are a better place to sell than to buy.
6. Among the best online sources are model-specific Internet forums and”communities, made up of owners of specific types of bikes. Many have “For Sale” and “Wanted To Buy” areas that can be gold mines. The benefit here? At least you know the seller had access to the maintenance resources of the discussion board, and the ads are usually policed in some way by a user group that is very familiar with that particular bike.
7. Don’t forget dealership websites. You can find new and used bikes here, and you know that the dealership has gone through the used machines to make sure they are in top working order. If you need financing and don’t want to go through your own bank or credit union for whatever reason, this may be the way to go. Plus, you may get some kind of warranty on a used machine, and may be able to negotiate extras, like a spiffy new helmet, as part of the deal.
8. Finally, the local newspaper can still be a great source. Also, the local broadsheet is always more likely to have the proverbial “Motorcycle for sale. Black.” ad that turns out to be the bike you’ve been coveting.