Buying A Used Motorcycle: Showroom vs. Private Sale

Posted August 10 2017
by PenFed Your Money
Buying a Used Motorcycle: Showroom vs. Private Sale - PenFed Your Money Blog

If you’ve seen Navy vet and motocross maven Jacqueline Carrizosa astride her motorcycle, or Army and Air Force veteran Will Willis out on his daily ride, you know there’s no feeling quite like flying along on your own motorcycle. Take a look for yourself: PenFed is a proud sponsor of the docu-series featuring veterans Carrizosa and Willis and their love for motorcycles, Paving the Way, in association with We Are the Mighty.

As National Motorcycle Week revs up August, PenFed is offering powerful motorcycle loans at great rates that can get you onto more machine with lower payments. An approved loan in hand is sure to get you plenty of attention from sellers. Will you get a better deal from a motorcycle dealership or a private seller?

Dealer vs. private seller

A bright, shiny showroom can bolster your confidence in getting a quality machine at the same time as it can send your confidence about paying for all those bells and whistles plummeting. But buying from a dealership covers many of the areas that might concern you the most.

A used bike being sold by a dealership is likely to come with some sort of warranty, even if it’s limited. If you’re having a hard time finding a used bike with the features you want, a dealership might be able to get you the service or upgrades you want as part of a purchase deal. Dealers can often get you started with registration, licensing and all the paperwork that comes to mind when you think of buying a new vehicle of any type. In some states, dealers can even sell you insurance. If you’re a first-time motorcycle owner, making your purchase from a motorcycle dealer could be a reassuring route to take.

If you’re looking to score a hot deal for less cash, buying from a private owner could get you more bike for less money. Buyer beware: you’ll have to inspect the motorcycle yourself or find a mechanic or someone you trust to give it a clean bill of health. Some owners will happily provide service receipts and documentation, but others may not, leaving you behind the curve when it comes to making sense of your new ride’s mechanical parts and accessories and piecing together its maintenance history. And of course, anything that happens after the purchase, including all the paperwork, is up to you.

Inspecting your potential purchase

Your initial impression about a used motorcycle says a good deal more about its mechanical condition than you might expect. A clean, shiny bike with tires that match and no skid marks or scratches on places like the grips or the seat generally indicate a bike that’s been well cared for.

Even a first-time owner can effectively look for warning signs of poor maintenance or condition like these:

·      obvious scratches or damage anywhere on the bike, including the brake and clutch levers, engine case, foot pegs and exhaust pipes

·      leaking fluids

·      uneven tread across the tires

·      a VIN (vehicle identification number) that shows signs of tampering

Be sure to take a test drive. At a dealer, you may have to sign an insurance waiver first; with a private seller, you may have to leave your license as security. During your ride, check that the suspension, brakes and gears all work smoothly and effectively.

Ride away on a new adventure

PenFed’s low rate motorcycle loans applies to new, used and refinanced bikes with loans between $6,000 and $40,000 for 12 to 48 months. Used and refinanced loan maximums are limited by NADA retail value, and loan terms are based on the amount of your loan and the model year of the motorcycle. Up to 100 percent financing is available to qualified members.

There’s never been a better time to experience the open road on your own motorcycle. Whether you’re looking for your first bike or you’re a seasoned rider, put some torque into your buying power with a motorcycle loan from PenFed.

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