Is a Motorcycle the Best Choice for You?
If you’re pondering the idea of zipping around town (or hitting the open road) with the wind in your hair on a motorcycle—you’re not alone. Now, more so than ever, is a great time to consider buying one because the variety of brands and styles on the market to choose from has never been better.
However, it’s important to weigh all the pros and cons of what two-wheeled vehicle ownership involves before you commit. Is a motorcycle the right choice for you? Let’s take a look.
Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle
Two-wheeled transportation isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone. Perhaps the biggest problem with a motorcycle is that they’re really only designed to carry one or two people. If you have a family, a motorcycle can be a hard purchase to justify because it cannot carry more than two passengers at a time or large amounts of cargo.
Like any major purchase, take the time to consider whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
- Cost: They typically cost less than cars.
- Good gas mileage: They often get better gas mileage than cars.
- Insurance affordability: They typically have lower insurance rates than cars.
- Easier to park: Due to their small size, it’s often easier to find parking.
- Nimbler commute: In some states, it’s legal to split lanes and drive between cars, making for a faster, easier commute.
- Safety concerns: You’ll be more vulnerable to the elements and potential traffic hazards.
- Weather: This is a big consideration, especially if this will be your primary transportation. Will you be willing to ride in all kinds of possible weather extremes— from hot and humid temperatures to cold, windy, rainy days?
- Gear expenses: Outfitting yourself properly for motorcycle ownership is a necessary investment. To help keep yourself safe and protected from the elements, flying debris, potential spills and traffic accidents, or even hot engine parts, you’ll need to budget for the following gear purchases: a helmet, leather or other reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, over the ankle footwear, and protective eyewear—are just a few of the accessories to consider.
- Longevity: Consider the long-term endurance of your investment. Motorcycles generally have less longevity than cars.
- Licensing requirements: Motorcycle licensing tests and permits are very different from those of a car. Are you prepared to take the necessary training courses and tests that will be required of you so that you can safely operate your new ride?
- Less cargo space: How do you plan to use your new transportation? Will you need to have extra space to comfortably transport groceries or laundry? Keep cargo space in mind when looking at the various models.
Extra Expenses to Consider
While costs will vary, there’s a good chance you’ll spend a lot less money on a bike than on a car, both up-front and over time. That can be very appealing if you need to get around on a budget. However, there are some costs associated with owning a motorcycle that you’ll need to keep in mind when creating your budget:
- All states require a motorcycle license to operate vehicles like this, and though licensing requirements may vary, you can expect to pay a fee.
- Training classes, which are a good idea if you’re a new rider.
- Protective gear is also important and in some states legally required.
- Though we’ve mentioned it already, don’t forget insurance. It may be cheaper than it is for the average car, but it’s still an expense you’ll need to consider.
- Repairs. Especially if you’re buying an older bike, you’ll want to be sure you have some money for any necessary repairs—like a nice emergency fund.
None of these expenses are likely to break the bank, but they’re costs you should keep in mind when deciding if a motorcycle can fit into your budget.
Can You Afford the Financing?
Before you buy, you should spend some time making a budget. Look at your overall finances and consider how much you can afford for a down payment. Then, look at your monthly finances and decide how much you can afford each month (don’t forget to include insurance). That will give you a good idea of what kind of price range to shop in—and, when you decide to buy, what length of a loan you’ll need.
Ready to Buy? Consider PenFed Motorcycle Financing
When you have decided to buy, PenFed has great motorcycle financing options for you. We currently offer 6.49% APR financing for both new and used motorcycles. Qualified members can get up to 100% of their vehicle financed, making it easy to get riding.
We’ll see you on the road!