Buying a new motorcycle is an exciting experience and it can be tempting to buy the first bike to catch your eye. However, there are lots of important factors you should consider before you buy.
To help you make the right decision, Moneybarn has put together its top tips on budgeting for a new motorbike, so you get the best possible vehicle for you.
If you know what type of riding you plan on doing—track days, commuting, touring, or just cruising around town—you can usually narrow your options before even hitting the shops.
The first question is what size bike you should buy. Remember if you’re just starting out a big Harley or a powerful sports bike is probably not the safest choice.
You could start with a 250cc bike; this will definitely be the easiest to learn on, but you’ll probably outgrow it within a few months. Something in the 500-600cc range, on the other hand, will probably stay fun for a long time, even as your skills improve.
Engine size isn’t the only factor, either: Some 600cc vehicles can perform like a race bike capable of serious acceleration and high top speeds. Again, this is probably not the best choice for beginners.
Expenses to watch out for
Once you’ve decided upon your most appropriate vehicle, you’ll need to calculate the additional expenses associated with riding. For example, it’s a good idea to check the current insurance rates, as this is one of the biggest costs of owning any kind of vehicle.
Going for a high-performance motorcycle might seem like fun but it will be much more expensive to insure (and buy!) a top-end bike.
Safety gear is something else you need to budget for. Protective boots, gloves, trousers, a jacket and importantly a crash helmet are the basics to start you off. This amount of good quality gear can add up to a substantial amount of money.
You’ll also need to think about tax and fuel costs; the essentials to getting your bike on the road.
Fishing for finance
When you find ‘the one’, you may not be lucky enough to have the cash in the bank ready to pay for it in full upfront. Fortunately, you have some options to help you buy your dream bike, such as finance.
However, before you go any further, you need to work out if finance is the right option for you.
For one thing, you’re signing up for a long-term commitment. Are you prepared to still be paying for your bike after 3 or 5 years of ownership? Or do you tend to get bored quickly and want to swap vehicles every 12 months?
Missing any payments can also affect your credit rating and your motorbike could be repossessed, so make sure you are honest with yourself what you can realistically afford before you sign on the dotted line.
This is where things can add up. Cars go a lot longer between service intervals compared to motorbikes and, depending on how hard you ride, you may have to change at least the rear tyre every 3,000 miles.
Maintenance intervals can run anywhere between 5,000 and 20,000 miles, depending on the motorcycle. Add in regular oil changes, chain maintenance and various other odds and ends, and you could expect to spend a minimum of around £500 per year just on maintenance.
That said, riding a motorbike is one of the most enjoyable experiences and with our helpful tips, you’ll be on the road in no time with your perfect bike. But to ensure you get the most out of your bike and it stays safe throughout the year, regular maintenance checks are essential.