Posts Tagged ‘buying a bike’

Clearly, the cheapest, and probably best way to start riding is to get on Craigslist and buy a used bike. There isn’t a lot to add to that, but there are a few tips I can give the new-to-riding.

First, patience. I missed a GREAT deal on a 2005 Suzuki M50 because I was at a training even with my National Guard unit. I had lined up to give something like $4200 for the Suzuki. But someone else snapped it up. I was pissed. Well, the following Monday, I headed down to the family farm where I work as a migrant laborer(thanks for the bang-up economy, Mr.Prez…). Before I set off on the tractor, I checked Craigslist, and there I found my Honda. I saw the 2007 Honda Shadow Spirit C2 with 5000 miles listed for $3000 and I called right away. The bike had been listed for about two hours when I made arrangements for a test-ride. My local bike shop had two 2005 Shadow 750DCs on the floor with 7000-15000 miles for $4500, so I feel like I got a pretty good deal. I still haven’t found a comparable bike for less than $3500–but the guy selling mine was set to deploy to Kuwait for a year and wanted to buy a Harley on active duty, but his wife said the Honda had to go before he got a new one; so I got a deal.

If you watch Craigslist, or for that matter, the inventory at your local bike shop, deals come and go every day. Just because you miss one doesn’t mean another one won’t come along soon. The best time to buy is probably late in the riding season when everyone’s looking to trade for a bigger/better ride. The best time to sell is around the first couple of nice days in spring, and folks will pay ridiculous cash just to get out and enjoy the weather.

Second, do your homework. Ride a bunch of different kinds of bikes if at all possible. If you’re like me and have had some previous riding experience, then get a bigger bike right away so you don’t outgrow it as I have done with my 750C2. Also, make sure to ride different types of bikes. You might find, as I did, that a “standard” like the Triumph Bonneville is a better fit than a cruiser or a supersport. Or you might find you like being scared half to death and riding in an uncomfortable position and buy a supersport. You never know!

That’s about it. Go in with as much information as possible, pay cash (going in debt on a bike is dumb. sorry, it just is), and get the bike you want–not the bike your friends want you to get.