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Tips For Riding in the Rain

What to Know About Researching & Buying a Motorcycle

Check out our recent live Facebook Q&A where we answered all of your burning questions about buying a motorcycle live and online. We also wanted to cover a few tips on the blog. We’ll break down the three major steps you need to take when browsing for a motorcycle and how to finalize your purchase. Let’s get started. 

Research. Research. Research.

Today, researching pretty much anything is as simple as heading to Google. Take advantage of all of the online information you have access to and begin hunting for your perfect bike. Dealership websites and online marketplaces like CycleTrader.com are perfect for getting started with your search. Thanks to filters, you can narrow down the bikes you’re looking at based on your personal wishlist. While you’re searching on these sites, remember to take a closer look at:

  • Photos: Scroll through all of the photos the seller has to offer. The seller should provide a variety of photos showing the full scope of the bike that paints a crystal clear picture. Want to see more pictures of a bike? Ask! This could be your future ride, and you need to know what you’re buying.
  • Videos: Videos kick things into high gear when it comes to browsing for a new motorcycle. Videos show the motorcycle “in real life” and can really give you a true feel of the bike and all that it has to offer. 
  • Descriptions: Don’t just take a look and photos and videos before making an offer. Make sure you take a good look at the description of the bike. The seller should highlight critical information like year, mileage, condition, technology integration, and more in the description. Does the seller skip those details? You may want to cross that bike off your list. 


Once you’ve found a bike you really like, we encourage you to save it and compare it to other bikes. Buying a motorcycle is a big decision, and it’s easy to fall for the first one that fits your criteria. Before committing to a purchase, research the dealer or seller before buying to make sure they are reputable. It may cost you some time, but it’ll save you from a bad deal.

Reach Out to the Seller.

Once you’ve found your ideal motorcycle, you don’t need to run to the dealership immediately. In the digital age, there are tons of options available for connecting with a seller before walking through their doors. There are the more traditional digital ways of communication, like phone calls and emails, but many dealers are also offering options like live chat, video chat, and texting. 

Video chats are awesome. Not only do you get to speak with the dealer, you also get to see them and the bike you’re interested in buying without leaving the comfort of home. When you video chat with a dealer you can:

  • Get a full visual inspection of the bike,
  • Hear the engine, 
  • Review any potential damage or parts,
  • Ask questions, and
  • Hear the sales pitch.


Don’t be afraid to reach out digitally. More and more dealers offer this kind of digital communication. And remember,
when reaching out to a dealer, don’t hesitate to request more photos, seek out additional details, ask questions, talk financing, make an offer, negotiate price, or communicate about anything else you think is important.

Ask About Virtual Buying Options.

Now it’s time for the fun part – buying your new bike. Depending on state laws and dealership policies, you might even be able to complete your transaction fully online. When you start the buying process, check with the seller to see if they offer…

  • Signing documents to finalize the sale of the bike,
  • Obtaining financing (from the dealership or 3rd party), or
  • Obtaining warranties (from the dealership or 3rd party).


Finally, you can also ask if the dealership has the ability to deliver the bike directly to your driveway if you’re local. If you live further away, check out shipping options if that interests you. During the entire online buying process, make sure you are keeping an eye out for any indicators of scams or fraud and double-check before sending personal information online.

After completing the steps above, you should be ready to ride in no time! If you’d like to take a deeper dive into researching, shopping, and purchasing motorcycles, check out our Facebook Live Q&A. And if you’re ready to buy today, head on over to CycleTrader.com. 

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Emily Sullivan
Emily Sullivan
Emily Sullivan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the recreational brands RV Trader and Cycle Trader. Her mission is to provide thoughtful, practical content to those who are always on the hunt for their next adventure.

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