Buying a Motorcycle at a Dealer

ATTENTION: Be prepared to satisfy any insurance requirements when you register & title your motorcycle.

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Buying a new motorcycle can be exciting.

If you’re a new rider who is learning to ride, a new bike might not be the best choice. You may want to consider buying a used motorcycle for your first one.

If you’re set on buying new, there are some things you should think about first to avoid buying the wrong bike or being surprised at the total cost.

This page will provide you with some tips for buying a motorcycle at a dealership, go over the steps, and cover all the dealer fees you can expect.

How to Buy a Motorcycle at a Dealership

For many motorcyclists, a trip to the local dealership can make you feel like a kid in a candy store. All these new bikes with the latest features, unscathed paint, shiny chrome, and not a speck of grime to be found.

But, don’t let that excitement blind you! It’s smart to go into the dealership with a plan of what you want and what you can expect to pay.

Here’s how to buy a motorcycle.

The first thing you’ll need to know – which may or may not be obvious – is that the newest bikes are pretty much always going to be the most expensive.

Older new motorcycles that have been at the dealership for a while will be where you’ll get the best deal.

Beware of add-ons and extras that the dealer may try to sell you. If you can negotiate these into the cost of the bike, great – if the dealer is pushing them onto you, they might be looking to squeeze a better profit.

Just like buying a used motorcycle through a private sale, buying at a dealership shouldn’t feel like a shady experience. Look for a reputable dealer that’s known for doing good business.

Not all dealerships may give you the opportunity to test ride the bike. If that’s the case, you may consider finding a demo day, borrowing a friend’s, or renting the motorcycle you’re thinking about for a day.

The bottom line is do your research and get to know the bike you’re thinking about. It’s probably a bad idea to buy a bike just because you think it looks cool.

Some other things you’ll want to do before heading to the dealership:

Motorcycle Dealer Fees

The out-the-door cost or the final price of a new motorcycle is different that the number you see with the MSRP.

Why? Well just like when you buy a car, there are some extra fees, costs, and taxes that come along with it.

Some common fees and taxes you’ll pay in addition to the MSRP include:

  • Shipping and transport fees.
  • Dealer setup fees.
  • Document fees.
  • Title and tags.
  • Sales tax.

Depending on the bike and where you live, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 over the listed MSRP.

Sometimes, you’ll have some room to negotiate here, other times it’s going to be more difficult.

If you’re trying to get the best price, it’s a smart idea to call or visit a few different dealerships in your area. If there’s a big difference in price at local dealers, you may be able to negotiate the sale down a bit in your favor.

In most cases, the dealer will send off your registration and title paperwork – if not, you can check out our guides on motorcycle registration and title requirements in your state.