Buying a Brand New Harley Davidson Vs. Buying Used
Harley riders know that there is nothing quite like the feeling of that V-Twin growling between your legs. Harley Davidson has developed a cult following for a myriad of reasons, one being that characteristic roar we have all grown to love. After spending over a century refining their bikes, Harley has built a following that reflects the quality they produce.
Buying a new Harley has its ups and downs, and before making a purchase there are a few things you should consider. For many riders, buying a brand new Harley may not be the right move.
Buying A New Harley
Whether you’re a new rider or a seasoned one, buying a bike can be a difficult process. Buying a brand new bike has its pros and cons, and if you’re a new rider, it may be better to get something used. Here are just a few things to consider when buying a new bike:
- Value You will likely never be able to resell a bike for the same price you paid for it when it was brand new. Bikes, just like cars, depreciate significantly after they have some miles. On average, a bike will depreciate 15-30% the minute you drive it off the lot.
- Fees Fees Fees There are significant fees and taxes added when buying from a dealership. Take the sticker price and add anywhere from $500-$2000. There can sometimes be more or less depending on your relationship with the dealer and your negotiation skills. Buying pre owned from a private seller will sidestep this whole process.
- Break-in Period Motorcycles have a break in period that require some extra TLC. This period is typically between 500 and 1000 miles. If you are a new rider, you may not have the skills or experience needed to properly break in a bike. Bikes that are not broken in properly generally get poor gas mileage and will likely incur more regular repair shop visits. They also typically run hotter than normal due to increased internal friction, in which case an UltraCool oil cooler can really help.
While the break-in period is seen as a negative by some, many experienced riders see it as a bonding experience. When you break in a motorcycle you get to know the factory quirks that are unique to every bike that comes off the line. Addressing and fine tuning these quirks can be a very positive experience for someone who knows what that to look for and how to fix them.
- Warranties When buying a new motorcycle, Harley dealerships typically offer a 2 year powertrain warranty. Used bikes will only have this warranty if they are bought within the warranty period. Harley Davidson also offers a factory rebuild on any of their bikes, new or used, and there is no time restriction on that service. It’s not a free service, but it’s significantly cheaper than buying a new Harley.
Buying a Used Harley
Many riders prefer to buy used bikes. To most riders a pre owned Harley is considered a better investment because of a variety of reasons, some being:
- Quality The Harley Davidson name carries a certain level of quality that hasn’t changed since its inception. Even pre owned bikes carry this level of quality.
- Aftermarket Upgrades There are a huge amount of upgrades that are made specifically for Harleys that can enhance your riding experience. Buying a bike from a private owner can give you a head start on those upgrades. Stock bikes may not come with fairings and saddlebags but you can easily find a pre owned one with these upgrades, and more.
- Durability Harleys are built to last. They are among the most durable machines on the planet. If you can find a pre owned bike that isn’t that old, you will avoid rapid depreciation without sacrificing any reliability.
- Price As stated above, new motorcycles depreciate very quickly. Buying a lightly used Harley will be significantly cheaper than buying a new one as the first buyer will have already eaten that lost value and paid all those pesky fees.
- Classics There are countless Harley models that are no longer made brand new. These vintage classics can only be bought used and will carry value on the simple basis that classic models are in high demand. Owners of these bikes generally take very good care of them, so there’s a good chance you will get a great bike.
Whether you decide to buy new or pre-owned, you need to learn how to take care of your baby. If you’re buying used, you want to do significant research before making a purchase. Knowing the history of your bike can help maintain it in the future.
V-Twin engines are known for running very hot, and one way to really make that engine happy is to get an oil cooling system from UltraCool. They are easy to install and will greatly increase the lifetime of your engine. Super heated oil causes many problems that will send you to the repair shop and compromise your safety.