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Planning to buy a used motorcycle as your chopper?
But considering the rising prices of used bikes, chances are you’re in for a shock.
So why are used motorcycles so expensive? And is there a lack of quality cheap bikes in the market?
Keep reading to find out.
Reasons Why Used Motorcycles Are Getting Expensive – Are Cheap Used Bikes an Extinct Species?
Think about this…
A 2008 Suzuki GSX-R750 that has run around 13000 miles can be listed with a price tag as high as $8,000.
If you compare that with the prices of used sports bikes 10 years back, one thing is for sure. The prices have gone up steeply.
The fact is, specific models in the used bike market are in high demand and are super popular among particular age groups. That makes them super expensive as well.
So what’s going on?
Frankly, finding the exact reasons behind that isn’t an easy task at all. However, here are some theories that make the most sense.
1. Blame it on the pandemic
As if Covid-19 has not done enough damage to human society already, it decided to impact the motorcycle market as well.
The pandemic has not only made the market for new bikes more complex but has also impacted the price of used products.
More specifically, it’s related to social distancing. Now, that is one life reality you can’t avoid.
(Imagine me yelling at my parents for going out!)
Since motorcycles and scooters provide independent methods for travelling, they have become a great substitute for public transport or mass transit systems.
This rise in popularity has resulted in a higher demand for used motorcycles.
But that’s not all…
Many small companies that made motorcycle parts were shut down for the better part of 2020. The disruptions in the supply chain have impacted the manufacturing of new motorcycles
I bet you have heard about the microchip shortage in the car industry. Sadly, that affects the motorcycle industry as well.
What’s more, the shortage is likely to continue till 2023.
Moreover, the shortage of shipping containers made the process of shipping and delivery of new motorcycles much slower.
As a result, the used motorcycle emerged as an imperfect, but practical substitute. Many active dealers shifted to selling used motorcycles. And most of them reported that used bikes were selling like hotcakes.
Do I need to tell you about the supply and demand equation?
With higher demand, the prices are bound to rise. The same thing happened to the used bikes. Especially the used market for adventure and dual-sport motorcycles.
If it’s any consolation, I can tell you that the pandemic has not raised the price of used motorcycles alone. Other outdoor recreation items like bicycles, kayaks, RVs, and jet skis have also become more expensive.
2. More time and… money
It goes without saying that going out for a ride sounds like a great idea after weeks of isolation.
(It was all Zoom and gloom for weeks.)
In addition, in the past two years, people had more time for leisure activities. And a motorcycle can be a great alternative for activities like sports and travel, which weren’t happening.
Besides, motorcycling is one activity that satisfies all the precautionary requirements of the period.
That’s fine, but how do you expect people to have extra money? Didn’t unemployment rates rise?
Yes, it did. But that’s not the whole story.
Many Americans received a check of $1,200 as a part of the stimulus package under the CARES Act.
For many, this was a lifesaver. For some others with a job, this was something like pennies from heaven.
There were others who received unemployment benefits as well as cash payments. In some cases, they earned more than they were earning from their old jobs.
(Who would have thought…?)
Moreover, with activities like travel and entertainment disrupted, people had more spare money to spend in their hands.
No wonder they used these spare dollars to buy cheap entertainment options like a used motorcycle. And when riders are ready to pay higher prices, there’s hardly any chance of the prices dropping.
3. Inflated prices
The fact is, people are selling their bikes directly through eBay and social media pages like Facebook groups. Even ancient channels such as bike forums! Experts say that most people check the average online prices and over-value the prices of their bikes.
And this goes on like a chain reaction with the prices rising higher and higher with every new seller. Even auctions come with bikes that have a high price tag.
However, it’s unlikely that dealers will offer the same price. For example, dealers give the bikes service and add an extra warranty to used bikes. These factors have to be taken into account.
That means, even if you pay a high price and buy a used bike from a social media page, don’t skip the inspection process. Or else, you might end up with a motorcycle with a worn out drive chain or a damaged rear wheel.
Here’s what the experts are saying…
The quality of used motorcycles and dirt bikes under the $1,500 price tag, has fallen considerably in the past few years. Honestly, anything below $2,000 will be nothing else but a bad investment.
I’ve to say, buying from the right dealer will provide you with the best value.
4. Motorcycles are getting more expensive
Here’s the most important reason behind the higher price of used bikes.
In the current market, even cheap motorcycles aren’t cheap enough. While today’s motorcycles look similar to a model from the 1980s, a lot has changed in terms of technology. Even quality tires have become SUPER expensive!
Think about features like more sophisticated engines, electronic ignition, ABS, disc wheels and much more. Since the new bikes are costlier, it’s only natural that the used versions will be priced higher too.
Not to forget, you have to consider the high rate of inflation.
Also, when it comes to motorcycles like Harley cruisers, you can’t ignore the impact of premium branding. Moreover, if you like shiny things like chrome, you’ll have to shell out extra for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are used motorcycles more expensive now?
There are multiple reasons behind used motorcycles getting pricier. While the pandemic has hit the supply of new bikes, it has also raised the demand for motorcycles. This has affected the used motorcycle market as well. The general rise in the price of motorcycles (and their parts) is another reason, coupled with frequent supply chain disruptions.
Is there a shortage of used motorcycles?
Yes, there is a shortage in the supply of used motorcycles in the market due to the pandemic. The shortage, along with the high demand for motorcycles has impacted the prices in the used bike market. This is expected to continue till the supply chain issues are resolved.
Are second hand motorbikes worth it?
Buying a second hand bike as your first ride isn’t a bad idea. But you need to check the VIN to ensure that the motorcycle is legit. Next, check the mechanical and safety aspects of the bike to assess its overall condition. Finally, take a test ride.