Are you planning to buy a motorcycle and don’t know when to do it? Choosing the best time to buy a motorcycle may be depended on your circumstances and sometimes the best time to buy a motorcycle is just when you have enough money for it anyways if you are flexible, there are some factors to consider to close the best deal.
Find more statistics at Statista
As you can see on the chart above, the average price of motorcycles is more or less constant through the years as from 2014 to 2022 there was only a slight price change. However, there are certain periods of the year/month, even a week when you have a bigger chance to get a better deal. Read on to see the details.
When is the best time to buy a motorcycle? In short:
February – If you want a leftover Brand new bike on rebate at a Dealer.
Spring – If you want a decent amount of offers and a variety of used bikes to choose from.
Fall – If you want a better price but still have some choice on the used motorcycle market.
This comment above summarizes the main logic behind choosing the best time to buy a motorcycle. In the article, I’ve prepared for you a detailed guide on when to buy and when not to buy a motorcycle either new or used.
When is the best time to buy a motorcycle? Whether buying new or used, the colder months are when the best deals can be found. Motorcycle dealerships need to sell excess stock to make room for the new Spring inventory which can mean lower prices. On the other hand, private parties who wish to sell the bike also tend to do it after the season, during the cold months when they won’t be able to ride for a while and don’t want to keep their bike standing unused.
When an irresistible deal pops up
Occasionally, a deal that is too good to miss arises, particularly in the used motorcycle market, where bikes can be bought and sold quickly. Sometimes, a motorcycle can even be found at a significantly lower price than its market value. In such cases, it is advisable to take advantage of the opportunity if you have the financial means to do so. Currently, there are many lightly used large bikes available in the used market, as pandemic-related restrictions are easing, and people who started riding during the lockdown are returning to their usual routines.
Consider buying the models from last year
If it’s last year’s model and it’s not a current model, there are deals on those whether they’re from the dealership or they’re from the factory. So, for example, for Indian, if you come in and you want to buy a 2022 Roadmaster or a 2023 Roadmaster on 22s, they may have trade and incentives or super cheap financing, and they don’t have that on new models. So, it gives you the incentive to look at the older model. Plus usually, there are no major changes from year to year. Only some minor changes like the paint scheme, so if there’s nothing that the latest model has that makes you absolutely have to have that one, then you could save some money.
Why Is Winter The Best Time To Buy A Motorcycle?
The primary reason for this phenomenon is that during the winter months, there is a decrease in the number of motorcycles on the road. Many riders prefer to ride their bikes only in dry and warm weather, leaving only the dedicated year-round riders to brave the cold. This results in a reduction in the number of customers visiting dealerships in search of a new motorcycle. Consequently, dealerships are more inclined to reduce their prices to clear out their old stock. The trend also extends to the market for used motorcycles, as there are typically fewer buyers during the colder months, leading to lower prices for sellers. It is common to find low-mileage, lightly used motorcycles being sold only a few months after their initial purchase. As a result, it is possible to purchase a nearly new motorcycle for up to 20% less than its retail price, as it depreciates quickly after being driven off the dealership by the original owner.
Best time to buy a motorcycle from Private seller
Private sellers are more likely to offer a good deal on a motorcycle after the summer riding season. This could be due to planning to upgrade in spring, not wanting the bike to sit unused in winter, or financial difficulties from Christmas bills. Winter can be a good time to find private sales, as some people may have bought a bike in spring but realized it’s not for them. This can lead to much low mileage, barely broken-in used motorcycles being sold for at least 20% cheaper than retail price, making it a great opportunity for those looking for a bargain.
The best time to buy a used motorcycle is either at the beginning or end of the season when there are a lot of motorcycles being offered for sale, which tends to push prices down. At the end of the season, people want to get rid of their bike after enjoying it for one last season, while those who sell at the start of the season may be in a hurry to sell their bike to buy another one.
Therefore, sellers at these times may be more willing to give a discount.
April and September are typically the best months to buy a used motorcycle on Craigslist, but this may depend on the length of the motorcycle season in your location.
Best time to Buy a Motorcycle From Local Dealerships
There are several reasons to wait until the winter months to buy a motorcycle from a dealership. Dealerships often have sales targets to meet, and if they haven’t met them by October or November, prices of motorcycles in stock may be reduced. Manufacturers also start to hint at new models due to be released, and dealerships will start to prepare for the release of the new model by slowly decreasing the prices of current stock. Pre-owned bikes are often the first to have prices slashed. At the end of the year, if a particular model hasn’t sold well, the dealership may put together discounts and sales packages to entice customers. Some dealerships may also pre-register motorcycles to meet targets, and customers who purchase pre-reg motorcycles save on-the-road costs.
Dealerships often have sales targets to meet, and this is particularly true for those that have multiple franchises within their showroom. These dealerships may have targets set by manufacturers that they have to register a certain number of motorcycles per quarter or year. If they haven’t met these targets by the end of the year, they may pre-register some of their motorcycles to meet them. This means that the motorcycles are technically used, but they are often in brand-new condition and have never been ridden. Customers who purchase pre-reg motorcycles can save on-the-road costs, which are fees associated with registering a new motorcycle such as tax, insurance, and registration fees. By buying a pre-reg motorcycle, customers can potentially save a significant amount of money while still getting a new motorcycle.
Best Month to buy a motorcycle from a dealer is February
To start with, February falls amid the winter season in many regions of the world. If you reside in an area with frigid temperatures or frequent snowfall during winter, you are in luck as you can benefit from discounts at the motorcycle dealership. These dealerships are usually deserted during the winter months and some may even shut down due to the scarcity of visitors. Therefore, dealers are generally willing to offer discounts to those who purchase a motorcycle during this period.
Another reason why buying a motorcycle in February can lead to discounts is that it’s a short month. Salesmen at dealerships usually have targets to meet every month. While winter months generally have lower targets, February is significantly shorter than other months, making it more challenging for dealers to meet their sales goals. To help them reach their targets, dealers may offer extra discounts to customers who buy motorcycles from them during this month.
It’s worth noting that the same principle of lower prices during the winter months may also apply to motorcycle maintenance. I choose to bring my motorcycle in for maintenance during this time as dealerships tend to offer lower prices during these periods. However, it’s important to be cautious of the salt on the roads during winter as this can lead to corrosion if left unattended.
February is a short month
Sales commission structures can impact a motorcycle salesman’s willingness to negotiate a deal. If the salesman has a minimum quota to meet or a commission plan that prioritizes units sold over profit, they may be more inclined to offer discounts. This is particularly true in a month like February, which is on average eight percent shorter than other months, making it more challenging to reach sales quotas. In such cases, the salesman will need to work harder to meet their targets and may be more open to bargaining.
For most of the northern parts of America, February brings with it unpleasant weather conditions, including short and chilly days. As a result, people are usually not focused on purchasing motorcycles during this time, leading to showrooms and dealerships being relatively empty. Dealers are often willing to lower their prices to attract buyers during the off-season. The previous year’s motorcycle models may appear outdated and need to be sold at any cost, even if it means little profit. Every day a motorcycle spends on the dealer’s floor incurs additional expenses, making it more desirable for them to sell as soon as possible. Even though the weather may be clear and warm, the short days can have a negative impact on sales. It’s unlikely that anyone will take a test ride in the dark, which reduces the chances of making a sale.
When looking to buy a used bike, certain weather conditions can work in your favor. Harsh winters can lead to unexpected expenses for home heating and snow removal, which may prompt some people to sell their high-quality bikes. These bikes are often not the result of profit-seeking resellers and were originally intended for personal use. Additionally, the cold weather can discourage potential buyers, which can result in better deals for those willing to brave the elements and transport the bike themselves.
The Best Days to Buy a Motorcycle
To attract more customers during quieter periods, many motorcycle dealerships offer sales and promotions from Monday through Thursday, as weekends tend to be busier. It’s worth checking whether your local dealership has any weekday sales, which can often be found by following them on social media. If you don’t see any advertised deals, it’s still worth visiting during the week as you’re likely to receive more attention and assistance from the sales staff. This can be especially useful if you’re a first-time buyer or unsure about what you’re looking for.
When people think about buying a motorcycle and getting a bargain, they usually consider the season and major holidays. However, they often overlook the fact that the day of the week can also affect motorcycle prices. Dealerships tend to have a slower business on weekdays and, to boost sales, they offer special deals from Monday to Thursday to attract customers.
Sales that occur in the middle of the week can be unexpected, so it can be hard to anticipate them. To keep yourself informed, it’s a good idea to stay connected with local dealerships and your preferred online sellers on social media.
At the end of the month
Sometimes when dealerships have certain quotas to meet on the final day of the month they are more willing to do anything to get that sale done. Particularly if they have bonuses attached to those quotas. So, take into consideration that on the final day of the month, you may get a better deal for your favorite motorcycle.
The Best Holidays to Buy a Motorcycle
Black Friday is known for offering some of the best deals of the year, making it an ideal shopping day. The Winter months are generally slower for motorcycle dealers, so this day falls within a period when businesses are likely to be quieter, making it more convenient for them to offer discounts. Private sellers are also often more open to negotiating deals during this time to make a quick sale and earn some extra holiday cash.
The automotive industry places significant emphasis on Labor Day, and as such, the weekend surrounding the holiday is typically an excellent time to find great deals on vehicles, including motorcycles. Dealerships often advertise these sales weeks in advance, providing potential buyers with ample time to plan and budget accordingly. If you take the time to research and prepare, you may be able to save a significant amount of money on your purchase during this time.
At the start of the year, dealerships are often looking to clear out excess inventory, particularly older models that are taking up valuable floor space. This can result in great deals for buyers, as dealerships may be motivated to move these products quickly to make room for new inventory, such as the latest models from Harley-Davidson.
For those living in areas with a clear riding season, off-seasons such as Winter and Fall could be a good time to search for a good deal on a motorcycle. In contrast, if you live in a region where riding is possible year-round, it may be difficult to find a great deal during the winter season. The beginning of the riding season in Spring and the height of the season in Summer typically have higher prices. During mid to late winter, abandoned motorcycle projects may appear on the market, which can be negotiated for a good price. At the end of the riding season, there may be opportunities for deals on bikes that have recently broken down and are for sale.
One important topic to discuss is the ideal time for purchasing a motorcycle online. The internet is flooded with websites that offer classifieds for thousands of used motorcycles, and many motorcycle manufacturers also directly sell their products on their websites. If you are comfortable with buying a motorcycle online, you can take advantage of bundle deals on essential riding gear such as motorcycle intercom systems and riding jackets.
Similar to purchasing a motorcycle in person, the winter and Black Friday/Cyber Monday are great times to purchase a motorcycle online. However, if you decide to shop for a motorcycle online, setting up alerts on websites like CycleTrader for particular motorcycle brands and models that interest you can be an effective way to get notified of new listings and take advantage of deals. This way, you can save up money while waiting for a great deal to come up.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Used Motorcycle?
The months of November to February in the United States are considered the optimal time to purchase a used motorcycle due to the colder weather leading to decreased demand for riding and an increased supply of sellers willing to offer competitive prices.
One of the reasons why the period from November through February is the best time to buy a used motorcycle is that sellers are aware that the demand for motorcycles is lower during the cold season. As a result, they are willing to reduce their selling price to attract buyers, considering that they have a smaller potential audience to sell to.
During the warm months of the year, some motorcycle owners use their bikes frequently. However, as winter approaches, they may not have enough storage space for their motorcycle and will have to store it for the winter. To avoid this inconvenience, some of these motorcycle owners will sell their bikes quickly and for a lower price.
The winter holiday season can also be a good time to buy a motorcycle as some people who need cash for holiday expenses may be willing to sell their motorcycles quickly at a lower price. This urgency to sell may lead to better deals for buyers.
Best time to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle?
In winter, riders are hesitant to purchase new motorcycles because of the cold and dangerous riding conditions, leading to lower sales. To counter this trend, dealerships frequently reduce prices to incentivize buyers to purchase during the slow winter months after the holiday season.
However, motorcycle sales can also be found at other times of the year. Dealerships frequently discount older models to make room for newer ones, resulting in lower prices for excess inventory.
As February is the shortest month, motorcycle dealerships have a limited time of only 28 days to achieve their monthly sales targets. To generate more sales during this short period, dealerships often organize sales events to attract customers and increase their sales figures. Therefore, February can be an ideal time to visit your nearby motorcycle dealership and examine their product range and pricing as they may offer attractive deals during this period.
To cater to customers who prefer shopping on weekends, dealerships may lower prices during the weekdays to encourage foot traffic during slower business hours. Although this doesn’t ensure the best motorcycle deals, it’s worthwhile for budget-conscious buyers to monitor the dealership’s social media accounts. Following them on platforms like Facebook or Instagram could alert you to any impromptu sales events that might take place mid-week.
When buying a new motorcycle from a dealer, there is room for negotiation and it is possible to get a discount off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Paying in cash can lead to greater savings, but financing options are becoming more popular and dealers may receive commissions from specific finance companies. While financing a motorcycle may end up being more expensive in the long run, it may give you access to more expensive bike options. On new motorcycles, discounts are unlikely to be substantial, and dealers are more likely to offer a clothing or accessories package instead. Discounts on pre-owned motorcycles are more common as dealers have greater margins and may be more lenient in negotiations.
What Is the Worst Time to Buy a Motorcycle?
Purchasing a motorcycle during the spring and summer seasons is not recommended as this is when the prices are the highest. The months of April, May, June, July, and August are considered the worst time to buy a motorcycle, with July being the least favorable month.
To save money when buying a motorcycle, it is advisable to avoid purchasing one during the Spring and Summer months. This is because new models are introduced during Spring, generating excitement and high demand. As the Summer months approach, motorcycle fever is at its peak, and dealers are aware of this, so they are less likely to offer discounts. Motorcycle sales are highest when new models are released, and dealers often sell their stock at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price due to high demand. Moreover, competition among dealers is high during Summer, making it unlikely for prices to change. Therefore, it is best to wait until the end of the year if you are looking for a good deal.
Purchasing a motorcycle during the high-demand season when motorcycles are most popular, which typically begins in late spring and lasts through summer, can be disadvantageous. The increased demand during this time can drive motorcycle prices up. While a larger selection of motorcycles may be available during the summer, sellers will have more leverage to negotiate prices due to the higher demand. This puts buyers at a disadvantage, and many motorcycles may be sold for at or above their market value as more buyers are willing to pay the full asking price.
The warmer months or, generally speaking, as soon as the first warmer days come around is the worst time to buy a motorcycle. The worst months to buy a motorcycle are, generally speaking, April, May, June, July, and August.
Why Warmer Months Are The Worst Time To Buy A Used Motorcycle
One of the main reasons why buying a motorcycle during the warmer months is not the best idea is that sellers are aware they can set higher prices due to the increased demand. During spring and summer, people are more likely to want to spend time outdoors and enjoy the warmth they missed during the colder months. This creates a larger pool of interested buyers for the motorcycles being sold, giving sellers the leverage to increase their asking price.
Additionally, during the warmer months, sellers are usually not in a hurry to sell their motorcycles and may even be uncertain about selling them. They might list their motorcycles for sale just to gauge interest, and in this case, they are less likely to negotiate the price with potential buyers.
What is the worst time to buy a new motorcycle?
Avoid buying a new motorcycle when it has just been released as it will typically come with a higher price tag due to its novelty and popularity. These new models are often announced in the fall or winter, but may not be available for purchase until the early to late spring.
While preordering a motorcycle may lead to better deals, it is generally not recommended to purchase a new motorcycle from early spring until the end of summer as this is when demand and prices are high.
This advice also applies to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as they have shifted their new model release dates from late August to January and February.
What is the worst time to buy a used motorcycle?
To put it differently, the spring and early summer are also not the best times to buy a used motorcycle, much like buying a new motorcycle. During this time, sellers are aware of the approaching riding season and may not be willing to accept lower offers for their motorcycles. As the end of the riding season approaches, prices for used motorcycles may start to decrease. Additionally, the introduction of newer models can also affect the prices of used and older models.
Factors affecting motorcycle prices
Motorcycle prices, in general, have slowly but steadily been increasing over the years. A trend that does not show any signs of stopping any time sooner. This is caused by a multitude of factors, like increasing manufacturing costs and more.
- Seasonality: As we’ve discussed earlier, the seasonality of motorcycle sales can play a significant role in their prices. Demand for motorcycles usually increases during the spring and summer months, which can cause prices to go up. In contrast, demand drops during the fall and winter months, leading to lower prices.
- Supply and demand: The law of supply and demand is a significant factor in determining the price of motorcycles. When there is high demand and low supply, prices go up, and vice versa.
- Age and condition: The age and condition of a motorcycle can also impact its price. Newer models or well-maintained used models can command higher prices than older, less well-maintained ones.
- Location: The location of where the motorcycle is being sold can also play a role in its price. For example, motorcycles sold in urban areas may have higher prices due to higher demand, while those sold in rural areas may have lower prices due to lower demand.
- Brand and model: Certain brands and models of motorcycles may command higher prices due to their reputation, rarity, or features. Motorcycle models that are highly sought after by buyers tend to hold their value and may not be subject to price drops during the offseason. Sellers of these models may prefer to wait for peak season when they know they can sell their motorcycle at a premium price. Therefore, there may not be a specific month that is the best time to purchase highly desirable motorcycle models.
- Modifications: Modifications made to a motorcycle can also impact its price. Some modifications may increase its value, while others may decrease it.
- Local events: Depending on where you live, local motorcycle events can affect the prices of motorcycles in your area. For example, some places will see a slight increase in motorcycle prices around bike week.
- Local climate: Weather is a significant factor affecting motorcycle prices throughout the year. However, if you reside in an area where the temperatures remain favorable throughout the year and there are no real winters, this can change the dynamics. In such regions, there may not be a traditional “motorcycle season,” as motorcycles can be used year-round. In this case, prices may remain stable with no significant fluctuations.