Is it better to buy new or used?
New or Used? The answer depends largely on your personal situation: What is your budget? Do you enjoy wrenching? Do you have a place (garage, driveway, etc...) to work on your bike?
Here are some pluses and minuses of buying used vs. new:
+ $AVING$: This is really the only advantage of buying a used bike, but it is a BIG one. You can save a significant amount of money if you have patience and bike knowledge. Remember, once a new bike leaves the dealer's lot a serious chunk of its value has instantly depreciated. Avoid the financing hassles, transport and setup fees. Let the first owner eat that, and find yourself a low mile bargain.
- Uncertainty: Unless you're a good mechanic, it may be hard to tell whether the bike has been crashed, properly broken-in, maintained, or raced. If you are not completely sure what to look for in a used bike, hire a professional mechanic to look at it for you. It won't cost you much, but will help you avoid headaches and repair expenses.
- Immediate work*: Doing the basic inspection and maintenance immediately after bike purchase is highly recommended.
Buy used, not abused: New riders should steer away from bikes that "need some work". See here.
+ Warranty: It can be a "safety cushion" for new riders, who can start learning maintenance in small steps, rather than having to confront dirty carburetors or gremlins in the electrical system.
- Dealer price/availability: The new motorcycle will cost you. That means MSRP+taxes+various dealer fees. These bikes sell like hotcakes, and not all dealers have them in stock all the time. If the demand exceeds supply, prepare to pay more and wait longer.
- Crash damage: If you're a new rider, you're very likely to drop the bike. Your heart will ache more if the bike is new.
- Depreciation: A new bike will lose a larger portion of its initial value than a used one; this is especially true in the 1st year.
Other things you need to know: