How-to Tips for Buying a New Motorcycle Online

Feb 14, 2022

Ducati Monster motorcycle.

The global COVID-19 pandemic (read the Riders Share's COVID-19 Response and Motorcycle Rental Safety article) has affected many businesses and has also forced us to stay at home for health and safety reasons. Gone are the days when we can, or want, to enter crowded stores or showrooms to purchase a vehicle. With the threat of the Coronavirus still around, it has become the “new normal” for many to shop online. Fortunately, many of our wants are available online, even motorcycles. It is now possible for riders to purchase a motorcycle without leaving their house. How cool is that?

Motorcycle enthusiasts can buy a new motorcycle from home. Many OEMs offer innovative motorcycle-purchasing solutions  to decrease foot traffic, and motorcycle dealers now offer contactless buying processes. This means that buyers can check motorcycle inventories, select  a ride, manage the paperwork, and even arrange test rides and schedule motorcycle pickup (or home delivery) online… This includes motorcycle rentals, too.  

It is worth mentioning that aside from buying a street bike, you also need a motorcycle license or endorsement. Need help? Read the Best Tips to Get Your Motorcycle License article. If you are considering buying a motorcycle online, there are several things you need to know first. This is to ensure that you buy from a legitimate dealer, get the best bargain, and not get scammed. Now here are the basic tips on buying a motorcycle online:

1. Use Common Sense

When conducting business online, it’s important to be a bit wary. If it looks too good to be true, it likely is. Sometimes, you have to trust your instincts.

2. Get the Motorcycle Inspected

Since you cannot see the motorcycle in person, it’s important that you have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic or a nearby dealer, especially if you’re not buying from a dealer. Make sure that you get a third-party inspection to get unbiased results.

3. Read Feedback About the Seller

Only purchase from a trusted seller. The best way to check the seller’s reputation is by reading feedback. With so much information available online, it’s now easy to search for feedback and reviews about the seller you’re purchasing from. If the seller has a website, you can also read if there are reviews there. Getting reference from families and friends who have purchased from the same seller will also help.

4. Ask For Pictures

Don’t rely on one picture. Ask for several pictures of the motorcycle from the seller. They should be captured from different angles. That way, you will have a better look at the bike before deciding to buy it. A video would be even better. You can ask the seller to start the motorcycle just so you can hear the motorcycle’s engine and get a better look at the bike’s condition. 

5. Find Out More About the Bike

When buying online, you must be extra cautious. Since you’re not seeing the bike up close, you need to do extra research. Don’t simply rely on the information provided to you by the seller. If you’re buying a secondhand motorcycle, it’s important you check out for estimates online regarding the bike’s value in relation to its mileage, condition, and even geographic location. Read reviews to better understand what you are buying. We recommend MotoHunt for browsing inventory, their website performs fast.

6. Double Check if the Title Is Clean

Sellers will tell you that the motorcycle’s title is clean. However, don’t take their word for it. It’s always great to be cautious. Don’t waste thousands of money just to end up buying a motorcycle that you cannot even register and title. With the help of an unbiased third-party (like the local police department), you can check the motorcycle’s serial numbers and title, and see if they match up. It only takes a phone call to check all these. 

7. Use Escrow

When you pay for the motorcycle, it is important that you use an escrow service. It’s used to protect both parties. The escrow service holds the money and will not release it to the seller until the terms of agreement are met. While this comes with a small fee, it’s a better option than taking chances. Make the seller agree on this. 

8. Double Check Everything Before Finally Giving It a Go

Motorcycles usually ain’t cheap. It’s only reasonable if you are extra cautious when it comes to buying it online. Imagine saving up on your dream bike only to end up being disappointed. Make your hard-earned money count. Double check everything before finally purchasing that motorcycle.

9. Ask if They Offer Remote Delivery Service

Not all sellers will transport the motorcycle to your address. The processing and purchasing may be done online, but in most cases, you will likely go pick up the motorcycle yourself. If you cannot make it personally, arrange for a motorcycle transportation. There are reputable companies that offer such a service. However, it would be great if the seller or dealer will take care of the delivery themselves. 

To make it easy for you, we have prepared a list of motorcycle companies and dealers that offer contactless buying. Certain dealers also offer a delivery service. That way, you won’t have to pick up the motorcycle yourself or arrange for its transportation. Below are some motorcycle companies and their respective dealers that offer online processing and remote delivery. Check them out for yourself and decide.

Ducati North America

Ducati offers contactless transactions. This means that you will no longer have to go through in-person transactions to purchase a motorcycle from the company. You can do all stages of the purchasing process online. Whether it’s about choosing a motorcycle, checking your financing options, and managing all the necessary papers, you can do things right from the comfort of your home. Depending on the local dealer, a home delivery option is also available. 

Harley-Davidson

If your dream bike is a Harley-Davidson, you’d be happy to know that the Motor Company has announced the “H-D Home Delivery,” which allows buyers to have the motorcycle they’re purchasing delivered to their home or work address. This service covers both used and new motorcycles. However, since this service is only available in certain dealers, it is important that you contact your local dealership. 

American Honda

Remote delivery is also now offered by Honda. However, this service is only available temporarily and is being offered in light of the pandemic. Due to social distancing and travel restrictions, Honda announced a remote delivery option available through certain dealers in the US. With this program, customers will be able to work through the entire process of purchasing their motorcycle remotely. There’s no need to leave your home. 

Yamaha Motor USA

Yamaha has a similar program. The company calls their program “Deliver Your Ride,” which allows Yamaha dealers in the US to complete purchase transactions remotely, as well as deliver the motorcycle directly to the buyer. Like Honda, Yamaha’s program is only temporary, as the company’s response to the COVID-19 threat. You can check out their site or contact your local dealer to see what’s up for sale and learn more about their remote delivery program. 

Kawasaki Motors Corporation

Another motorcycle company that offers a home delivery option is Kawasaki. Through certain participating dealers, the company allows buyers to purchase a motorcycle online. Everything is done remotely: from choosing a motorcycle to payment. Inspections are done prior to the delivery. The motorcycle will be delivered by the dealership personnel. Upon delivery, you will also be given a short briefing about your motorcycle: how it operates, how to maintain it, and other important information.

Lastly, Indian Motorcycle offers a Click.Deliver.Ride program, which gives customers an option to buy a motorcycle online. Not only that, they also deliver the motorcycle to the address of your choice (whether it’s your home or workplace). However, since this program is available only through certain dealers, it is best if you contact your local dealer first. You can contact them online or via phone. Once you’ve decided, process and arrange everything remotely and have your new bike delivered at your driveway.

Other motorcycle companies that are worth pursuing are BMW Motorrad, Husqvarna, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki, and Triumph Motorcycles. While these companies are likely to offer an online purchasing option; they have not released an official statement yet regarding a remote delivery program. This means that you will have to pick up the motorcycle at the local dealer or at best, arrange for its transport. 

Thanks to the intuitive response of the motor companies to the pandemic, we can now enjoy such services as a remote delivery. For now, most of these programs are offered as a temporary measure. When things get better, the companies will likely discontinue this program. However, it would be better for all of us if they will continue to offer remote purchase and delivery options even after the pandemic is over. 

With our tips, it will be easier to buy a motorcycle online. Regardless of what bike you choose or from which company or dealer you’re purchasing from, it’s important that you are satisfied with your ride. Always check everything before giving it a go. Once you have ordered your dream motorcycle online and have it delivered to you, you can then focus on getting your motorcycle license (if you still haven’t got one).  

After all these, you can ride your motorcycle and turn heads. You can cruise the highway and ride with some motorcycle-loving friends. Ride your bike like a dream.