Is It Cheaper To Buy a Motorcycle In the Winter? A Helpful Guide


Motorcycles in the winter snow

Like most products in a consumer market, you might just happen upon a good deal
for a motorcycle, if you play your cards right.


So, is it cheaper to buy a motorcycle in the winter?

Here’s the answer:

It is cheaper to buy a motorcycle in the winter as wintertime doesn’t inspire many people to buy motorcycles. It is this decrease in the demand for motorcycles that encourages motorcycle dealers to lower their asking price. You will also find more private motorcycle owners utilizing the winter season to sell off their motorcycles at second-hand prices which can also reduce the price of a bike as more become available on the second-hand market.

I have found that personally, winter does not directly cause a decline in the price of motorcycles, but many contributing factors can lower the costs. So before you head out to your closest motorcycle dealership, it is important to do your research beforehand and be fully informed and prepared so you know exactly what you want and what price you are willing to pay for it.

So, What Factors Affect the Price of A Motorcycle In The Winter?

The longer a motorcycle sits in a showroom, the more money it costs the dealer.

Motorcycle manufacturers usually announce new models a year in advance. This means that by year’s end as winter approaches motorcycle dealers want to sell off old stock as quickly as possible to make space for the new models.

However, as the days grow colder and darker and the winter starts drawing in, the chance of selling a motorcycle out of the showroom becomes smaller.

I have found that if you were to go visit a dealership in the winter with well-researched product information and a genuine interest in buying a motorcycle, the dealer may be very well more inclined to negotiate cheaper prices.

Also, quite a few riders don’t like to ride their motorcycle in the winter and often sell them to generate some extra cash and to free up storage space.

The chances of private sellers allowing their motorcycles to be sold at a cheaper price than they would let it go for in the summer are a good deal higher in the winter as the seller doesn’t usually want to hang onto a bike that isn’t being used.

However, the direct purchase price is only one part of the price of the motorcycle.

As motorcycles are usually a medium to long-term investment they carry other costs as well.

What Are The Hidden Costs of Buying A Motorcycle In The Winter?

While it may be cheaper to buy a motorcycle in the winter, many other costs need to be
factored in when making a financial plan. I have found these costs will usually be the same whether you are buying a motorcycle in the winter or the summertime.

If purchasing a motorcycle in the wintertime, especially if it is your first motorcycle, you will probably want to purchase a winter riding jacket, boots, and gloves rather than summer gear. I have found that in many cases winter motorcycle gear may cost more money, so don’t forget to add this into your budget.

Here is a list of three hidden but necessary expenses when you buy a motorcycle:

  1. Gear
  2. Maintenance and Repair
  3. Insurance

1) Gear

The most important riding gear is the helmet. While you can find helmets for as low
as $100, it is better to invest in a more robust, better quality helmet. Unfortunately,
those can go as high as $1,000. But it is better to be safe than sorry. Riding gear also
includes a jacket, gloves, boots, and heated clothing.

If purchasing these items in the winter you may find that you can get a reduced price as the dealers are not so busy and are more inclined to offer reductions in price to secure a sale.

2) Maintenance/Repair

Under normal riding conditions, it doesn’t matter if you purchase a motorcycle in the winter or summer, a new motorcycle will probably not require maintenance in the first two years.

A used motorcycle however will most likely need immediate maintenance to make sure it is safe to ride.

New or old, however, a motorcycle will need regular maintenance every 5,000 to 20,000 miles. These costs can range from $800 – $1,500.

3) Insurance

It is illegal not to have insurance, so this is something you definitely need to have. It isn’t only necessary in the legal domain, though, as insurance can protect you from theft, accidents, property damage, and medical expenses. The average annual cost of motorcycle insurance can go up to $500 or more depending on the type of motorcycle purchased and your driving history.

Is It Safe To Purchase And Ride A Motorcycle In The Winter?

So you have negotiated a great deal for your motorcycle in the winter and purchased it but is it safe to ride a motorcycle in the wintertime?

On a general level, I have found that it can be safe to ride a motorcycle in the winter. I ride my motorcycle throughout the whole of the year including the wintertime.

However, people are advised not to, especially if temperatures fall below 32°F. But of course, it is also the time of the year when roads are emptier so it might be tempting for some to take advantage of that fact.
Here’s a safety checklist I have put together in case you choose to winter ride:

✓ Check the weather: This should be the number one task on everyone’s list before deciding
on taking your motorcycle for a ride. If the weather is too treacherous, the visibility is low, or
there is heavy rain/snowfall/ice, it might be best to sit this one out and wait for the elements to
calm down.
✓ Check your lights and tire pressure: To avoid any surprises on the road, always check
your motorcycle’s condition and decide whether it is safe enough to handle wintery
conditions.
✓ Wear heated clothing and reflective gear: One cannot deny that winter is dark and cold.
So it is crucial to keep yourself warm and to wear clothing that is reflective so that other
drivers on the road can see you at all times.
✓ Increase the distance between yourself and other drivers: During winter, roads are
icier and more slippery, so maintain a safe distance between yourself and other drivers in
the event of braking.
✓ Signal earlier: Give other drivers enough time to adjust their distance accordingly so they
can safely let you pass.
✓ Listen to your instincts: If your instincts tell you it is not a safe time to take your motorcycle
out for a ride, listen to them. Our instincts are usually correct.


How To Winterize The Motorcycle You Have Purchased In The Winter?

  1. Coolant/antifreeze: You need to make sure your motorcycle’s engine has the
    appropriate protection from freezing temperatures. Ask the seller what type of
    coolant/antifreeze you can use.
  2. Oil: Some types of oil thicken in cold temperatures, so it is important to choose an oil
    that maintains its viscosity even in harsher weather.
  3. Battery and the terminals: If you buy a second-hand bike, it might be good to
    consider changing the battery entirely as old batteries struggle more in colder
    weather. Make sure your battery terminals are clean and are securely connected to
    avoid any unwanted surprises while you’re on the road.
  4. Check your front and rear brakes: Check your brake pads using the wear indicator,
    the more worn out they look, the higher the need to replace them. Any motorcycle
    service center or dealership can help with this.

These are just some of the things you can do to prepare your motorcycle for the winter. If you have purchased a new bike from a dealer all this will be carried out for you. However, if you purchase a second-hand motorcycle from a private seller you will want to check everything on the list and more.

It is important to be fully knowledgeable about the different nuances in taking care of a
motorcycle. Extensive research and consultation should prepare you to be a motorcycle
owner.

Which Months Are Motorcycles Most Expensive To Purchase?

Obviously, when the weather is hot and sunny from about April to September, (spring to fall), more people are interested in buying a motorcycle.

Motorcycle dealers will most likely utilize this trend to maximize their profits and charge higher prices for each bike. For a motorcycle dealer, this is the time when they can make the most profits.

As the year moves through to the autumn dealers can start to prepare for the slow, colder months of winter, when they will need to get rid of old stock to make room for newer models coming the following springtime.

Depending on how busy the summer months have been for the motorcycle dealer, I have found that you can get some excellent price reductions on new motorcycles about this time as they don’t want to get stuck will large amounts of motorcycles over the winter months.

So if you can wait until the Autumn to purchase your new motorcycle you may well get a really good deal.

In the summer months, private sellers are less inclined to sell their motorcycles during the warmer seasons because they will most likely be riding them themselves. If they do want to sell their motorcycles in the summer most private individuals try to get the best price for them which is usually quite a bit more than they would sell them for in the winter.

Conclusion

Motorcycles are cheaper during the winter months as motorcycle dealerships want to
get rid of old stock and keep the cash flowing. Also, private sellers may want to free up storage and earn some extra income in the wintertime and may sell their bikes at a reduced price which drives down the prices of motorcycles as more enter the marketplace.

There are a variety of factors that are necessary to consider when buying a motorcycle,
however. It might be cheaper to buy a motorcycle in the winter than buying a motorcycle in spring but you should take into account the additional fees that come with a motorcycle such as gear, insurance, and
maintenance.

Happy Riding!

Robert Blake

Hi, I'm Robert and I've been riding motorcycles for nearly 2 decades. The intention of this blog is to give reliable up to date information to other motorcyclists who are looking for answers about all different aspects of motorcycling. All the information is either from my personal experience or investigational work I have carried out myself. Happy Riding!

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