Motorcycle Buying Checklist

Motorcycle Buying Checklist

This checklist will walk you through the steps of the motorcycle purchasing process. Whether this is your first or fifth time purchasing a motorcycle, it’s always good to have a game plan. 

Continue reading below for step-by-step instructions for a more stress-free buying experience!

1. Have a Payment Plan 

Everything goes smoother when you have a plan. 

First, decide whether you would like to pay in cash, pay with credit, or make a down payment and finance the remaining balance. 

If you’re on the fence, check out this post in which we explain the different types of motorcycle financing options

If you plan to pay in cash, make sure you create a savings plan. This should include setting money aside for the bike to be transported, if you plan to buy a motorcycle out of state

And, no matter what option you choose, don’t forget to set a budget.

2. Negotiate Price 

Whether you plan to purchase a motorcycle from a private seller or dealer, make sure you negotiate before making your final purchase decision. 

We recommend that you pick your top three bikes, negotiate with each seller and weigh your options. 

If you’d like more detailed advice on this topic, check out our post on how to negotiate when purchasing a motorcycle

3. Gather Important Items and Documents

Once you’ve decided which bike to purchase, gather all the necessary documents to complete the buying process. 

You’ll need to bring some or all of the items below. Check with the seller to see which ones they require. Also, check with your local DMV to find out what they require.

  • Identification 
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of motorcycle insurance 
  • Your trade-in 
  • Info for discounts and rebates 
  • Co-signer
  • Credit reference 
  • Credit pre-approval documents 
  • Cash payment

If you are purchasing a bike from a private seller, they will likely want full cash payment. Most banks have ATM withdrawal limits, so you may need to give your financial institution advanced notice and make the transaction in person.

You could also choose to use an escrow service to make a secure payment. 

It’s also possible to finance a motorcycle purchased privately. For a refresher on your options, just revisit step one. 

4. Complete the Necessary Paperwork and Make the Purchase

Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, make an appointment to meet with the seller to buy the bike. 

Below are general guidelines on the steps of the buying processes of private and dealership purchases. This will help you have an idea of what to expect when you arrive. 

Private Purchase Steps

  1. Provide identification
  2. Examine seller’s identification
  3. Complete the Bill of Sale 
  4. Pay for the motorcycle
  5. Title Transfer/Receive the Certificate of Title

Dealership Purchase Steps

  1. Provide identification, proof of residence and proof of insurance
  2. Trade-in your current bike 
  3. Undergo a Credit Check
  4. Negotiate your financing agreement 
  5. Complete the Bill of Sale
  6. Pay for the motorcycle 
  7. Sign any contractual documents

In Conclusion

We hope the steps above make your buying experience a smooth one!

For more detailed, step-by-step advice, check out our comprehensive guide on how to buy a motorcycle, in which we also discuss how to choose the best bike for you, how to budget, expenses/fees and more!

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