Are you fantasizing about what the best time to buy a motorcycle is because you’re ready to let go and fly down the road with the wind in your hair at full speed? As a matter of fact, so are we, so this is why we wanted to write this guide about the most adequate time to get a new bike. Since this is a major acquisition for most of us, there are a lot of things to take into account.
The general theory regarding this is that regardless of whether you’re buying a new motorcycle or a used one, there does seem to be one month every year when customers can literally call the shots and make use of the leverage they have due to a number of very important factors. February stands as arguably the best time to land a new beast so let’s figure out why together.
February is the shortest month of the year
As you (hopefully) know, February is the shortest month in the calendar and this can have quite the impact if the sales commissions are not structured very well. For instance, if your friendly neighborhood motorcycle salesman has a minimum quota to meet before the month is over or is on some sort of commission plan that emphasizes units sold, they might be willing to offer a deal.
Since February is, on average, about eight percent shorter right off the bat, the ironclad logic is that they will need to move a set number of units in a shorter time frame which might lead to his or her being more desperate to get the sales rolling. While it may seem cruel at first, making the calendar work in your favor is a very good way of making sure you get a good product.
The season is very seasonal
Most people in the world, except maybe those who live in a tropical climate (we know, we don’t like them either), should probably still experience quite a little bit of snow in February. As a result, a few things can be deduced from here. First things first, motorcycle showrooms are pretty much haunted homes at that time of the year.
When you’re shoveling snow and spreading salt all over your driveway, buying a new motorcycle is not really the first thing that comes to mind. As a result, salesmen will not see too many people barge through their door and may be very willing to cut you a deal just to get some momentum going in terms of revenue.
Models from previous years are suddenly not the rage anymore and sometimes moving even a single, smaller unit can help carry the load through the tough winter months. Think about it, each day a bike sits on a dealer’s floor means money out of his or her pocket and all of them know it.
A bird in the hand often beats two in the bush is a dealer’s best saying in February and you will be there to take advantage of that. Also, the day is shorter and this further impacts the salesman’s cause because we can’t think of anybody, and we dare you to try, who will take a test ride in the dark.
If you’re shopping for used bikes then this is even more important as the usual uptick in home heating costs and even some snow-removal added ones can heavily influence the owner’s decision to sell their bike. Those products are often pretty high-quality too as they’re not the result of a profit-hungry flipper wanting to make a quick buck but a real person’s desire to sell.
You should also think about the added difficulty of transporting a big item like a motorcycle during the cold and frozen season. While Elsa may do just fine, those of us who have to drive a truck to buy a new ride might struggle a little bit but will also probably save quite a few dollars in the process.
No more holiday big prices
In case you didn’t know, most of the profit of a legitimate bike dealer does not ultimately come from the sale of bikes but more so from the service and accessories sectors. In February, most of the big winter jobs involving presents have come and gone as have the pre-Christmas splurges on parts, accessories, and even clothing.
In most parts of the world, this means that sales on them will not pick up until riders actually feel the urge to start their bikes again so salesmen will be even more determined to make a good bike sale. When it comes to private sellers, Christmas bills just start rolling in in February so you may find people who unfortunately are a little cash-strapped or need to pay off their credit card.
There’s no reason to feel bad about using this kind of technique, either. Getting into a little debt always happens during the holidays and, if you don’t do it, someone else will definitely want the business and buy that bike. You can’t help people not go into debt but you can certainly help them by providing good business and getting them out of trouble.
No windfall yet
A smart buyer will always make sure that their new purchase makes fiscal sense and getting a new bike is no exception. Considering the IRS gives employers until the end of the first month of each year to send out W-2 forms for workers to file their tax returns, February should still be a waiting game, all things considered.
The Service also states that “most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days” so even if people were to drop their returns to the postal office with blinding speed, tax returns will still be a fleeting dream for most of the month, creating a need for some extra cash.
In either a private or a dealer transaction, you’re only as special as the next potential buyer that’s standing right behind you. If you make sure to get your foot through the door and hammer out a screamin’ deal early, you’re much more likely to get away with a great bike bought for a decent amount of money.
Speaking of taxes, you really want to make sure you know all there is to know about your state’s personal property tax. Seeing how many localities that do make sure to assess it on a calendar year’s basis with no pro-rating, it’s definitely imperative to check this out as a well-deserved Christmas present to yourself may turn out to come with a whole year’s worth of tax!
You might consider trading
Whether you were planning on trading the bike or simply buying it for your own pleasure, you should also take into account that February is also the month that many dealerships look to get a good deal for used bikes because they anticipate the swell of new and returning riders once warm weather comes back and prices start going up.
A good bike will always have value even when used so if your local dealer is willing to pay a hefty price for it and with the possibilities you have of simply scouring the Internet for new acquisitions, it may be worth to trade yours in, get some good money for it then go ahead and buy the new one with the money you just got.
There’s still time left
Last but not least, there’s another reason why February is the best month to get your buying groove on and it’s probably the one that influences all the rest: There is still enough time left to go shopping. Whether you’re buying new or used, the supply of bikes will probably outweigh the demand at that point in time and you can easily make this work to your advantage.
Once the warm weather comes and temperatures rise, so will the demand for bikes which means the prices will start going north as well. This also means that even if you opt to get a used bike that needs its brakes rebuilt and perhaps could also do with a new set of tires, you’re still well ahead of schedule and can take your time when it comes to picking them out.
Also, if you find a beauty abandoned in a warehouse or at a garage sale, there will be a ton of shops that will probably be able to help you in February without costing an arm and a leg in the process. The big overhaul projects will be definitely done by then while the small side jobs do not typically start until spring so you’ll come at the best time possible.