Motorcycles can be expensive. So naturally, people will want to find when motorcycles prices go down so that they can get the best value for their money.
One of the first steps is understanding how motorcycle prices fluctuate and what drives those price fluctuations and changes.
What is the best month to buy a motorcycle? The best months to buy a motorcycle, either new or used one, are usually the colder months of the year between August and February. The best month to buy a motorcycle from a dealership is February. However, the best months to buy a used motorcycle from a private seller are August, September, October, and November.
If you are curious to find more, continue reading below. By the end of this article, you will have a more in-depth understanding of how motorcycle prices change, when they change, what can cause them to change.
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What are the best months to buy a motorcycle?
I have been asked this question many times by different people looking to buy a motorcycle. And it is true—some months can lead to better deals.
Generally speaking, you are most likely to see motorcycle prices drop during the offseason.
The period between August and September is when the motorcycle season starts to gradually end. Many motorcyclists are using their motorcycles less often or even prepare them for the winter.
In certain areas, the best time to buy a motorcycle can be between August and September. While in other areas, some of the best deals can be found between January and February.
The best month to buy a motorcycle from a private seller
The best months to buy a used motorcycle from a private seller are August, September, October, November and December. The colder months of the year when motorcycles are not used as much are the best months to buy a motorcycle from a private seller.
Particularly harsh and cold winters will usually work to the buyer’s advantage as some motorcycle owners may need to cover their increased heating and living costs.
The best month to buy a motorcycle from a dealership
The best month to buy a new or used motorcycle from a dealership is February. February is a short month that may cause some dealerships to offer better prices on their motorcycles. During this time, dealerships may try to clear out older models as well.
The prices of motorcycles can get low as dealerships will try to clear out last year’s inventory that may still be sitting. February, on the other hand, is also the shortest month of the year. Some dealerships may be pressing their sellers to meet certain quotas and sell a specific number of motorcycles each month.
Since February is shorter by a few days, this can influence some dealers to offer better prices.
What factors determine the best months to buy a motorcycle?
Some other factors should be considered as they can seriously impact motorcycle pricing.
Motorcycles in high demand
A motorcycle that is in high demand is more likely to hold its price even during the winter season when motorcycles may not be in high demand. The dealers will know that a motorcycle that is in high demand is more likely to sell and will be less likely to reduce its price.
Another factor that affects motorcycle demand is gas prices. Over the years, gas prices have been somewhat increasing, and there is a positive relationship between gas price and motorcycle usage.
Experts believe that due to the increase in gas prices, people are looking for cheaper transportation alternatives—and motorcycles provide a more affordable alternative to most cars.
This means that over the years, motorcycles have been becoming more popular. (And if something is in demand, there is a higher chance its price will increase, too.)
Gas prices are also seasonal—this means that they are going through somewhat consistent ups and downs. During the colder months of the year, gas prices go down, while with the onset of the summer and higher temperatures, gas prices tend to increase.
Higher gas prices can increase motorcycle demand, as more people will be looking for cheaper transportation options, driving motorcycle prices up.
Purchase and transportation difficulties
On top of that, the weather can make testing a new motorcycle more difficult and deter many people from buying a motorcycle.
Even riding it back home may be more of a challenge—especially if the weather is particularly bad.
Since motorcycles are not expected to be in demand for at least several months, their price can go down, and better deals may be easier to negotiate.
Usually, the IRS will begin accepting tax returns on the 29th of January. That being said, the earliest time a tax refund can be expected to come is 21 days after the tax return has been filled. So at the earliest, most tax refunds can be expected to come around the last week of February.
This is another little detail that can make the months up until February a lot better for buying a motorcycle as there can be fewer buyers.
New motorcycle models
Older models will usually drop in price when new models come out.
This is especially true with Harleys, for example. New Harley Davidson models came out typically during August or September, and those were the best months to buy an older Harley Davidson model.
Generally speaking, for most brands, new motorcycle models start coming out around November.
The biggest incentive for some owners to sell their motorcycle during the winter is that their utility bills can rise significantly during the colder months, which can easily drain most people’s budgets.
The general rule of thumb is that the later in the winter, the better the prices of the motorcycles can get. Some people realize that their motorcycle has been sitting for a long time, and it requires extra maintenance and care, and it is just a huge expense.
Some people may also find themselves in need of extra cash. And selling an unused motorcycle can be a good source of fresh capital. Often they may be open to negotiations and drop the price even more as time goes on.
One of the extra costs is the insurance requirements. In certain areas, owners will have to keep their insurance year round even if they are not riding their motorcycle.
This can cause owners who are already considering selling their motorcycle to do it before the onset of the winter and cut down on costs.
Depending on where you live, some local motorcycle events can affect the prices of motorcycles in your immediate area. For example, some places will see a slight increase in motorcycle prices around bike week.
As the winter months are approaching, some owners may also decide to sell their motorcycles because they may not want to pay for storage.
Winterizing a motorcycle can end up very costly to people (especially city people) that do not have a garage. Some may not even have a driveway.
Some people may try to keep their motorcycle in their apartment or house, but this is often not a viable option or even a good idea.
See article: How to keep a motorcycle in an apartment?
Overall, this can make owning a motorcycle very expensive as they will either have to rent a storage space or leave their motorcycle outside, which can lower the motorcycle’s value. This can give good leverage to buyers to negotiate better prices.
Technically speaking, in those cases, there is a good opportunity to find some cheap motorcycles. Some owners will make money even if they drop the price of the motorcycle by $500.
Which brings us nicely to the next question—namely, how much can you save by purchasing a motorcycle during the colder months?
How much money can you save?
How much money you may save on a motorcycle purchase is hard to say—especially without knowing the make, model, and year of the motorcycle.
However, generally speaking, you can find motorcycles that sell for $400 to $3,000 cheaper. During the colder months of the year, more motorcycles are sold under true value compared to the warmer months. On average, you can expect to stumble upon motorcycles that are between 5 to 25% cheaper.
Keep in mind that those are averages I have observed over time and thorough research. There are no hard and fast rules, and the prices of motorcycles in your area can vary a lot.
Can there be no best month to buy a motorcycle?
Motorcycles, although they can be used year-round, are typically considered a seasonal vehicle. Meaning their usage and popularity is affected by the time of the year. Usually, during the warmer months of the year, motorcycle use and demand increase, and during the winter, it decreases.
Of course, this will depend on where you live and what the weather is like in your area. If the weather in your area is good all year round, then motorcycle prices can stay fairly the same throughout the whole year. In other words, areas with consistently good weather may not really have a best month for buying a motorcycle.
What are the worst months to buy a motorcycle?
During the winter months, you are more likely to find a good deal and may be able to haggle a better price at a dealership. So if the winter is considered to be the off season for motorcycles, then the peak season is during the summer or, generally speaking, as soon as the first warmer days come around.
Overall, the warmer months are the worst time to buy a motorcycle. The worst months to buy a motorcycle are, generally speaking, between April, May, June, and July.