Knowing the right time to buy a Harley can save you between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in certain cases.
Harleys are not exactly considered among the cheapest motorcycles out there, so even a slight drop in price may be welcomed by some motorcyclists.
When is the best time to buy a Harley-Davidson? Generally, the best time to buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is during the winter and spring. The months of September, October, November, December, January, and February are the best time to buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. During these months there will be less demand, which means you are more likely to get a bargain.
In this article, I go over how the prices of Harleys change throughout the year and what influences those changes. If you are interested in learning more, continue reading below.
The best time to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle
During the driving season, the prices of Harley Davidson motorcycles will usually increase with the increased demand. While in the off season, the prices of Harley Davidson motorcycles will drop.
If summer is considered the peak of the motorcycle season, then the winter should be the off season for motorcycles.
The general rule of thumb is to buy motorcycles during the winter and sell between the beginner of spring and the end of the summer. The later in the winter, the better the prices of the motorcycles can get.
See article: Is it better to buy a motorcycle in the winter?
When is the best time to buy a new Harley Davidson?
The best time to buy a new Harley Davidson is around the time when the new Harley Davidson motorcycle models come out. Often the introduction of newer models can lower the selling price of older Harleys. This means that the best time to buy a new Harley Davidson motorcycle is during the autumn and winter.
When is the best time to buy a used Harley Davidson?
The best time to buy a used Harley Davidson motorcycle is during the autumn and winter. As the motorcycle season slowly ends and slows down, so does the demand. Lower demand and fewer buyers will usually lead to some Harleys, typically dropping in price.
What is the best month to buy a Harley Davidson?
The best months to buy a Harley Davidson are September, October, November, December, January, and February. There are fewer buyers during these months, and the demand drops significantly, which causes both dealerships and private sellers to offer better prices.
When it comes to dealerships, they rely on a steady cash flow, which may not be the case during the colder months of the year. This is why they will be more than thankful for anyone willing to spend some money with them, which means they may be more willing to negotiate and offer lower prices.
During the beginning of the year, between January and February, dealerships can have newer models come in, and they may try to get older models off the shelves.
On the other hand, private sellers, who are looking to sell as soon as possible, will also be a lot more willing to drop their asking prices during the winter.
One of the disadvantages of looking for a Harley in the winter is that the selection may be very limited.
Usually, most owners will prefer to wait for the driving season to start because they know they can command higher prices. So they will either not try to sell during the winter or will be only entertaining offers and will ignore anything that is too much below the asking price.
That being said, there can always be some people that are in a hurry, and they are the ones that will be more open to lower offers.
That being said, if you are living in the southern hemisphere, things will be reversed. The best months to buy a motorcycle will be between May and September.
See article: What is the best month to buy a motorcycle?
How much money can you save on a Harley Davidson motorcycle?
There are no hard and fast rules as to how much money you can expect to save by buying a Harley during the winter as opposed to the summer.
However, you can expect some Harley models to be between 5 to 25% cheaper in the off season. This means that you can potentially save between $400 to more than $3,000.
How much you will actually save is highly dependant on multiple factors.
The thing is that Harleys, in general, hold their value over the years fairly well. According to the data compiled by the Kelley Blue Book, some Harleys usually retain, on average, about 84% of their value over a period of five years, with some models even retaining over 90% of their MSRP.
What can affect the prices of Harley Davidson motorcycles?
The release of new models
New Harley Davidson models were usually announced and released during the Annual Dealer Meeting, which is typically held around the end of August. With the announcement of new Harleys, this typically causes a drop in the price of older Harleys. In other words, typically, you can expect older Harley models can drop in price starting the late August each year.
Even though some models may be available only the following year. This means that although some dealers may get a hold of some Harley early and start selling them around September, others may not be able to sell them for at least several months, in which cases you will either have to wait or pre-order the motorcycle of your choice.
Keep in mind that not all models get a new release each year, which can affect the price of certain older models over the years.
However, let me stop you right here for a moment as things are changing.
The difficulties that Harley Davidson, as a company, has been going through are well-known in the community, which causes the company to rethink their business strategies.
This is why starting 2021, Harley Davidson will be launching their new motorcycle models in January and February. This is a smart move as it will allow them to make good use of the fact that the motorcycle season is going to begin shortly after that.
Typically motorcycles (Harleys including) are seasonal, which means that their prices will change depending on whether they are in season or off season.
The extra costs
Just because a motorcycle may not be used during the winter, this does not mean it does not have expenses associated with it.
In certain areas, owners have to keep their insurance regardless if they are using their motorcycle.
People living in the cities oftentimes may not have a garage or even a driveway where they can store their motorcycle. This means they have to rent storage space as leaving the motorcycle outside can reduce its value over time.
See article: Is it OK to leave a motorcycle outside?
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?
On top of that, owners will still have to do regular maintenance and care even if their motorcycle has been winterized, which ca add more expenses to the bottom end.
Overall all those extra expenses, and let’s not forget that households also see an increase in utility bills during the winter, can have owners who are already considering selling their motorcycle do it before the onset of the winter.
Even if they drop their motorcycle price by a few hundred dollars, they may still make good money.
During the winter, it is a lot more difficult for people to test a motorcycle—especially if the weather is very bad and there is a lot of snow.
Particularly bad weather can make riding back home with the motorcycle more difficult and dangerous.
Those difficulties will deter a lot of people from buying a motorcycle during the winter, which means a lower price may be easier to negotiate.
Models that are in high demand
A Harley model that is particularly popular and sought after will typically hold its price even during the winter.
Both dealers and private sellers know that a popular model will sell pretty fast at the asked price once the weather gets better and will not be willing to negotiate lower prices.
The IRS starts accepting tax returns starting from the 29th of January. And the earliest time a tax refund can be expected to come is 21 days after the tax return has been filled. This means that most tax refunds can be expected to come around the last week of February.
So near the end of February and onwards, more buyers are looking to buy, which can raise motorcycle prices.
Certain areas can have some local motorcycle events (for example, bike week), which can increase the prices of Harleys while the events last.
Can there be no best time to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle?
So far, you have learned about the best time to buy a Harley. However, can there be no best time to buy a Harley?
As a matter of fact, yes, it is possible. And that is highly dependent on where you live and what the weather is in your area.
Motorcycle prices drop during the winter, mainly because motorcycles are usually not used during the winter season. But if the weather is good and warmer all year round, then motorcycles can be used all year round as well, which means that their prices will not fluctuate from season to season.