For many riders, no matter how passionate they are about riding, at times they ask themselves, “Can I buy a motorcycle right now?” After a quick look around they decide prices are too high and give up, but, there’s a good chance they’re looking in the wrong place or at the wrong bikes. There’s always a motorcycle available at your price.
Endless news stories complain about the many products now unaffordable, the most frequent topic is housing, but it’s applied everywhere. Affordable housing, affordable cars, and in our case, affordable motorcycles, but, the problem isn’t the house, car or motorcycle, it’s choosing first and asking price later. If “affordable” is supposed to mean any potential motorcycle buyer should be able to buy any motorcycle they want, those buyers may well be disappointed, but who redefined affordable in this way? An affordable motorcycle is simply one you’re able to pay for.
Recently, I asked “are good enough motorcycles good enough?” and most of you felt you didn’t need the fastest, quickest, lightest, high tech long range, “do everything” machine available. A capable and more basic bike can serve well and many of you already have them. Which motorcycle would be easier to pay for, the fastest, quickest, high tech , … etc. or the capable and more basic bike? Hmm, …
A few days ago you saw the Web Surfer Special, a street tracker built by Richard Pollock, built from eBay parts, garage sale finds, leftovers and take-offs. Instead of $25,000, the cost was under $8,000, and Richard mentioned in the comments, he could probably do a similar build for a lot less. Maybe you could, too.
Today’s Internet resources are amazing, the parts and pieces can be found everywhere. Basic bikes can be upgraded if you have one, or built from scratch if you don’t. A dealer showroom is not the only place where bikes are bought and sold.
A funny thing happened over the years, many folks began demanding and buying the best of everything, right now, so they got it, on the long term uneasy payment plan. As long as nothing slows down it works, but these days, running on that financial edge has put a lot of fully financed, almost new, high end motorcycles out on the used market. Those are owners willing to deal, you can help them and get a bargain at the same time. Everybody wins.
The spectrum of affordable motorcycles changes constantly, that low mileage Desmosedici is still beyond most buyers, but many brand new 1 or 2 year old bikes still on dealer floors are priced right and the used market is awash in bargains, bikes not only good enough but more than good enough.
If you take your time and look around, you might be surprised at what is affordable right now, maybe not the perfect motorcycle of your dreams, but something a lot closer to it than before. Stay flexible and look at all of your options, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty fixing up a project bike. Ask around, ask your friends and neighbors, your bike is out there, it just takes a little time to find it.