Instant torque, ease and comfort, regular updates, and unbeatable convenience are some of the reasons for choosing an electric motorcycle. That’s besides being an eco-friendly means of transportation.
All these high points notwithstanding, the cost of electric motorcycles often makes it a less practical option for many riders.
So, should you opt for a used electric motorcycle? Is a used option worth the investment?
Here’s everything you need to know about used electric bikes.
Reasons to Buy Used Electric Motorcycle
Nothing beats a new electric bike.
Unfortunately, not every enthusiast has the budget for a new one, even with financing options. In fact, you could be buying “too much bike” with some unreasonable interest rates.
Thankfully, you can pick up a second-hand option and still enjoy all the benefits of riding an electric motorcycle. For one, you won’t be paying eye-watering amounts for a pre-owned bike.
You may even get better deals if you poke around a few online bike forums for riders looking to sell their electric motorbike.
Pros of Used Electric Motorcycle
The cheaper price might be the first advantage that comes to mind when you think of buying a used electric motorcycle. But there are a handful of other reasons why this could be a good investment.
Here are some of the advantages:
One of the best things about buying a pre-owned electric motorcycle is that many of them come with useful upgrades. This is mostly the case if the original owner has used the bike for a couple of years and has kept it under good condition.
In many cases, you may be lucky to find used options that have extras usually not seen on new bikes.
For example, the original owner may install a luggage box, crash protection, and some other comfort items that can cost additional money to install on new bikes.
Possible warranty transfer
You may be lucky to still have some warranty on the sled, especially if you are buying from a biker who has only used it for a year or two. During the purchase, the seller can transfer the warranty to you – the buyer.
However, the transfer of warranty doesn’t depend only on the number of years left of it. Be sure that the original owner has not voided the warranty by futzing with the bike components. Any modifications can nullify the manufacturer’s warranty.
Another advantage of buying a second-hand electric motorcycle is the lower tax payment involved. That’s because the bike costs less than a new one, so you will pay less in taxes to the government yearly on the old motorcycle.
Buying a pre-owned electric motorcycle usually means paying less insurance. This saves you plenty of money that you can use for gear and future maintenance.
It is a cheaper option
Of course, this is pretty obvious and one of the most significant advantages of buying a used electric motorcycle. With new high-end options selling for as high as $30,000, it makes sense for those on a budget to opt for something within the range of $8,000 or less.
Apart from the typically high cost of a new machine, you will sidestep other additional costs, such as processing fees, preparation fees, and others, when you buy a used option.
The most important thing to keep in mind is the maintenance history of the motorcycle. You want to take note of the age, number of miles it has, and the service history before making a purchase. A used option could be a great investment if everything checks out.
Cons of Electric Motorcycle
Putting your money on a second-hand electric motorcycle might be an attractive proposition, but it doesn’t come without some possible downsides.
Consider the following likely disadvantages before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
A used electric motorcycle is likely to have a shorter lifespan, especially if the previous owner or owners did a poor job of maintaining it. The purchase can turn out to be a loss for you due to negligence on the part of the former users.
Thankfully, you can avoid this by looking out for worn parts and if any major components have been replaced. It is also helpful to find out why the bike is being sold.
Does the seller has another bike and doesn’t want to keep two? Are they trying to get rid of the used one because of a fault?
Or are they selling it for some plausible reasons? Digging for answers can help you avoid dropping the ball on a possible wrong investment.
You may not get exactly what you want
In many cases, buying a second-hand electric motorcycle means settling for less than what you truly want. The size of your budget may force you to forgo your preferred color or some other extras that don’t come with the bike.
In other words, your options are limited and what you see is what you get with pre-owned electric motorcycles. If you are hung up on specific features, it might be difficult to find something that checks all your boxes.
You will likely bear all repair costs
The cost of a pre-owned electric bike may be less, but things can go wrong and you end up spending more money.
This is especially true if you buy one that is already out of warranty. All additional repairs and maintenance will come from your pocket and that can significantly increase the overall cost of the bike.
Fortunately, you can avoid this problem by asking to see maintenance receipts. Consider looking elsewhere if the seller doesn’t seem to have these records, as that could be an indication that they don’t take good care of the motorcycle.
Used vs New
Whether you will buy a new or used electric motorcycle depends a lot on your budget.
But not everyone opts for a used bike because they can’t afford a new one. If this is you, you may have seen plenty of reasons for putting your cash on a used bike, as discussed earlier.
However, buying the second or third model year of a new bike means you are getting a model that doesn’t come with the problems of the first series. Unfortunately, many used models are earlier models. This means you are likely investing in a machine with plenty of early-generation issues.
Also, considering there is usually no huge difference in some new and used bikes from reputable brands, it may make more sense to invest in a brand new option. For example, there is only a couple of thousand dollar price difference for a new and used BMW C-Evolution. Also, it might not be all that easy to find a used electric motorcycle from a trustworthy brand.
Having said this, it is super important to consider both sides of the coin before opting for a new bike. Here are a few highs and lows of a new electric motorcycle.
Advantages of a new electric motorcycle
Investing in a new electric motorcycle guarantees your peace of mind. That’s because the vehicle is brand new, in excellent shape, and very reliable. You can start riding immediately without thinking about maintenance.
You have nothing to worry about if any problems should come up down the line since these motorcycles typically come with a manufacturer warranty.
Also, you are less likely to experience surprises with the components since there is no previous owner. No one has made any changes, so there is a lower chance of frequent repairs.
Downsides of a new Electric Motorcycle
On the other hand, a new electric motorcycle is a huge investment, especially if you want something from a reputable brand. Even with government incentives, a new electric bike is still an expensive option.
For example, you may be eligible for a credit of up to $2,500 on your federal income tax if you buy a new Harley-Davidson LiveWire, depending on your location. Yet, you still have to cough out more than $20,000 to own the electric motorcycle. Clearly, most of the brand-new options are not for riders who don’t have deep pockets.
Again, obtaining insurance might be an uphill task in many cases. That’s mainly because these bikes are very expensive and not very common.
Buying a used electric motorcycle can be an excellent investment decision if you know what to look for.
First, you want to get your eyes off all the bells and whistles and focus on maintenance history.
Remember that you are putting your hard-earned cash into a vehicle that has been in someone else’s possession for a while.
Proceed with the assumption that the bike specs are no longer in their original state. This will help you ask the right questions that will reveal the true state of the electric motorcycle.
Ask to see maintenance receipts because that will give you a fair idea of what the bike has been through. By all means, inspect the motorcycle physically. You don’t want to sign the dotted line without seeing and even test riding what you are paying for.
Noel Joseph has been in the world of motor vehicles for a long period. Currently, he is enthusiastic about Electric & Hybrid Motors and is an independent researcher. He advocates for a clean and sustainable future and envisions utilizing his years of experience in mechanical engineering. His new venture here at CompactPower.com is to organize and simplify knowledge on Electric vehicles. He wants to build a space where people can talk about EVs and associated technologies with freedom.