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Best Time to Buy?

126251 Views 21 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Buzglyd
Re: Best Time to Buy???

see how good the Christmas deals are first. I frankly wouldn't buy a new bike. a slightly used one will show up in the papers no doubt. Let the other guy take the depreciation hit.

Dealers, depending where you live, tend to be quite hungry in the late Jan/Feb timeframe. But I've met my share of dealers who couldn't give a rat's behind how long a bike has been sitting on the floor, they're going to get MSRP if it's the last thing they do. Insane, but true.

Pop on over to the WERA BBS and look around for tips on deals. If you want a Kawi there is a guy in AK I think it is that will beat probably anybody in the country. Certain NC and WVa dealers are also willing to make very good deals because frankly they can.
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How About Mail Order?

On the Cycletrader website there are dealers who have very attractive pricing on new models. Cycletrader covers the entire country, so in theory someone in Seattle could buy a bike from a dealer in Florida who has a screamin' deal.

Has anyone bought a "mail order" bike like this? It seems like there are all kinds of reasons not to buy a $10,000, 500 lb. item through the internet (what if it's damaged? even if you can figure out the responsible party can you get it fixed? you gonna send it back?) but maybe these issues have been worked out.

And how much risk is there anyway? A new R6 in Durham, NC is exactly like a new R6 in Salem, OR.

So, has anyone done this? Did it work?
The best deals are going to be on a 1 or 2 year old new bike, right after the new models come out in the mags. or web sites. I've always managed to save a couple of bucks that way. Thats assuming the bike you're after isn't selling like hotcakes

Buying around christmas is a good idea because nothing looks nicer than a new bike in the garage. I don't know if time of year makes that much differance, I think it's more how long the dealers been sitting on the bike or manufacturer incentives that determine the price. Around here in the Seattle / Tacoma area most are selling at MSRP, then they'll knock off a few bucks if it's a non-current new bike.
I disagree on buying used. Once you are buying a substantial-enough bike (eg, a VFR), new is better for the piece of mind and warantee. I wish I did.

For buying, fall/christmas/new-years is probably the best, you want to get the "old" model, especially on something where the new model only adds a different paint color.

One note on the VFR: It is a VERY nice bike, but the side mounted radiators do make it a bit undercooled, so in hot weather, the bike can run pretty hot. Not overheat (unless something else is wrong), just hot.

Also, you might be able to still find a 2002 VFR if you look around, that would be the one to get if you are happy with red. (just make sure the dealer installs the new alternator, there was a recall as the origional 2002 alternator wouldn't put out enough power to power all 220 Watts! of high-beams in stop and go traffic. There may also have been a battery recall as well on a few. Basically minor (and corrected) first year niggles).

If you want one of the new 2004 bikes (eg FZ-6, SV-Strom), deals won't be had for a long time.
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Not knowing anything about you, I would give these two bits of advice (cause they ain't worth two bits)

First ; if you are new to riding or have a tendancy to get bored with you ride, buy used. 1 to 2 years old, fine tooth comb it, and enjoy the savings by buying some goodies.

Second ; if your like me and keep bikes for a long time (6 years plus) buy new. That way all the miles are yours and depreiciation don't mean a hill of beans.

And jan/feb in cold climates usually does get you a little better deal. Again it depends on the dealer.

Enjoy the new ride either way.
Fall through February is probably the best time to get a deal on a new bike, as they try to make room for new inventory, and are more willing to deal. To some extent, the longer the bike sits, the better the deal you can make. However, some dealers will lower the prices in the fall and raise the prices back up when Spring comes. If they run out of the bike you want, then you'll have to pay the higher price for the new model when it comes out in Spring.

Extra tips:

The biggest thing to watch out for when comparing dealer prices is freight and assembly costs--make sure you get all these costs and then compare. I've seen big ads in trader magazines with amazingly low prices, only to find out the price is pretty much the same as my local dealer, once you add in the freight and assembly.

Also, if you know, trust, and buy from your local dealer, they're more likely to go the extra mile for you when you need it (fit you into a tight schedule for service, etc.). My dealer also gives discounts on accessories and apparel since I bought the bike there.
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From your post it appears saving some bucks is important, and you don't mind be patient for a good deal. With that in mind my advice is to buy a slightly used bike, with low miles. Since you are patient you can almost certainly get yourself a steal compared to buying new. I am on my forth bike and I can tell you I have paid more in normal preventive maintenance, tires, oil, etc. than I have for the bikes cause I get great deals, and then resale the bike for almost what I paid a few years later. Talk about resale. If you are patient with getting a great deal you can basically ride for free minus maint. gas, oil, etc. That's what I have done. Another plus is you can own 2 or more bikes for no more than others buying new.
Being a dealer I can tell you that usually the best time to buy is when the manufacturers (not the dealers) have big incentives like Bonus Bucks, Price reductions, or purchase incentives. Currently their is no help from American Honda on the VFR's. Honda determines incentives based on how much stock is left out in dealer (and Honda's) inventories. I agree with the one fellow who says always try your local dealer as a last comparo, tell him you want to keep you business local and show him any lower prices you may have found. Definately compare the "out the door" prices when shopping, as the other guy mentioned the Freight and Preperation/Handling charges can be astronomically inflated to make up for any decreases in Dealer suggested retail price as I have seen done in the past with larger metro area dealers. I agree about buying the new over used (unless of course you find that one year old bike grandma used with 2500 miles on it and has the 4 year Honda extended warranty!). Peace of mind is always a good thing. Good luck. Ciao.

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Hmmmm. A used VFR, huh? How about a Concours? Or an SV650?
funny you ask.

i bought my '03 interceptor last x-mas eve.

merry x-mas to myself..hehe.


dec & jan are slow around these parts, not to mention, the following year models are usually on the floor by that time. so yeah...that's a good time to buy.

i bought my '03 interceptor for 500 below msrp. i didn't want the hassle and i wanted silver...and ONLY silver. ('02 didn't have silver)

if you have to have a BLACK '04 interceptor, you might have some trouble bargaining. if you don't care... and a red or silver one is okay by you, go get last year's model ('03).

that x-mas eve, they offered me without haggling the '02 ABS for $8800... 1200 off msrp (10k)

who knows how much more i could have got off with a little haggling?

good luck.
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oh yeah

HRCUSA and that other dude talking about shipping/handling/freight charges had great advice.

re: nweaver's side mounted radiator blurb,

it is true, in hot weather it can run umm... hot. and if you're put putting around in urban hot weather stop & go traffic, the fan will kick in.

like he said...overheat NO, just hot.
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oh yeah,

if you have any other questions re: interceptor '02-'04 model line, feel free to ask me... leave an email or something.

mine's abs with hardbags.

i commute with it daily,

been touring with it once this past summer, and scrubbed the rear tire down pretty decently...
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Well, a dealer around here is closing out 2003 Sportster 883s already for $4900. Now that's cheap compared to the past....
I'll wait till they're paying $5500 to take one then maybe,,,
This year, it seems the prices are lower than last. Last year, I didn't really see a drop here in Colorado until October and November. This year, however, the prices started low. I get the Rocky Mountain News every Saturday (when the sales are); I've seen 'O3 VFRs w/ABS as low as $8495. Earlier this summer, one store had non-ABS VFRs for $7795. Last year, I didn't see these prices until late in the season. This year, I'm not sure things are going to get a lot cheaper than they already are.

I'd first settle on a model I want. Then shop it hard. Don't be afraid to use the internet to find a dealer willing to bargain. I live in NH and bought a H-D in MA a few years ago and saved myself thousands over the locals. They were tacking on 1,500 to 2,000 on and getting it. If you're willing to go a few extra miles it might pay-off. Also let the local dealer know if you found a better price and see if he's willing to match it. Shop the mfg.'s incentives as well. BMW was offering incredible deals last winter through this summer. Like others have said some dealers just don't move much, others are more motivated. So shop around. good luck
I'm a member of the "buy slightly used" group. I have purchased both new and used motorcycles over the years, and even though I tend to keep my bikes a long time (10+ years), I enjoy leaving some $$ in my pocket when I buy-in. And modern motorcycles are so darn bullet-proof, it’s unlikely that there’s something going on inside that isn’t clearly evidenced by what you see on the outside.

Used bikes tend to be cheapest during the late fall and winter in these northern climes, but the real key to getting a good deal is being patient –something that is almost impossible if you don’t have a bike to ride while waiting. But if you can wait, there are some great deals to be had if you’ve got money in your pocket. In November of 2001, I paid $5,000 cash for a 1999 Honda VTR 1000, 5000 miles, mint condition with dealer service records. NICE!

Check out this month’s issue of Motorcyclist Magazine for their opinion of the "50 Best Used Bikes" and some hints on how to get the most used bike for the least money.

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Well, no wonder...

The 2003 is a paintshaking piece of crap, while the 2004 actually has, GASP, a rubber-mounted engine so the bike won't try to fling itself apart at a stop-light.
While from a financial perspective the 'slightly used' motorcycle is a great deal, in that the instant depreciation hit has already been taken, the paranoia I always had was about buying the motorcycle that young Squidley had taken straight out of the box and redlined in first gear trying to wheelie himself into an early grave, and then decided he was too scared to ride. So it's a 1 year old R1 with only 500 miles on it? How much damage was done to that poor engine via improper break in procedure?

It's also important to note that I'm pedantic about following the manufacturers suggestions regarding the first 1000 miles, so my advice should be taken with a grain of salt. I don't know how important it is to follow them, and you can't exclude Grampa from the list of people who might have redlined the bike out of the dealer's lot just because he looks responsible, but I'd be more comfortable with something that has a reputation for being abused, in new state than used.

If you can find a responsibly owned used motorcycle, by all means, buy it.

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