H-D Q&A: Buying a new or pre-owned Harley-Davidson

H-D Q&A: Buying a new or pre-owned Harley-Davidson

You’ve yearned for that gleaming Harley-Davidson and you’ve worked overtime and saved. So, now the big decision. How much do I spend and do I buy new or used?

There are arguments for both, so please read on.

Most of the websites telling you about buying used Harley-Davidsons are in the USA. Many of those tips are valid, but many are not. Particularly with regard to pricing.

You will quickly discover that the price difference between new and used Harley-Davidson motorcycles are not that great. There is a strong argument to buy a new bike and enjoy the benefits and reassurance of the factory warranty. Look after your new Harley-Davidson and it will hold its value better than most vehicles on the road.

If you’re looking to save a few dollars, the best time to buy a new Harley-Davidson is during the model year runout sales when new bikes can be purchased at genuine bargain prices. But the bike or colour you’ve set your heart on may not be available due to popularity, so consider that.

If you decide to buy a used Harley-Davidson, then do you buy from your Harley-Heaven dealer or privately? Your Harley-Heaven dealer will offer you ongoing support as well as warranty and the knowledge that the bike has been fully inspected and repaired as necessary.

You may also find that pre-owned, dealer-maintained motorcycles with service history are an attractive proposition especially if desirable upgrades have been applied. For example, you might get a low kilometre bike with performance pipes, air cleaner and maybe a race tuner for about the same price as a stock-standard new bike.

If you’re buying privately, it’s good to be fully versed on the things to look out for, take a knowledgeable friend or pay for a pre-sale inspection. Experts will tell you to check things like wear and tear on paint/chrome, brake discs, tyres, exhaust, foot peg/board and seat. Look closely at the drive belt for cuts or damage and listen carefully for unusual noises coming from the engine and cam lifters. Squeeze the brake and clutch levers and note if the action is smooth. High mileage may not necessarily be a bad thing as H-D engines are very durable, but can you be assured it has been regularly serviced and not run hot or low on oil?

Whether you choose to buy new or pre-owned, rest easy because you can be assured of the same quality service from your Harley-Heaven dealer.


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