Buy Or Lease A Motorcycle

You don’t just have to buy a new or used motorcycle to fulfil your dream of speeding down the road; you can also lease a motorcycle. Although motorcycle leasing is less expensive, if you intend to keep it for a long time, it might be more cost-effective to buy one outright. We’ll break down all of the options so you can choose what’s best for you, but two alternatives to a motorcycle lease or loan are buying a bike with a credit card or using home equity.

Can you lease a motorcycle?

Leasing a motorcycle is a possibility but is not very common. Due to the low cost of motorcycles compared to cars and the lack of credit requirements, buyers occasionally choose to pay cash. Those who would rather pay for a motorcycle over time can do so by setting up a motorcycle loan with the dealership or their own bank or credit union.

By leasing a motorcycle from a motorcycle leasing company or a motorcycle dealer, you can purchase a bike without making the commitment of a loan. You might need to shop around because not all dealerships offer leases.


With bad credit, you might be able to lease a motorcycle, but your costs might be high. Compare both offers because a motorcycle loan for people with bad credit might be a better choice. Whichever route you take, stay away from “buy here, pay here” lots; these establishments are known for charging exorbitant interest rates and fees that can reach state maximums.

Motorcycle loan vs. motorcycle lease

If you want to customize your motorcycle with unique paint jobs, equipment, and accessories—all of which would probably be in violation of any lease—financing will be your best option. Watch out for maintenance costs if you intend to drive that new bike cross-country as a motorcycle lease may not come with a warranty. Unlike a car lease, a motorcycle lease may not be subject to mileage restrictions or wear-and-tear charges, but be sure to inquire about any and all lease restrictions.

When you know that the bike you have your eye on is unquestionably the one for you, for the long haul — you might as well buy it — that is perhaps the biggest reason to choose to buy over lease.

When a motorcycle lease makes sense

If you’re a beginner rider, it would be simpler to rent a motorcycle, return it, and rent another one than it might be to change your mind a few years after purchasing. You would have to sell the bike or trade it in if that happened.

Alternatively, if you like to “keep up with the Joneses,” renting may be the best option for you. Even though some leases may allow you to trade in during your lease term, it can help you upgrade to the newest model once your lease is up. Leasing might make a nicer bike more affordable if purchasing would be out of the question.

Which option is right for you?


Leasing is probably the best option for you if you know you’ll only have the motorcycle for a few years or you frequently buy new ones. Purchasing is probably preferable if you intend to commit to owning a motorcycle for an extended period of time.


Leasing a motorcycle probably isn’t the best option if you intend to drive it frequently; buying one might be wiser since you’d probably get a warranty. On the other hand, why spend more money if you only plan to drive it occasionally?


If you rent a motorcycle, you’ll need to pay attention to both its up keep, and how it looks, as well as its maintenance. When you return the car, excessive dings or rusted chrome could drain your wallet with wear-and-tear fees. Leasing shouldn’t be a problem if you take good care of your bike and have a place in the garage for it. If not, buying is probably better for you if waxing and polishing (or paying for it) aren’t your things.

3 alternatives to motorcycle leasing


Why lease or finance if you know what you want and have enough money to buy it outright? Just keep in mind that in addition to the motorcycle’s sticker price, you will also have to pay taxes and fees out of pocket.


It might make sense to obtain a motorcycle loan rather than a motorcycle lease for the reasons we’ve already mentioned. We’ll add one more, though: For customers with good credit, motorcycle manufacturers frequently have special financing deals available. For instance, as of the date of publication, Honda offered 0% APRs on the Honda Power sports credit card for a full year.


Before making a significant purchase or lease decision, renting can be a great way to test-drive various motorcycle types if a test ride feels insufficient. It may be possible to determine whether you prefer a sport roadster over a cruiser, or vice versa, by riding a bike from Harley Davidson or another manufacturer. Alternatively, you might enjoy renting various models for various occasions, such as a more comfortable touring bike for a weekend trip or a chrome-heavy cruiser to attend a high school reunion.

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