3 Tips to Make Buying Your First Harley-Davidson® Easy

Posted by Lisa DiFalco on

Buying a First Harley-Davidson

It could have been on your bucket list for some time or you may have decided that you wanted to learn to ride on a Harley-Davidson. Either way, there are plenty of bikes to choose from with new and used models available. Learn more about a few factors that you may want to consider as you explore your options. 

Determine Your Budget

Generally speaking, new Harleys are not an inexpensive purchase. Getting a model with all the bells and whistles may not always be your best bet. Check out what your local dealer has in stock and compare it to their used inventory. You may find that the best bike to meet your needs is one that has a few miles on her.

Some Harleys may not burn a hole in your pocket but others can cost $30,000 or more. Experienced riders who have their heart set on a model may want to splurge, and financing options are available. However, novices may want to buy a used bike and not worry about future scratches and dings.

Try Her Out

The latest model in the dealer’s showroom may be absolute eye candy, but you also have to like how she feels. It will be your bottom feeling those miles, so it makes sense to pick a model that works well for you. Novices may want to speak with their dealer to make adjustments that can improve their comfort.

Fitment should take into account your height and weight, as well as if you prefer a lighter or heavier bike. If you have your eyes on a few models, going on test drives can help, as can renting the bike for a week or so. Feel free to connect with fellow riders to see which models they may suggest. And remember if a bike ends up not doing it for you, it is always possible to sell her.

At the end of the day, the best thing about your new bike won’t be how she looks, but how you feel riding her. You can get plenty of enjoyment from even the most bare-bones model.

Choose a Bike Based on Your Experience Level

Pick a bike that fits your level but leaves you room to grow. This might translate to a shorter and more lightweight Harley, as such models can be easier to handle for new riders, both women and men. It may also lead some to a Touring model for those planning to put in significant highway miles. What you want from a bike is likely to change in time, as you become a more experienced rider and learn more about what works and doesn’t work for you when on the road.

Feel free to check out the different families. Harley-Davidson® enthusiasts seem to recommend the Road King or Street Glide pretty often, especially for a person who may be putting more city miles than highway. A Sportster may be good if you are generally staying in town. Investigate the forums for insights on the ins and outs of each model and what to expect from fellow riders. A reputable dealer may also provide additional guidance on which models may best suit your experience level and where you plan to ride.

You Can Do This

You are not the first person wading through the models and trying to find the perfect ride. Don’t get too upset if your choice doesn’t check off all of your boxes. Sometimes it is hard to know what you don’t know. However, with more first hand experience you will soon find a model to hit that sweet spot for you.

Have you recently bought your first Harley and want to tell us how it went? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet @DiagnosticaNews.


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