Bobby's Territorial Harley-Division

Whether you are a novice or experienced pro, finding a good motorcycle dealer will put you zooming down the right path.

Not only do motorcycle dealers offer bikes for purchase, they can also act as an information resource and community hub.

If you don't already have a motorcycle license, you will need to apply for one. You will need one to operate a motorcycle legally. You will also need it if you drive a scooter. Weekend courses may be available. You will have to take a written and road test in order to be licensed.

You may also rely on a friend of family member to help you learn how to ride. Check with your state licensing office for details. But you will still likely need to get a license.

Once you have obtained your license, you can purchase a bike. Here are some steps to take in order to find the right dealer for you.

1. Decide on the Type of Bike

When you are in the market to purchase a bike, your first step is to figure out which style of bike you want. There are many styles, but most dealers only specialize in one or two types.

A sport bike has a sleek look. Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha make sport bikes.

Tour bikes are best for long trips. These classic-looking bikes feature comfortable seats and space for drinks, bags and other items. They usually have large bodies and engine displacements.

A cruiser, like a Harley-Davidson, has V-twin large displacement engines. They hold the rider upright or slightly leaned back.

2. Research Dealers

Start researching dealers by looking online. Let the type of bike you want guide you toward the right dealers.

Contact several locations and ask questions. Do they offer new and used bikes? Ask them about your preferred model. Do they have in-house financing? Ask about their hours of operation and maintenance process.

Note any dealers who are unavailable for your call. If a company is difficult to contact, that is a warning sign. 

3. Check the Reviews

Once you have a list of prospective dealers, check customer reviews. It will tell you about the quality of customer service you will receive from customers who have had experience dealing with the company before you shop there.

Reviews also inform you about the reliability of products in the store. Avoid any dealership that has shoddy products, too high of prices or bad customer service. Look closer at dealers with strong customer service reputations.

As with any business, read these reviews carefully. Understand that more unhappy customers leave reviews than happy ones. Satisfied customers are enjoying the afternoons riding their bikes.

4. Visit the Dealership

Once you have narrowed your list, it is time to visit locations and begin shopping.

If you find a machine you like, speak with a salesperson. Focus on how he or she is talking to you. Note their knowledge level, kindness, honesty and quick service.

The most essential quality is trust. If you don't feel like you should trust the dealership or salespeople, walk away.

5. Choose Your Motorcycle Dealer

Once you feel as though you have found a good dealership, inspect their bikes. Sometimes, a dealership will permit a trusted mechanic to check the vehicle before you purchase it. If you have chosen a good shop, they will accept your request.

Once you have found a good dealership and a bike that is in excellent mechanical condition, you can feel at peace with your purchase. 

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