Buying new VS. Buying used
As some of you (may or may not) know, I'm looking to buy a Ninja 250. I originally planned to buy used, because it was cheaper, won't depreciate as much, is already broken in (usually), might already be dropped or scratched-- meaning I won't feel as guilty if i do that myself. Unfortunately, it turned out a little harder than I expected. I cannot, for the life of me, find a used 250 anywhere local. I've tried cycletrader, ebay, 100motorcycles, the SBW classified section, the local newspaper, and dealerships, but the few that are available are usually pretty far out-of-state. So that got me thinking: maybe it's not such a bad idea to buy a new one. So to help my decision making, I've been pondering the benefits and drawbacks of new. Here's what I have:
* Clean Mechanical Record - If I buy used, I can't guarantee that the bike is mechanically sound. I've read that the only way to see if a bike was broken in properly is to rip apart the engine. With a new bike, I'd have to break it in myself, that way I can ensure that it is done properly.
* Clean Maintinance Record - I'd have a fresh opertunity to perform all the scheduled maintinances on the bike. Also, I've read it's a good idea to keep a log of all the maintinances/upgrades/failiures of the bike. With used, especially if the seller got it to learn on and sell immediately afterwards, the bike might be neglected since it won't stay with the seller for long anyway.
* Dealer/Factory Warranty - A used bike might or might not still have the warranty in effect. With new, I have the choice of taking the standard 1-year warranty, or buy the extended 4-year warranty. Either way, there IS going to be a warranty.
* Availability and Selection - Before I go to detail here, I should explain that I bought all my riding gear ahead of time, so I wouldn't be tempted to go cheap later on after most of the money was spent on the bike. Well, my gear turned out to have a red/black color scheme. The only used ninja that I did actually find was LIME GREEN!!! Talk about Christmas in July... Anyway, when buying a new bike, I would get the ability to choose the color and, again, the warranty options. Not only that, but there will definetely be more new bikes around than there would be used 250's.
* Builds Credit History - This isn't universal for all people, but due to my current savings ammount, I would have to finance, which (assuming I make timely payments) would build my credit. Good credit means a possibly better financial future.
* More Expensive - Not only would I be paying more for the value of the bike, but I'd also have dealer fees. I have about 2,400 bucks in cash right now, about 2,000 of which would go as a down-payment, the rest towards insurance and registration. That would mean that, as stated above, I'd have to finance. Financing means the dealer, bank, or whoever is giving me the loan will collect interest from me, adding to the total cost.
* Break-In - The bike's odometer would read "1", meaning I'd have to ride it extra-gently for the first 500 (or so) miles, then just gently for the next 1000 (or so) miles. This isn't too big of a drawback... more like an annoyance than anything.
* Guilt - Hypothetically (knock on wood), if I drop the bike accidentally or (knock on wood again) I crash it, all that shiny plastic now scratched and broken will not only burn a hole in my pocket, but add to the guilt of ruining something brand new. If the used bike is already scratched, then I'd only be adding to the collection of scratches, and wouldn't feel as bad.
* If I Don't Like It - If I end up not liking the bike for whatever reason, I would lose more money getting rid of it than I would getting rid of a new one. I've read practically nothing but good reviews about the 250, it's comfortable to sit on, and I just plain like it, but things might be different after owning/riding it for a while.
This is what I have so far, and if any of you can think of any other benefits or drawbacks, please share. This applies to me and the Ninja 250, but now that I think about it, it also applies to other motorcycles (and cars maybe) as well.