Should I get a new or used dual sport motorcycle?

Chris Waldron Chris Waldron

 I'm a fan of buying used. I've bought 3 dual-sport bikes, 2 of which were through private sellers.

Should I get a new or used dual sport motorcycle?

The first one was a Suzuki DR650SE that I picked up for $2000 with 20k miles and all the aftermarket stuff already handled. Now I've put probably another $1000 into extra farkles and small repairs. I have a healthy, decked-out ADV bike for $3000.

The second was an older DRZ400S that I found on craigslist for $1500 with about 8k miles on it (a friend had owned it). The third was a KTM 300XC that my father purchased from a private seller because he just wanted something different than what we'd been riding together on our offroading trips.

I can't say I've ever had any problems with buying used bikes. You just have to be smart about it, and not rush into anything.

The only thing I've ever done is buy a bike that was stolen and recovered. I knew the guy who sold it to me, and he told me he would never buy stolen stuff again after this happened. I bought from him because I trusted him, but you could easily find yourself in a situation where you don't know the seller at all and they're trying to sell you something they shouldn't be selling.

So first off, make sure you know what you're buying. If it's been stolen or recovered by police then it should be easy to spot because there will be a VIN check on the title (if not already done by the PO). If there isn't then run away immediately!

If you decide to go for it anyway then get a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) from someone who knows what they're doing before committing any money or signing anything.

There are two big reasons why I think you should get a dual sport

First, they're cheap! They're not dirt bikes or supermotos (although some of them are), so they don't command high prices like those do. You can find an excellent condition DR650SE for under $2000 these days, which is less than most people spend on their first car!

Second, they're versatile! They handle well on pavement and off-road trails alike, so you get the best of both worlds in one package. There's no need to spend extra time and money modifying your bike for different situations if you already have one that does everything well out of the box!

The cons of buying used dual sport motorcycle

  1. You don't know what kind of shape the engine is in until you start tearing into it and rebuild parts;
  2. You don't know how well maintained the bike has been throughout its life;
  3. It may not come with much paperwork or history;
  4. There's no warranty;