For those looking to hop on a motorcycle and hit the open road, the prospect of leasing might be an appealing option. But can you lease a motorcycle, like you would with a car? The short answer is mostly yes, you can, but should you?
Leasing is an uncommon method of financing compared to purchasing a motorcycle, but it is possible. Buying outright or with traditional motorcycle financing is a much more common practice in the motorcycle industry for a number of reasons.
However, for some riders, leasing may be worth considering. Let’s explore the world of motorcycle leasing, and discuss the process, benefits, drawbacks, and considerations to help you make an informed decision.
Leasing a Motorcycle: How it Works
Similar to car leasing, motorcycle leasing involves signing a contract to rent a bike for a specific period, typically between 24 and 60 months. At the end of the lease term, you’ll have the option to purchase the motorcycle at a pre-determined residual value or return it and lease a new one. Monthly payments are generally lower than purchasing, as you’re only paying for the bike’s depreciation during the lease period. However, it’s essential to be aware that wear-and-tear guidelines may apply.
Various companies offer motorcycle leasing options, including Honda, which provides leases directly. Other examples of companies that offer motorcycle leases are Speed Leasing, MotoLease, and Horsepower Financial.
Benefits of Leasing a Motorcycle
- Lower monthly payments: Leasing a motorcycle typically involves lower monthly payments than purchasing, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
- Reduced maintenance costs: Since you’re riding a newer motorcycle, it’s less likely to require significant time at a repair shop, reducing overall maintenance costs.
- Flexibility: Leasing provides the option to change bikes every few years, allowing you to experience different motorcycle brands and models without making a long-term commitment.
Drawbacks of Leasing a Motorcycle
- Ownership: At the end of the lease, you won’t own the motorcycle unless you choose to buy it. This means you’ll have spent money on monthly payments without building equity. Additionally, a residual payment is due at the end of the lease if you decide to keep the motorcycle.
- Insurance costs: Leased motorcycles often require higher levels of motorcycle insurance coverage, which can be more expensive than insuring a purchased bike.
- Potential to pay more: Depending on the lease terms, you may end up paying more over the duration of the lease compared to purchasing the motorcycle outright.
Things to Consider Before Leasing
- Your riding habits: If you plan to ride extensively or have a history of putting a lot of wear and tear on your bikes, leasing might not be the best option.
- Credit score: Leasing companies typically require a good credit score, as leasing is considered a form of financing.
- Dealer availability: Not all motorcycle dealerships offer leasing options, so it’s essential to research and find a dealership that provides leasing options for the specific brand and model you’re interested in.
- Residual value: The pre-determined purchase price at the end of the lease, known as the residual value, can vary. Make sure to discuss this with the dealer before signing a lease contract.
Should You Lease a Motorcycle?
Leasing a motorcycle is quite uncommon, possibly for good reasons. However, it remains a potential financing option for those looking to ride the latest models without making a long-term commitment. It’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks, taking into account your personal riding habits, financial situation, and preferences.
Before considering leasing, it’s wise to explore traditional financing options first. Conduct thorough research, consult with dealers and leasing companies, and ensure you fully understand the terms of your lease contract before signing on the dotted line. In the end, the choice to lease or purchase a motorcycle will depend on your unique situation and priorities.