Picking Out A Motorbike (Part One)
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:54
We don’t just deal with car loans here at Fincar. We also process plenty of applications for motorbikes as well. Whether you’re getting two wheels for business or for pleasure, a motorbike has plenty to offer in the way of fun and for fuel-efficiency. But what do you need to look out for if you’re buying your first motorbike?
The first thing you have to make sure that you have before you apply for a motorbike loan is a motorbike licence – duh! You’re going to look pretty silly if you go down to the dealers, loan all approved and ready to go, only to find out that you can’t drive the thing home. Alert readers might have spotted the Catch-22 situation here: you need a motorbike to pass the practical licence test but you can’t ride the bike out of the dealer’s yard without a licence. No worries. You can sit a theoretical test and get a learner’s permit, as long as you’re over the right age (which, presumably, you are if you are considering taking out a loan and reading this – although some younger readers and potential riders might think about getting loans from the First National Bank Of Mum And Dad). The age does vary from state to state – you have to be 16 to get your learner’s permit in South Australia but you have to be 17 to get the same bit of paper in Western Australia – check the regulations for where you live. Don’t forget to attach your L-plate before you ride away, and if you’ve never ridden before, get someone to show you how to ride (another duh! statement). Also don’t forget to include the price of your helmet and other safety gear when you apply for that loan.
Your licence will determine the sort of bike you have. A person holding a learner’s permit (and those who’ve been riding for less than 12 months) can only ride motorbikes with under 250cc engine capacity – but there are a few exceptions, as some motorbikes are “pocket rockets” that can twist a huge amount of power out of a small engine, and these are on the “No Way” list for those with an R-Date licence (also known as an R-E licence). Later on, you can get the bigger bike with 250+ cc. Often, we see people applying for motorbike loans when the time comes for the “big bike”, as these are often more expensive (it’s easy to pick up second-hand <250cc bikes at a reasonable price – people who have bought the new big bike often sell the old one, or else they try to sell the small bike so they can use the money as a deposit on the new one).
Mopeds are a different kettle of fish altogether. Mopeds have an engine capacity of under 50cc and can’t work up any speed over 60 km/h. Some mopeds can best be described as a cross between a regular pushbike and a motorbike. They’re not as common as regular motorbikes, and we hardly see anyone coming to us so they can take out a loan for a moped!
But what do you choose when you pick the big one? Are all bikes created equal or are there different sorts for different purposes, similar to what happens with cars. And do you have to go to a larger bike at all? This is a bit more complex and will take another post to address properly.
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