A motorcycle is an incredible machine. When you’re on a ride out in the open air, enjoying views all around you without having to worry about your ride blocking the beauty, you’ll feel at one with the road and with the moment. In many ways, motorcycles are all about that feeling of living in the moment — they’re about seizing the present and getting the most out of life, right here and right now.
But the immediate moment is not the only one that riders should be thinking about — at least, not in between rides. As you enjoy your bike over the years, you need to be conscious of its value. Motorcycles aren’t cheap, after all, and they don’t last forever. If you want to get the maximum enjoyment out of your ride, then you need to be careful about how you care for it.
Your motorcycle is depreciating
When you buy a vehicle, you acquire a very valuable asset that, with extremely few exceptions, is going to get less valuable over time. When you pony up the cash for your truck at the Ford dealership or ride off the lot on your new Harley, you’re agreeing to trade cash value for the value of something else — your vehicle — which you can use, but which will be worth less and less as the years and miles go by.
But depreciation is not set in stone. It’s going to happen, but how you treat your vehicle is going to make a big difference in how fast it happens. If you’re proactive and care for your vehicle, you’re going to get better and more reliable performance, and you’re going to be able to sell or trade it in for more (if and when you choose to do so) than you could have gotten otherwise. If you neglect your vehicle, on the other hand, you’ll make it more dangerous, less reliable, and a whole lot less valuable.
Taking care of your motorcycle, now and in the future
That’s why you should take a long view of motorcycle ownership. Living in the moment is all well and good when you’re out on the road, but in-between rides, you should be thinking about your vehicle’s care, performance, and long-term value. You should be approaching motorcycle ownership with an eye to extending the high-performance life of your motorcycle and preserving its value.
To do so, you’ll need to put an emphasis on proper maintenance. Repairs are essential when they’re necessary, but how often they become necessary will have a lot to do with how well you keep up with your motorcycle’s routine maintenance needs. Rely on checklists and schedules and, above all, on a trusted mechanic — ideally, one who specializes in motorcycles and in your make and model of bike specifically.
You’ll pay your mechanic for his or her expert labor. You’ll also pay for parts — and making the right decisions on this front is crucial. From batteries for motorcycles to motorcycle brakes, you want to invest in high-quality, brand-name products. Your motorcycle is a valuable thing, and all of its parts rely on one another. Putting a weak link into the mix is not a good idea — it means that your repair may not last as long, and it may also lead to problems with other parts that were previously doing just fine.
Keeping your motorcycle clean and knowing how to store it (and, if your climate demands it, winterize it) is essential, too. If you’re not careful about keeping up with the details on your bike, you could end up with ruined upholstery and damaging rust. Those things will torpedo the value of your bike very, very quickly.
You don’t have to be planning to sell your bike to be aware of its long-term value. Even if you’re committed to this bike for life, you should be caring for it carefully in order to maintain its top-notch performance and its safety. To enjoy your bike in all of those future here-and-nows, you need to take a long view in the present.