Tom Cruise has a new way to get to Scientology meetings (other than video conferencing): On the back of his new $72,500 Desmosedici RR, Ducati’s (DMH) new limited-edition motorcycle. Yesterday Cruise became the world’s first owner of the 2008 Italian-made two-wheeler, the first street-legal replica of a MotoGP racing bike, which can reach speed of more than 200 miles per hour. Only 1500 will be made available to the public and they have all been presold.
Thinking of getting a luxury bike of your own? Dealers suggest buying instead of leasing. “Most people are going to outright buy like Cruise,” says Tom Clancy, owner of Augusta Triumph//Ducati in Augusta, Georgia, who sells bikes ranging from $8,000 to $12,000 and some as high as $30,000. “The term on the loan for a bike is less than for on a car,” says Clancy. “Most people don’t put more than 3000 miles on a motorcycle in two years.” If you opt to finance, bike dealers go through the same banks as auto dealers, says Scott Davison, sales manager Advanced Motorsports Ducati Dallas. “We stick with above the board auto-style loans versus revolving credit loans,” says Davidson. That means you pay less interest, maybe 8%, during the duration of the loan.
If you are willing to buy a used bike, expect to save up to 25%, or around $3,000, says Clancy. “Buying used can be an advantage in that the owner doesn’t have the initial depreciation, but you give up the residual value too,” says Clancy. Purchasing used also requires a bit more research, especially on the expiration date of the motorcycle’s warranty. “You only want someone who has gone over the bike with a fine tuned comb,” such as a reputable bike dealership, says Davidson. Another good market for used motorcycles is membership-based clubs, suggests Morris Armstrong, a financial planner in Danbury, Connecticut. According to Armstrong, club bikes stand a better chance of being more regularly tuned-up.
Armstrong also says if you are in a relationship, a major purchase such as a Ducati, new or used, should involve a discussion with your family or significant other. “Get spousal concurrence,” says Armstrong. “Make sure your life insurance and will are up to date too.”