Motorcycle Loans and Financing

It’s hard to shake the desire to own a motorcycle once it gets firmly implanted in your mind. But before you head over to your local bike shop, you must consider how to finance a motorcycle. A motorcycle is no small investment, which is why people who can’t pay cash for their new ride typically take out a motorcycle loan.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

Motorcycle financing is available through traditional lenders like credit unions and banks, but you can also obtain financing through dealers, manufacturers and non-traditional lenders. Here’s what you need to know about financing your new motorcycle.

The best motorcycle loan providers of 2020

  • Harley-Davidson Financial Services: Best for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts
  • MotorcycleLender: Best for borrowers with bad credit
  • Wells Fargo: Best for fast approvals
  • Best Egg: Best for high-income borrowers
  • USAA: Best for veterans and service members
Lender APR Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Term Length
Harley-Davidson Financial Services 3.49% – 18.99% $500 $50,000 24 to 84 months
MotorcycleLender 6.99% N/A $40,000 1 to 5 years
Wells Fargo 5.24% and up $3,000 $100,000 12 to 84 months
Best Egg 5.99% – 29.99% $2,000 $35,000 36 or 60 months
USAA 5.25% and up $5,000 100% of cost 12 to 72 months

The 5 best motorcycle loan providers of 2020

Harley-Davidson Financial Services: Best for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts

Harley-Davidson is one of the largest and most iconic motorcycle brands in the world. While you can go through other lenders to finance a Harley-Davidson purchase, the manufacturer itself has plenty of great loan offerings to help customers afford their bikes.

Harley-Davidson Financial Services offers loans for both new and used motorcycles as well as for purchases from private sellers. Graduates of Harley-Davidson’s Riding Academy Course can secure a lower APR on their loan and may even qualify for lower minimum down payments. Harley-Davidson also has a specific loan offering for active members of the military.

MotorcycleLender: Best for borrowers with bad credit

MotorcycleLender is an online lender that specializes in providing loans for used motorcycle purchases as well as helping borrowers who have lower credit scores. MotorcycleLender’s lowest APR isn’t as favorable as other lenders, but that’s to be expected from lenders who provide bad credit motorcycle financing.

You can borrow up to $40,000 through MotorcycleLender for your motorcycle purchase and receive your funds in your checking account in as little as 48 hours.

Wells Fargo: Best for fast approvals

Wells Fargo offers loan products for a variety of vehicles beyond motorcycles, including ATVs, snowmobiles, Jet Skis, other personal watercraft and more. Wells Fargo even provides loans for purchasing boats and aircraft.

While you can’t apply for its motorcycle and specialty vehicle financing online, you may be able to qualify for an interest rate discount if you’re already a qualifying Wells Fargo customer. There are also no penalties for paying off your Wells Fargo motorcycle loan early. Still, the biggest selling point of Wells Fargo’s motorcycle loan is that you could potentially receive your funds in under 48 hours.

Best Egg: Best for high-income borrowers

Best Egg doesn’t offer a loan specifically for motorcycles, but the online lender offers some of the best interest rates available on personal loans. Since you can borrow as much as $35,000, you should be able to borrow more than enough to purchase most motorcycles.

The one drawback to Best Egg is that it doesn’t typically lend to people with low credit scores. This lender may also be wary of borrowers who don’t earn a high monthly income. Best Egg suggests that you should apply if your credit score is at least 640. However, you may not be able to lock in as low an interest rate as you’d like if your credit score isn’t 700 or more.

USAA: Best for veterans and service members

USAA provides loans, insurance and banking services to active, retired and honorably separated personnel of the U.S. military, as well as to their families. In addition to these products, you can also obtain motorcycle financing through USAA at a decent starting APR of 5.25%. You don’t even need to make a down payment on your motorcycle to get financing.

The one downside to applying for a USAA motorcycle loan is that you must have a military connection to be eligible for its services. If you can’t show that you or an immediate family member — such as a parent or spouse — is or was a member of the military, then USAA won’t work with you.

What is a motorcycle loan?

A motorcycle loan is very similar to a car loan. The lender provides you with a lump sum, either as cash or as a direct transfer to the motorcycle dealer, and you pay back the loan in monthly installments plus interest. The key differences between a motorcycle loan and a car loan are that they are sometimes much smaller for new motorcycles, and they are usually classified differently.

For example, most lenders classify motorcycle loans either as “specialty vehicle” loans, “leisure vehicle” loans, or simply as personal loans. Nonetheless, some firms provide loans specifically for motorcycle purchases, and you can often obtain motorcycle financing directly from a dealer or from a manufacturer, like Harley-Davidson.

How should I choose the right motorcycle loan?

Finding the right motorcycle loan usually depends on three factors: the price of the motorcycle, your down payment and the interest rate or APR of the loan. The more expensive the bike, the more you’ll need to borrow and the higher your monthly payments will be.

However, you can save money in the long run by locking down a good interest rate. Check your credit score; if it isn’t as good as it could be, consider paying off some debt and improving your score before taking out another loan. You can also consider saving up for a higher down payment so you don’t have to borrow as much.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

The bottom line

If you already have other debts like a car loan or home loan, purchasing a motorcycle may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, there are plenty of affordable options to choose from when it comes to motorcycle financing.

Most buyers can get a decent motorcycle loan through a bank or credit union. If you meet the requirements for discounts from providers like Harley-Davidson or USAA, however, you may want to consider those offers. As a last resort, you could try to get a loan directly from a dealer or look for a bad credit loan.

Michael Rand
Michael Rand
Contributing Writer

Michael Rand is a business and personal finance writer based in Beverly, Massachusetts. He holds a master's degree in writing from Salem State University and spent years producing content for financial services clients as an agency writer. His work has been featured in publications like, The Simple Dollar, and