Motorsports on the Cheap

ATVWhile outdoor motorsports are a great way to spend time with the family, hang with the guys and get out from in front of the television, their accessibility is often limited due to price. Let’s face it: when it comes to motorsports, you gotta pay to play.

With ATV and snowmobile prices starting in the thousands, and boat prices easily reaching into the tens of thousands, motorsports have oft been associated with the deep of pocket. However, there are ways to get yourself into the wide world of outdoor motorsports for significantly less than it would cost to walk off of the dealer’s lot.

Buy Used

As with all things in life, the used is cheaper than the new. And in today’s world, locating and buying used ATV’s, jet skis, snowmobiles – and anything else with a motor – is easier than ever. Thanks to internet forums and free buy and sell sites, many “toy” owners are more likely to sell their used goods to another private party buyer instead of trading in the machine into a dealer. This win-win provides the seller with a higher re-sale price for their old ride, and buyers typically receive a deeper discount than at dealers. However, be sure to do your research, check out the machine and beware of scams. It is the internet, after all.

Buy at the right time of the year

When do you get the urge to have your own boat? Just like you, every other Jill, Jack and Jim think of buying a boat come the start of Summer. Thus, in the name of supply and demand, the prices for certain items will go up near their peak season of use. To find the best deal, shop for your machine when most people aren’t and dealers need to move inventory. Do your boat shopping while it’s snowing, and browse for snowmobiles in your flip flops. If you keep a close watch, you’ll even be surprised by how much private party sellers raise and lower their prices according to demand seasons for certain recreational rides.

Try before you buy

If you buy a pair of riding gloves that make your fingers itch, and end up never using them again, it’s no big deal. If you happen to buy a $4,000 UTV and find it to be an uncomfortable ride, impossible to load on the trailer and too loud for your tastes, you could have a major problem. You wouldn’t buy a new pick-up without test driving, and you should hold the same values when it comes to major motorsports purchases. Ride your buddy’s machine, or work with your dealer to test ride your purchase to ensure that you’re not stuck with payments on a ride you hate.

After market add-ons in moderation

My husband has a disease known as “No truck is ever fast or loud enough-itis.” And it seems that a vast majority of people who like things with motors suffer the same fate. If your budget is limited, make a plan for the after market add-ons you want, and work the plan. Motorsports maintenance can be pricey enough, and falling in love with the Spring Arctic-Cat catalog can spell disaster for your finances.

When you’re ready to take the leap and get your own ride, there’s nothing like putting on your helmet for the first time and hitting the trail. Just remember, this hobby will also hit your pocketbook.