Motorcycle Pricing : Honda Takes A Clearer Approach

There is always a feeling of “How did we get to THAT price?!” when buying a new motorcycle – or, to a far lesser extent, a used one. But here we see an attempt at clear transparency in motorcycle pricing.

After scrolling through a manufacturer’s website you find the bike you always wanted – and particularly if looking at bikes priced at the more reasonable end of the scale – and you decide that yes, you could swing that. You gather yourself together, full of anticipation, and head down to the dealership to get a look at the bike. It is just as awesome and tempting as you figured it would be and you just got to have it. Visions of the open road, freedom and motorcycle joy fill your imagination.

You have bought things before so you know that you will be hit with sales tax but the final total for that shiny new motorcycle seems a lot higher than the one you saw on the website. How the heck did that happen?

It is all those fees that come with the purchase. And they can be substantial and suddenly you are about to spend way more than you – or, and this does happen, your significant other – anticipated.

Honda has taken a new approach to showcasing the price of their motorcycles on the company site. We noticed the change when compiling our list of 2023 motorcycles and their prices. In particular it was the Rebel 500 that caught our eye because it was one of the first in our list and because it should have been one of the more affordable bikes in the line-up. The price posted seemed a lot higher than last year – and we mean a lot! Inflation really was taking a toll on the market and if this was any indication of what the rest of the list would look like, we were worried.

But then we noticed the fine print. The big price posted for the Rebel 500 included the Freight, Fees and the PDI which totalled $878. Honda called it the “All-in-Price” not the one we usually see and are familiar with which is the MSRP. Moving to another Honda bike, the Africa Twin, the “All-In Price” of $18,367 included the $1268 in Freight, PDI and fees.

honda canada motorcycle

So transparency in motorcycle pricing might initially look a little worse in comparison to other brands but the additional fees will also turn up before new bike is out the door. Even with the Honda there might be a few additional fees at the dealer level.

It is tough getting excited about a bike and then walking away because of all those additional fees. It is still going to be around $1000 or more even if its spread out over 72 months at 6.99%. Walking in and knowing exactly what you are going to pay seems like a very good idea and will leave you feeling better about the experience. Yes, the sales tax is  going to be a big hit but the overall price is closer to that line at the bottom of the sales contract.

The Fine Print in the Price

Quoting another manufacturer’s fine print, that big price you see on their website is subject to this:

Starting price does not include taxes (including but not limited to retail sales tax, HST, PST,QST or GST), title and registration fees, dealer pre-delivery and administrative charges, license fees, consumer rebates or incentives, dealer added options, destination and delivery charges, or any other additional costs.

We really like that last bit “…or any other additional costs.” Really leaves the whole thing wide open – is there a “just because we can” fee? And that is the general rule, not the exception. Other sites include the delivery fee but do not mention any other fees.

We hope the transparency in motorcycle pricing trend continues – either that or you can check out the used bikes as most of the fees were already paid by the other guy or girl.

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