I Financed a New Demo Motorcycle Yesterday Even Though I Went Bankrupt.

Yesterday, Pam and I decided that we wanted to buy a new motorcycle that had been the 2008 dealer demo and only had a few hundred miles on it. We decided to buy a 2008 Honda Goldwing, a big touring bike but an awesome ride. We have some trips coming up that we are going to love riding it on.


In the near future we are going to ride from Raleigh to Disney in Orlando, then to Key West, and back through Tampa and Atlanta. Atlanta is just so we can finally go to the Varsity Grill. When you love to ride a motorcycle, there is no problem going 2,000 miles for a good hot dog.

We both decided that the dealer financing of 3.99% was just too good to pass up and we were already purchasing the bike at invoice. What was interesting was that the credit application asked me that question that people who have been bankrupt dread, “Have you ever been declared bankrupt?” And again I had to check the yes box and write down 1990.

But what was most interesting was that I didn’t care anymore. I’ve gotten over the years of feeling like I was less for being in a bad situation at one time in my life. I knew that my credit was in great shape because I proactively monitor my consolidated credit report and credit score. And that simply because I had been bankrupt in the past didn’t mean that credit, and really good credit, wasn’t available to me now.

It is completely understandable that people who go bankrupt are afraid that for the rest of their lives their credit will be shot. But the reality is that it won’t be. And if people put some energy into rebuilding their credit after bankruptcy it will be better than new in just a couple of years. But fear and assumptions make people believe that their lives will end. They won’t.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way saying that bankruptcy is an easy out. What I am saying is that for those that find bankruptcy is the best solution for your situation it is not the end of your emotional or financial lives. Great dealer financing for the best credit applicants awaits you also.

What I also learned through the process was that if you are buying a motorcycle that you should talk to the dealership about knocking 30% or so off any accessories or gear that you buy at the same time. The profit margins on accessories is about 50% but on most motorcycle the sales price these days does not give the dealers a load of profit when you get down to or near invoice. Dealers are moving bike as a loss leader to bring people in to sell them accessories and extended warranties.

I hope to see you on the road one of these days. I’ll be the guy with the big grin on his face, loving the ride.

You know, we need to start our own get out of debt motorcycle group. I can see the bad ass jacket patch now.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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10 thoughts on “I Financed a New Demo Motorcycle Yesterday Even Though I Went Bankrupt.”

  1. Steve,
    This is a typical criticism of people who file bankruptcy. They feel everyone who does it just overextended themselves because they had to buy toys instead of saving money and being more thrifty. Bob may not be one who feels that way, but I don’t think anyone would go out and buy a ton of “toys” and then file bankruptcy just to escape the debt. I know plenty of people who have too much debt due to things like high medical bills, a layoff, their house burns down and the insurance wasn’t all the good.
    Things happen to people that shouldn’t but does. The sooner the country comes to this realization and starts caring more for each other the better….but that won’t happen. I do hope that healthcare gets reformed to be a non-profit business, but then again…..the insurance companies have too much money to not afford funding Tea parties and Glenn Beck hate-fests. I rambling, sorry, but I think the bike was a good debt if it gives you more inner peace. Enjoy 🙂

    • Justin,

      Thanks for the feedback. Over the course of the financing the interest charge will be $1,300 if I make all the minimum payments on the motorcycle. But then again, I’ll pay it off early so it won’t cost me that much.

      This past weekend was a great example of how the bike pays me back many times over. We rode from Raleigh, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC with another couple, spent a fun couple of days at the beach and then had a super ride back, this time stopping in Wilmington, NC for breakfast along the Tar River.

      All weekend long I spent $20 for gas since the motorcycle gets some pretty good mileage.

      I can justify my purchase nine ways to Sunday but at the end of the day the end goal in life is not to spend no money, but to spend money wisely. It is a fine point that is often lost by many.


      P.S. The only money I regret spending this weekend was to go see the movie “The Informant”. Barely a renter.

  2. Steve,

    Just stumbling on your site I am speaking from an outsiders point of view. I just believe there is good debt and bad debt. Solar panel debt that can be paid for out of energy savings is good debt. Income property debt that generates a positive cash flow is good debt. A loan for a Motorcycle is bad debt. Now investing in something that generates enough positive cash flow which can be used to pay for the motorcycle loan, that is wisdom and a much more beneficial way to approach debt.

    You may teach that principle but as I said before, I just stumbled on this one blog post. Just reading that one post made me think of one who says, hey go bankrupt, don’t worry about it you can still get your toys.

    Keep on helping others, we are in a nation that is being destroyed by debt.
    .-= Bob´s last blog ..A blog post by Bob Wagner was featured =-.

    • Bob,

      Debt is debt. There is not good debt or bad debt. It is all an obligation that needs to be repaid with future labor. While the payoff for an investment can be rationalized as returning some value and that makes it beneficial debt, there is also a tremendous life return for me when I ride my motorcycle. A return that is higher that any one might expect anywhere else.

      Again, managing debt is about balance. Too much student loan debt, investment property debt, or solar panel debt can bury someone just as fast and as deep as a motorcycle loan, and other “toys”.

      My belief is not that you need to go bankrupt to get new toys. These are two different situations. If bankruptcy is necessary it is because the person is in a bad spot with few, if any, other legal options. But the message is that if bankruptcy is the appropriate solution at the time, it is not the end of your life.

      I’ve yet to meet people over my years of helping others that file bankruptcy simply as escaping debt to get new toys.


  3. As soon as I get a bike, I’ll take you up on that offer, just cruise down to Treasure Coast FL. 🙂
    I miss riding, it’s been a few years, but maybe in 2 yrs. I’ll get a sportster….

  4. Congrats on the new bike Steve!
    It looks sweet! I agree with you, there’s no need to avoid ALL debt, you need to do something for yourself if you can. One of these days I’ll pick up a bike again, although it will probably be a lot cheaper and paid with cash, but maybe when I’m 60 and the credit history looks ideal again….

    • Justin,

      One thing I’ve learned from getting back into riding again is that many of the folks I meet have shown me that you are never too old to ride.

      I’ll ride with you any day of the week.


    • Bob,

      Life is about more than being debt free. It is also about enjoying it while you can. For me, I’d rather explore those things I love to do and embrace a larger life even if there is a reasonable cost for those adventures.

      As with most things, it is about balance.

      I happen to have no car payment and a tiny mortgage so the bike payment is not that unreasonable.

      I already know that at the end of my life I will probably have less in investments than some, but a whole lot more than others. I intentionally elect to make those deeply calculated decisions to spend surgically so that for me, my life, is about joy and experiences rather than some that think that simply being debt free is the end game.

      Being truly debt free is a fallacy. I wrote about that not all that long ago. Click here.

      Thanks for your comment.



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