For years you’ve dreamed about riding your own motorcycle and now the opportunity is in front of you. You’ve saved up enough money to go shopping for bikes. Congratulations!
We’ll tell you that there is nothing quite as exhilarating and adrenaline-inducing as hopping on the back of a motorcycle. The problem is that it can also be dangerous. If you get a bike that’s hard for a beginner to control, you could get hurt.
So, there’s a lot you have to consider when buying a motorcycle. Safety and control are only two things. Check out this guide to learn more.
1. Make Yourself Familiar with the Different Kinds of Bikes
Before you buy your first motorcycle, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types that are available. We’ll start with sports bikes.
They’re fast and built for power. The problem is that they might be built for a little too much power. It can be hard for a new driver to control them.
When you think of a motorcycle the image that you get in your head is most likely a cruiser model. Cruisers don’t have as much speed as a sports bike and they’re a little heavier but they’re durable.
Naked bikes are kind of a cross between cruisers and sports bikes so you get the best of both worlds. They’re pretty popular and great for beginner riders.
Cafe racers have a sleek minimalist design that makes them nice to look at. They’re also compact and fast. Despite the feed factor, they’re not too hard to handle and are best for small leisure rides.
Touring bikes might turn you off because of their bulky and heavy design. They’re one of the best bikes for traveling on the open road but it can be hard for a beginner to get the hang of them.
You’ve probably heard of a dirt bike. That’s essentially what an off-road bike is. It’s made to tackle gravel and well… dirt. As the name suggests, it’s not that great for road riding.
If you travel along the open road about as much as you go off exploring the wilderness, you’ll want an adventure bike. It’s sort of a cross between an off-road bike and a motorcycle so it can tackle both jobs.
2. Where will You Be Riding?
Now that you know your options, take a moment to think about where you’ll be driving your motorcycle. That will help you narrow down your choices a little bit.
For example, if you’re going to be taking your bike back and forth to work or college, you need something that you can drive for long distances. This eliminates both off-road bikes and cafe cruisers.
3. Do a Little Research
Before committing to buying your motorcycle, you’ve got to do your research. Look up reviews of different brands. Filter your results so you’re looking at models that are easy for a novice to use.
If you get confused when looking at the specs there are guides out there that can help translate the motorcycle lingo or you can talk to your friends who own motorcycles. You’ll want their opinion when buying a bike anyway. Don’t be afraid to ask them to go with you during the purchasing process.
4. Make Sure the Motorcycle is Comfortable
There’s no point in buying a motorcycle if the idea of riding it makes your body hurt. You need something that’s going to be comfortable. Especially if you’re planning on riding it for long distances.
You probably won’t be able to test drive the bike but you can at least sit on it to make sure it’s a good fit for your body type. For example, the seat needs to be low enough that it’s easy for you to put both feet on the ground when you reach a stoplight.
You also need to make sure the bike isn’t too heavy for you. If you can’t handle the weight, it won’t be comfortable and it will be hard for you to control.
5. Smaller is Better
Since big heavy bikes are hard to control, your best bet is to go with one with a smaller frame. Smaller bikes usually don’t cost as much since they have a tinier engine.
They’re lightweight and easier for a novice to control. Riding on a bike with less horsepower will give you the chance to become familiar with proper riding techniques too.
6. Get the Paperwork Out of the Way
If you’re buying from a private seller, you need to be a little careful with the paperwork. The seller should be able to hand you the bike’s VIN and the title without a fuss.
When they do give you the VIN, make sure it matches the one on the title. You can also use the VIN to look up the vehicle and check out its road history.
You should write a bill of sale and make sure you both sign and date it. If the seller is a little wary of signing the paper or giving you the VIN, check with the DMV to make sure that the bike wasn’t stolen.
7. Buy Your Safety Gear
One of the most common mistakes new riders make is skimping out on the safety gear. You need a helmet, riding pants, riding boots, a riding jacket, goggles, and gloves.
It’s important for your safety that all your gear fits right so it’s better to buy it in-store so you can try it all on. If you do have to buy online, don’t keep something because it would be inconvenient to send it back.
Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Motorcycle
Buying a motorcycle can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. It can also be one of the most dangerous if you don’t do your research and get a bike that you can’t handle. Use this buying guide to get a model that will safely take you through all life’s many adventures. Want to learn more about motorcycles before you commit to a purchase? Check out our blog daily for all the latest information that you need.