Motorcycle Buying Guide Online
posted 2 years ago
If you're looking for your first motorcycle, it's easy to be overwhelmed by all the options. Paralysis by analysis can be difficult, but a little knowledge can narrow your criteria. Entry-level bikes have become a major market in recent years, providing new bikers with smooth transitions into the motor world. Answer a few questions to get ready to strap on your street motorcycle riding gear and start riding.
What Kind of Riding Do You Want To Do?
This is the first question you need to answer. If off-road riding sounds fun, then you're looking at a dirt bike. More than likely, you found this article while searching for your first street-legal motorcycle. Generally, you want an engine displacement no larger than 500cc. Anything larger than this makes for a machine that's too powerful for most beginners.
Standard bikes feature an upright riding posture that's more natural for beginning riders. They rarely have any wind protection, so you may want to add some to reduce riding fatigue.
If the thrill of speed excites you, sport bikes might be perfect for you. This style of machine has a forward-leaning posture and a low center of gravity that's ideal for high-speed riding and fast maneuvers. Avoid sport bikes if you don't want to be in a low, tucked position on every ride.
Cruisers do just what their name says: they are built to cruise. The leaned back position lets you relax on long-distance rides. While this can be comfortable, you have your arms and legs outstretched, which can feel awkward at first. Between their size and riding posture, these machines tend to feel different than standard or sport bikes. Even cruiser riding gear and accessories are often different than equipment for other motorcycles.
Should You Buy Used or New?
This is entirely a matter of preference, but most experienced bikers advise you buy used. It's significantly cheaper and you aren't tied to a loan like when you buy new. If you decide motorcycles aren't for you, it's easier to turn around and sell a used machine. On the other hand, if you're a committed rider who must have the latest features, obviously you should buy new.
What Else Should You Consider?
Shorter riders should generally look for seat heights no taller than about 30 inches. When stopped, you want to have both feet flat on the street. The higher the seat height, the more difficult this becomes. If you also weigh less than most people, you should consider getting a lighter machine as well.
Smaller bikes, on the other hand, can make taller bikers feel cramped. Most manufacturers have the dimensions of their bikes posted online. Find a motorcycle that gives you enough space to stretch out.
Motorcycle riding classes often allow you to try different bikes. This is a great opportunity to find features and riding postures that you like. Along the way, you can also learn about motorcycle safety, laws, and other concerns. Once you've chosen your machine, don't forget to outfit yourself as a rider. Shop jackets, gloves, pants, boots, and motorcycle helmets online to find great deals from the top brands.