So, You’ve decided to buy a motorcycle. Let AMERiders help with some basic information on choosing Your Ride! We want to help you figure out just which motorcycle is right for you. The perfect motorcycle is different for every rider, and experienced bikers will often say there is a different bike for a different situation. Because motorcycles are more advanced and specialized since they were when they were first made. It is important to be happy with your choice when you find the motorcycle that’s right for you and the kind of riding you are going to do.
Before you choose things to consider
Before you buy, there are a number of things to consider. Such as that motorcycles come in all shapes and sizes, and offer different advantages or disadvantages based on things like how, when, and why you want to ride as well as your level of experience.
Before You Buy: Experience Level
Your experience level is one of the biggest factors to have in mind when determining which type of bike you should purchase. More experienced riders may feel comfortable on a broader range of motorcycles or have developed a particular preference over time. So look these over before choosing your motorcycle.
If you’re new to riding, however, you may want to stick to a bike that is or has:
- Lighter weight – This will help make steering, balancing, accelerating, and braking easier during your learning curve.
- Lower seat height. – This will let you plant both feet on the ground when stopping, which may be more reassuring for novice riders.
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) – This feature will make it easier to stop more quickly and safely.
- Cheaper – You’re much more likely to drop the bike in the beginning phases of riding.
- “Non-Specialized” – Instead of picking the fastest sports bike or the biggest cruiser, choose something that does everything well to start out.
It’s also a good idea to always ride within your skill level, rather than trying to compete with more experienced motorcyclists. Pick a bike that will allow you to best do that.
Types of Bikes
New riders have higher confidence on lightweight motorcycles with a low seat height that allows them to get both feet on the ground. A lighter bike is better for learning because it’s easier to balance, steer, accelerate and brake. Fortunately, weight and seat height specs are listed for new motorcycles on manufacturer websites, which are a good place to start finding the most new-rider-friendly bikes. Before you get your heart set on a specific bike, it’s best to start by understanding the categories of motorcycles and their pros and cons.
Built for doing a little bit of everything, the street bike (also known as the “standard” bike) has a durable design that gives the rider a better sense of control and comfort. Plus, it won’t break the bank when you need repairs. Be warned, some models come with over 1,000 CCc’s of the engine, which can be more than what a new rider can handle.
Good for riding on- or off-road, dirt or dual-sport bikes are lightweight and versatile. Whether you’re riding trails or riding to work, you’ll find these bikes light, simple and inexpensive. The one major drawback is the style’s high seats, which can prevent both feet from reaching the ground.
For relaxed riders, the cruiser is your classic Harley. Low seats help you get your feet on the ground and a low center of gravity makes the heavy bike easier to handle. In spite of the considerable heft and cost of large cruisers, mid-size bikes are more nimble, affordable and sportier, good for the beginner rider.
With high speed and tight handling, lightweight sport bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja are very popular among new riders. However, the strength of the engine and brakes can be unforgiving on the novice. Plus, higher speeds mean high risk, so insurance costs are higher on these bikes.
Perfect for long rides on the open road, the comfortable tourer is the road trip bike of your dreams. With plenty of aftermarket accessories available to add storage and style to your ride, this heavy and powerful bike is one of the more expensive models available. If this is your style but not your budget, try incorporating tourer elements like a windshield or saddle bags to a street bike.
Most bikers are gonna argue this one here and my boss will probably smack me for it but a scooter is actually listed in the motorcyle set. It is Practical for urban transportation, the scooter is the perfect entry-level vehicle for the bike-curious traveler. With no clutch or gears and high gas mileage and durability, the scooter is great for beginners as it is lightweight and has a low profile. Drawbacks include less stability than a motorcycle, smaller engines, and you can’t enter them in custom bike builder events!
The two biggest considerations for any bike are seat height & weight. Always and we mean always buy a motorcycle that you can sit on with both feet flat on the ground. If you can’t don’t buy it and leave it alone. Alos Weight consideration is a must here also when learning to ride, you do not want be in a position where the bike begins to lean over and you can’t keep it safely balanced. Additionally, a lightweight bikes provide an easier learning curve for beginners. So look these over before choosing your motorcycle.
Engine size is also important because you do not want a bike that is more powerful than your skill set. Motorcycles are powerful, and if your bike has more power than you can handle it will end up through a window or another persons car and you will end up with a major bill and possibly injured yourself. SO think about it before you buy it..
Think Used First
Always consider a used bike as your first motorcycle. When you buy a new bike, it loses value very quickly in the first year, just like a new car. It is also a sure bet that you will also have a tumble or two in your first year of riding, and damaging a new motorcycle can lead to very expensive repair bills. If you own a motorcycle that has already been depreciated, you can save a lot of money. Choosing used over new can be very practical. Buying a new-to-you motorcycle is easy. The main reason you can find a good entry level bike is because most riders sell their own first bike when they upgrade to match their experience. They are generally in good condition, and good bargains can be found.
A Good Bike to Consider
One of the most highly recommended bikes is a 250cc model. Its listed characteristics are good handling, sufficient power range, and the ability for a new rider to have both feet planted firmly on the ground. They are good for around town, short road trips and can run on the freeway. Top speed is around 80 miles per hour. They have good line acceleration, get from 0 to 60 quickly, and are heavy enough to be stable at highway speeds. Two specific bikes that fit this bill are the Honda Rebel and the Suzuki GZ250.
Bikes for Women
Women have become a big part of the motorcycle culture. No longer is it a macho grease and leather institution. There are even women motorcycle clubs now—Women on Wheels and Women MC come to mind. When a woman decides on a first bike, the weight and seat height are the two most important things to consider in relation to her stature. You surely don’t want a bike you can barely pull up off the side stand. And, as mentioned previously, power is also a consideration. Follow the guidelines above with a little extra attention paid to the height and weight, and you should have no problems.
Today, the choice of bikes available is staggering. With everything out there, it can be hard to make a choice. The best bet for anyone considering purchasing a first bike is to buy a good used standard bike, learn to ride, and learn what they like and dislike about that bike. Remember, motorcycles are transportation. What bike you finally decide in choosing will take you from Point A to Point B and will last you a long time if you are careful. Some just do it with a little more class than others.
~And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders give you information that will help in choosing your ride. Helping you answer what bike is right for you.
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