So, you’re looking for your first motorcycle? There are several things to consider when you take up riding for the first time.
Make sure you are equipped for the open road. Basically, you should be setting aside $300-$500 to invest in the proper safety gear. You’ll need a helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, rain suit, and possibly eyewear. The helmet could save your life and the leather will keep your skin protected. Plus, you’ll feel more confident.
Most bikers have an idea of the style of motorcycle they want to ride before they get their license. You are attracted to riding for your own reasons so pick a bike that suits you. However, you have to take your ability into consideration. As a general rule stay away from engines larger than 600 cc. If you start with a beginner bike you’ll develop your skills more quickly and gain confidence as you ride. Once you master the fundamentals with your beginner bike you’ll be ready to upgrade to a larger and faster engine.
There are 4 general styles of motorcycles: sport bikes, cruisers, touring bikes, and dual purpose bikes. Consider your lifestyle when looking at your first motorcycle. What type of circles do you want to be riding in? Are you looking for speed and style? You will immediately be inclined to think about a sport bike; however, this is too much power for a beginner rider. Additionally, your motorcycle insurance rates will be incredibly high on a sport bike. Instead, considering a sporty bike with less horsepower, such as a Ninja 250R.
Looking to save some fuel on that daily commute? Research the best motorcycles for commuting. Cruisers and an upright position will be important. Want to hit the road and see the country? You’ll need a touring bike. If off road capabilities are what you’re after look at the dual purpose bikes. Motorcycles are designed for differing needs and desires so be sure to put some thought into your riding lifestyle.
Since you’re just starting out on the road consider buying a used bike. Motorcycles depreciate rapidly during the first year of their life and then taper off over the following few years. Bring an experienced rider to test drive the bike and look over the engine.
Stick to your budget. Don’t make any rash decisions just because you’ve fallen in love with a particular bike. Plan your purchase and do your research. Paying a little more up front can save you more money down the road. Especially if the bike has been neglected by its previous owner.
Now for the most important tip of all: Pick a motorcycle that you’ll be excited to ride! Enjoy the open road and always remember to ride safe and wear your helmet.