Novice bikers are almost always excited about purchasing their first motorcycles. Unfortunately, many of them let that excitement get in the way of making smart buying decisions. Before heading to a local dealership or checking out the options online, read on to find out what a novice rider should know about motorcycles before buying one.
1. Bigger Isn’t Always Better
It’s common for newbies to purchase bikes with far more power than they can safely handle, so keep in mind that choosing the right motorcycle means buying one that will be a good fit in terms of practicality and safety, not purchasing the bike that will look the best at a show. First-time buyers should avoid any motorcycle with an engine that’s larger than 600cc until they learn how to ride slower bikes. Learning on a less-powerful motorcycle allows riders to hone their skills and develop an appreciation for everything a faster bike will have to offer.
2. There Are Lots of Types of Motorcycles
It used to be the case that there were only a few types of motorcycles to choose from. In recent years, though, manufacturers have been getting increasingly specialized when it comes to their offerings’ intended uses. It’s best to try out several types of bikes before choosing one that feels like a good fit.
3. Body Shape Matters
Just like human bodies, motorcycles come in many shapes and sizes, each of which offers a dramatically different ergonomic riding experience. For example, some novice bikers start out thinking that sports bikes are the coolest thing in the world but find that the body shape and subsequent ergonomics strain their wrists too much and a cruiser with a lower seat would provide a much more comfortable ride.
Buying that sports bike before trying out a cruiser would clearly be a mistake, but falling in love with a particular body shape before really trying others out is a surprisingly common blunder.
4. New Riders Buy Used
Some riders are tempted to head to the dealership and ride away on the fanciest, most expensive bikes they can afford as soon as they have that coveted class M license in hand. What they fail to realize is that most new riders go down at least once in their first years. These accidents don’t tend to be very serious as long as riders are exercising appropriate safety precautions, but they can easily total brand-new bikes, leaving riders with not just injuries but also some serious monetary losses.
No matter how confident new riders are in their skills, it’s usually a good idea to buy a good used bike to learn the basics. Save the extra money and put it toward essential safety gear instead of an expensive, brand-new bike, then upgrade after a year or two.
Now that novice riders have a better idea of what they need to know about motorcycles before heading to the dealership, it’s time to start checking out options. It’s always best to buy from a reputable dealer, and there are plenty of motorcycle dealerships that carry used inventory and take trade-ins.
When in doubt about whether a bike is appropriate for a novice rider, ask a sales representative for advice and, if possible, try to take a few different models out for test rides.