While there are lots of different motorcycles available, riders must select one that best meets their needs. The type of riding, the biker’s size, and budget constraints all enter the picture when selecting a motorcycle. That means riders need to understand a few basics before shopping.
Selecting a Bike that Fits
When trying to find a motorcycle, bike shoppers must pay close attention to the height and weight of any bike they’re considering. Heavy bikes with a high center of gravity are not the best choice for a rider who expects to spend most of their riding time commuting in a big city. A light, agile bike might be a better choice for that type of riding. In addition, when bikes are too heavy for a specific rider, riders may experience problems maneuvering in a variety of situations.
Conversely, riders who intend to spend a lot of time touring the country on a bike will want one that’s comfortable and easy to ride for long periods of time. Cruisers and touring bikes may be the best options for those riders. Those bikes are larger, heavier, and have the power, comfort, and fuel capacity necessary to cruise at highway speeds for hours.
Power vs. Practicality
The majority of riders think they need a bike with lots of power. However, new riders are encouraged to start with bikes that don’t have too much power. New riders can easily get into trouble if the bike they’re riding has more power than they’re able to control. Even experienced riders often fall into the horsepower trap. There is no need for a commuter bike to have 100 horsepower or more. In addition, 60 or 70 horsepower in a sport bike is a lot different than that same power in a touring bike. If you’re unsure how to gauge the power you need, take the time to discuss your anticipated riding with an expert before choosing a bike.
Spotting Problem Bikes
The majority of bike dealers don’t want problem bikes on the lots. As a rule, they won’t carry bikes that have been badly damaged or are in need of major repairs. It’s simply not in the dealer’s best interests to sell problem bikes, especially to a new rider. However, it’s still a good idea to ask the dealer about a bike’s history prior to making any purchase.
There are relatively easy ways to spot bikes that haven’t been taken care of properly or that have suffered damage. New parts, like brake and clutch handles, pegs, and mirrors, suggest it’s a good idea to look closely at a bike’s history. Replaced parts indicate prior damage that needs to be explained.
Good bikes are not cheap. They shouldn’t be. Riders want to be confident their bikes are safe and will last for years to come. Before shopping, determine how much you can afford to spend on a bike. Once you’ve determined a budget, start exploring what that budgeted amount will buy. If you can afford a new bike, fine. If not, there are quality used bikes available at a dealer near you.