Picking your first motorcycle is like stepping through a doorway into a world of freedom. Hitting the road with the wind in your hair is an unbeatable feeling - but don't rush into this decision based on the impulse to escape from it all. Although becoming a biker might represent freedom and spontaneity, there are some important practical considerations to make before pulling the trigger on your first bike. Here are our tips for picking the perfect first motorcycle.
1) Find A Ride That Suits Your Purpose
Motorcycles are rarely multipurpose, so you need the right tool for the job. If you're getting into dirt biking don't pick up a classy sports bike before trashing it on the trails. Likewise, if your need for speed is taking you to the freeway, a gravel bike won't be the way to go. Choose a bike that's right for you.
2) Find A Good Fit
Unlike cars, you're not going to be able to lift the seat or bring it forwards - motorcycles are less adjustable than cars are so you're going to need to find a bike that fits you. Sports bikes will find you more hunched over the handlebars, creating an aerodynamic posture that's great for speed. It might not be comfortable for long journeys, however, and if you want a laid-back ride, a cruiser might be the way to go. Either way, find a bike that's comfortable between your legs.
3) Read Up
"Before you take the plunge and make a purchase, read up about some various models," says Herschel White, a business writer at Assignment Help and Revieweal. "For example, some brands of bike make it exceptionally difficult to find spare parts, so if you're picking up a second-hand Suzuki you might want to make sure there's a handy mechanic nearby." Reliability and economy differ from bike to bike, so make sure you've done your research.
4) With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
When you're picking a motorcycle, it's easy to get carried away looking at bigger engines - but for your first bike you don't need maximum power. You have to earn your stripes before you start looking at big ccs; even standard 600cc bikes have more power than your average rider can put to good use. Consider a small-to-medium class of bike with around 500cc - you can always upgrade once you've outgrown it.
5) Weigh It Up
Choosing the right weight of your bike is important as weight correlates not just to power but to how easy it is to ride. As a new rider, hopping on the heaviest bike might be more than you can handle, so stick to bikes that weigh up to around 500lb. Any more than that, and you'll be wrestling with a monster.
6) Buy Used
"With so many second-hand bikes for sale out there, there's really no need to splash out on a new model," says Valerie Chan, a journalist at UKWritings and Essay Services. "If you're making smart choices for your first motorcycle it's likely you'll want to upgrade in weight and power after a few years - buying a new bike only to trade up a short while later is going to leave you out of pocket." A new bike is more trouble than it's worth when you drop the thing. Eventually, you'll be glad you got something a little roughed-up.
7) Get Your Hands Dirty
You're going to need to give the bike a thorough inspection before you commit to buying, so be ready to get down and dirty. Check that the brake pads are in healthy shape and look out for rust on the body or metalwork of the bike. You'll want to know the bike inside out before you put down hard cash.
8) Don't Expect To Ride Away
You're not legally allowed to ride your new bike until it's registered in your name and you're insured on the vehicle. That means you're not going to be riding home on your new toy. Unfortunately, the paperwork can take a couple days, so plan on how you're getting your bike home without riding it - bring a trailer if you're likely to seal the deal.
Buying a motorcycle is a transaction filled with potential but don't get carried away. Make practical considerations about the purpose of your travel and the power and weight of your first motorcycle. Remember you can trade up in the future so err on the side of caution- your wallet will thank you.
Have a Hot Tip we didn't cover? Tell us in the comments below.
Lauren Groff is a tutor at Paper Fellows. She is a professional writer, a blogger, and a contributor to Best essay writing services and Big Assignments. She's a born and raised New Yorker who has lived and traveled all over the United States but keeps on coming back to the Big Apple.