by Liz Jansen
One of the biggest conundrums facing new riders is which motorcycle to select as their first one. With so many choices, and so many experts offering advice, it’s hard to sort out what’s best for you, especially if you haven’t been around motorcycles before.
Follow these tips and you can’t go wrong.
- Purchase used. It’s lovely to make that dream about your shiny new motorcycle come true, but give it a year. Minimizing your investment up front gives you a chance to confirm what kind of bike and riding you prefer before handing over more cash. It gives you a chance to practice your skills without the added stress of damaging a new bike. Read more here: 5 Reasons for New Riders to Purchase Used Motorcycles and Before You Buy a Used Motorcycle
- Purchase after you’ve taken the rider training course. This is especially relevant if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before. When you’re starting out, it’s hard to tell one style from the other. Once you’ve been on the course bike for the weekend, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re comfortable on.
- Think about how you’re going to use it. Are you going to use it for Sunday cruises, commuting or long distance touring? Once you get riding, that may change so be prepared to be flexible. I’ve known many riders who just wanted to ride a scooter around town but quickly grew a larger interest.
- Get something that’s within your skill level. Get something you can grow with, NOT into. That’s a recipe for an accident. At the minimum, you’ll be uncomfortable, stressed and not get the full enjoyment out of riding. Build your skills and confidence on a bike that’s right for you now, then get something larger. Read: Before You Buy Your First Motorcycle
- Consider the maintenance. How much maintenance will the bike require and where will you get it serviced? How convenient is the service location, what are their hours and how much will it cost?
- Be cautious whose advice you take to heart. Do your own homework. There are lots of well-intentioned people who will offer advice that may not be in your best interest. Do your research, read reviews, get multiple opinions and avoid impulsive or emotional decisions. There’s too much at stake.
- Trust your intuition. I use a gut check to confirm decisions. What does it feel like if you purchase a specific bike? What does it feel like if you don’t? Go with it. It’s always right for you.
Making the right decision will require research, but it’s a wise investment. It’s like any relationship. You don’t usually find the right match the first time. Learn about the bike, learn about yourself and be ready for your new bike when the time is right.
Check out the New Rider Multi-Media Guide, crammed with information of value for getting started in motorcycling.