When it is time to shop for a motorcycle, you can take a look at some of these tips to help you out before you make the big decision on your purchase.
1. Know What Type Of Rider You Are
You always need to be honest when it comes to your ability to ride. If you have only been out a handful of times and someone you know gave you pointers on how to ride, you may not be the advanced rider you want to be. For someone starting off fresh, there will be some preparation required. The DMV suggests that all new riders will take a learner's class to help as well as purchasing all of the safety gear that they need even before thinking about buying a bike. There are basic rider courses available for about $300 through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation that work to teach new riders all of the things they need to know. At the MSF course, you will have bikes and helmets available to you for learning, so you never have an excuse to skimp on the education before you purchase a bike.
A major mistake that a lot of beginners have is purchasing a bike that has far too much power for their skill level. Some good advice for new riders is that they should not go for an engine larger than 500cc right out of the gate.
2. Know Your Scene
Will you be heading out for rides around town on the weekends or after work, or are you going to be heading out for a cross-country trip? Are you someone who loves to get your adrenaline going and you are interested in the sport-racing scene? Maybe you are someone who wants to put on their favorite leathers to ride your Harley out to the nearest rally or swap with other fanatics like those folk from Chopperexchange? Knowing your scene in advance will help you to pick out the right bike for you.
Location makes a big difference when it comes to buying a bike. You have to think about seasonal conditions as well as the local terrain when you buy. If you live in an area prone to cold temperatures, you will have a portion of the year when you are not going to ride. In a warmer climate, you will have conditions conducive to year-round riding.
By the same token, the terrain is a good factor to think about. If you will be on backcountry, winding roads, you may want to go with a cruiser. If you live in an urban area, you might want to think about a sport-bike with easier maneuvering capabilities.
4. Body Type
You need to know that one size never fits all when it comes to motorcycles. This is going to be important for both comfort and safety, so you need to figure out the kind of bike that is best for your body type.
Try out several models to find the right fit. Get on the bike and have your hands behind the handlebars. Does this feel like a position that is comfortable enough for you to sit that way for several hours while remaining attentive and alert? You need to think about seat placement and know that the configuration is right for your frame.
You also need to think about the rearview mirrors to ensure they allow you plenty of viewing behind and around you. Make sure you never have any giant blind spots.
A solid option for many beginners will be the used bike. However, you need to have several things in mind when you are looking for a used bike to fit your needs:
Visual Check - Always look for clues that there has been a crash or some sort of abuse while taking a visual check. This could be cracking in the seat or issues with the texture or shade of the paint. Any damage can be a sign that the bike has had a tough life up to this point.
Chain - The bike should always have a chain that is tight and clean with only a small dip in between the bottom ring and the sprockets.
Brakes - The brake discs should always be smooth, nice and clean, and never blue, as this can be a sign of overheating or dragging brakes.
Start It Up - Any bike should start easily, but it might emit a little bit of smoke when you perform a cold startup.