First Motorbike: 6 Tips to Choose The Right One For You

These six tips will help you select the motorcycle that’s just right for you and your lifestyle.

Buying your first motorcycle is an experience you’ll never forget. The pleasure and thrill that comes with the process is unlike any other, especially when, for the first time, you look at the machine in front of you and realize that it’s all yours and ready to take for a ride. Of course, as a first-time buyer, there are a few fundamentals to keep in mind.

These six tips will help you select the motorcycle that’s just right for you and your lifestyle.

What Do You Want To Do With It?

As a beginner, you should consider safety and the purpose of your motorcycle. With so many models in the market, looking at your needs can help you narrow down the option that’s right for you. Consider how, when, and where you’ll be riding. Ask yourself some of these questions to help you make an informed decision.

As a beginner, you should consider safety and the purpose of your motorcycle. With so many models in the market, looking at your needs can help you narrow down the option that’s right for you. Consider how, when, and where you’ll be riding. Ask yourself some of these questions to help you make an informed decision.

• What key benefits do you want to get out of riding your motorcycle? Is it maneuverability for daily commuting, simple handling for adventuring, comfort for touring, or style for cruising?

• Do you want a motorcycle for your daily commute? A more agile bike with a smaller engine that gives you excellent gas mileage would be suitable.

• Do you dream of testing your riding skills on the track? You may want a sport bike.

• Do you want a bike that comfortably takes you on long road trips? Motorcycles built for long-distance comfort with extra luggage capacity like beginner cruiser bikes or touring bikes are ideal.

• Are you planning to ride your motorcycle mostly on rural roads, urban streets, or a mix of both? Smaller and lighter bikes are ideal for urban riding, while bigger bikes may be ideal for the rural rider.

More factors come into play when deciding what bike is right for you. What matters most is you have a clear idea of what you want from your motorcycle, so it becomes easier to determine what factors are most important in your decision.

Know the Different Types of Motorcycles

There are different types of motorcycles, and each of them is good for a specific rider and various types of riding. While not all bikes fit into one riding style or another, you should have a general idea of what type you want before shopping. Here’s a review of the options available for first-time motorcycle buyers.

• Cruiser Bikes - V-twin cruiser motorcycles like the top-of-the-range 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 Roffer or beginner-friendly Harley-Davidson Street® 500 offer the ultimate ‘chopper’ riding experience that many people imagine when bikes come to mind. They’re larger, heavier, and feature a distinctive head-turning sound that owners love.

• Sport Bikes - Sport bikes are all about speed. They’re light and ultra-fast and designed for superior handling and power in the track. Powerful models are not ideal for beginners to handle.

• Naked Bikes - This bike style has been gaining lots of popularity. They are designed to fit between cruiser and sport bikes while offering a more upright riding style that suits beginners.

• Touring Bikes - For those who love riding on the open road, touring bikes are the best option. These are the biggest and heaviest bikes you’ll find. They feature lots of power, luggage space, and offer a smooth and super-comfy ride. They can be potentially challenging for beginners.

• Off-Road/Dirt Bikes - They feature knobby tires and tall suspensions for performance on mud, gravel, and dirt. They’re not ideal for road riding and are often transported to their riding destination in a trailer.

• Adventure Bikes - These motorcycles are for the ultimate adventurer looking to find a reliable ride for off-roading while also enjoying general riding.

• Cafe Racers - These bikes are small, lightweight, and designed for superior handling, power, and speed at short distances. If you think of a motorcycle as a stylish accessory more than a riding machine, cafe racers make an excellent commuting bike with lots of customization options.

Do Your Research and Decide Which One is Right for You

Now you know what you want to do with your motorcycle and the type of bike that meets your needs. It’s time to do some research into the beginner models available. Look into the reputation of different brands and models, read reviews, visit popular forums, get advice from knowledgeable friends or seasoned riders, and visit dealerships and shows to learn more.

There are plenty of guides online to narrow down your options and learn what motorcycle models are suitable for beginners. You should also consider using the Kelley Blue Book guideline as your go-to standard for motorcycle valuation. It will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for specific bike models and what dealerships may offer in trade-in value.

Ensure It’s a Comfortable Fit for Your Body

Another critical aspect when it comes to buying your first motorcycle is comfort. Unlike a car or truck, you’ll have a much closer relationship with your bike. Choose a motorcycle that suits your body shape and type, including height and weight. You’ll want to sit on a bike you’re interested in and feel comfortable, whether riding or not.

Seat height and saddle shape are critical as they’re usually hard to change without significant modifications on your bike. As a beginner, you should start with a low-enough saddle that enables you to comfortably plant both feet flat on the ground at a stoplight and for easy parking. Also, start with a bike that’s not too heavy and is easier to handle. Take a look at these ten best beginner motorcycles you can start with.

Start Small on Power

As a beginner, it’s advisable to start with a smaller, lower-displacement motorcycle engine - 250cc to 600cc is ideal. While you don’t always have to follow this beginner-route, starting small on power comes with various advantages:

• You’ll have the perfect starter bike to improve your riding technique and skills

• You’ll save money by opting for a smaller and more manageable engine

• Smaller bikes are easier to sell when you’re ready to upgrade to a more powerful bike

• Smaller bikes designed for performance at lower speeds will help you gain confidence

Verify the Motorcycle’s Paperwork

When buying your first motorcycle, you’ll need to verify the motorcycle’s paperwork, particularly if you’re buying a used bike from its owner. It’s worthwhile to follow these steps:

• Get the title and VIN on the bike from the seller and check that they match

• Write up the bill of sale and ensure that you both sign and date it

• Check with your state DMV to be sure that the bike is legally registered to the seller

• Do more research to be sure that the bike’s title is not salvaged and the bike has no liens from creditors

• Get clear information about the bike’s history and records, including repairs, upgrades, or any crashes

Lastly, Make Sure You Have the Correct Riding Gear

After buying your first bike, make sure you get the right riding gear for safety purposes. That includes a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet, riding pants, jacket, boots, goggles, and gloves. After that, you can upgrade your bike with aftermarket parts to give it a customized look that fits your riding style. Keep in mind that you’ll also need motorcycle insurance before taking your new or used bike on the road. Now you can go ahead and enjoy your first bike!

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