Motorcycles since the early 20th century have meant a different type of freedom and a new realm of excitement. They are a two-wheeled machines much different from a car. They take quick reflexes, dexterity, mental skills and the ability to handle the road and whatever it may have to offer. There are several things a person needs to think about before they make their first purchase.
It is best to figure out what type of bike you want first. A on-road, off-road or mixed uses type needs to be decided upfront. There are about five different types.
The 'standard' bike has a more upright positioning and engine sizes vary. This one is usually best for the beginning rider.
Touring motorcycles are fully loaded but have a lot of weight and a heavy price. They come with GPS, stereos and windshields for an enjoyable ride.
Then there is the cruiser type that have a more laid back riding formation with lower seat heights for a non-racing, high performance bike. Most manufacturers produce this type of bike.
Sport bikes, or "crotch rockets" as they are known, have high speed and high performance both. This may not be your best choice for your first bike.
There is also the dirt bike or dual-sport type bike. With lights, mirrors and street legal tires these bikes are light weight and also a good choice for the first rider.
With a basic knowledge of motorcycles and of what types are available, there are still some things you need to think about.
1. What do you need to consider before your first buy?
First, know what your budget is. How much can you afford? What level of monthly payment can you comfortably shell out? Be aware that the higher the price of the bike, the higher the insurance premiums will be. It might be a good idea to decide on a couple of possible models you are interested in and then call the insurance company and see what the premium is going to be.
2. What do you need in addition to the bike?
First and foremost, you'll need to take a motorcycle safety course. The skills taught by experienced motorcycle safety instructors will help you to be a more confident and knowledge motorcyclist. Call your local motorcycle dealer to find courses available in your area. You can also contact the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, American Motorcycle Association or ABATE for information on available courses.
Safety gear including a helmet, leather clothing, gloves, and the like, is very important and you must make sure it is a part of your budget as well.
3. Have you decided to buy a used or new bike?
In addition to the engine size, weight and seat height that bet fit you, you will want to decide on whether you will buy new or go with a used model. Buying new is nice but it is also costly. It might be a good idea to go used until you have had some experience and hours under your belt. A new one will be guaranteed to run and will have a deal on maintenance as well as a warranty. If you decide to purchase a used bike, you will want to be assured that the bike has a clear title, runs well and starts quickly.
4. What are the big don'ts?
Don't buy on a whim. Unless you have money to burn this is a bad idea. Give yourself sometime to see if buying a bike and riding one is really for you.
Don't buy something that is too much of a bike for you. Too heavy or too powerful can be very dangerous and become a real problem after a while if you do. Be realistic and talk to some people who know about bikes before making a decision on your own.
5. Where will you keep your bike?
Dreaming about owning a bike is nice but there is a lot of things that go into planning to own a bike. One thing that you may or may not have thought about is where will you be keeping your bike? Do you have a garage? What is the weather like where you live? Will you be riding it all the time or just occasionally?
Coming up with the answers to these questions will help you in your first bike purchase that will have you on the road to logging hundreds of miles out on the open road.