Posted by Tim Jones on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Under: Guest Motorcycle Articles
Have you been smitten by the motorcycling bug? Have you seen that shiny new GSXRNINJACBRR1 going by in a blur and wished that was you? Thinking about buying your first motorcycle? There are lots of considerations to take into account.
A very important aspect of buying your first bike is the price. Many new motorcycles cost well over $10,000.00. Some premium models such as Ducati's and Harley-Davidsons can fetch over $20,000.00. Even if money is not a problem for you, it's probably not such a good idea to purchase a very expensive bike as your first ride. New riders almost always drop their bikes, which can result in very expensive repairs. If you want to learn how to properly ride a motorcycle, I encourage you to start with something a bit more modest.
Used bikes can be wonderful starter bikes. While a 3 year old Suzuki SV650 may not have quite as much power as a new Honda 600RR, rest assured that a good rider on a used SV can run circles around a new rider on just about anything. For experienced riders, it is not difficult to humiliate new riders on fancy expensive motorcycles. It's far cooler to go fast on a slow bike, than to go slow on a fast bike.
Sport bikes in particular can kill new riders quickly. Sport bikes tend to be lightweight and have high horsepower, resulting in extremely quick acceleration and high top speeds. While there may be a great temptation, especially among young guys, to buy a 1000 cc super bike, this is definitely not the best choice for someone starting out. Hospitals and cemeteries have received far too many inexperienced riders who just HAD to have the latest 160 horsepower liter bike.
It should go without saying that every rider just starting out should take a motorcycle training class. Classes offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation are an excellent choice. Not only do they provide great training, but they also let you use their small motorcycles in the class.
Proper riding gear is also mandatory. Don't dress for the ride...dress for the crash. For discount motorcycle apparel and accessories, check out the fine products offered by The Cycle Guys at http://www.thecycleguys.com.
You've probably got your heart set on a particular style of bike. No matter if it's a cruiser, a sport bike, a standard style bike, a touring bike, or a dirt bike, its important that you get a bike that fits you.
After you've decided on your price range and style of bike, its time to go shopping. If you're not knowledgeable about mechanical things in general, and motorcycles in particular, try to find an experienced motorcycle guy or gal to help you out. I strongly encourage you to consider a used bike. Japanese bikes from the past 10 years are usually bulletproof. You can find clean, low mileage examples very easily, with price tags that are half of what a new bike will cost you.
The first thing to do is sit on the bike with the kickstand down. Can you touch both feet to the ground? If not, you should probably consider a motorcycle with a lower seat height. Check out the reach to the bars. Do the controls fall readily to hand? Where is the horn? Turn signals? Do the mirrors provide a good view of what's behind you? Does the bike feel comfortable? Using your legs, lift the bike off its side stand. How does it feel beneath you? Can you easily rock it back and forth in between your legs?
It is crucial that the bike feel comfortable, and that all the controls are easy for you to use. When gaining experience riding motorcycles, it's hard enough to keep focused on the road, shifting, your speed, and that crazy lady on a car phone next to you. Don't make your life even more complicated by purchasing a motorcycle with controls that are hard to find without looking. You should be able to operate any of the controls on your bike without taking your eyes off the road.
Congratulations on your first bike. If you've followed my advice, you've just bought a slightly used but still very exciting motorcycle that has the style you're lusting after, a price that fits your budget, and fits you correctly. You've got a new helmet, boots, and heavy duty riding jacket and gloves. You've taken the MSF class and you're ready to go out there and mix it up with the cages (cars). Just remember to take it easy for the first few months, until operating a motorcycle becomes second nature to you.
When you're very comfortable riding your first bike, you may start thinking about a higher performance model. That's OK, but I urge you to consider another option. How about a high performance riding school? You will be amazed at how fast you can go on that 3 year old SV650. Until you take a high performance riding school, you won't really have a good clue as to what you and your bike can do.
Tags: motorcycle riding