Buyers Guide for A First Time Rider
The ultimate guide to a riders first bike. I would like to say if you have made it here while doing research on your first motorcycle congratulations, you are taking the right steps to find something you like. Secondly that probably means you shouldn’t start out on an 1000 cc bike. When you are first learning about bikes you may just hear about the 300 cc bikes and 600 cc bikes, what you don’t hear about it all the in between bikes and the differences between them. Let me break it down to what I see as the best bikes when just starting out.
How to find the motorcycle that fits you
With so many different types of motorcycles in today’s entry-level class, it can be tricky even knowing where to begin your search, however, there are a few crucial tools to help you narrow down your search. The first thing you should ask yourself is “what will I be doing?” as this dictates the style of motorcycle that will be most appropriate for your wants and needs. If you solely plan on using your bike for urban commuting, you’ll likely want a gas-efficient model, though if you plan on doing some off-road riding, then a dual-sport or adventure motorcycle may be an ideal choice.
Factors to find out when buying a new motorcycle
There are dozens of areas one can rack their brain over when shopping for a motorcycle, though for new riders buying their first bike, there are a few key areas you need to focus on.
Engine: As the heart of every motorcycle, a bike’s engine should be one of the first things you look at. For new riders, we would recommend limiting your choices to models with a displacement of 500ccs or less, and engine configurations with no more than two cylinders. Though there are some exceptions to the 500 cc rule of thumb.
Speed: Models capable of speeds exceeding 70mph open the door to a myriad of riding applications such as freeway use or long-range touring. By referencing a bike’s top speed, you should get a decent sense of what riding applications it is conducive to (and which it isn’t).
Price: Today’s entry-level motorcycle market has some incredibly competitive pricing, with $5,000-$6,000 being enough to buy learner-friendly models. With that said, some bikes offer much more than others in the same price range. For this reason, it’s important to explore exactly what a given model’s features and components are as they can vary greatly. Low-mile used motorcycles are also a great way of saving a few bucks.
Manufacturer: It is more than just the logos on the tank, the company behind a given motorcycle model will play an enormous role in a machine’s overall reliability and performance. Buying from a larger, more reputable wide open network also comes with access to more replacement OEM and aftermarket parts. Some company’s bikes also retain their value much better than others, another area well worth looking into, especially if you plan on selling your first bike to upgrade to a larger model later down the road. Japanese manufacturers, like Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, or Honda, have some of the easiest bikes to work on, get parts for, and resell.
Weight: The more a motorcycle weighs, the more difficult it can be to control. Smaller bikes not only have more lightweight engines, but their lack of weight means they can also use lighter components for things such as the frame and suspension. With motorcycles, weight means more weight, for example bigger bikes need bigger brakes. It’s important to go for a lightweight motorcycle, as this will be the most helpful to progressing as a rider.
Standard Bikes / Sport bikes
I can give you all the advice in the world on what your first motorcycle should be, but at the end of the day the answer will lie in what feels most comfortable to you. Trust your gut, you will need it when riding. With motorcycles, all these facts can be just ignored all together because of one simple reason: taste
You don’t pick one over the other just because of the price, performance, or fuel economy. You pick one because you like it.
Because every time you throw a leg over it, you’ll be happy with what you’ve got.
Good luck on your first bike and ride safe my friends.