If you’re thinking of buying a motorcycle, you’re not alone by any means. Reports show that an estimated 500,000 Americans have purchased motorcycles each year for the past decade. Analysts expect this figure to surge during the years to come.
Few things compare to the feeling of the open road and the wind against your face as you zip through traffic and careen around curves that can almost take your breath away. As more people think about those elements and want to experience them for themselves, there’s no doubt the number of people purchasing bikes will climb.
Having said that, buying a bike is a major event that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to find just the right bike to meet your needs and expectations. You’ll find there are numerous factors to take into account before making a purchase, each of which will affect your riding experiences and how well you’re able to enjoy the bike.
If you want to buy a motorcycle, consider the following essential aspects beforehand. Doing so will go a long way toward ensuring you get the perfect bike right from the start.
Which Type of Bike Is Best for You?
Several types of bikes are on the market. Each one has its own benefits and disadvantages. Sportbikes are built for speed and handling, but they tend to be less comfortable than other models. They’re fast and capable of leaning into curves and riding them out. They’re also much lighter than other types of bikes.
Still, taking them on long trips can be a bit unpleasant because of the position of the seat in relation to the handlebars. If you’re looking for the epitome of acceleration and agility and planning fairly short trips, a sportbike may be the option you’re looking for.
Naked motorcycles could be considered a hybrid combination of sportbikes and cruisers. Like sportbikes, they offer speed and performance though perhaps not quite to the extent of their sportier cousins. They’re also a bit more comfortable than traditional sportbikes, so they’re not quite as difficult to tolerate on longer rides.
Still, they don’t have all the bells and whistles of some other types of bikes, so they’re more utilitarian. On the other hand, they’re smaller and lighter than cruisers and certain other models, so they’re often better for shorter people and those who may lack the strength to keep a larger bike upright.
Cruisers are another alternative. They’re quintessential motorcycle designs that are made for the road. They give you performance, comfort, and handling even on longer trips; besides, they look awesome.
They may not handle a tight curve at top speed quite as well as a sportbike, but they’ll easily navigate the twists and turns of mountain roads, the hazards of crowded highways, and everything in between. Cruisers are made in all shapes and sizes, so you’re almost guaranteed to find one that melds with your size and strength.
Then, you have touring bikes. They’re designed for drawn-out trips and offer extensive power and comfort. Some even bring certain unexpected features to the table, such as extra seat padding, heated handgrips, built-in navigation systems, and sturdy storage compartments to name a few possibilities.
If you’re planning for frequent long road trips and enjoy many of the creature comforts cruisers, sportbikes, and naked motorcycles don’t offer, this would be the motorcycle for you. Keep in mind, quite a few subsets of bikes are also available.
Should You Buy New or Used?
Once you’ve determined which type of bike speaks to you, it’s time to decide whether to purchase a new or used model. New motorcycles come with some obvious advantages. They’re covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. They’ve never been owned by anyone, so there’s no chance that a previous owner wore them out or abused them.
Used bikes have a range of benefits as well. They’re less expensive than new models, and unlike new bikes, they’ve already been subjected to depreciation. If you get them from the right dealerships, they may have warranties in place, and they’re guaranteed to be in good condition. That means you’re not taking the same risks as you would be when purchasing a used motorcycle from an individual.
Either way, you’ll have plenty of room for customization and making the bike your own. Tax, title, and registration fees may be lower for a used motorcycle. You’ll undoubtedly save money with a used model, and it won’t lose value as much as a new one would. If you have your heart set on a new bike, though, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
Getting the Right Fit
No matter what type of bike you decide to buy, it’s important to ensure it’s the right fit for you. Try out different models and sizes. Sit on them to ensure you can comfortably reach the handlebars from the seat.
Make sure both feet can touch the ground firmly when you’re sitting on the bikes. Rock them back and forth a bit to confirm that they’re not more bike than you can handle. Consider the extra weight of a rider and, if you plan to have a specific rider with you, make sure the passenger seat fits well.
If you find a bike that catches your eye and is the style you want but doesn’t quite fit perfectly, you don’t necessarily have to turn your back on it. Customizations are always an option. You can have the handlebars extended, the seat lowered or padded, and many other modifications made to make it a perfect fit. All those changes will add to the cost of the bike, but they may just be worth it in the end.
Getting the Most out of Your Bike
These are a few of the most important factors to consider if you’re planning to buy a motorcycle. Figure out which type of bike suits your riding style or plans. Decide if new or used better suits your budget and other preferences.
Then, try out numerous bikes to find the right fit and think about which modifications can be made to create a customized experience. All these aspects will help ensure you get the most out of your bike for years to come.