Choosing your first motorcycle is an exciting milestone in a rider’s life. It’s a decision that requires a lot of preparation. Hopefully, you have already familiarized yourself with the safety risks that come with riding a motorcycle; either way, you should still complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course, the equivalent of a driver’s training course, to fully understand your responsibilities as a motorcycle rider. There are many other important things to consider when buying a bike, and here are the top tips to help you out.
Remember, Motorcycle Insurance is Required by Law
Much like auto insurance, motorcycle insurance is mandatory, so you’ll need to take this into account, even if your finances are already in order. Insurance covers much more than merely the cost of the bike. The right insurance protects you if you are involved in an incident that causes injury or property damage and covers the costs of your medical bills as well as theft or damage to your bike. Aside from liability coverage, there will be other optional coverage included in the package you may want to consider. It will ensure you are prepared and protected no matter what happens on the road. Bear in mind that choosing the right plan will require thorough contemplation on your part, so don’t take this decision lightly.
Know the Various Motorcycle Types and Characteristics
There are many different types of motorcycles, and as an enthusiast, you may already have your dream bike in mind. However, you need to know as much as you can about the different bikes to ensure you’re picking the right one for you. Knowing the key characteristics you want will help you in the decision-making process, but there are some factors you may not have considered. Determine what you want to get out of riding. Sports and adventure bikes are great for the fast-paced life of an adventurer, but the power and speed may not be ideal for a novice. Heavier types like cruiser bikes and dirt bikes may also not be suitable for a first-timer. Naked bikes are great for beginners, offering a smooth ride and easy to navigate machinery.
Once you have determined the type of bike that caters to your needs, you can then look at the various brands that offer what you want. The top brands tend to be on the pricier side, so you may want to look for trusted brands that offer a lower price point. Invariably, always compare brands to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Affordable bikes do not compromise quality and reliability, but you will need to ensure it has all the necessary characteristics and safety features.
Gear is Important
Never underestimate the equipment needed before purchasing a motorcycle. You must include it in your budget and take the time to find appropriate gear to fit you; after all, there’s no one-size-fits-all here. The wrong size helmet can be detrimental, and no gear at all is fatal. Make sure you don’t skimp on the following:
- Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet
- Motorcycle gloves
- Motorcycle boots
- Motorcycle goggles
- Motorcycle pants
- Motorcycle jacket
Start with a Small Engine
If you don’t have much prior riding experience, you may not want to follow in the footsteps of avid riders. Start with a small engine, and you can gradually upgrade to a more powerful bike as you perfect your skills and increase your speed. You do not want to be reckless on the road or go at the speed of a seasoned professional. Always prioritize performance and lower-displacement bikes as a beginner. This way, it will be easy for you to handle your bike.
You won’t know everything there is to know about your motorcycle, which is why you must start looking for trusted mechanics when considering this purchase. Ask fellow motorcycle owners to recommend the best service center that’s within your price range. You must establish a good relationship with your mechanic to keep your bike in tiptop condition. Furthermore, understand your responsibilities as a motorcycle owner as you will need to know what’s required in a tune-up. Oil changes, fluid levels, and brake pad checks are just a few of the priorities. Finding a decent motorcycle mechanic before purchasing a bike will provide you with someone to refer your questions to regarding a potential bike’s mechanical engineering. Having this information will help you choose a bike that’s durable and won’t lead to unnecessary maintenance costs. Join motorcycle groups, where you can get sound advice.