6 Tips for Choosing a Motorcycle
Choosing the right bike can make all the difference in being safe and having a great time out there on the road. Here’s the best advice from motorcyclists, mechanics and safety experts on choosing the right bike for you.
WHN EXPERT TIP – Talk Insurance: Check your insurance rates on a bike before you buy it. In some cases you may pay more in 2 years than what the bike is worth in the first place, says Jack Skates, founder of North Bay Sport Riders in California.
- Check your budget.“What can you afford to spend?” asks Denise Maple, founder and owner of VaVaVroom, a company that designs motorcycle wear for women riders. “There is a multitude of options out there at a wide range of prices, from a used scooter for a just a few hundred dollars to a high-end model for several thousand dollars.”
- Don’t buy too much motorcycle. “Start with a smaller, used motorcycle,” says Adam Martin, a certified motorcycle safety instructor and veteran cyclist. “You’ll get the full motorcycle experience and also mitigate the risk factors.”
- Go for rational, not radical. “Purchase a unit that is suitable for the type of riding that they will be doing 80% of the time,” says Ron Arieli, president and owner of T.E.A.M. Arizona Motorcyclist Training Centers.
“Why are you buying the bike? Commuting? Racing? Cross-country trip?” says Maple. Make a list of features and reasons for the purchase. It’ll help you as you shop.
- Consider buying a used motorcycle if it’s your first.“Motorcycles depreciate like cars and as soon as you drive them off the lot, they are immediately worth almost 30% less than you paid for them, depending on make/model,” says Skates. “Also, first-time riders have a high tendency to drop their motorcycles, even when standing still. It’s better to do that with something used your first time than something brand new.”
- Give it a spin. Sit on the bike. Can you reach and operate the controls? Can you touch the ground with both feet? Does the bike have the features you’ll need?
- Get the one you want. “What makes your heart race? Is it the classic-looking motorbike, like a Harley Davidson Softail? Or does a cute little Vespa scooter make you smile?” says Maple. Choose a bike that fits your budget, your needs and your personality.
WHN TIP – Buying Used? Check Kelley Blue Book to learn about the average range and retail prices for motorcycles.
For More Information
American Motorcyclist: What Type Of Bike Is Right For You? — tips for picking the right bike for the rider and the type of riding.
The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from experts and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing decisions.