Buying your first anything is always tricky. There’s no telling whether you’re making the right decision or a royally messed up one. Especially that you have no frame of reference whatsoever. It’s hard enough to pick an ice cream flavor having tried most flavors, but imagine having tried nothing before. It’s not much different with motorbikes, except that a motorbike is much, much more expensive and impactful than one scoop of ice cream. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick guide to help you out with your first purchase, hopefully, one of more to come.
Know your Needs
There are four main types of bikes out there, each with its own shape and set of specifications. To get the most out of your bike, you need to know what you expect from the bike, performance-wise. Adventure touring bikes, for example, are mainly designed to survive the challenges offered by natural terrains. Cruisers, on the other hand, are built for pavements and streets. While an adventure touring bike can be used in the city, you can’t really use a cruiser off-road.
Then, there are scooters that prioritize comfort and practicality. They’re not as fast or powerful as other bikes, but they’re built for regular light-weight use. Finally, there are the choppers which are mostly used for stylish leisurely rides, nothing serious. By knowing what you want in a bike, you’ll be able to pick a certain bike class that will dictate many other decisions, which brings us to our next point.
Determining Your Budget
Setting a budget is simple. Know how much you’re willing to spend and how much you’re able to spend. Not just that, but also keep in mind that there are some bikes that would require certain essential expenses, like GPS. If you’re buying a bike to take off the beaten path, Wandering Biker makes the argument that a properly designed GPS can turn this adventure into an amazing experience rather than a desperate search for the main road. After all, what makes such a device essential in cars but not bikes?
Having said that, you must also think of your bike as an investment rather than a regular purchase. A lot of people make the mistake of setting a low budget so as not to spend a lot on a bike, but eventually, they end up having to upgrade to a different bike which only stands for more expenses.
Make Sure Your Bike is a Right Fit
Not many people know this, but when buying a bike, size matters. Why? Simply, because the frame determines how easy or hard it will be to control your bike, and how comfortable your ride will be. Too large, a frame will have you straining your back, reaching up for the faraway handlebars. Meanwhile, too small, a frame will have you arching your back like a contortionist. Either way, you can say goodbye to the idea of hitting the open road, and lumbar health, as well. To avoid that problem, people usually try out a bike before they buy it. Sounds simple, granted, but you’d be surprised at how much trouble it’ll save you later on.
Go by Feel
You’ll stumble upon many bike models here and there which might complicate the decision-making process for you a little. Especially when one type of conflict arises, comfort vs. appearance. However, for that, there’s a simple piece of advice that we believe you should follow. Always go for comfort and here’s why.
Tuxedos and evening dresses look breathtakingly gorgeous, but how many times do you wear them each year? And how does it feel when you finally take them off after a long night? On the other hand, you’ve got baggy sweaters which may not look as good as something you’d wear to a royal wedding, but once you wear them, you don’t want to change clothes ever. Same with bikes, would you rather get something that looks momentarily cool and dreads every ride? Or something that you genuinely love riding?
As you can see, buying a motorbike isn’t really such a tedious job or a complicated decision to make. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the four factors we mentioned. First and foremost, your needs and wants. Second, how much money do you wish to spend? Third, comes the size. Fourth, the way the bike feels. And, don’t forget, if you have any further questions, just ask around the showrooms or your local biker community. There are a lot of people out there who are always delighted to help.