How to Buy Your First Motorcycle
Buying a motorcycle is an extremely important decision. It is important to make sure that you are buying the right motorcycle for you. There are many factors that should play into your decision to buy your first motorcycle.
The first thing that you should look for is engine size. Many beginning riders make the mistake of buying a first motorcycle that is much too large for them. A teenage rider should start out with a bike that is no bigger than 350cc. Small bikes are perfect beginning bikes for smaller riders. However, larger or older riders can be fine with a bike that is near 500cc. Getting a bike that is too big for you can almost certainly spell disaster. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is unprepared riders that ride motorcycles that are too big for them. Therefore, engine size is the most important thing about picking your first motorcycle.
Another important thing to consider is brand-name. Most brand-name motorcycles are extremely easy to find parts for. If you pick a generic motorcycle brand that no one has ever heard of, it can be difficult to find replacement parts if something breaks down. Therefore, ensuring that you find a good brand-name is extremely important. Some popular brand-names include Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki. All of these brands have been making motorcycles for at least fifty years. You can safely assume that buying one of these brands will yield an extremely easy search for parts.
Another important factor to consider, is where the controls are located. Standard motorcycles have a rear brake pedal underneath the right foot. These bikes also have a gear shifter that is located by the left foot, a clutch that is operated by the left hand, a front brake operated by the right hand, and a throttle operated by the right hand. Some of these controls are designed to allow the operator’s legs to sit at a ninety degree angle when mounted on the motorcycle. However, many controls are designed to allow the operator’s legs to extend past the center of the bike. This can allow the rider extra comfort as opposed to the traditional controls. These controls can be great for riders who frequently ride their motorcycles on the highway. However, they also do not provide as much direct control over the motorcycle. Therefore, it is recommended that new riders stay with the traditional design. In addition, some motorcycles switch the rear brake pedal and gear shifter. This can be extremely confusing for some riders, and can even lead to the rear brake locking up on accident. Therefore, it is wise for new riders to stay away from these types of controls unless they were initially trained on them.
There is another odd form of control known as the “suicide shifter”. A suicide shifter is a a shift knob that is similar to the knob found in an automobile. In order to operate on of these, the rider must take it’s hand off of the handlebars in order to shift the motorcycle into a higher or lower gear. These got their nickname due to this process. It is not safe for a motorcyclist to take it’s hand off of the handlebars at any moment in time during the ride. Therefore, new riders should stick with the traditional way of shifting.
Another factor to consider is the bike’s stance. Some choppers have extremely long front ends with very tiny wheels. This can make the bike extremely difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. In addition, some bikes have stretched-out rear ends and tall handlebars. All of these modifications should only be utilized by experienced riders. New riders should opt for the equipment that is closest to stock. This will ensure that they are as safe as possible when riding their new motorcycle.
In closing, the most important thing to look for when buying your first motorcycle, is whether or not it fits you. Pick the bike that you like, and always be safe on it.