So you finally got your motorcycle license and are now looking to buy your first motorcycle. Before you make your big purchase, there are some important things you need to know.
Deciding to venture into the world of motorcycles, can be really fun, thrilling and even nerve wracking—all for a plenitude of reasons within themselves. However, once you get past the motorcycle safety courses, buying your gear and getting your license, like everyone else, you’re probably itching to buy your first motorcycle. Before you make your first purchase, there’s probably a few questions running through your mind. Worry not. In this article, we’ll give you the best tips for buying your first motorcycle.
Know Your Riding Style
There are thousands of models of motorcycles, and if you’re new to the industry it can be really confusing. First things first before you begin your search for your first bike, is to know what kind of riding style you’ll be doing. This will help you narrow down your search and seriously make things so much easier down the line.
If you need a guide to help you know all the different types of motorcycles, check out this article here.
Once you’ve figured out if you’re more of a street-rider or off-roader, you can narrow down your riding style even further. Whether you’re a cruiser, commuter or sports rider, there’s definitely a bike out there for you. The same goes for off-roading. Whether you enjoy trails, trials or getting a taste of both on and off-road there are plenty of motorcycles to choose from. You just need to figure out what works best for your lifestyle.
Know Your Budget
Before you start browsing your dream bikes, you need to be realistic about your budget. Look at the options of motorcycles within your budget. Include insurance, gear, licensing fees, motorcycle safety courses within that budget as well.
One big thing I’ve heard from seasoned motorcycle riders is to buy your gear, classes and insurance first, and whatever is left over should be your budget for your actual motorcycle. This will help keep you safe and well-covered should anything happen. Remember if you’re asking yourself is gear worth it, consider if it’s worth it to lose whichever body part the gear should cover.
Lastly, it’s okay to buy a used bike. Actually we encourage you to do so, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Motorcycle Insurance Guide
Next, you need to figure out your motorcycle insurance. This is one of the things many beginner riders forget to consider. Either because they’re so focused on finding the perfect motorcycle, or all the legal jargon can get overwhelming.
When you make your budget for motorcycle riding, don’t forget to include insurance on that list. It’s different for every state, but most states require riders to have motorcycle insurance by law. Since motorcycle riding is dangerous, you’re especially going to need it in case your bike is damaged or you and someone else get injured in an accident.
Insurance is extremely important because it can cover the damages and finances in many instances. There are certain plans that are specific to your state but here are the most common coverage plans:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
If you’re injured in an accident, this type of coverage can help reimburse you for medical bills, lost income, funeral expenses, childcare and more, depending on your provider.
This policy covers damages to your motorcycle not caused by a crash with another vehicle or other object. Examples of covered damages include flooding, wind, vandalism and theft. With this coverage you are typically covered for repairs up to the actual cash value of your bike and you also get to choose your deductible.
Property Damage Liability Coverage
This coverage helps pay for damages to another person’s property when you are at fault. For example, if you damage other vehicles, private residences, storefronts or other structures this coverage may help pay for the repairs. This however does not pay for your own bike.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
If an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident while you are on your motorcycle, this insurance will cover your injuries as well as those of your passengers.
Medical Payments Coverage
This policy helps pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses resulting from an injury to you or your passengers while you are on your motorcycle. This can include ambulance rides and X-rays.
Overall, consider which state you live in, your insurance provider, your budget and what type of coverage makes sense for you. Do some thorough research for this.
Consider Your Size
When you’re shopping for a motorcycle it is super important to think about your own size. Whether that be height, weight, leg inseam sizes or anything else—you should make sure you get a motorcycle that fits your body’s stature.
Make sure you try on bikes in the shop. Hell, if they let you test ride, even better. What will seem comfortable in the few seconds you hop on a motorcycle in the store, will feel different when you’re out on the road. So double and triple check to make sure the bike you decide on is absolutely right for you and comfortable for your body.
If you find the perfect bike, but something like the handlebars are slightly off, there’s no shame in making some modifications, to ensure your bike is custom and properly adjusted to your fit.
Don’t Get A Big Motorcycle
I’ve written a lot about why beginners should refrain from getting a huge bike, as their first bike, and I will repeat myself here, too. Don’t get me wrong, a really nice and big Harley may seem like a good idea to buy right out the gate, especially if you’re planning on growing out of your first starter bike. But still, many beginners are not great riders. The only way to get better is through practice.
If you get a really big bike that is hard for you to manage, you won’t have the proper foundations of fomenting your skills, as you’re going to be too busy trying to just keep a 700 lb. bike upright. Get a bike that fits you, and is easy to control. That way everything else that riders will learn through experience will just come together for you so much more easier.
Get A Used Motorcycle
Lastly, before you get a brand new motorcycle, I urge you to buy a used motorcycle. In kind of the same principle, if you’re a new rider within your first six months of riding, you are highly likely to drop, crash or injure yourself on your motorcycle. That’s just the statistics of it all. There’s no shame in this. If you’re just getting started with riding motorcycles, it’s just the nature of the sport. It happens to everyone eventually.
However, this is why we encourage riders to buy used. It’ll hurt the soul less to see a scratch or dent from an accident on a pre-loved bike you dropped a few grand on, than a freshly-painted, crimson red, sparkly motorcycle you spent a fortune on. It just makes sense to build your way up in skill level and rider maturity, before you get a brand new motorcycle.
To that point, it’ll also just be way cheaper in the end. When you have to spend a lot of money on gear and all that jazz, your budget is probably going to be nearly depleted anyways.
If you keep all these tips in mind, before you make your purchase, you should be good to go. There’s nothing like the feeling of being out on the road, it just might take a few extra minutes of research before you get the bike of your dreams. Hopefully this article helped you get on your way to having fun and staying safe!
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