So you’re ready to feel the wind on your face and the freedom of being out on the open road with two wheels instead of four. Your first time riding on your brand new motorcycle down the road will feel like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Some say it may be better than having their first child! But don’t tell your significant other or your kid that – they won’t like it.
Remember though, no matter how excited you are, there are also things you should know. Motorcycles are not as large as cars, and people aren’t used to looking for them. When a motorcycle tangles with a vehicle, the bike will always lose. This is why you as a rider must always be on the lookout and watch for cars more than they watch for you. It doesn’t sound all that fair, does it?
Before you rush out to purchase your first bike, stop and consider a few different things. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time rider or if you’ve been riding your entire life. There are always things you may have forgotten or not known. Not to mention if you haven’t purchased one in a while, you’re about to face an entirely new type of beast. Motorcycles, along with everything else, have changed and evolved.
1. Decide If You’re Going To Buy New Or Used
Some people like buying used motorcycles because it saves them a lot of money on fees. Just like when you buy a car, you’ve got to give the dealership and the government their cash. There are standard fees like tax, title, and license, but some fees can add hundreds of dollars to your out-of-door prices, such as doc fees, which can cost up to $800, then the destination and freight setup fees. The destination and freight setup fees vary depending on where you are and the bike’s value.
Other people like to buy new bikes because they have modern brakes, suspensions, and upgraded blinkers. These updates can make your ride more comfortable and safer. The new motorcycle will also have more financing options, and you don’t have to worry about getting the bike to your house, then right to the garage to fix it. People who refuse to ride anything other than a Harley know that no matter if you buy the bike new or used, there will be some type of leak. These guys say unless there’s a drip, it’s not a Harley Davidson.
2. Figure Out What You Want From Your Bike
There are so many different motorcycles you can buy that you have to narrow down your choices before even starting to look for a specific one. This doesn’t count if you’re already a die-hard fan of a particular type. There are a series of questions to ask yourself to help you zero in on what you want.
- Are you buying it to use instead of your car to save on gas? Motorcycles save a lot of money on gas because their engines are smaller, which means they get better gas mileage.
- Are you going to be out racing it? If the answer to this is yes, you’re going to want a light bike built for sensitive handling.
- What purpose is the bike for? If you’re looking for a bike to take on long trips, you want to look for one that has extra seat padding for the obvious reason, and one built for hauling.
- Where are you going to do the majority of your riding? If you’re looking for riding out on dirt and trails, you’ll specifically want some type of dirt bike. If you’re going to be cruising in the city, you probably want a bike that works well navigating in traffic. For a mix of town and country, you can get a bigger bike.
3. Get the Right Gear
It doesn’t matter what type of motorcycle you end up purchasing… you’re going to need the proper safety gear. Accidents happen, and you need to be protected in case it does happen. One word of advice if you’re trying to skimp on cash, this is not the place to do it. The right gear can save your life.
- DOT-approved motorcycle helmet
- Riding jacket
- Riding pants
- Riding boots
- Riding googles
- Riding gloves
Experienced riders recommend getting a leather jacket, pants, and gloves, and make sure you only get riding boots. Don’t try to get away with buying regular boots if you want to keep your feet protected.
4. Insurance Matters
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to compare car insurance or motorcycle insurance. You need to get the best coverage for your money. The wrong insurance can leave you open to lawsuits, bankruptcy, and a host of many other charges.
If you’ve waited your whole life to buy a motorcycle, a few more weeks isn’t going to hurt you. They are an expensive habit, and you don’t want to jump in and end up with buyer’s remorse. Instead, take the time to know what you want before making such a major purchase.