New riders are often surprised to find how much more specialized motorcycles are than cars. Motorcycles are great at doing what they’re designed for but terrible at everything else. That’s why it’s important for new riders to know what they want out of their bikes before heading to the showroom.
Unless they have plenty of expendable income, most riders buy their first bikes used. It would be impossible to cover everything that riders need to consider when purchasing a used motorcycle in an article of this size, so this article will focus on three of the most important considerations when buying any bike: weight, ergonomics, and specialization. Check out the following tips before heading to the showroom to find the right used motorcycle when the time comes.
Once riders are on the move, the weight of their bikes isn’t really an issue. Those who plan to ride in heavy traffic should know that even motorcycles that are considered relatively small can still be heavy. Even Harley-Davidson’s smallest model, the Sportster, weighs over 500 pounds, so browse inventory at cleanharleys.com with an eye to practical concerns like weight, not just-style.
When considering manufacturers’ weight figures, make a point of finding out whether the bikes were measured wet or dry. Wet measurements are taken when bikes are fueled up and topped off with fluids, so they’ll be both larger and more realistic than dry measurements. Most novice riders are better off purchasing relatively small, twin-cylinder bikes.
Twin cylinders still range substantially in size, as do their engines. Start off with a motorcycle that has a reasonably small engine, no more than 900 cc in size. It will still have plenty of power and will be a blast to ride but will also be more manageable for learning the basics.
Pay Attention to Ergonomics
Just as motorcycles range substantially in size and weight, they also come in an impressive array of shapes. Pay attention to seat style when heading in to buy a bike. The seating style will directly impact the rider’s ergonomic experience, so pay attention.
Sports bikes are stylish and fun to ride, but their seating can wind up placing stress on riders’ wrists. Cruisers, on the other hand, have low and easy-to-control centers of gravity. Most pros recommend starting out with a standard seating position, as these bikes are less specialized and more flexible, giving riders a chance to decide what direction they want to go when it comes to specialization.
Know the Differences Between Different Classes of Bikes
Those who know exactly what they want to do with their bikes need not bother starting out with a standardized bike and can go straight for a specialized model. Touring bikes are designed for distance riding, while sport bikes are optimized for performance, and cruisers are modeled after older, larger American-made machines of the early to mid-20th-century. There are plenty of hybrid bikes, too, so don’t be afraid to take a few different models out for test rides.
The Bottom Line : Few riders stick with their first bikes. Buying used allows new riders to save some money without having to sacrifice quality or style, and this gives them the chance to get a better feel for what they want. Before taking bikes out for test rides, novice riders should still discuss their skill and experience levels with a salesperson to get a professional opinion about what models might provide a good fit even if they have a good idea of what they’re looking for.