22 Jun 15

What to think about when buying a new bike

Buying a new bike is exciting. However, if you’re new to motorcycles, you may not know where to start. Even if you’re a seasoned rider, making a savvy purchase can be a challenge. Should you get a standard, cruiser, touring, dual-sport, or sport bike? Whether you’re buying your first bike or will be the latest of many bikes in your collection, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you prepare to purchase a new bike.

Purpose

What purpose will the new bike serve? Do you want a bike to commute to work or ride around the city? Do you want to tour the countryside on a riding holiday? Do you crave the adrenaline rush of rapid speeds and tight handling?

If you’re looking for a commuter bike that will get you around the city, you may want to look into purchasing a moped or scooter. These bikes are fuel efficient and will fit into even the most compact parking spots.

For touring the countryside, you may look at a cruiser or touring motorcycle that is designed for a casual, laid back riding experience. In particular, touring motorcycles are made to carry more luggage and fuel, making them ideal for long distance riding. If you crave speed and thrills, you will want to look for a high performance sports bike. Just be sure you’re not buying more bike than you can handle.

Fit

Go to a professional bike shop where you can get properly fitted for a bike. Fit is an essential safety consideration you’ll need to make before you buy a bike. If the fit of a bike is off, you’ll put yourself and others on the road in danger. You may need to find a slightly different bike than the one you had your heart set on, but most manufacturer lineups include variations in models that will accommodate different sized riders. As a general rule, the seat height should not be taller than the inseam of your leg.

Engine Size

Purchasing a bike with more power than they can handle is a common mistake many riders make. There’s no shame in knowing your skill limitations and selecting an appropriate sized engine to provide you with a safe, yet satisfying ride. Engine size is typically gauged in cubic centimeters (CCs). The measurement is the volume inside the combustion area of the engine.

More CCs generally means more power. However, more power doesn’t translate to more speed. The way the engine is engineered is more important to how it performs on the road. For example, a 750cc cruiser will not have nearly the amount of speed and acceleration capabilities as a 650cc sport bike. The difference is how the engine is tuned. In addition to looking at the number of CCs, consider the purpose of the bike when making your decision.

Features

Many modern bikes feature anti-lock brake systems, cruise control, enhanced audio systems, and other features to improve the comfort and safety of your riding experience. While many of these features are nice to have, it’s important to understand that these features are not a substitute for a mastery of riding skills. As long as you don’t plan to rely on these features to keep you safe, you may want to factor them into your purchasing decision.

While there are many other things you’ll want to take into account when buying a new bike, these considerations will help you get started. If you’re new to buying bikes, you may want to bring along a more experienced friend to help. The world of motorcycles is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming, even for seasoned riders.

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