Six Tips for Buying a Motorcycle
Whether you want a motorcycle for the thrill of a wind-swept ride or practical fuel efficiency, consider these six tips before you buy a motorcycle.
1. How are you going to use your motorcycle?
How you plan on using your motorcycle dictates the type you buy. For long road trips, you may find that a touring bike gives you the most comfortable and stable ride. A standard-sized motorcycle is well suited for daily commutes and rides around town. Small scooters have become popular, as well, for zipping around and short commutes.
2. Assess your own skill level
Evaluate your riding abilities before you buy a motorcycle. For example, determine how much power you want. Engines with 600cc engines may be too powerful for a novice. On the other hand, experienced riders may be looking for a bike with tight maneuverability and high speeds. Consider sharpening your skills and confidence by taking lessons from a school or program qualified in motorcycle driving instruction.
3. Set a budget
Expect to pay from $4,000-$25,000 for a new motorcycle. Like car buying, there’s usually room for negotiation. When establishing your budget, don’t forget to include insurance costs and such must-have gear as a helmet, a jacket, boots and pants.
4. Should you buy a new or used motorcycle?
Like cars, motorcycles generally depreciate in value with age, so used models typically cost less than new bikes. A good, safe used number may be a good choice for a first-time motorcycle owner, particularly one on a budget. On the other hand, a new motorcycle – like a new automobile – often comes with more bells, whistles, updated safety features and a warranty.
5. Try potential motorcycles on for size
First, climb on several bikes and feel the fit. Motorcycles come in different sizes and shapes, and while you may have your heart set on a certain model, buy for your size and needs. The salesperson can help you determine if a bike fits you, but be sure to note the following:
- Are both your feet flat on the ground when the bike is upright? If not, it may be too tall.
- Get a sense of how it feels to sit in the riding position. Are you pitched too far forward or feel awkwardly reclined? Do you sit too low or too high? It’s critical that you’re comfortable, so you can control the motorcycle.
- Pay attention to your wrists, back and legs. If you’re sitting at a severe angle or notice excessive force on these areas of your body, you’ll tire quickly when riding and may even suffer excessive strain.
6. Take a test drive before you buy a motorcycle
Once you’ve found a bike that fits you, assess how it handles. Take it for a ride, ideally in the conditions in which you drive most. It should be easy to control. Accelerating, braking and turning should come naturally. If you struggle with basic maneuvers, look at another bike.
Protect your bike with motorcycle insurance
A motorcycle is a significant investment. Make sure you get the appropriate motorcycle insurance to protect it. For a free quote for comprehensive motorcycle insurance coverage, look to Nationwide Insurance®.