Lethal Threat / You have your Motorcycle License, now what? Picking the Right Motorcycle for you. Part 2

Lethal Threat / You have your Motorcycle License, now what?  Picking the Right Motorcycle for you.  Part 2

As per last week’s blog, I talked about the importance of getting a motorcycle license.  Fast forward, you took your motorcycle riding class and you passed the course with flying colors and received your Motorcycle driver’s license.  The logical next step is to buy a motorcycle that you can develop your riding skills on.  It takes practice riding to develop your skills.  Just because you received your Motorcycle license, you are not ready to have a passenger on the back of your bike and head out to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

What type of motorcycle to buy depends on a number of factors, your riding experience, physical size, your skill set and your budget. You must start with a bike that works for you.   You can take advice from others, but you need to do what is best for you when deciding on a motorcycle.  For the most part, you probably have a style of motorcycle  that you like the looks of and can see yourself riding.  Could be a Cruiser / V-Twin style, a Sport Bike / Racer style, Dirt Bike, an Enduro Bike, Bobber style, a Café Racer, the list goes on.  Once you decide on a style of bike you like, you must determine if you will buy a brand new motorcycle or used one.  No matter your choice, you should still visit some motorcycle dealers to get a look at the different models available that meet your needs.  Don’t be shy to ask the salesman to explain all the features of the bikes and let you sit on the motorcycles.  The sales person for sure will press you to buy one, but resist and think over your options,  don’t buy a motorcycle out of impulse.  A motorcycle show, with exhibitions from all the major motorcycle brands, is another great place to see a vast range of motorcycles in one place.

More than the looks of your first bike, you need to pick a motorcycle that is comfortable for you.  A motorcycle that is not too heavy for you to handle, a riding position that allows for both feet on the ground when stopped, not on your tip toes.  The more the proper fit and comfort of the motorcycle, the more you will want to ride it.  Before you decide to ride a badass bike with a mean stance, you need to build your riding experience and skills.  Also pick a motorcycle that meets your needs of what you will be using the bike for.  Are you using the bike for commuting to work,  a bike you plan on using for long trips, a bike to ride on trails and the beach;  motorcycles have become very specialized for the type of riding experience the rider requires.  Know how you will use the motorcycle most of the time.

This will be your first bike, but it more than likely will not be the only motorcycle you will buy.  Once you start developing your riding skills, you will start getting bored with your first bike.  It may now not have enough power for you, you may desire a bigger bike, something cooler looking, whatever the reason you will want to upgrade to a better bike once you’re riding skills out grow your beginner bike.  Happens to every rider.  Some might think, why waste the money on a beginner bike, I will just buy my dream bike right away.  Not a good move. Your dream bike is probably some big cruiser or powerful sport bike that will get you killed in the hands of inexperienced rider.  Take the time to grow your riding experience on a “beginner bike”.  Don’t worry about how you look on the bike, the payoff is that you will actually be learning on a bike that will put you in less danger then a bike out of your riding experience.  Being an experienced rider does not happen overnight, it takes time.

Establish a price you can afford to pay for your first motorcycle.  Unlike a car, were you can get a junker that does the trick for you.  A motorcycle, is not a vehicle you want to be unreliable and has been in previous accidents.  A little bit of extra money might go a lot further for this type of purchase.  So the question buy new or used?  A new bike offers reliability, dealer support and is protected under warranty, but of course at a higher price than a used bike.   A used motorcycle can be a good move and save you a lot of money but you must be prepared to deal with imperfections, performance issues and the abuse to the bike by the previous owner.  Generally the older and more abused the motorcycle is the lower the asking price will be.  You will need to have the motorcycle checked over by an experienced motorcycle mechanic and be prepared to invest more money into the bike to make it as safe and reliable as possible for riding.  If you are not in a rush and shop around, you can probably find a good, reliable used bike at a considerable lower price than a new motorcycle.

Make sure the motorcycle you pick is not too powerful for your first bike.  I would not recommend a motorcycle with more than a 900cc engine.  Also buy a motorcycle were the replacement part price is reasonable.  Hopefully not, but you might have to replace a busted turn signal or dented tank.  Again, build your riding experience before taking on bigger bikes or more challenging riding experiences.  You are not ready to take on the Dragon’s Tale or ride to Sturgis if you are new to riding.  Always ride with the proper riding gear, never ride while sick, drunk, impaired, or fatigued. Check the weather conditions before your ride and plan accordingly.  Unlike a car, you can’t fake it on a motorcycle.

Maybe your beginner bike won’t be the coolest in the parking lot, but you can wear some killer apparel from Lethal Threat no matter your ride!


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