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

In last week's blog, I talked about the importance of getting a motorcycle license.

Let's fast forward now. You took your motorcycle riding class and passed the course with flying colors. Now you have received your motorcycle driver's license. Well done!

The logical next step is to buy a motorcycle you can develop your riding skills on. As with just about everything else, it takes practice riding to get really good at it. With motorcycles, lots of practice is imperative. Mistakes on a two-wheeler can be painful or even deadly.

Here are some tips to help you find and buy the best bike in your price range and for the type of riding you like to do. Getting the right first bike motorcycle will put you on the road to safe and fun motorcycle riding.

Remember the wise saying: There are old motorcycle riders. There are bold motorcycle riders. But there are no old, bold motorcycle riders.

Just because you received your motorcycle license, don't get too puffed up about it. You are not Evel Knievel. However confident you may feel, 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. These include your riding experience, your size, your skill set and your budget.

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. After all, you will be the one who is married to the bike you buy.

Most of you probably already have a style of motorcycle you like the looks of and can see yourself riding. It could be a cruiser/V-twin style, a sport bike/racer style or a dirt bike. It might be an enduro bike, bobber style or a cafe racer. The list goes on.

Once you decide on the style of bike you like, you must determine if you will buy a brand-new motorcycle or a used one. No matter your choice, you should visit some motorcycle dealers to 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 salesperson for sure will press you to buy one.

Resist the sales pressure and think over your options. Don't buy a motorcycle on impulse. Remember the old saying: Act in haste, repent in leisure. 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. Look for a motorcycle that is not too heavy for you to handle. You want a riding position that allows you to put both feet on the ground when stopped. You shouldn't have to stretch to your tip toes. The more proper the 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.

Think about what you will be using the bike for. Are you using it for commuting to work? Will you be taking it on long trips? Do you just want 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 and select accordingly.

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 or something cooler looking.

Whatever the reason, you will want to upgrade to a better bike once your riding skills outgrow your beginner bike. This happens to every rider.

Some might think, why waste the money on a beginner bike? I will just buy my dream bike right away.

That is not a good move. Your dream bike is probably some big cruiser or powerful sport bike that will get you killed if you are an inexperienced rider.

Take the time to grow your riding experience on a beginner bike. Don't worry about how you look on the bike. You will look a lot better alive than dead.

The payoff is you will actually be learning on a bike that will put you in less danger than a bike beyond your riding experience. Being an experienced rider does not happen overnight. It takes time.

Before you buy, establish a price you can afford to pay for your first motorcycle. Unlike a car, where you can get a junker that does the trick for you, a motorcycle is not a vehicle you can live with even if it is unreliable or has been in accidents. A little bit of extra money might go a lot further for this type of purchase.

For most people, the question is, buy new or used? A new bike offers reliability, dealer support and warranty protection. But of course all this will come at a higher price than with a used bike.

A used motorcycle can be a good move and save you a lot of money. If you choose to go with a used bike, you must be prepared to deal with imperfections, performance issues and 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 before you buy.

Be prepared to invest more money in 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 considerably lower price than a new motorcycle.

Make sure the motorcycle you pick as your first bike is not too powerful. I would not recommend a motorcycle with more than a 900cc engine.

Also, buy a motorcycle with a replacement part price that is reasonable. You might have to replace a busted turn signal or dented tank, and there will always be maintenance and repairs to do down the road.

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 Tail 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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