What Motorcycle Is Right For Me?
When you’re first starting out with motorcycle riding things are confusing, very confusing. A lot of different terminology is thrown around and there are a lot of decisions that you need to make when you start out, with most of these decisions coming along with high price tags. We will assume at this point that you now have your motorbike license and are ready to purchase a bike, an exciting but daunting time.
We are going to take a look at some of the factors that should influence the type of motorcycle that you purchase in this article which we call “What motorcycle is right for me?”.
If you are brand new to motorcycles and don’t know the difference between a cruiser and a naked, we suggest that you first read our article “Main Styles of Road Motorbikes” (the link will open in a new window).
Related articles on this site:
What type of riding will you be doing?
This is one of the most critical factors when determining what sort of motorcycle you will purchase. Although there are people who claim that they are happy riding long touring days on a mid-sized super sport style motorcycle, you should try and find something which matches the style of riding that you will be doing to give yourself the most comfort and enjoyment.
If at any point you are likely to go off sealed roads, then stick to a motard or dual-sport motorcycle, however many naked motorcycles can also battle through to a certain extent.
If you only plan on short weekend rides along twisty roads and racetracks then a super sport or naked motorcycle may be right for you. Other open road riders may choose a cruiser style motorcycle.
Commuting? Find something that can make tight turns easily, there will not be any cruisers in this list.
People on longer rides will want to find a motorcycle that offers comfort and also protection from the buffeting of the wind, something which offers storage space may also be critical or you will need to investigate the purchase of additional luggage.
Naked and dual-sport motorcycles can in most cases be transformed into jack-of-all-trades style motorcycles.
How tall and/or heavy are you?
Tall people – You should choose a motorcycle which offers ample room for your legs, this is most likely going to rule out any super sport style motorcycle. Some good choices here for you include motards and dual-sport motorcycles due to their increased heights. If you love the super sport style then maybe a larger full fairing touring motorcycle may be an option.
Short people – Your ability to touch the ground is very important, as when you are stopped at a set of traffic lights the last thing that you want is to drop the bike because you cannot get a solid footing. Some naked and super sport motorcycles should be suitable for you, however you may also need to look at replacement saddles that can lower the seat height if you are very short.
Heavy people – Something with a bit more power low down may be better to get you off the line. For example a twin cylinder 500cc motorcycle may be better for you than a quad cylinder 250cc motorcycle. Although the power from both these engines may be similar, the delivery of the power is different.
Light people – Your choices are very much open, however if you are not very strong then choosing a heavy motorcycle when you are learning may create some headaches for you. Small people may even find that the very low capacity 125cc motorcycles are fine for them to start out with.
What is your level of motorcycle experience?
Some will argue that your experience level does not matter when it comes to bike selection. While it is correct that a motorcycle will only rip your head off if you ride it incorrectly, the possibility for a new rider to do this by accident is still there. More importantly, many new riders like to show off and will quickly get themselves into a lot of trouble when they enter a corner with too much speed.
While I am not suggesting to purchase the least powerful motorcycle possible, it is important to find a bike which is somewhat forgiving when you are a learner. Remember to also keep in mind that many different areas have a preapproved list of learner motorcycles which you must choose from. Only you will know what sort of attitude you have, so ask yourself “What motorcycle is right for me?”.
One thing to remember is to ignore the “cc”. While this tells you the engine capacity and gives a rough guide to the power of a motorcycle, the best figures to look at are the horsepower (or kilowatt) figures, as these will tell you how much power the bike produces. Not all 600cc motorcycles have the same power and some may be still suitable for a brand new rider.
How big is your wallet?
This will cut down your options considerably in almost all cases. Keep in mind that you will most likely want to upgrade your first bike once you have gained some further experience and any learner restrictions have been removed.
What bikes do you like?
There is no point telling you which motorcycle is right for you if you don’t like the look of it. If you love cruisers then you are unlikely to want a super sport motorcycle. Keep the factors in this article in mind and try and find something that you like that ticks off as many boxes as possible.
At the end of the day you are the one who is going to be spending your money, so if you want to see the motorcycle outside of the garage more than once in a blue moon, it is important to find something that you not just like, but love!
You should now have a good understanding of some of the key factors which will influence the type of motorcycle that you purchase. We hope that we have now answered your original question of “What motorcycle is right for me?“ and that you now have the ability to make an informed buying decision.
Do you have further questions about motorcycle choice, or do you have additional factors that could be added to this article? Let us know in the comments section below.
Next Article: Where Is The Battery On A Motorcycle?
Previous Article: What Does CC Mean Motorcycle Terminology Lesson