Perhaps you’ve been interested in motorcycles for a while and are ready to buy one. Buying a motorcycle is one of the first exciting steps to your motorcycling journey and can be just as thrilling as your first ride. However, this activity can also be dangerous, and you need to make informed decisions.
According to statistics, there were around 80,000 motorcycle injury crashes in the U.S in 2020 alone. That’s why you need to be practical when choosing the right fit for you, covering all your bases like finances and safety. Keep reading as we look at everything you need to consider as a beginner purchasing a motorcycle.
Types of Motorcycles
If you’re looking for a general-purpose bike, then a standard motorcycle is what you should opt for. This type of bike is best known for its upright riding position and is great for money savers, commuters, and beginners. However, they lack accessories such as saddlebags and fairings, so they aren’t the best choice for off-road riders or people looking to travel long distances.
A good example for cruisers is the popular Harley-Davidson motorcycle that offers a soft and comfortable suspension, a V-twin engine, and a relaxed riding position. They can support a high average weight, typically more than 500 pounds, and can be challenging for new or small riders to handle. They’re the preferred option if you’re looking for comfort and style but aren’t fuel-efficient.
3. Sport or Street
These motorcycles have performance and speed, making them ideal for thrill-seekers looking to ride out on adventures. The sport motorcycle includes an extreme forward-leaning riding position and plastic fairings for improved aerodynamics, so you can use them competitively if required. They’re more expensive than other types of motorcycles.
If you’re interested in taking your motorcycle for a spin or cruise, touring bikes are built exactly for this purpose. They come with saddle bags to place your belongings in, large fuel tanks, and fairings to block the winds.
These lightweight bikes have aggressive tires and high-travel suspension, making them perfect for off-road riding. Including tall, upright seats, it might be difficult for short riders to get a grip on how to ride them, and they’re not suitable for traveling long distances on pavements.
When you’ve decided on your preferred motorcycle model and style, you should look into which engine size aligns with your experience level or riding style. Bike models are available in various sizes, like the Kawasaki Ninja, with engine sizes ranging from 1400cc to 250cc. Beginner riders or those looking for a more economical choice should consider purchasing a motorcycle with a small engine in the range of 250cc to 500cc. Additionally, these motorcycles are less expensive to insure than the more powerful ones, saving you money in the long term. They come in manageable power and are lightweight, making them easier to handle.
Make a Plan
To buy a motorcycle, you need to set a general budget of what to spend on and how much. This can include a price cap or deciding the amount you’re willing to allot to components such as the engine range. Are you comfortable taking out a loan to finance your purchase, or do you plan on paying cash in full? Do you wish to buy a used motorcycle, or are you considering a brand-new one?
If you’re leaning towards a new one, contact your local dealer to check for different financing options and whether special offers are available to reduce the cost as much as possible. Some sites online let you calculate a monthly payment option depending on your salary. In contrast, you can also see if you have any trade-in options. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a motorcycle because some dealers are willing to take boats, off-road vehicles, trailers, snowmobiles, and the like.
Once all this is set in motion, focus on having an insurance plan. You might be able to secure discounts if you’re bundling with auto or home insurance. Don’t forget to invest in a helmet and other riding gear. Places like XK Glow are currently offering discounts and also selling LED light kits for better safety and visibility. You don’t need to buy everything all at once- spread out the cost so that you can enjoy the ultimate motorcycle experience.
Depending on the model and whether it is new or used, a motorcycle can cost anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. New bikes typically have a starting price of $3000. However, you must also consider additional expenses like licensing fees, riding gear, and insurance. In most American states, you require motorcycle insurance, but thankfully, it’s less expensive than insuring a car. A cheaper used model will be even cheaper if you go for the primary liability coverage option. The average coverage cost is around $520 annually and can vary from state to state.
Even though you are able to ride a motorcycle without a helmet in most states if you’re over 21, it’s recommended to prioritize your safety and wear one at all times. The price for a Transportation Department-approved helmet starts around $100, but is a small cost to avoid a serious injury or death. We also advise getting boots, protective gloves, and a high-visibility motorcycle jacket, with this riding gear amounting to about $400.
You need to check the license requirements in your state because you might need to take a safety course approved by the state before you are allowed to drive a motorcycle. In these classes, you will be taught how to ride and other essential details, which will cost around $200. Additionally, receiving this new license will be priced according to where you live. For example, a license costs $35 in California and $16 in Texas.
Purchasing your first motorcycle is an adventure of its own. With the proper research, you can pick a motorcycle that caters to all your needs. Make sure you follow safety regulations and take it in for regular maintenance so you can enjoy cruising for an extended period.