Getting out on the open road with a new bike might be just what you have been waiting for as a learner rider – but where do you start when it comes to choosing your own bike? Here are just a few things to consider before splashing your cash.
Firstly, you will have to decide whether you want to invest in a new model or would prefer to hunt through the motorbike sales to find a used machine you are happy with.
As a beginner, you’re likely to discover that the latter option is preferable for a number of reasons, the main one being cost.
If you have a strict budget to stick to, going down the used route is the best option and you will get the most for your money this way. In addition, you are unlikely to be quite so concerned about scratching your new purchase if it is not in pristine condition.
While this may not initially seem like a good thing, you should be aware that you are likely to drop your bike at least once during your first year of riding – and this will probably upset you far less if your machine already sports a couple of scratches.
You will normally find it is much cheaper to repair older models too, as well as to get parts for them that don’t cost the earth, so bear all this in mind when you are searching for the right bike for you.
With such a wide selection of motorcycles on the market, it pays to do your research and test drive any models you are particularly interested in.
The size, weight and power of your bike are all things you need to consider – and for beginners, bigger is certainly not better.
You always need to be conscious of your safety when you are riding, which extends beyond investing in Dainese helmets or leather Dainese jackets.
On a motorbike, you are very exposed to the elements, other vehicles and any objects you might encounter. Travelling at high speeds will only increase your risk of serious injury if you come off your bike, so it is best to choose one with a smaller engine when you start out.
That is not to say that you can’t go fast on a bike with an engine size of less than 1,000 CCs, far from it, but you won’t have the temptation to open up the throttle and speed ahead like you might with a more powerful model.
Lighter bikes are often considered better for beginners due to their manoeuvrability, but this will depend on why you want to head out on two wheels.
If you are planning to undertake long journeys on motorways, a heavier, touring model might be the most suitable as it will have added stability and be more comfortable when riding for long periods of time than a smaller version.
Do keep in mind that heavier bikes tend to be more difficult to handle when you start out, as they are not as responsive as their lighter counterparts.
Regardless of which sort of motorcycle you choose, you will need to spend some time getting used to riding it and learning how best to handle it. It is therefore advisable to practice in quiet areas where you can get to grips with the machine before taking it out on busier roads.