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How to choose your first motorcycle

Updated on February 8, 2016
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Why motorcycle?

Motorcycles are a lot of fun. They give you freedom, pleasure of riding and save time. Moreover, they look cool. Entering a store or post office with a helmet in your hand immediately places you on the top, everybody is looking up to you. The secret is - they all wish they were you, but don't dare try it. Some people think it is dangerous hobby and they might be right. Without the right riding technique and proper gear you may be at higher risk of injury. But driving a car is no less risky.

Type of bike

What type of bike is best suited for beginners? Well it depends. Where will you be riding - on-road or off-road? How fast do you need to go? How tall are you? How much do you need from your bike?

Smaller naked bikes or roadsters are perfect beginner's bikes. Great example is Yamaha YBR 125CC. It is perfect for learning purposes. Short person will enjoy the luxury of putting both feet on the ground. These kinds of bikes are recommended to beginner motorcyclists due to their flexibility, relatively low cost, and moderate engines. Even though 125CC doesn't sound like much, it can still accelerate up to 100km/h.

Naked bikes are great for beginners

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Reliability

Whatever bike you choose, make sure to check the feedback and running costs. Lately there has been a boom in affordable Chinese bikes. Bear in mind that buying it cheap will not guarantee its reliability. Besides, when you decide to sell your bike in the future, the value will probably drop compared to Japanese or Italian models.

The biggest problem that owners experience are usually issues with lights, instruments, switches and radios, brakes and the electrical system. 75 percent of all repairs cost the owners less than $200 to fix and bike can be back on the road within a couple of days.

Most reliable motorcycles

Recent study revealed that among bikes built between 2009 and 2012, first place finisher Yamaha are almost six times more reliable than the worst performer, BMW. Among the best in top 5 were also Kawasaki, Honda and Harley Davidson. Suzuki motorcycles were as reliable as other Japanese brands, while Triumphs were below average. Source: Consumer reports, 2014

Sport bikes

Sport bikes are good looking, but may be difficult to handle for a beginner
Sport bikes are good looking, but may be difficult to handle for a beginner | Source

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Cruisers

Cruisers are great for trips and for people who enjoy comfort over light weight and speed
Cruisers are great for trips and for people who enjoy comfort over light weight and speed | Source

The gear

Having the right gear is crucial - whether you are riding in the streets or on a dirt track. However, in the city traffic wearing a leather suit will make you sweat a lot. Luckily, there is alternative solution - many gear manufacturers offer light weight breathable clothing and footwear. One of the popular solutions are knee protectors and full body Armour. Thanks to its light weight it allows you to enjoy riding in summer heat while not having to wear heavy gear. However, bear in mind that minimizing your level of protection will result in higher risk of injury, so ride safely! Also, helmet, gloves and boots are a must!

Tip: make sure to wear this kind of equipment under light jacket or pants. This will ensure that even if you happen to get in an accident, the Armour will stay in it's place.

Kawasaki Versys

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Comfort

One should never forget about comfort of riding. Ask yourself - how long my rides are going to be? Do I need a large fuel tank? How fast will I go? Most bikes are great for an hour or two, but there is a special kind of bikes that can offer you a full day of riding without getting too tired. These are called touring bikes. Example of such bikes are BMW F650, Yamaha Super Tenere and Kawasaki Versys. Riding these bikes is a pleasure. Stock equipment may include hard panniers and an extended windscreen as well as brush guards on the handlebars, heated grips, top case and other nice extras.

Dirt bikes for true adventure lovers

Dirt bikes are great choice for riders who love nature and freedom
Dirt bikes are great choice for riders who love nature and freedom | Source

Price

Bikes are expensive. Even though you might find a good deal on aftermarket bike, it will still require investment. Most basic running costs include: tires, brake pads, filters, oil and other minor expenses. Not to mention gas and insurance costs.

New bikes come with the comfort of reliability a warranty, though you'll pay a premium for that peace of mind. Used bikes are great for beginners because there's usually less worry about damaging something that's not already in perfect shape. However, most riders will see their first bike within a year or two so don't worry too much about losing money. There is a good chance you will sell it for the same price you got it.

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Lifestyle

Riding a motorcycle is a lifestyle. Despite some people are saying the opposite, there is a certain spark that riding can bring to your life. Doing everyday tasks, going to work, cruising around in your free time - all these things make your life better, more special. It will give you a feeling of freedom. It will save you fuel costs. It will save you time in traffic. It will surprise you with every mile you drive, teach you to be patient and attentive. Once you have mastered the art of driving, highways will become your second home. Join the family!

Try it, and you will fall in love forever!

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    • waqas816 profile image

      Waqas Ahmad 3 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan

      Great information on bikes, sports, naked, comfort, adventure and off road fun, everything is nicely done.

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