Gaining the Appropriate Skills and License
When purchasing your first motorcycle there are a lot of important factors to be considered. Be sure to complete the process required to get a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. This process varies from state to state, so be sure to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to find out what you need to do. You will most likely have to complete a written test to receive a motorcycle permit which will allow you the ability to learn the basics while getting some hours of riding under your belt before completing your endorsement test. We recommend completing a motorcycle safety course which will teach you valuable skills and often includes the endorsement road test. Once your endorsement test is complete, you are ready to find your first motorcycle.
First we recommend learning about the different types of motorcycles available. Bikes have become increasingly specialized in recent years and offer a variety of choices depending on a rider’s ability and needs. We remind first time buyers to consider your ability and needs during the purchase process. Motorcycles come in many different shapes and sizes which should be considered when choosing a bike. Questions you should ask yourself: “Will I be riding in lots of traffic?” “Will I travel long distances?” Remember that this is your first bike, and a lot like your first car, you will learn how to ride on this bike and develop your skills while gaining experience. Recognizing your needs will ensure an easier process when choosing your first bike.
It Starts with a Search
Whether you’re looking for a new or used bike, it all starts with a search. Most experienced riders recommend starting with a used or “donor” bike-term used by builders to refer to the bike they start out with. The donor bike, despite its name, is often not free. A donor bike is a used motorcycle bought cheap for the sole purpose of building it back up or using its parts for another bike. Donor bikes make perfect first riders as their condition is usually not the best and can help a new rider become more familiar with their bike as they work on building it up.
Used bikes are great for beginners as there is less worry about damaging something that’s not in perfect shape. Although there are a lot of classified sites for used bikes, common first bikes are found on your local Craigslist. Craigslist allows you to see the bike in person as opposed to finding one online or through an eBay auction. Once you find a bike that is a good pick for you, be sure to read up about the model you’re considering and compare it with other used bikes of the same make, model, and year before going out to meet the seller. You want to be sure you have enough knowledge about the bike model you are looking at so you don’t end up getting ripped off. Be sure to have the used motorcycle checked out by a qualified mechanic before purchasing, as well as ensuring it has a clean title.
New bikes come with a form of comfort you will not receive with a used bike. Buying a new bike usually has its perks: the bike is guaranteed to run great and should come with a reliable warranty, however, this will come at a cost. Although a fresh new bike is a piece to show off and enjoy, you will bear the burden of worrying about any damage that may come. We suggest making sure you have taken the proper riding courses and wear the proper gear when riding a new bike to ensure it stays in that like-new shape for a long time after purchase. Whichever you decide is a personal decision, and one that is right for you, your needs, and your budget.
Choosing the Appropriate Gear
After choosing the perfect motorcycle for you, please remember to choose the proper gear. We highly recommend beginning your motorcycle life with all of the gear necessary for complete safety. This means wearing a helmet, boots, jacket, pants, and gloves at all times. As opposed to motorcycles, we recommend purchasing all new gear, especially helmets! Helmets lose their protective abilities as they take on crashes, drops, and age. It is extremely important the helmet fits correctly and is DOT approved. Don’t skimp when purchasing your riding outfit. If you ever need it, it’s all that stands between you and the hard pavement.
Ready to Ride
Once you have your riding gear and bike in riding shape, take to the road! Remember to mind other motorists while riding and drive safely!