What To Know Before Bug A Motorcycle
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What to Know Before Bug A Motorcycle

So you have made the decision to buy your first motorcycle, good for you! However, you are not sure what to look for or even where to start. Before heading out to get your motorcycle, there are a few things you should know before taking action:

What will you use it for?

Will you be using your motorcycle to commute to work with? Are you thinking of doing long distance riding? Are you wanting to do off-road riding? Will you be a weekend rider? Are you only interested in taking short trips on your motorcycle? Do you just want to cruise? Will you be in traffic a lot? It is necessary at this early stage to determine what you will use your motorcycle for. This will help you to identify what type of motorcycle would be suitable for you.

New women riders will usually buy their first motorcycle to learn on, commute to work with and/or take short trips outside of the city. If that's the case, you may want to consider a naked bike or cruiser. However, if you plan to travel short distances and through congested traffic, a scooter may be more ideal.

Used or New?

Will you be buying a new or used motorcycle? The choice is completely yours and every woman rider will be different. More experienced riders suggest buying a used motorcycle versus a new one. A used motorcycle is usually cheaper, however, a new motorcycle is more reliability. You may be swayed either way by friends and family, but it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of each yourself and make your own decision.

NEW

USED

PROS CONS PROS CONS Reliability – there are usually less maintenance issues with a new bike Insurance premiums may be high Cheaper upfront costs High maintenance costs if bike not in good condition Dealer warranty Costly to fix if damaged while learning (particularly if bike has fairings) Cheaper insurance premiums It may not look as flashy Some new motorcycles are reasonably priced Higher upfront costs than used motorcycles Many used motorcycles are very reliable May not be as reliable Newer technology – better engine performance, fuel consumption You may be more nervous riding because you are concerned with damaging a new bike If there are scratches on the bike, you won’t be concerned with getting more while you are learning ABS is usually standard in many new learner motorcycles You may be concerned with others damaging your new bike or where to park it Don’t have to worry about where you park it or others damaging it (as much) Depreciates in value quickly Retains resell value Costly to maintain (if you have to take it back to dealer's mechanic) Cheap to maintain

A used motorcycle is often the better choice. As a new rider, you will be able to build your skill and confidence without having to worry about costly mistakes. It will also give you time to decide whether you actually like riding and want to pursue it further without forking out a lot of money upfront. After a period, you may decide you would like to buy a new motorcycle. Selling your used motorcycle is very easy as there is high demand for used beginner motorcycles and its resell value is better than new motorcycles.

Which type of motorcycle?

So what type of motorcycle do you want? Again this is dependent on your personal preference and what you will use the motorcycle for. First, you need to be familiar with the different types of motorcycles before you answer this question.

Street motorcycles

These motorcycles are built for the road and there are many sub-categories of street bikes.

  • Touring motorcycles are quite large, have an upright seating position, are designed for long distance trips and have larger fuel tanks and storage capacity. Touring motorcycles are not ideal for beginners. However, it may be a viable upgrade once you gain more confidence and experience.
  • Sport motorcycles have an aggressive forward lean riding position, are known for their fast acceleration, high performance and cornering and braking capabilities. There a only a handful of sport motorcycles suitable for new riders. The rest will be too powerful and dangerous for a new rider to handle.
  • Cruiser motorcycles have a very low seat height and places the rider's are outreached towards the handlebars and their feet upward. They are often custom designed specific to the rider's preferences. There are some cruiser motorcycles that would be perfect for beginner riders. However, the majority of them are very heavy and require a bit more riding experience.
  • Naked motorcycles do not have fairings, windscreens or come with any fancy gadgets. They usually have an upright riding position and are very practical and versatile. This is usually a popular choice for beginner riders.
  • Scooters are small, easy to park, however, have a smaller engine size and do not perform as well as the other motorcycles on this list. However, this is a great run around machine and many women riders may prefer to learn on this first before switching to a manual street motorcycle.

Dual purpose motorcycles

These motorcycles can be used for road and off-road riding. They will have all the necessary features of a street motorcycle combined with the durability of an off-road motorcycle. As a leaner rider, this may be something to consider later in your riding experience if you are keen to explore off-road riding, but still want the convenience of a street motorcycle.

Off road motorcycles

Off-road motorcycles are specifically designed for riding on surfaces other than paved roads, such as dirt tracks, gravel, obstacle courses.

Make a list

Now that you have selected the type of motorcycle suitable for you, it's time to get more specific. Make a list of your top 5 motorcycles that you would be happy having as your first motorcycle. Research and compare each one and make an informed decision.

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