Choosing the Right Motorycle

Buying a Motorcycle can be a Daunting Task!

Choosing the right motorcycle can be daunting.  For most of us, its a choice we get to make only once in a while.  The choices are almost endless for motorcycles today.  We have cruisers, road racers, sport bikes, tour bikes, sport tourers, motocross, dirt, on-off road bikes, trikes, and on and on.  We also have multiple motorcycle manufacturers to choose from when we're shopping.  Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW, Aprilia, Moto Guzi, Ducati, and more.  If you are a cruiser fan and have a lot of extra cash, there are probably hundreds of custom motorcycle shops just in the USA.

For some of us that have been around motorcycles for a very long time, we have our loyalties to a particular brand of motorcycle.  We may even have loyalties to particular motorcycle dealerships.  For many new or infrequent owners, these are all just a maze that can be confusing.  Much like buying a car, having a reliable motorcycle and a reliable dealership is important.  Especially with the technology of bikes today, not many of us have an interest in doing our own mechanical work on our machine.  That means that knowing the dealership and even the mechanics is important.  Also important is knowing that when you take a trip there will be dealerships along the way in case you experience trouble.

That's a lot to think about to begin with.  What about the type of motorcycle to buy?  There are so many models to choose from and so many manufacturers.  Price may be a qualifying factor, but for most buyers today, this is secondary.  There are so many Harley Davidsons sold in the US that I sometimes doubt price really has anything to do with it.  I only pick on Harley Davidsons (aside from the usual fun) because they tend to be some of the most expensive motorcycles on the market today.  A mid-range Harley Davidson model tends to be in the same price range as a high end BMW or Honda touring model.  So, price may be a factor only for the lower end or entry level model buyers.

So, what to buy?  Which model will best fit your riding needs?  Experienced riders might have it a little easier, because they've been on enough bikes to know more of what they like.  When considering a motorcycle purchase, we must first think about our riding style.  Even if we have a lot of money to spend, it isn't wise to buy something that doesn't fit our riding style.  What is riding style?  Ask yourself what kind of riding you would do most frequently.  A short jaunt around town, riding back and forth to work, weekend excursions, running through the turns on a country road, long vacation trips, or back woods trail riding?  There is certainly more than this.  Are you more concerned with how fast you can go, how good the bike looks, or how comfortable it is?  Some of these don't mix well.  A sport bike isn't always the best choice for rolling over five hundred miles a day.  A dirt bike isn't going to really get the hot "babes" to look at you in town.  Each motorcycle has its own mission. 

If you're not sure if one particular style will meet a need, go to the dealership and take it for a ride.  Be sure to ride it in the style you intend and see if it will work.  If you have more experience and have a friend with that particular style, ask them if you can borrow it for a couple days.  Oh, and you should really be in tight with this friend.  A motorcycle is a very personal thing!


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