Deciding to purchase a motorcycle is a major decision, and one side effect is a lasting love of the open road, especially in our scenic Great Lake State. But there are many things to take into account when first choosing a bike. These tips for purchasing a motorcycle will help every rider find the bike that fits their lifestyle and needs.
Types of Street Bikes
Street bikes are different from other types of motorcycles (such as dirt bikes) in that they were designed specifically to be ridden on paved surfaces. A number of different types of bikes fall under this umbrella category, including:
– Standard motorcycles, which are general-purpose street bikes designed to fit the needs of most riders. They put the rider in a natural, upright seating position, making them especially perfect for new riders.
– Touring bikes, which are great options for long-distance rides. They have larger engines and fuel tanks, more storage space, and accommodations like windshields for better protection from the elements. They’re among the largest and heaviest types of motorcycles.
– Sport bikes, which were built for speed enthusiasts. With high-performance engines and lightweight frames, these aerodynamic bikes are fun to ride but not great for beginners; riders must lean forward while driving, which can make for a potentially dangerous—and tiresome— ride. Motorcycles are a blast to ride, but they aren’t “one size fits all.” These tips will help any rider find the street bike that meets their riding needs.
– Cruisers, which include Harley-Davidsons, custom bikes, and “choppers.” They often require riders to sit slightly reclined, with their hands placed high and their feet stretched straight out. They’re less comfortable and harder to handle around curves.
Bikes for New Riders
While experienced riders may feel comfortable on any type of motorcycle, it’s a good idea for new riders to begin with something lightweight, such as a standard motorcycle. This will make steering, accelerating, braking, and balancing easier to learn. It’s also a good idea to choose a bike with a lower seat, which will allow the rider to place both feet on the ground while stopping for extra balance. Bikes equipped with ABS (anti-lock braking systems) are easiest to stop. Bikes listed as “non-specialized” aren’t the fastest models on the market, but they’re a great option for new riders because they offer a great balance of speed, maneuverability, and price. And speaking of price, new riders are better off buying a less expensive bike while they’re learning, because it’ll likely get dropped a few times.