With so many motorcycle options, selecting your first motorcycle can be a challenge. Here are several tips to help you select the right motorcycle for you.
What type of motorcycle should you buy?
There are at least eight different types of motorcycles (styles) of motorcycles: tourism, sports tourism, standard, sports bike, scooter, double sport, dirt bike and cruise.
Many new drivers begin their search by looking at Harley Davidson motorcycles. Do not make this mistake. While cruises are extremely popular, they are not necessarily the best motorcycle for beginners. They are heavy, loud, expensive and relentless (chrome laden) with minor spills.
Tourism bikes In general, they are built for long distance walking. Examples include the popular Honda Gold Wing and the BMW K1200. These bikes are heavy, powerful, expensive and require significant skills to function properly … which makes them a bad choice for new drivers.
Sports bicycles (also known as crotch rockets) are designed to offer speed, agility and performance. They are light, bright and fast colors. Motor sizes for sports bicycles usually range between 600cc and 1000cc.
Note: Don't let a 600cc engine with a small sound fool you. A Honda CBR600 sports bike can run in circles around a 1800cc v-twin cruiser. Crotch rockets can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds! That is faster than 99% of all production sports cars.
Are sports bicycles good for beginners? Probably not, unless you have the maturity to handle the temptations of power, speed and agility.
The following motorcycle style is quite easy to describe. Motocross motorcycles They are made to ride off the road. The tread patterns and suspension components on cross bikes are very different from those of their cousins.
While many models have headlights and turn signals, most do not easily adapt to interstate trips. If you have convenient access to dirt roads or other all-terrain areas, a dirt bike is a good motorcycle for beginners.
Don't have easy access to off-road areas? Consider a dual sport motorcycle. These bicycles are made to adapt to moderate off-road conditions and drive highway speeds. A kind of compromise, they don't do road and street bikes, or road and cross bikes.
But, most dual sport models can easily travel at interstate speeds and handle moderate off-road conditions. When you take that motorcycle tour (with which you have been dreaming) to the extreme north of Alaska, you will most likely drive a dual sport motorcycle, such as the popular Kawasaki KLR650.
A standard The motorcycle is an older style that once described most of the bicycles available … hence the term & # 39; standard & # 39; # 39. Standard motorcycles are generally vertical and moderately priced. Imagine that 70's bike that your father had. It was probably a standard motorcycle. While it is not the most elegant or flashy bicycle, standard bicycles can be good starting motorcycles.
Scooters ? Before forming an opinion here, visit your local motorcycle dealership. Gone are the 50cc mopeds of the 1970s. Instead, several new scooters look for large 650cc engines and automatic transmissions. With a top speed of more than 100 mph and an acceleration time of 0 to 60 below 5 seconds, scooters can keep up with almost anything. Do you want to embarrass a Harley pilot or a Mustang owner … no problem? A Honda Silver Wing 650 scooter can do both.
Do scooters drive like motorcycles? Insurance. Do they operate easily on interstate highways? Yes. Are bicycles good for beginners? Why not?
A sports tourism The motorcycle is the latest motorcycle style addressed here. Sports tourism models are sports versions of tourism bicycles. Or, conversely, relaxed versions of sports bicycles. This class of motorcycles is between a tourist bike and a sports bike.
The sports tourism class was designed as a balance between ergonomics, engine performance and long-range tourism capabilities. It is a popular class of motorcycles that combines the best of both worlds. The Honda VFR Interceptor 800, Triumph Sprint ST and Yamaha FJR 1300 are examples of popular sports tourism motorcycles. Most models use 650cc to 1300cc engines.
Are sports tourism motorcycles good first bicycles? They can. However, most are relatively heavy … using high-performance engines and amenities such as hard rear storage bags. Before selecting a sports tourism model, make sure you have the discipline to use only the power that matches your skill level.
To get answers to other complex questions such as: "What size engine can a beginner motorist safely drive?" We have written a complete guide entitled "First guide for motorcycle buyers: unique perspectives of our collaborators". In this guide, several major MotorcycleMentor.com contributors provide recommendations and advice on how a new driver should select his first motorcycle.