The warm weather gets more wheels turning than the ones on bike flying down the highway beside you. It often starts the annual decision of if it is time for a new bike for yourself. Since a lot of people are thinking the same way it is typically a good time for a good selection of both new and used motorcycles and all that really need be done is find one that you like and in the budget. Well, and maybe keep in mind a few considerations to make sure you are not back in the market again by July.
Style and Type of Bike
This is very important for many reasons. Typically it is one of the reason you started looking at different bikes to begin with. Something caught your eye or you have been thinking and talking about it for years and are now deciding it is time to “get serious”. The key question is what type of rider are you? Answering that question honestly will go a long way towards making a good decision. Far too often it is answered as “what type of rifer do I want to be” instead of actually are.
Classic bikes are hard to get by on appeal but if you take weekend trips with your significant other regularly on a touring bike now neither of you are going to be pleased with 4 hour rides on the more classic barebones type bike. In the same breath trading in the classic bike you take for a drive in evenings to unwind for a heavy touring bike you will find that short afternoon ride a lot less fun.
If racing bikes or choppers appeal to you but you have never actually ridden one give it some careful thought. That race/performance type look is not going to make it more useful is you use it as a daily commute and have a rain storm. Neither is the sleek look of no windshield if you are planning a cross country trip of 2000 km to a bike rally. It is far less a case of which is better and more of which is better for you.
Fit and Ergonomics
When you sit on a prospective bike for 2 minutes in a showroom or driveway or take it on a 10 minute test drive think about a few things besides how cool you look. Can both feet touch the ground comfortably while seated? Shorter people and females often have an issue with this and it really cannot be skipped over as unimportant. On the test drive did it feel like you were supporting a lot of weight on wrists? That is not a big deal for a short trip but it will make you miserable on an all-day affair.
Taller people need to consider how their legs are bent when feet resting. Even on a forward style race type bike more than a 90 degree bend in the knees is going to be a serious comfort issue after an hour or two. The key to deciding fit is an honest assessment of if it is just different than what you are used to or are you trying to convince yourself that it fits because the price or look is appealing to you?
Choosing wisely on style and fit will go a long way towards a better and safer riding season. Those, along with staying in your comfort range with budget and engine size suitable to experience level, will make for a successful and less frustrating shopping experience.
Matthew Felton does freelance writing and journalism; one of the websites he works for is Lexmoto who specialize particularly in Chinese motorcycle components.
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