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Buying a bike

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Back by popular demand, here are 10 great beginner motorcycles. We know it can be a big leap from your current transportation—whatever it is—to the motorized two-wheeled world. But technology has come a long way, and there are plenty of bikes out there for every skill level. Buy the right one, and you might become a member of a wonderful world of fun and function for years to come. 

Since we all have to start somewhere, here are the 10 best beginner motorcycles: 

Yamaha FZ-0710. Yamaha FZ-07

Displacement: 689cc
Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8-valve, parallel twin
Transmission: 6-speed

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Insurance is a crucial part of owning a motorcycle; the need to be covered for any accidents, damage or theft is not only a necessity but also a legal obligation. As with car insurance, the cost of a motorcycle insurance policy can be expensive and often people are restricted as to the make and model of bike they are able to own due to the costs that come with it.

It is sensible to take every necessary step to attempt to reduce the cost of the insurance policy and there are simple steps that can be taken to ensure motorbike insurance is affordable…

$11.    No Claims

Having to claim on your insurance because of an accident or damage that has been done to your motorbike will cause your insurance premium to rise in cost. If you are able to cover the costs of repair yourself then do so as it will ultimately reduce your expenses long term.

$12.    Advanced Driving Qualifications

Once you have achieved your motorbike license, there is an advanced driving certificate you can earn which insurance companies recognises and use as a way to reduce your policy cost. The Institute of Advanced Motoring is able to offer this option.

$13.    Security and Safety

Adding alarms, immobilisers and ground anchors are not only the best way to make sure your bike is safe but they also help to reduce the cost of your insurance if the insurance agent can see the risk of theft and damage is reduced.

$14.    Age

The age of the motorcycle you own can have an effect on the cost of insurance. Unlike with cars, the older the bike the cheaper the insurance becomes. Classic bike insurance is one of the cheapest policies available.

$15.    Modifications

Modifying your bike, adding any additional items and features that are not original on the machine count as a modification and an additional item to ensure which will push up the cost of your policy.

$16.    Mileage

Sticking to a certain mileage restriction on a monthly or yearly basis will help with the expense of insurance. The fewer miles you do, the less chance there is of problems arising with the bike and therefore insurers will see your machine as worth insuring and reward you with a lower price.

$17.    Pay your Insurance Yearly

Monthly payments of your insurance policy incur tax charges, which will ultimately increase the price of the coverage. Paying the policy in one instalment means you are simply paying the quoted price.

$18.    Shop around

There are multiple motorbike insurance companies that you can simply achieve a quote from so you can be sure you are getting the best price and coverage. Motorbike and auto insurance quotes are available from every insurance provider.

$19.    Convictions

Speeding, driving convictions, any form of penalty whether it is a fine or points on your license WILL increase your insurance costs. Sensible and safe driving will be rewarded with your premium decreasing yearly.

$110.Voluntary Excess

Every type of insurance policy has an excess, which you set yourself, a figure that is affordable for you to pay should you need to claim on your insurance. The higher you set the excess, the more your overall premium will drop. Obviously if you make no claims, then you will not have to pay the excess. 

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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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When I was a teenager, my parents were dead set against two forms of transportation: convertibles (they could roll over and crush the occupants) and motorcycles (no explanation required).  READ ON

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What if you didn't have to break the bank to own a brand new motorcycle? What if you could simply enjoy riding, free of too much power and too much weight? What if an ex-car designer was building and selling those exact motorcycles right now? READ ON