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There are a great many benefits to owning a motorcycle. They can be more cost effective, more fuel efficient and more convenient for those who live in urban areas. But just like with any other major purchase in your life, you need to consider the pros and cons of owning a bike before you buy.
Motorcycle Buyers Guide
How to Buy a Motorcycle
Before you go out and buy a motorcycle it’s important that you take the time to do your research and think about when and how you’ll use it. Consider the types of bikes available including sports bikes, street bikes, standard motorcycles, dual-purpose bikes and off-road bikes. You’ll also need to consider engine size and power, motorcycle CC’s and comfort.
Prices for motorcycles can vary greatly from under $5,000 to more than $25,000. Once you know what type of bike you want and which features Are important to you, you need to create a budget. Don’t forget to factor hidden fees like insurance costs, dealership fees, taxes, the cost of DMV forms, registration fees and other DMV requirements.
Helmets and Protective Gear
You should also budget for special protective gear to make sure you and any passengers will be safe while riding your new bike. While not all states require helmets to be worn on a motorcycle, the benefits of investing in a proper helmet are many.
When choosing a helmet, consider:
- Helmet type (Full-face, Three-quarter, half helmet)
- Protection features like shell material, impact-absorbing liner, comfort padding etc.
- Size and fit
- Maintenance needs
Other protective gear like motorcycle gloves, jackets, pants and boots can also help you avoid serious injuries in the event of an accident on the open road.
Motorcycle theft is a very common problem that all owner should be aware of. It is also a good idea to consider including anti-theft prevention tools into your budget when purchasing a motorcycle. From GPS systems to anti-theft steering and disc locks, it is very important to prepare for the worst.
Other theft prevention tips include:
- Always lock your ignition and remove the key
- Lock your bike to a stationary object whenever possible
- Park your bike in visible areas (within sight or near security cameras)
- Keep important papers like registration and insurance on you instead of with the bike
- If traveling in pairs, lock your bike together with another bike
Insurance costs for your motorcycle can also vary greatly depending on the make, model and engine size of your bike. Insurance providers also identify certain bikes differently. For example, one provider may classify your favorite motorcycle as a sports bike, while another considers it a standard bike. This can affect premium rates with different insurance companies, so consider requesting quotes for different motorcycles before you buy.
Understanding Engine CC’s
Cubic centimeters or CC’s measure the volume of the cylinders in your motorcycle’s engine. Different CC’s can affect the smoothness of your ride and the power of your engine. However, CC’s aren’t an accurate measure of the power of a motorcycle engine. Instead, they are mostly related to engine size.
Generally, more engine CC’s can offer drivers:
Should I Buy a Scooter?
Are you ready to make the switch from a car but not sure whether a motorcycle or a scooter best fits your needs? While scooters have many advantages, they also have some drawbacks as well. Before you buy a scooter, think about when, how and why you’ll be using it.
Scooters are often less expensive than motorcycles and great for traveling around town. However, they are not usually good for traveling long distances or using the highway. In fact, some states have banned scooters from highway driving, so be sure to check your state laws before you buy. A scooters speed and functionality can also be affected by weight and operate best with a single rider.
Test Drive Before You Buy
Many dealerships to not offer test drives for their motorcycles. However, private sellers may offer test drives and motorcycle driving schools also offer a chance to get familiar with different bikes. Some basic factors to consider when deciding on the perfect fit include:
- Seat comfort
- Ease of getting on and off the bike
- Spacing between handles and feet
- Size (Can you place both feet on the ground comfortably?)
- Weight (Is the bike too heavy to handle easily?)
Comfort is a major factor in choosing a bike but you should consider how it rides as well. Be on the lookout for:
- Power (Is there too much or too little for your needs?)
- Mechanics (How do the gears change, etc.)
- How the lights and controls work (Ease of use, Location, etc.)
Even though it can be hard to organize, a test drive will increase your chance of finding the perfect motorcycle to fit your needs and your budget.