Advice for buying your first motorcycle

Advice for buying your first motorcycle

So it’s time to get two wheels of your own? You have dreamed about putting the rubber to the road and feeling the breeze of the open highway. There are a few factors to think about when choosing your first bike and getting something that feels comfortable, safe, reliable and of course fits your style.

Our biggest advice whenever asked this question is:

Go take the motorcycle safety training class”. Yeah yeah… you have ridden dirt bikes as a kid or you have messed around on your friends bike and understand how the clutch works. But the Basic Riders course is much more than this.

  1. You will receive your full fledge motorcycle license
  2. Even if you have never sat on a bike before, you will be slowly introduced into the proper techniques for maneuvering your 300+ pound motorcycle at low and medium speeds (the most common speeds you will be dropping your bike. Yes, you will drop your bike at some point).
  3. Some insurance companies give discounts to riders that have taken state issues training courses. What’s not to love about saving a couple bucks?
  4. If you have never sat on a motorcycle, this is a great way to see if you even like riding. Motorcycles are not the right mode of transportation for everyone and that’s okay. I mean, you are sitting on top of a flammable container surrounded by metal objects that won’t even blink if they hit you.

But for real, safety is very important. The more comfortable you feel on your bike, the more fun you will have!

There are a few more factors to consider when diving into getting your first bike. These can help you narrow down your decision or save you a lot of headaches when you buy a $300 “ran when parked” Craigslist special.

USE
How are you going to use your bike? Is it a secondary vehicle for getting around town on nice days out? Will it be your only mode of transportation? Are you planning an epic cross country trip?

BUDGET
How much are you looking to spend? Keep in mind, a vintage bike may be tempting based off its lower price and classic styling, but many older bikes will require constant upkeep or expensive repairs over time.

HISTORY OF THE BIKE
How long has the bike been manufactured? Many of the bikes we mention below have been chosen for their ease of availability. If a manufacturer has been making one model for 8+ years, you know factory parts and third party parts will be very easy to get. One of the worst things you can do with your first bike is get an odd make/model that no one knows how to work on and the parts are very hard to get. 

STYLE
What style of bike makes your heart flutter? Here are a couple of common styles and their main functions to keep in mind.

Street/sport bike

Honda CBR300R - small sport bikeHonda CBR300R

Great for riding around town or when you need some speed. Sport bikes come in a variety of sizes. So, something like a CBR300 - 600 can be a great first bike. You may find a weekend trip up to the mountains to be a little challenging on your back after a hour or two of riding, but you will feel the advantage of the high revving and road-grabbing tuned suspension in the twisties of the North GA mountains.

Honda CBR300R  - info
Kawasaki Ninja 250 2012 - info

Vintage Classics

Vintage honda CB550Baker Carroll's Honda CB550

It’s no lie, we love vintage motorcycles here at Brother Moto. There is no better feeling than getting a 35-year-old machine up and running again. But like anything with age, you may not see the hidden issues that the bike could be hiding. Constant upkeep and knowing your bike are very important. Don’t base a vintage bike off of the asking price by the seller. We have seen $500 CB550's last thousands of miles with no issues and $3500 CB550’s never make it out of the garage. Sometimes the chance of finding the right vintage bike is the fun part.

Honda CB350 - CB550 - info
Yamaha SR500 - info
Yamaha XS650 - info

Modern Classic

Suzuki TU250 Cafe RacerSuzuki tu250x

There has been a huge revival in the classic styling of motorcycles by the leading bike manufacturers. Most of these hint towards the clean lines and vintage inspired style while boasting newer engine technology and fuel injection. What does that mean? Look cool while having a more reliable machine.

TU250x - info
Janus 250 - info
Yamaha SR400 - info
Royal Enfield GT500 - info
Moto Guzzi V7 - info
Triumph Street twin - info

Dual Sport 

drz400DRZ400

Get the best of both worlds. Although the seat height can be a factor for some of us vertically challenged folks, a dual sport is an epic style of bike for the adventure prone. Having the ability to go from pavement to dirt keeps your options endless. Most dual sports have a single cylinder engine (thumper) allowing for easy maintenance and trouble shooting.

Yamaha XT250 - info
Suzuki DRZ400 - info
Suzuki DR650 -  info

Cruiser

Harley Davidson HD Sportster cafe racerHarley Sportster

One of the more iconic styles of motorcycles. Cruisers can be amazing around town bikes. With a lower seat height you will really be able to feel in control of your bike.

Honda Rebel 250 - info
Suzuki Boulavard S40 -  info
Harley Davidson Sportster - info

When it comes down to it, you want to be comfortable on your first motorcycle. You will drop it at some point and it will probably not be the last motorcycle you own. So, don’t go too big or too powerful at first.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment below on what you think is important for your first bike.


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