7 Questions That Need Answers Before You Buy a Motorcycle
Motorcycles are things of beauty. The design, the roar of the engine, and the feeling of freedom are enough to make you fall in love. They exist in a space where form and function meet perfectly. They’re simple, yet complex.
Not only can they outrun pretty much anything, but they have around a 40-year engine lifespan, leaving other vehicles in the dust. Save money on maintenance and gain a new sense of freedom — financially and spiritually — as you realize less is more in a brand new way.
If you want to buy a motorcycle, just make sure you know the answers to these questions before you hand over money and get on the road.
Do I Need One?
Ok, so you’re probably wondering why this is the first question, as the word “need” doesn’t seem to jive with buying something as fun as a motorcycle. However, it’s a question you should ask yourself because it could be true. After all, they’re fast, convenient, save you money, and great in emergencies.
Motor bikes aren’t for everyone, so think about why you want to buy one — for daily use or leisure? Are you going to ride it to work? Are long-distance rides/trips in your future?
Doing this will help you avoid buyer’s remorse, and make sure you’re happy with your bike. It will be in your possession for many years. Will you ride it often or will it gather dust in your garage?
How Does My Family Feel About It?
Surprising your family might not be the best idea. If applicable, check-in with your family about it first and gauge their reactions. Loved ones often get scared about the possibility of motorcycle accidents, so be ready with your list of pros.
This is a major purchase, so the way you present it to your family will matter. Some gentle persuasion and researched knowledge will go a long way. Don’t worry, they usually come around.
It’s good to have a motorcycle accident lawyer as well, so you and your family are prepared for anything. Read more here on how to get help from an experienced lawyer.
Do I Know Anything About Motorcycles?
Know the laws, how to ride one, safety statistics, and how to maintain one if you plan on doing it yourself. What are the safety requirements?
What gear do I need? Find a style and quality that fits you and your budget.
Can I Afford to Buy a Motorcycle?
This is probably a no-brainer. But it’s easy to rationalize purchases when you’re super excited about them. Try to take some time to think like a finance pro and talk with your spouse if needed.
Figure out your budget:
- Jot down your monthly post-tax income
- Subtract any monthly expenses (yes, even beer)
- Knock 10-20% off of this monthly expense amount just as a safety cushion
Whatever is left is how much you can afford as a monthly motorcycle payment. Take this number and divide it by how many months you need to pay off your bike. Try not to go over 60 months or it’s not worth it.
What Kind of Motorcycle Do I Want?
Going to a motorcycle showroom is one of the joys of life — we highly recommend it. Try them on for size. Which model appeals to your senses and your gut instinct?
While using your heart, you must also use your brain, so think rationally about the size, speed, storage compartment, wind protection, etc.:
- Consider a tourer for long-distance motorcycle riding
- Are you interested in having one with a low frame, low-end torque, and a low seat? Try a cruiser
- A sports or standard motorcycle would be a great choice for commuters
- If you’re a beginner, keep it under 70 horsepower or 500 pounds
Sports bikes aren’t great for beginners because they’re lightweight yet powerful, have sensitive controls, and unforgiving nature. Consider a standard until you have more experience and feel confident riding.
Will I Ever Have Two Riders?
If you’re a rogue rider you already know you’ll be carrying a passenger on your motorcycle. Here are some tips for 2-up riding:
Effects on Your Machine
Adjust your rear suspension. This needs to be done to accommodate the extra weight on your bike. Make sure your feet don’t touch the exhaust pipes. Your rubber boots will likely melt, which not only ruins them but messes up the chrome, as well.
Prepare your passenger. they’ll need to be wearing the right gear even if it isn’t a perfect fit.
Ask them to wear over-the-ankle boots, jeans (leather is even safer), and layers. If they don’t have a well-fitting helmet be sure to provide one. They’ll need to wear leather gloves (wrist-fastening) and a protective jacket (leather or heavy Cordura).
Come up with a language for “urgent stop”, “slower”, etc. You can do this using a different number of taps on the shoulder for each.
Comfort and Convenience
Tell them about the bike and where to put their feet, how to hold on, etc. Brief them on how to be “neutral” on the bike (not leaning away from turns, going with the flow, etc.). Any sudden movements could cause problems when you ride a motorcycle, so ask them to stay relaxed.
What Are the Best Bikes for 2-up Riding?
Take a look at some of these great options if you think you’ll be riding 2-up at any point.
- Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
- Yamaha Star Venture
- Yamaha FJR1300
- KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
- Moto Guzzi California Touring
- BMW K 1600 GTL
Don’t have a passenger on your bike if you lack spatial awareness, are a know-it-all, or if you’re uncomfortable riding and learning the safest ways to ride. Your passenger is putting their life in your hands.
Your Bike Is Waiting for You
Buy a motorcycle soon, because life is short, and you’ll want to have that unforgettable experience. It has been said it’s akin to flying and gives you the ultimate sense of freedom.
Pick out the perfect one for you, and it’ll become an important part of your life. But make sure you ride safely.
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