Tips for Buying a Motorcycle

Whether you’re a new or seasoned rider, choosing the right motorcycle presents a set of decisions that need to be made. Often a pro/con checklist is the best method to determine what motorcycle is ultimately appropriate for your needs and desires. You should first consider what the motorcycle will be used for. Will you use it primarily for commuting? Will you use it for touring, cruising or racing? Do you plan to take it off-roading? These questions will help you decide what type of motorcycle to purchase. In additional to determining what you will use the motorcycle for, you will need to determine how you will fund the new purchase. Do you have cash? Are you planning on getting a loan? If so, you’ll need to determine how much you can afford to pay towards the loan each month. Some manufacturer’s and banks provide on line calculators that will estimate your monthly payment on the motorcycle that you are considering.

Once you’ve determined what you’ll use the motorcycle for and how you’ll pay for it, you should acknowledge any physical limitations you might have. If your knees are bad, you might not be able to handle the tucked knee positioning required on a sports bike. Or, you might not even be able to handle the weight of a cruiser. This limitation might require you to consider a trike instead of a two wheeled motorcycle. However, if the limitation is not extreme, a motorcycle with floorboards and a frame and seating combination that sits low to the ground might suffice. In any case, it’s important to determine your physical limitations prior to committing to the new ride.

When you go to look at a potential motorcycle, you should know that there are some things you may be able to change about the bike. Not all bikes have to be accepted as are; in fact there are many modifications and accessory changes that can contribute to a ride that is comfortable and safe for you, the rider.

  • If the switches are not within fingertip reach, they can often be easily adjusted to roll them towards you.
  • Handlebars can be adjusted to move them closer or further away. If they are still not comfortable, you can exchange the handlebars for a different type. For instance, if you feel like you’re leaned over in an uncomfortable position to reach the flat handlebars, you might ask to replace them with mini ape hangers which will lift your arms up and in line with your body, in what might be a more comfortable position for you.
  • Like your hand switches, foot peg positions can usually be easily adjusted to put them within comfortable reach. It’s important to be able to reach the rear brake without strain, so an adjustment may be needed or the bike may not be right for you.
  • The seat is one of the easiest things to adjust. If you can’t reach the ground with both feet flat, you’re likely sitting to high. Seat foam can be cut out, or the frame can be lowered.
  • It’s never a good idea to compromise safety when riding. If you can’t comfortable reach both the front and rear brakes and can’t place both feet firmly on the ground, even with adjustments, you should consider a different motorcycle.
  • Aftermarket parts are available to adjust the seat, switches, handlebar position and even pegs and floorboards, but before making any adjustments, it’s a good idea to get competent, professional advise so as not to compromise the safety or performance of the motorcycle for comfort.

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