Whether you’re looking to purchase your very first 125cc motorcycle, or perhaps your first A2 motorcycle or ‘big’ motorcycle once you’ve passed your full motorcycle licence - choosing exactly which motorcycle manufacturer and model you want to go for is an extremely tricky (and overwhelming) decision…
At this stage, you are either someone who has done their research, knows what they want, and is ready to go, or you’re someone who doesn’t know really what they’re looking for until they truly start shopping around.
Whichever person you are, we are here to help. In this blog, we are going to be running down how to choose your first motorcycle to suit your style, size, and riding abilities - so without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we?
Types of motorcycles
When you first thought about switching to two wheels, you probably thought you could get a simple motorcycle or scooter and oh boy - were we wrong. There are a vast range of different popular bike styles you can choose from, including:
- Sport Bike
- Touring/Sport Touring
- Scooter/ Maxi-scooter
Consider your riding environment
First things first, you’ll want to think about where you’re going to be riding your motorcycle, are you going to be commuting to and from work every day, are you driving in the city, or perhaps are you looking for a bike just for weekend rides?
Depending on what your sole purpose for riding your bike is, will influence the type of bike you should go for. For example, if you are going to be mostly riding around in the urban jungle, then opt for a smaller and lighter bike or perhaps even an electric motorcycle. On the other hand, those who intend on doing longer commutes or road trips will want a bigger bike with larger cargo space such as a touring motorcycle.
Assess your licencing and experience levels
As we mentioned a little earlier, the type of motorcycle you ride will depend heavily on the licence you have.
If you are someone who has just passed their CBT, you will be limited to riding a 125cc powered bike. In contrast, if you have passed your full motorcycle licence, you are entitled to ride whichever bile you desire - however just because you can doesn’t always necessarily mean you should!
Those who have slowly built up to their full licence going from a CBT to your A2 licence, and then onto your full, it can be assumed that you have a fair bit of experience behind you and know how to handle bikes of a varied power output. However, if you have opted to do direct access to your full motorcycle licence the chances are you won’t have much riding experience behind you and opting for a very heavily powered >1000cc motorcycle for your first bike may not be the best choice.
At the end of the day, no matter how cool a motorcycle looks, your safety should always be a priority…
Do your research
Before making a solid decision on which motorcycle you want, you will need to do your own thorough research.
This can be done by searching through looking at a variety of YouTube videos, blog reviews as well as any motorcycle groups or Reddit pages offering their advice and/or experiences with certain motorcycles.
During your research, this is also a great opportunity to read up on any bikes you may have had your eye on, as well as look at which bikes out there are deemed most reliable, best for beginners, and even the best to fit in line with the type of motorcycle licence you hold.
Finding the right seat height and riding position
Ideally, when you’re buying a motorcycle you will want to be able to sit on it and have both feet flat on the ground.
Typically, modern-day motorcycles come with adjustable seat heights, however with older models it is definitely worth hoping on and seeing if you can reach the floor - you should never purchase a motorcycle you haven’t sat on at least once!
Not only will you want to make sure your feet can firmly touch the floor, but you will also want to make sure that the seat is comfortable enough for you. Whether you plan to commute on your motorbike or not, I can imagine there will at least be a handful of occasions where you will find yourself on your bike for extended periods of time - with the last thing you want or need is to become uncomfortable.
If you ever find yourself stretching to reach the controls or forced into an awkward riding position, not only will that ruin the enjoyment of your ride but it could also dangerously affect the balance of the bike, especially at slower speeds.
Compare rider weight capacity
It is advisable that you consider both your weight and the bike weight before making your final decision.
For example, if a motorcycle is too big or too small for you, it can make controlling the bike extremely difficult, and can in worst-case scenarios lead to you losing control or crashing your motorcycle.
Alternatively, if the bike itself is too heavy for you, it can make it much harder to control and manoeuvre and can end up again with you losing control and ending up hurting both yourself as well as the bike.
Can adjustments be made to the bike if needed?
Lastly, if you have followed all of the steps above and you find yourself settled on a motorcycle that out of the factory may be a little too tall or small for you - do not fret, most bikes can be adjusted!
The most common way to adjust your bike is to change the seat height and/or adjust the suspension - essentially lowering or heightening the bike. Most dealerships will be able to do this for you, though it will depend on the model in question.
Take into account your budget
One huge factor that will play a part in your decision-making for buying a motorcycle is your budget. If you are someone who has a slightly limited budget, then perhaps a second-hand model may be the best route for you to go down.
However, if you have a little more budget to play with, you are in the position to start considering a brand-new motorcycle. Now whilst you may be sitting there with a full downpayment ready to go on a motorcycle, there will be plenty of people out there who don’t. Thanks to monthly payment options such as PCP (personal contract purchase) or HP (hire purchase)*, can allow you to put down a higher deposit and then continue to pay for the bike month upon month for a chosen extended period of time.
Whichever way you choose to purchase a motorcycle, there are both positives and negatives to each option, so it is definitely worth sitting down and weighing up your options financially, as well as to suit your lifestyle.
*For more on buying a new or used motorcycle head over to our full guide!
New or used?
Whether you choose to buy a new or used motorcycle is completely up to your prerogative.
If upfront costs are of concern to you, opting to purchase a second-hand motorcycle via a private seller can be a far more affordable option. However, if you purchase privately, it means you will not receive an additional warranty or the assurance that your bike has been checked over by a professional prior to purchase.
On the other hand, if you opt to buy from a dealer, your motorbike will typically come with either a 3 or 6-month warranty and will have been professionally checked over and likely to have been recently serviced. These extras are usually reflected in the price, hence them being more expensive.
The Last Stop!
So there you have it, here is our full guide on how to choose the right motorcycle to suit your height, weight, and riding ability.
Last but not least, if you are looking for insurance on your first motorbike, make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quotation with Lexham either by filling out a quotation form online or by giving us a call at 01379 646529.