What to Consider When Buying Your First Motorcycle

Buying your first motorcycle can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience. You feel excited by the rows of shiny, new bikes and the thought of riding one along the open road; however, you also may feel overwhelmed by all of the features and styles from which to choose. Doing your homework before walking into a dealership goes a long way toward choosing the best motorcycle that suits your style and skills for a safe and enjoyable riding experience.

Learn to ride confidently before buying your first motorcycle

The most important step to take before buying your first motorcycle is to learn how to ride safely. The best way to do this is to take a reputable training course, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s RiderCourseSM. These courses are not only inexpensive, but also they teach you basic skills for safe handling and riding. Since loaner bikes often are available, you may not need to buy your first motorcycle to take the class.

An added benefit is that you may be eligible for discounts on motorcycle insurance for completing such a course. Your riding test may be waived when you apply for your motorcycle license, too, so check with your local licensing bureau for further information.

Consider the costs when buying your first motorcycle

To protect yourself while you’re on the road, it is essential that you wear the proper gear. A full-face helmet (also required in some states) and jackets, pants, gloves, boots and a rain suit made specifically for motorcycle riding will help shield you not only in the event of an accident, but also from weather and debris. To make it easier for other drivers to see you, consider wearing reflective or brightly colored apparel.

Before you take your first motorcycle home from the dealership, be sure to invest in motorcycle insurance to keep both you and your bike legal and protected. Also, when buying your first motorcycle, you may need to purchase a secure lock to reduce the risk of theft.

Features to consider when buying your first motorcycle

After you have completed a safety course and considered the costs involved when buying your first motorcycle, the next step is to determine what bike best suits your needs and lifestyle. From an exhilarating sport bike to a cruiser or heavy touring bike, motorcycles are available in a variety of styles.

It is recommended that you choose a 250cc engine when you buy your first motorcycle. As a beginner, it’s important to have a bike that isn’t too heavy, is easy for you to handle and doesn’t go faster than your skill set allows for safe riding. There is plenty of time to upgrade to a 500cc or 650cc motorcycle once you have polished your riding skills.

You also may want to consider a used model when buying your first motorcycle. Though you will not receive a factory warranty, a used motorcycle can make a great first bike while you’re learning to ride; you are less apt to worry about the small dents and scratches that are possible should you drop your bike. The repairs also will be less costly than for a new motorcycle. You typically can find inexpensive used bikes through your local dealership, newspaper ads or online. Be sure to test drive the motorcycle as much as possible before you buy to ensure proper fit and alignment with your body.

If you are buying a first motorcycle, keep your new investment protected with affordable motorcycle insurance. Get free motorcycle insurance quotes in minutes from a company you can trust, such as Nationwide. You may qualify for discount motorcycle insurance if you have completed a motorcycle safety course or are combining coverage for both your car and motorcycle.

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