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Buying a motorcycle is different from buying a car. From the type of riding you will be doing, your budget, to whether to buy a new or used bike. To help you get the right bike for you, here is a list of a few things you should know or look into before you buy:

Motorcycle safety and insurance

Riding your motorcycle will leave you exposed. Because of this, it becomes even more important always to play it safe. Completing the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course will help ensure not only your safety but the safety of others.

In many states, insurance is mandatory by law. No matter how hard you try to play it safe, accidents can still occur. Having insurance will help cover your medical bills and can protect you if you are responsible for the injuries or property damage. It also comes in handy if the bike gets damaged or stolen.

Read your insurance plan to determine what it covers. While liability insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage is the most common, you might want to consider getting some of the other optional coverages which include collision, medical payments coverage, comprehensive insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage.

Find what bike fits your needs and budget

Learn as much as you can regarding the different brands out there, the bike models, and what it takes to maintain them. You won’t know everything there is to know on the first go, but having this information will help you in getting the right bike.

Once you get a few options, go for the one that fits you best. What feels good in the showroom might not feel the same as you ride it.

Also, consider how much it costs and what you intend to use it for. Sportbikes are ideal for racing at high speeds but can be tough on your back, hands, and wrists at slower speeds and longer rides.

‘Naked’ or standard bikes are great for beginners because you don’t have to lean too far forward. A cruiser is great for long trips but might be uncomfortable for beginners and hard to control at lower speeds due to its weight.

Here are a few things to look at when searching for the perfect fit:

  • Seat height: The seat’s height should allow you to plant both your feet flat on the pavement to make it possible for you to balance your motorcycle while at a stop.
  • Bike weight: Since you will be the one controlling the bike, its weight is another factor you should look into.
  • Power: You do not need to go too high up the displacement ladder for your first bike. Even the average 600 cc motorcycle has more power than many experienced riders are capable of using. Consider getting a bike around the 500 cc class and under.

Buying new vs. buying used

New motorcycles are reliable and are covered by warranty policies, though new ones will cost more. Used bikes, on the other hand, are more accessible. For your first bike, you might want to consider buying a used one.

If you do decide to go for the used option, make sure to inspect the bike. Make a list of everything you need to be cleared up. Make sure it isn’t stolen, that the VIN on the bike matches the one on the title, and that a mechanic checks it out.

Also, pay attention to the AS-IS disclosures, which means once the purchase is complete, the previous owner is released of all responsibility.

There you have it. Feel free to add to this list based on your specific preferences; we just gave you a few guidelines to help you get started. Always respect your bike and the road.