When it comes to choosing a motorcycle, be it your first one, or upgrading as you move up licence levels, there’s way more to think about than whether or not you should get a red motorcycle or check out 2nd hand bikes on eBay motorcycles. If you want to find a bike that is right for you, keeps you safe on the road and helps you reach your motorcycling goals, you’ll need to consider where and how you ride, power restrictions (if you have any), and the position of the seat and controls. Read on for our tips on how to choose the best motorcycle for your riding aspirations.
The danger of choosing a ‘wrong’ motorcycle.
Before we get into the details of how to choose the right bike, it’s worth quickly running over the dangers of the ‘wrong’ bike. Motorcycle riding is about balance and ergonomics. A bike that is difficult to balance or doesn’t feel right is dangerous to you and other road users. You need to be able to sit on your bike and reach the ground with feet flat. Balancing on tip-toes is asking for trouble. You also need to be able to easily reach foot and hand controls. If you’re stretching for either, you’ll be taking attention away from the road and possible hazards.
Bottom line is if you feel awkward when sitting on or riding a motorbike you’re at an increased risk of being involved in an accident. Most likely a ‘manoeuvrability accident’ – the kind that means you lose control when obstacles appear or when you’re overtaking.
A range of motorbikes to choose from
Everyone’s idea of the perfect bike is different. Some want a cruiser for the open road; others are looking for a sports bike that’s nimble and athletic. Then you’ve got touring motorbikes for relaxed long-distance riding, dual-sport motorcycles that can ride pretty much anywhere, any time, and ‘standard’ bikes that mix functions – they’ll be good on the streets and longer distances, but don’t take them off-road.
This clip looks at different types of bikes for different riders and can help you decide what’s right for you:
When purchasing your first bike, consider used motorbikes for sale that meet your riding needs. Just like cars, new bikes lose value as soon as they leave the dealer’s plot. As you gain in experience the chances of expensive repair bills reduces, so it makes more sense to consider a new bike when your competence on the road increases.
Finding the right height bike
Take the time to make sure the fit of the motorbike is right. Not too high or too low, not too heavy or wide either. The easiest way to figure this out is the check the seat height on the models you’re interested in against your own height and inner leg measurement. This should give you a good indication of whether or not you’ll be able to have feet flat to the floor when straddling the bike. If you know your measurements and have a couple of bikes in mind, this motorcycle ergonomics simulator is a great place to check if they’re likely to be right for you.
Once you’ve done a little background homework, you’ll need to head to the dealers or look online for a used bike and try them out to be sure they’re right. Softer suspension on some bikes, like motocross and dual-sports, can mean a higher seat changes drastically when you sit on it.
Check your rider position
Sitting properly on your bike and choosing the right position will influence the control you have when riding. There are three basic rider positions – upright, cruiser and sports position – and they’re influenced by the kind of riding you’re doing and the bike you’re on.
Try out the rider positions when trying a bike to make sure you can easily reach the controls with hands and feet in each of these positions. If you find the right bike, but it’s just a tad too high or low, you can get suspension and seats adjusted at cost, but we’d recommend finding a motorcycle that is a great fit for you to begin with.
If you’re looking for a new bike and want to talk to us about the different options or just need some help with what might be best for you, please give us a call on 0330 223 4000.