So, you have been thinking about buying a motorcycle. Well, when buying a motorcycle there are a great many things to take into consideration, riding experience, physical ability, the kind of ride you want to enjoy, price and so on. However, your age is not one of them; first thing I often hear men and women refer to is their age when thinking about the purchase of a motorcycle. I am going to tell you that your age is the last thing you should think about, there are far more important things to consider and whether you are 21 or 61 is unimportant.
One of the first things you should think about is new or per-owned? If you are experienced rider and want to make that purchase of the newest bike on the show room floor, do it. If you are a novice rider and want to ride, think about this when you buy that first bike. It’s been my experience that a lot of novice riders drop their bike sooner more often than later.
I am not talking about an accident at 95 or 100 miles per hour, I’m talking about simply falling over at 15 miles per hour when you are stopping or when you’re pulling off and it maybe stalls out on you. When this happens it can sometimes cost 100’s of dollars in cosmetic repairs. It is up to you to decide if it’ll hurt your feelings less if it’s on a $2500 to $4000 pre-owned bike or that $14,000 to $20,000 brand new showroom bike.
The next thing to think about is what kind of riding you plan on doing. Are you going to ride across town to work, Saturday night bar hopping, have a desire to go 150 miles per hour or ride across country to a rally or tourist attraction somewhere? I have had motorcycles over the years which fall into each of those that I have mentioned.
If you have no desire other than an inexpensive means of transportation then you can pretty much buy whatever you want or like and you’ll be just fine. Most riders who go this route buy a nice 750 or 800 cc cruiser, like the Honda Shadow, Kawasaki Vulcan or Harley Davidson Sportster. Each of those motorcycles is very economical when it comes to fuel, easy to ride and you can customize the look of them a little bit to make it your own.
What You Want
If your desire is to go 150 to 200 miles per hour then there is a motorcycle out there for you and it’s called a sportbike. When it comes to sportbikes there is a wide variety to choose from, so go do some research to figure out which brand, model and size you want. It is a misconception that all sportbikes are alike because that could not be further from the truth. Some sportbikes are made for a track or racing style of riding, some are great in handling curves, while others are more for the straightaway and some for even long trips and have a more rider friendly design.
Whichever model you choose whether it’s ever popular Suzuki Hayabusa, Kawasaki Ninja or Yamaha R1 Raven or if you have the desire to stand out there is always Ducati and many other less seen motorcycles to choose from.
You’ve decided that you want to ride a thousand miles and be comfortable doing it. Never fear there is a motorcycle out there for you too; it’s called a touring model motorcycle. Touring models are also known as baggers in most cases due to the placement of hard or soft saddlebags or a large tour pack type of luggage on the back of the motorcycle, which allows you to carry your necessities with you for those long trips.
Touring models are also equipped with a higher capacity fuel tank for longer stretches of highway riding, that way the rider does not have to stop as often for fuel and can cover distances in better time than some other motorcycles. Touring models are also very comfortable which take less of a toll on the rider and leaves them less likely to feel beat up at the end of a long ride.
For the rider who is not interested in practicality or speed, you just want to look cool and have a badass bike. Well for that type of rider, yes there is a motorcycle just for you and it’s called a chopper. Now, choppers are great conversation pieces, great to look at, make a rider look amazingly cool, like you just walked off a Hollywood movie set or the latest version of Biker Build Off.
However, for all those pros there are twice as many cons. Most often choppers are hard to ride and even harder to ride any long distance, they are custom built and often come with custom built problems when they do have a problem or need repair, speaking of repair when it is needed it also costs more to get the work done, unless you are mechanically inclined and want to do whatever work you can yourself. Myself, I love the feeling I get when I pull up on my Redneck
Engineering chopper, there is something about the feeling of everyone looking as you pull into the parking lot on an obnoxiously loud badass bike. So, I’ve elected to deal with some of the headaches I must endure for now. I will admit that I miss my Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide, it was one of the best bikes I have ever ridden.
Age Not a Factor
As I stated earlier age should not be a determining factor when buying a motorcycle, however physical ability should be one. So, please allow me to give you an example of what I am talking about. In the case that you are not able to ride on two wheels for whatever reason and you want to ride, then ride on three wheels. If you are physically unable to hold up a bike that weighs 900 pounds then invest in a bike that you can hold up. My point being if you want to ride then ride and don’t let anyone deter you from that the desire to ride.
One thing I didn’t cover is price because I believe that something is only worth as much as what someone is willing to pay for it. So, regardless of what brand, model or size bike you want, choose what you want and get it because in the end no matter what I or anyone else says; you are going to be the one paying for the bike and riding it.
I wish you the best in whatever decisions you make, remember don’t let the motorcycle make you, you make the motorcycle. Just remember riders are the minority on the highways, streets and back roads, so make sure to look out for your fellow riders regardless of what they ride. But that is a story for another day.