Are you dreaming of speeding down the open road on your new Harley with the wind in your hair? Owning a motorcycle is a lifelong goal of many. However, whilst it may seem like a wild and carefree hobby, buying a motorcycle is a big commitment with many practical considerations. So, before you take the plunge and buy your first bike, here are a few questions to consider determining if motorcycle ownership is right for you.
The first thing to consider is how much it will cost to buy, insure and maintain your bike. Motorcycles suitable for beginners will set you back between $4,000 and $10,000. Insurance rates for motorcyclists can vary from under $500 a year to over $2,000. Rates can vary massively depending on where you live. For example, Georgia motorcyclists pay an average of $2,600 per year in insurance premiums, while riders in Vermont pay an average of just $430 each year. Other factors to consider in estimating your insurance rates are your age, driving record and desired bike model. Another cost that it is important to account for is maintenance. A motorcycle is for life, not just for Christmas, and will need a lot of upkeep to keep it in good shape. Your budget needs to allow around $1,000 per year for maintenance such as oil changes, replacement tires, chains and drive belts.
It’s important to store your motorcycle somewhere that minimizes any chance of theft or weather damage. Ideally, we’d all keep our bikes locked up safely inside our houses, but the people you live with might take issue with that! If you have access to one, keep your motorcycle in a garage. This will protect it from both theft and the elements. Of course, not everyone has a garage, but it’s still important to have somewhere to store your bike. Portable motorcycle garages are a relatively cheap and easy way to keep your bike protected from harsh, damaging weather. You should also ensure you have a good bike lock to deter thieves.
There are many things to consider when choosing your first bike. It’s crucial to do plenty of research on what’s available before you decide. The biggest question is what size motorcycle you want. It’s important to get a bike suitable for beginners, as anything with an engine larger than 600cc will be too fast for those just learning to ride. The next thing to consider is what you will be using your bike for; will you be taking long or short trips? Will you be riding daily or once a week? Are you looking more for comfort or for style? Considering exactly what you want from your new bike will help you to decide between the many types of motorcycles currently on the market. Make sure to learn your cruisers from your choppers before you head to the dealership!