Getting your first motorcycle can be a time of great indecision. If you get any advice from other riders, they will tell you only things from their perspective and what bike they would buy. And of course, they all have strong biases; their bikes are the best, all the others are flawed. Bikes are not marketed as beginner’s bikes either, so you get little help from the industry. For this reason, people evolve strange ideas about motorcycles that can only be corrected through experience. The biggest problem that beginners face in choosing a bike is the misconception that bigger is better. And for a beginner that is completely false. Here are some suggestions for finding your first bike.
- Get Something New: Learning to ride can be challenging enough, without having to contend with a bike in poor repair. A new bike will give you the least amount of trouble, if you can’t afford new, at least a recent model would be a better choice than some old beater. And make sure that your bike is fully insured from the start. Look into Yamaha motorcycle insurance, or similar products to find something right for you.
- Size Matters: But not in the way other riders will tell you. The best way to learn to ride is on a bike that is easily controlled. That means a bike that lets you put your feet down on either side and still have good control of the tipping point. It also means having an engine size that won’t launch you into a wheelie at the slightest twist. A beginner’s bike should be something that can keep up with traffic, but isn’t super heavy or crazy powerful. If your ego can handle it. A small displacement dual purpose, or cruiser might be the best way to learn, or even a scooter style bike at first. You will know when you are ready to move up.
- Practice First: Before you take your bike out into traffic, you should have a few sessions in an open field or empty parking lot, to get the feel of the bike. Try to find some place with enough room so that you can get some speed up and practice braking too. Learn safe braking techniques as well.
Once you become a confident rider, you might want to trade up to something a little bigger, but at that point you will have a better idea of what you want. The important thing is to keep safe until you are ready. Egos have gotten a lot of new riders hurt, even the best gear in the world can’t protect you from poor judgement. Stay safe and you can ride the rest of your life.