New Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide
Tips from Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyer on Buying the Bike for You
No other vehicle in the world offers as much freedom as riding a motorized bike. Though motorcycles are associated with higher levels of death and injuries than regular passenger vehicles, no one can stop enthusiasts from riding them no matter what the risks are. Given the many joys that a bike brings, the market is exploding with products for just about every taste. But just what exactly should you consider before buying a brand-new bike?
Think of the Size of the Bike
You might like big bikes or small ones. However, your best bet is to put your money on a bike that is comfortable to ride according to your height and weight. There are so many bikes out there. Experts advise beginners to buy a 250cc bike. It is easy to control, and you will learn quickly. The downside to this is once you outgrow this bike (which usually happens fast), you will want to move on to faster ones like 500cc and above, which, of course, means you have to spend more money.
Generally speaking, bikes have several classes:
- Standard – Bikes that you typically see on the street are standard bikes. They also go by the name naked bikes. You can recognize a standard bike by its upright riding position.
- Touring – Although almost any motorcycle can qualify as a touring bike, manufacturers have developed specific models designed to address the particular needs of these long-distance riders.
- Cruiser – Think of Harley-Davidson. These are big bikes that you should not use for racing. Cruisers are for sitting comfortably and, well, cruising.
- Sports Bike – Sports bikes have high foot pegs, which means they can turn much sharper and faster than your average low-sitting cruiser. These are race bikes that you typically see on race events where the drivers’ knees hit the pavement when turning.
- Dual-Sport – A bike like this is what you see on Motocross. They are the best bikes for stunts, aerial exhibitions, and rugged terrains.
- Scooters – Small motorcycles that have no gears. They’re ideal for local commutes around the city.
Consider the Real Cost of Ownership
A brand-new bike can cost you anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000. Add to that the cost of insurance, and you will shell out maybe another $500. Bike prices vary so widely based on their make and model. Simple bikes may cost less than $2,000, but cruisers, sports bikes, dual-sport bikes can cost you at least $5,000.
The insurance premium of your bike depends on many factors. Since bikes are high risk, the premium will cost more. Even if you have a perfect driving record, the insurance companies have to take a look at other statistics such as theft occurrences for your bike model, the density of your area, and the rate of motorcycle accidents in your city.
Next, you have to think about maintenance costs. Cars can go longer than bikes when it comes to wear and tear. Bikes only have two wheels, so you need to replace the tire more often and shell out around $600. And if you use your bike every day, you may need to change at least your rear tire every after 3,000 miles. Chains and belts also need occasional replacing, and this adds another $250. On average, you will spend at least $1000 for maintenance per year.
To know the bike better, you must make your research and price comparison. You also need to check the features of the motorcycle. Once you know all these things, you can create a reasonable budget. Add to that the other costs mentioned earlier, and you get a rough estimate of how much you will shell out. Never forget to ask for the cost of dealer fees and other fees like title transfer and taxes.
Understand What You Are Buying
If you are a first-time buyer, you are likely to fall in love with the first bike you see. The sales person will tell you that you look good on the motorcycle of your choice and she will give you all the reasons to buy it. But how well do you know the bike? If you have not done your research yet, get the details of the bike and continue shopping around. Never make a decision on impulse.
Make sure you inspect the bike before leaving. Manufacturers include manuals with the bike. Read it while in the dealer’s office and check the bike. Never assume that the dealer checked all units when they came. Sometimes, the dealers themselves assemble the bikes, so you have to be extra wary. A few things you should consider checking are:
- Bolts – Are the loose, damaged, or over-tightened?
- Drive chains – Are they appropriately adjusted
- Tires – Check for over- or under-inflation
- Brake lines – Are they routed properly, and are the cables positioned appropriately?
- Fenders– Are they tight enough? Any cracks?
There are many things to check for in a bike, as any experienced motorcycle accident lawyer would know. As mentioned earlier, read the manual that comes along with it and check the bike for any obvious signs of cracks and loose materials.