So you're finally ready to buy a motorcycle?
Here are some basic points to ponder when considering your first bike:
1. Don't overestimate your ability.
One common mistake among newbies is to purchase a bike with far more performance than they can handle. Stay away from crotch rockets, especially anything with an engine larger than 600cc; you'll learn more on a slower bike, and become a better rider because of it. Plus, after you've honed your skills and gained experience, you'll be ready to upgrade and truly appreciate a faster bike.
2. Choose a bike that fits your body.
This point is less obvious than it might sound. Bikes come in dramatically different shapes and sizes, and so does the human body. Try a bike on for size, and if possible, take it for a spin; you'll find that the ergonomic experience of riding will differ dramatically from bike to bike. That café racer you thought was so cool, for instance, might strain your wrists to the point of discomfort. Conversely, that Harley Sportster you might have never considered might win you over with its low seat and manageable center of gravity. You won't know until you try one on for size!
3. Consider your long-term budget.
A number of factors are at play when trying to decide between a new and used bike. While new bikes might be more reliable and easier on the eyes, you'll lose more money through depreciation. Conversely, a used bike in need of maintenance could result in unexpected expenditures. Also, don't forget to factor insurance costs into the big picture; all this stuff adds up!