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Tips for Choosing Your First Motorcycle

First Motorcycle

There is absolutely no single motorcycle that is perfect for everyone. That’s as true for veteran riders as beginners. Heck, there are so many brands, types, styles, and sizes – it’s simply difficult to choose. Honestly, it’s much easier to help you know if you need to buy motorcycle insurance.

But if you’re in the market to buy your first motorcycle, we have a few tips to help you find the right bike. We also have a few suggestions on the right motorcycle insurance too. 🙂

Before we get too deep into the post, it’s important that all riders buying their first motorcycle take an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) class. It’s just smart. Even if you have years of riding off-road, you can get something out of the MSF course. Heck, it may even help you narrow down your new bike search, you’ll have ridden at least one street bike before you head out to the dealer. If you get nothing out of the class itself, the real value may just be that you won’t have to take the DMV riding test. Bingo, done, it’ll be totally worth the time.

So, let’s dig in and see what things you should consider before you buy your first motorcycle.

#1 What kind of riding will you want to do?

When selecting a motorcycle, there is no better place to start than understanding what kind of riding you plan to do, it’s important to have a bike that is specifically designed for the way you intend to ride. You need a motorcycle with the proper features, riding position, and capabilities for your interests. There are just so many different ways to ride—it’s why so many motorcyclists own multiple bikes!

So, how will you ride?

Will you ride primarily on roads or do you intend to venture off-road? If on-road, will your adventure be long rides on straight highways at high speed, or are you more into twisty mountain roads? Will you be more into short, group riding, day trips to locations where bikers congregate? Or, maybe you’re thinking of long, multi-day treks with a group of friends?  Without hesitation, I know more than a few of you are interested in setting up a track day or a sportier ride. There are specific bikes that are built just for each of these adventures, and a few that will do more than one of them, but you need to know what you want before you start shopping.

#2 Establish a budget and stick with it

Buying your first motorcycle is going to be like any other large purchase, you have to first understand how much money you can spend on your new hobby before you get started.

What is your budget?

A great option for the first-time motorcyclist is to buy used. Let’s be honest, as a newbie you’re more likely to drop your bike than a veteran. 😊 Let the used bike get the beginner scratches and scrapes before you commit big bucks on the dream bike. Also, when thinking about your budget, don’t forget to set aside money for a high-quality helmet and all the proper protective gear – you’ll need it. (Pro Tip: Always buy in a NEW helmet). If you want to save a few dollars on jackets, gloves, boots, and pants, you can find deals on eBay for gently loved protective gear.

#3 The fit of the bike is important

You need to find a motorcycle that is a good fit for you. Begin with seat height, you want to feel comfortable at stops and not like you’re struggling to keep the bike upright. Find a bike that fits your inseam and allows you to be flat-footed. Sit on as many bikes as possible and get a feel for the length of the handlebars and footpegs—you don’t want to struggle to reach either. The best motorcycle for a beginner fits well and makes turning and handling easy. In general, a lighter bike will be easier to manage as a newbie, so know the full wet weight (when fully fueled) when shopping.

#4 What style is right for you?

Don’t fool yourself, looks do matter! You want to enjoy the way your bike looks and have pride while you’re riding. Most riders love their bikes. So, take your time and look at a lot of bikes. You’ll have so many different styles and designs to choose from, you are bound to find one that speaks to you. Remember, if it doesn’t make you smile from day one, it’s likely not going to grow on you, so buy the bike you really want.

#5 Think about dependability and maintenance

It’s kind of like buying a starter classic car, you want to buy a vehicle that has low maintenance and isn’t difficult to find parts. Your first bike should be dependable, there is no need to get risk being stranded on the road while you’re getting used to riding. There are volumes of great online reviews and YouTube offers many reliable videos for all types of bikes, you’re not at a loss for honest reviews of the motorcycles you’re considering. Make sure to dedicate a little time and homework to know the pros and cons of all the bikes you’re considering. When you’re getting started, you might want to stay clear of rare models that may be difficult to repair or to find parts.


Listen, if you don’t overthink this, you can find a great first motorcycle. Frankly, if you’re like the millions who love to ride, this won’t be your first motorcycle. You’ll own a few over the course of your lifetime. 

Now, get started. Head to your local dealer or look for a bike on  The important thing is to swing your leg over as many as you can until you find your perfect first ride! And remember, whatever bike you decide to go with, be sure to keep it properly insured. Want more information on the right motorcycle coverage you’ll need or the motorcycle discounts available, contact us and we’re happy to help.

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