There are many things to consider when purchasing a motorcycle, especially for new riders and first-time buyers. You must decide the type of bike you want, the amount of horsepower you need, and what additional features you desire. Most importantly, you want to choose a safe motorcycle that runs well and suits your riding experience.
Our firm wants all motorcycle riders to be as safe as possible on Indiana’s roadways. Read on to learn tips for buying a safe and reliable motorcycle.
Choosing The Right Motorcycle
Motorcycle riding is a thrilling hobby that does not come without risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to suffer a fatal crash injury per vehicle mile traveled in 2020.
Because motorcycles do not have a cab, riders are unprotected during a collision, leaving them more vulnerable to injury. One way riders can protect themselves is by choosing a motorcycle they can safely maneuver and handle. Things to consider when shopping for a safe and reliable motorcycle include:
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Type Of Motorcycle
Selecting a motorcycle based on looks or brand name may be tempting. However, the beautiful racing bike in the shop window or the Harley-Davidson parked down the street may not be the right option for you. You want to choose a vehicle that fits your needs and that you can operate safely. Consumer Reports suggest you consider the following:
- Where will you ride? Do you plan to drive your motorcycle on highways or secondary roads? Will you use your bike on your daily commute or for long trips only? Will you ride mainly on dirt roads, gravel, or pavement?
- Does your bike need to be large enough/powerful enough to carry a passenger? Will you need seating for more than one rider?
- Do you need storage space? Will you use your bike to carry groceries, travel bags, or other cargo?
- Is fuel efficiency a priority?
- How much do you want to spend?
These questions can guide you toward the kind of motorcycle best suited for you. Types of motorcycles include:
- Cruisers. Cruisers can be an excellent option for new riders because of their low, relaxed seating position and smooth-shifting engines. Cruisers can also carry a passenger and are great for longer rides.
- Sport bikes. Sport bikes are lightweight, high-powered, and designed for racing, short rides, and the track. The seat is higher than a cruiser, and riders sit crouched. Sport bikes cannot carry passengers and may not be the best option for novice motorcyclists.
- Touring bikes. Touring bikes are built for long travel. They are powerful, comfortable, and made to carry two riders.
- Standard (naked) bikes. Standard motorcycles offer a natural, neutral, comfortable riding position. Standard bikes are good for commutes, everyday riding, and are suitable for new riders.
Weight, Size, And Speed
You want a motorcycle that is a size, weight, and speed you can handle based on your physicality and riding skill level. The right size bike for you is one in which you can firmly plant your feet on the ground while seated. The bike should not be so heavy you cannot maneuver it or handle the weight when stopped.
When it comes to power, Consumer Reports advises smaller, more inexperienced riders to start with a motorcycle in the 250-500 cc range. Although, up to 700 cc may be appropriate for larger individuals.
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Safety is paramount when motorcycle riding. Motorcycle features that can increase rider safety include LED lighting, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and windshields/windscreens.
You can also become a safer rider by enrolling in a Ride Safe Indiana Entry Level Motorcycle Safety Course or an Advanced Skills Motorcycle Training Course. The course covers types of motorcycles, basic layout and controls, safety gear, and includes practical instruction on a training course.
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New Or Used?
Used motorcycles may also be a good choice for those who want to get a feel for riding before committing to a more expensive purchase. However, you want to make sure any used motorcycle you consider is safe and in good condition.
Before buying a used motorcycle, check the tires, mileage, and vehicle service records. You should also take the motorcycle for a test drive and have it inspected by a licensed mechanic. Avoid motorcycles that have significant rust, scratches, and paint damage, emit smoke from the exhaust, or have leaking fluids.
Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. Can Help If You Suffered Injuries In A Motorcycle Accident
Even with the right motorcycle and proper safety features, accidents can happen. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an Indiana motorcycle accident, our personal injury attorney may be able to help you pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Randall Sevenish is the Lawyer Who Rides. Contact us today to learn more about how he and his team can stand up for your rights after a collision. We offer free case evaluations and can represent you on contingency.