August 16th, 2006 23 Comments » | View blog reactions
Darren Rowse over at problogger is having a group list writing contest, so I thought I’d throw in a list of things a wish I knew when I bought my first motorcycle.
- Buy a used motorcycle the first time.
The motorcycle you dream of might be very different from the motorcycle you will actually like to ride once you get started. Buying a used motorcycle prevents you from loosing too much money should you change your mind. If you buy a 3-4 year old motorcycle it is most likely almost as new anyway.
- Try before you buy.
Try all the motorcycles you can get your hands on, even ones you normally wouldn’t consider, just to have something to compare. Usually dealers have (or can get) demo motorcycles of new models. When buying used either at a dealer or privately ask for a test ride. If you are refused, walk away. There are plenty of other sellers.
- Get a second opinion.
It’s not unlikely that when you find the motorcycle you want, you will be so obsessed with it that it might cloud your judgement. Get a mate who knows about motorcycles to come with you and check the bike out. If you don’t know anyone riding, make an appointment with a motorcycle dealer/mechanic and ask the seller to take the bike to the mechanic with you for a check.
- Check brake discs, tyres and chain.
These are the things that get worn over time, and can set you back quite a bit when it needs to be replaced. Brake disc width should be more than the width specified in the manual for the specific motorcycle (seller should have the manual). There’s a mark on the tyres for when they need to be replaced (get seller to point it out for you). To check the chain, grab a link at the rear sprocket and pull it backwards, if you can pull the link a bit away from the sprocket, the chain (and both sprockets) needs to be replaced. Know the price of these parts for the motorcycle, and ask the seller to replace or cut price accordingly.
- Remember to check insurance rates.
Call up different agencies and ask them for the price of 3-4 motorcycles you are considering. The price may vary a lot depending on your age and motorcycle type.
There are more things that are good to know when starting off as a motorcycle rider. But you will learn that soon enough and you can always just ask us motorcycle nuts.