Things to look for when buying a bike

Published: May 6, 2014

Buying a new bike is an important decision that needs to be considered carefully, even though you may be desperate to hit the open road. It’s a big purchase, and there are several things that everyone should keep in mind, whether they’re buying their very first bike or going for an upgrade.

Consider your biking needs

It’s tempting to go for the most attractive bike you’ve seen, but it may be that your needs are very different. You need to consider if you will be riding this bike in the city or the country? Will you be zipping along in traffic with plenty of stops, or out in the open road for long distances? How much are you willing to sacrifice comfort for style? It shouldn’t be by much if you’re going to be on this bike for long periods of time.

By considering your biking needs, you are far better equipped to choose a bike that is right for you, and one you’ll actually enjoy riding. Bikes have become extremely specialised over the years, so knowing the different types of motorbikes and what they can offer you will make your decision that bit easier once you get to grip with the different options available.

Choose a bike that fits

Speaking of comfort, it is important to get a bike that fits you. You need to be able to control your bike and feel comfortable, and bikes come in many different shapes and sizes. You should sit on a bike and see how it feels before you buy it – and definitely, definitely take it for a ride.

You’ll soon know what feels best – whether your body begins to feel strained, your wrists start to ache, or you’re sitting comfortably and feel as though you could cruise for hours. Everyone is different, and what suits someone else like a dream may be hell for you to ride for long.

Don’t overestimate yourself (or underestimate the bike)

It’s all too easy to get excited by the prospects of a powerful bike, but a powerful bike needs a powerful rider, and it’s perfectly okay if you’re not there yet (seriously, there’s no shame!). If you buy a bike with far more performance than you can handle, it will be more than useless to you, and a wasted purchase.

Building up your skills and talents will allow you to purchase that all powerful rocket when the time comes, but for now you should spend some time carefully considering what bike power will work best for you. If you’re not extremely experienced, stay away from anything with an engine larger than 600cc. Once you’re ready, you’ll be able to truly appreciate (as well as control) a faster and more powerful bike.

Buy a bike you love

This may sound like the opposite of the above points, but it is important to buy a bike you love and are excited to ride. People buy motorbikes because they want them, rarely because they need them, so be sure to buy a bike that you actually want, as well as ensuring that it fits the above criteria, and is within your budget, for now and the future.

Your bike should be safe, sensible and still fun. If you find a bike that fits you, has the right amount of power and makes you excited to ride it, then it sounds like you’ve chosen the perfect bike.

If this is your first bike, you may consider going for a used bike. They’re perfect for getting to grips with the ins and outs of motor biking as they are cheaper and there isn’t as much pressure to ensure that they don’t get damaged. However, they may also not be as reliable as a new bike, and they won’t come with the warranty of a new bike. Choosing new or used is really an individual choice that depends on your own personal needs and your position, but either way, make sure it’s a bike you love.

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