- Created: 27 May 2015
Once you have passed all the training and tests – and are old enough, young riders – to legally drive any bike you please, the temptation may be to go straight for a top-of-the-line model with as much power as you can put on two wheels. If you've got the money to do so, then what's stopping you? Well, it makes sense to slow down a little and consider the alternatives – particularly if you're in the market for your first bike.
First of all, consider tax and insurance. The Gov.uk website has information on tax bands for motorcycles, and you will see that a 250cc bike currently costs £38 for a 12 month rate. Going for a 500cc or 600cc will push it up to £59.
Although there are smaller engines available, 250cc motorbike insurance is likely to be far more affordable than for a larger bike. Make sure you pick an insurer who really knows the difference between different kinds of bikes, so you're getting cover that's appropriate for what you ride.
There are various different kinds of insurance cover available. For example third party only insurance only pays out to cover the damages to the other person and/or vehicle involved in an accident, so it is worth thinking about which insurance cover suits you as a rider!
You can extend third party cover to include fire and theft, which will pay out if your bike is stolen or damaged by fire, but only a fully comprehensive policy will pay out the cost of damage to your vehicle as well as any third party claims made against you.
Many insurance brokers will offer plenty of extras – whether free or for a fee – so be sure to pick a deal that will give you plenty of value for money. At Carole Nash, for example, we offer breakdown recovery, accessory cover^, up to £100,000 legal expenses cover^^, up to 90 days European cover and security features with every policy.
On to the bike! Although it may not sound as exciting as going for something with 500ccs of power (or more), a 250cc bike should not disappoint in terms of speed and power. Your typical 250cc bike will get you comfortably up to the speed limit with a minimum of fuss – with something more powerful, you're paying for a top speed you can never legally use.
A 250cc bike is also a much better option for beginners, letting you build up your skills without the threat of that overwhelming power taking you up to 50 miles per hour with one slip of the wrist. They're also a bit smaller, so will help you get to grips with riding in traffic a little bit better too.
A huge range of bikes come in 250cc models, so you can choose a bike that really suits you – whether it's a beefed-up scooter for commuting, a sports bike for nipping around in style, or a touring bike for those long hauls, make sure you research the models you are interested in carefully. Go and take a look at a dealers even if you're buying online, and know that what you're getting will suit your needs, size, and ability.
Whether it's a stepping stone to that high-powered monster you've always wanted, or a bike for life, opting for a 250cc motorbike will get you where you want to go – just take your time to find the right one for you.
^ Limits apply
^^ In the event of an accident that isn't your fault