- Written by Carole Nash Editor
- Created: 01 April 2016
If you're new to biking and have your theory, CBT and practical tests tucked neatly under your arm, you're probably thinking that now is the time to venture down to your local dealership to buy the bike of your dreams. And while we're never ones to discourage excitable riders from kick-starting a life on two wheels, it's probably worth considering a few issues before swinging your leg over the first bike you lay your eyes on.
Assess your lifestyle
Think you'd like to ride a monster Harley to work through rush hour traffic? Maybe you'd like to spend your savings on a scooter to ride through those muddy B-roads? Think again. Whether you're a city slicker or a country bumpkin, it's important to buy a bike that suits your lifestyle.
For areas prone to traffic, such as city centres, you might be better off buying a smaller bike such as a 'commuter' style bike or a scooterbuying a smaller bike such as a 125cc 'commuter' or a 250cc scooter. With all the nipping in and out of traffic you'll be doing, that last thing you'll need is a heavy frame that makes your wrists ache and puts you in danger of bumping into other road users, so pick wisely.
On the other side of the coin, if you're thinking of using your bike for long trips around Europe, you'll definitely want to consider one that's comfortable and economical. This might mean a superbike could be out of the question, whereas something with heated grips, built-in panniers and an engine over 1000cc will definitely be worth considering.
What's your budget?
Although a motorbike may eat into a significant part of your savings, the costs don't stop there, unfortunately. There are loads of things to consider when choosing your first bike, so it's worth doing a little bit of reading on your own before you start up a conversation with a salesman.
Given that this will be your first bike, it's a sensible idea to buy something that won't cost too much when it comes to insurance. Sure, you may have a few years no claims on your car, but you'll be starting from scratch with a motorbike, so keep it sensible. However, just like cars, motorbikes fall into different insurance groups, and by picking a machine that falls into a lower group, you won't have to pay as much on insurance. Simple.
New vs. Used
There are arguments to support the case for both buying new and buying used. It all just depends on what your preferences are – and how much you have managed to save already.
Buying new is a popular choice, and given the packages that most dealers are selling these days, it's easy to see why. Just as car dealerships offer incentives such as tax breaks, free servicing and extended warranties, bike dealers should offer the same. What's more, they also allow customers to pay off their bike in monthly instalments – which is great if you haven't quite managed to save the full amount of your dream bike.
However, while buying new may sound like the be-all and end-all, buying used also has its advantages. As the miles clock-up and the years roll by, bikes depreciate just like anything else, meaning if you're shrewd enough, you could end up bagging yourself a great bargain.
Obviously, there's tons to consider when buying your first bike, so whatever you do, don't rush! Just remember, it's always a wise idea to read up on the latest offers, trends and news before taking your chequebook anywhere – so be sure to check out our blog if you're looking to stay ahead of the curve.