Choosing the Best Motorcycle For You

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: January 11, 2021

If you’ve decided that your next vehicle purchase will be a motorcycle, there are many important factors to consider. For instance, when you’ll use it and where you’ll drive will help you tremendously in choosing the best motorcycle for you.

Bikes are just as varied as cars, maybe more so, and there are pros and cons for each type. There should also be a lot of thought put into whether it will be a daily driver, pleasure, or recreational ride, as well as your particular experience level.

Experience Level

This is a big deal when deciding on a motorcycle purchase. An experienced rider will be more comfortable on many more styles of rides than a novice. A new rider should strongly consider:

A less expensive model – There will be a learning curve. Dropping the bike a few times is not uncommon. You don’t want to damage an expensive, or highly customized bike.
A smaller bike – Both engine size and overall size and weight will make the bike easier to handle through turns, acceleration, even just waiting at a traffic light.
A lower seat height – This can let you get both feet on the ground during a stop, which will be more comforting, and comfortable. Less fatigue equals more fun.
A more basic style – A new rider should be more at ease on a bike that does everything well starting out.

Know your limits. You shouldn’t try to compete with more experienced riders when you’re first starting out. It may cause damage to your new bike, or even worse, you!

Motorcycle Styles

We will touch on some basics when discussing the types of motorcycles in this section. Among these will be scooters, off-road, street, and dual-purpose bikes. There are a few divisions among these groups as well.

Finding the right fit for you will require a bit of research, and maybe soul-searching. But take care to be sure that you find what’s best suited for you.

Let’s look at some of the common styles of bikes here:

  • Standard: These are basically a “bare-bones” model. They will not have fairings and windshields, or saddlebags. Their simple construction is well suited for a new rider.
  • Sport: These are lighter weight, have better brakes and suspension, and powerful engines. They are not as fuel-efficient or as comfortable as a standard bike, but can offer a thrilling riding experience.
  • Cruisers: These are often custom built “choppers” with a low seat, forward foot controls, and longer handlebars. While they can be beautiful, they are often difficult to maneuver.
  • Off-road: Dirt bikes have exceptional suspension and powerful motors, but are not equipped for use on the street.
  • Dual-purpose: These are a combination of street and off-road capabilities. They have similar performance to a dirt bike, but also have lights, mirrors, and turn signals for use on the street.
  • Scooters and mopeds. These are handy little bikes for running around town. They often have extra storages spaces making them suitable for running light errands, but lack the speed for much highway travel.

Make the Right Choice

Be honest with yourself about your needs and abilities; be firm with your budgetary restrictions, and get on the road on your new motorcycle!