How to Pick the Right Bike

When the decision has been made to purchase a motorcycle, there are a few factors that must come into play. The type of bike that is chosen will largely depend on how much money is available and what the motorcycle will be used for. Once the search has been narrowed down to the type of bike that will be purchased, the best way to pick the right bike is to test drive a few different motorcycles.

Types of Motorcycles

There are three main types of motorcycles. These types are off-road, street bikes, and dual purpose bikes. Off-road bikes are for mainly used for racing and recreation, and are not legal to drive on the street. Street bikes, as the name infers, are designed and legal for driving on the street. Dual purpose bikes are made to be able to handle both off-road conditions and street driving. These bikes are designed so that they are legal to drive on the street.

Off Road Motorcycles

Motocross is the most recognized type of off-road bike. There are motocross competitions and shows. Many sports have been off-shoots of the original motocross races. These include: supermoto, freestyle, side-car racing, supercross, and mini-motocross. There are many small tweaks that can be made to the off-road motorcycle or motocross design to allow the bike to handle better on specific terrain. Off-road motorcycles can be customized in general to appeal to the motorcycle owner’s tastes.

Street Motorcycles

Street bikes are most often categorized as cruisers, sport bikes, mopeds, or scooters, but there are other types. Cruisers are the best type of street bike to use for long distance travelling, as the posture that a cruiser puts the riders in is much more comfortable. On a cruiser, the driver is seated somewhat low to the ground, sitting straight up or slightly leaning back. The foot pegs are in front of the driver. The handlebars are typically out to the sides and at or above the level of the driver’s head. Since cruisers are low to the ground, this can create problems with cornering, allowing foot pegs and other parts to scrape on the ground if the driver is not careful. Although cruisers can be fast, the design is not as aerodynamic as sport bikes.

Sport Bikes

Sport bikes are designed mainly for speed. The front of the bike is cut low, either without a wind shield or with a very low windshield to reduce wind resistance. The foot pegs are below or slightly behind the driver, and the handle bars are closer together, directly in front of the driver. When riding, the driver leans forward against the fuel tank. At low speeds, this puts the bulk of the driver’s weight on their hands, arms, wrists and core. This can be uncomfortable, and eventually cause problems if a rider often operates at low speeds. At high speeds, the driver’s weight is supported by the air pressure, taking some of the pressure off of the driver.

Scooters & Mopeds

Scooters and mopeds have a smaller engine capacity than the cruisers and sport bikes, and are not typically designed to go as fast. Both are known to provide better fuel mileage than cruisers or sport bikes. Mopeds have pedals and the engine capacity is typically under 50cc. Scooters are completely motorized, with an engine larger than 50cc, and have many of the same aesthetic characteristics as a cruiser.

Dual Purpose Bikes

Dual purpose bikes, often called dual-sport bikes, combine elements of street bikes and off-road bikes. They must be equipped with features that will allow the bike to be street legal, and must be registered as a street bike is. However, they are also equipped with creative features that allow the bike to travel through more rugged terrain.

Buying a Motorcycle

There are many dealerships that sell all the different types of motorcycles. Motorcycles can also be found for sale online on many different websites or for sale by owners. When selecting a bike, be sure to find out as much information as possible about the bike, to avoid future problems. Purchasing a used bike can be a good way to save money, but can be a money pit if the seller is not forthcoming with any current issues that the bike has.

 

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Sources:

Bartels, Billy. “900CC Middleweight Cruiser Comparison.” Motorcycle Cruiser. Source Interlink Media, n.d. Web. 28 Aug 2013. <http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/features/1008_crup_900cc_middleweight_ cruiser_comparison/viewall.html>.

“It’s All About the Ride.” Yamaha Revs Your Heart. Yamaha Motor Corporation, n.d. Web. 28 Aug 2013. <http://www.yamahamotorsports.com/sport/mcy/demo_raines.asp&xgt;.

“News and Latest Updates.” Sport Rider. Source Interlink Media, n.d. Web. 28 Aug 2013. <http://www.sportrider.com/>.

“Motorcycles.” HarleydavidsonUSA. Harley Davidson, n.d. Web. 28 Aug 2013. <http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Motorcycles/motorcycles.html?locale=en_US&bmLocale=en_US