When shopping for a motorcycle, there are some things I consider. Choosing the right ride is an exciting time when beginning a new journey on two wheels. A bike is an excellent way to see the country, but there is much more to riding than just hitting the open road.
Aside from the extra perks of feeling invincible and looking more relaxed than folks commuting in their cars, I also think about how much more practical it would be moving forward.
I love riding my motorcycle, and I’m slowly but surely adding more miles to my logbook. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about finding a bike. Here are my thoughts on essential things to look for when buying a motorcycle.
The engine provides adequate power and acceleration; the transmission allows for shifting without difficulty; the brakes are powerful and stop me on a dime. The lights make me visible at night.
I always ask for at least a 250cc machine or larger. The bike itself will be anywhere from 130 to 450 pounds. Additionally, I pay attention to what type of fuel it takes, usually one of two things: Gasoline or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Checking the tires tells me a lot. Tires that aren’t inflated properly, or have cracks or nail holes in them, need to be replaced immediately. Examine the rims and spokes for any dents, frays, or cracks.
If a motorcycle is meant to be used as a daily commuter, make sure it’s fuel-efficient. To determine the actual miles per gallon (MPG) of a bike, I can consult online forums and magazines for each motorcycle’s type. For example, the Honda Gold Wing platforms are filled with numbers indicating real-world MPG based on rider weight, length of trips, weather conditions, etc.
Turn them on and off several times. Do the signals work? Do they blink at the correct speed, too fast, too slow, or adequately? If there is no blinker at all, check the fuse for the horn. Turn signals are controlled by a relay located inside the wiring loom behind the headlight. Bad connections can cause the relay to fail, causing no lights to operate at all.
The exhaust pipes should not be rusty with worn-out gaskets. I don’t want to see rusted-out holes in the pipes or black soot-evidence of air leaks. Likewise, if a pipe is so worn that its header is showing through, it should also be replaced. If the bike is turbocharged, I will listen to various RPMs; I shouldn’t hear an audible whistle around 4200 rpm.
When getting a new bike, the first task is taking it up to speed and seeing how it does. The acceleration should be robust, immediate and the motorcycle should convert speed into forwarding thrust quickly. Test also how easy it is to change gear. A twist grip and the number of gears on the bike should be enough for a test ride.
I usually look at the gear knob and controls handlebars to see if there is any looseness in either. I can do this by pulling each handlebar side to side as it rests on a flat surface. This will help me identify loose controls and gears. If they are loose, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with the bike.
When I looked for my first motorcycle, many decisions were made. One of the most important being how the bike handles, and it turns out that this is crucial in several ways. The quality of the suspension system is critical as it affects the bike’s handling and ride quality.
If the suspension system does not give enough confidence, the bike will feel unstable to ride. If I hit a bump while driving at 80 mph on a poorly designed suspension system, I can go flying off and get seriously hurt.
Purchasing a motorcycle brings a host of concerns; price, design, color, accessories, safety features, and so on. It is essential to have all the necessary information about the motorcycle I plan to purchase. Having a checklist always helps me achieve a good deal and buy a bike that meets my needs and expectations.