If you’re looking to buy your first motorcycle there are a number of things to consider. Depending on your age you might be limited to what you can ride anyway. 16 year olds can only ride mopeds and at 17 you can only ride a small learner bike with an engine capacity of 125cc or less. With 2 years of riding experience you can move up to a medium bike and 2 years after that you can ride any bike.
If you are 24 or over you can take the ‘direct access route’ and ride bikes of any size and power right from the off, assuming you complete the compulsory basic training (CBT) and successfully take a theory and practical test. Even so, it’s usually advisable to start with a more manageable model.
Here are some things to consider:
Motorcycles can vary tremendously in price. It’s not only a matter of what you can afford to pay at the time you buy the bike; you should also take into account the cost of maintenance and, as you are more likely to be involved in an accident as a beginner, the cost of putting right any prangs or scratches. Insurance prices can also be a big factor, especially for younger riders.
Speed and power
There’s definitely something appealing about the power of a larger motorbike engine but beginners are generally better sticking to something milder until they have built up their experience by putting in the hours and the miles.
Here are three great bikes for beginners:
This is a good basic ’round the block’ bike. It features a 249cc air-cooled, single-cylinder engine, an upright riding position and a classic retro look. It also has a top speed of 75mph, meaning you won’t be tempted to treat the motorway like a racetrack.
This is a good bet for anyone who’s had some experience of dirt bikes and is now moving onto the road. It’s a cousin of Honda’s CRF230L dirt bike with better fuel consumption and extremely manageable power.
Harley Davidson Sportster SuperLow
Nothing divides biking opinion quite like a Harley. To some it’s the epitome of the open road while to others it screams, ‘Mid-life crisis’. If you’re in the former camp, the SuperLow is one of Harley Davidson’s best bikes for beginners. The company has optimised it for beginner riders in fact, surveying customers and dealers and tailoring it for the newbie market with more cruising range, better suspension, and greater overall comfort.