Buying a motorcycle? Here are 3 things to consider
This article was originally published in October 2018 and updated in June 2023.
- With so many bikes to choose from, deciding what to buy can be overwhelming
- It’s a good idea to consider how you’ll be using the motorbike, and what feels right for you
- Budget will also come into play, on top of essentials like safety gear and motorcycle insurance.
From zipping around town to open road adventures across the country, there are many reasons people become motorcycle enthusiasts. After learning to ride, investing in a bike is a big commitment, so consider your needs carefully before plunging into a purchase.
Here are three things you might want to consider, suggests QBE’s National Motorcycle Product Specialist, Peter Margin.
1. Motorbike style
Style is often the most important consideration for buyers, but with so many types of bikes to choose from, it can be an overwhelming decision, says Margin.
So, how do you choose a model that suits you? Personal preferences like affordability, experience level and practicality can help you narrow down your shortlist.
“Start by thinking about what kind of riding you’ll be doing, and find something that makes sense for you and your lifestyle.
“If you’re interested in a motorbike to ride long distances, a touring bike could be the most suitable option. If you love riding twisty roads and turns on regular day trips, a sports bike could be for you.
“If your bike is going to be used for commuting, something light and zippy like a scooter is worth considering. Or, if you’re looking for a bit of an all-rounder for general riding, a basic or naked standard could be best.”
2. Motorbike comfort
Comfort should be a high priority too. The more comfortable you are on your motorcycle, the safer and more enjoyable your riding experience will likely be, says Margin.
“If you’re not comfortable, concentration can be impacted as well as your overall riding experience.”
But what’s the most comfortable motorbike choice? It really depends on your position preference and how a bike fits with your body, explains Margin.
The ergonomics of the bike and the position you’ll be sitting in is also important.
“Is a relaxed cruiser style position going to feel best for you? Or is an upright position more in line with your riding preferences? A head-down aerodynamic sports position is also a preference for some.”
Sitting on as many motorcycles as possible to see which riding position works for you can help, adds Margin.
“Try a range of models, makes and designs. And, of course, have a sit on any potential purchases.”
3. Motorbike budget
A motorcycle is a passion purchase for most people, so budgets can be stretched when your heart lands on a dream bike.
But Margin says there are some costs people may not factor in when buying a bike.
“There are many costs that spring to mind when riders think about a motorcycle purchase, like safety gear and accessories. But insurance and ongoing maintenance costs should also be factored in,” he says.
“Motorcycle premiums can differ based on the type of motorcycle. For example, high-powered sports bikes that have lots of plastic bodywork will typically cost more to insure than a bike with no plastic body work and an exposed engine,” he says.
In addition, the decision to buy a brand new or used motorcycle can have a long-term effect on overall costs, so weighing up the pros and cons is key.
“New motorbikes generally cost more, but typically come with a warranty. Used motorcycles are cheaper but there’s a chance of hidden costs for maintenance and repairs.”
These factors need to be weighed up, and if you’re buying second hand, due diligence is essential, adds Margin.