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Blog / Motorcycle

Do your homework before buying a motorbike.

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A little homework and some careful deliberation before buying will make your motorcycling experience a joy.

Unlike cars, which with few exceptions are designed to be jacks-of-all-trades, motorcycles are frequently designed to excel at certain functions. This is brilliant if you’re looking to break the 125cc lap record at Sepang International Circuit, navigate ruts on a dirt track, or ride non-stop to Phuket, but can confuse matters if want to commute as well.

The best start when considering purchasing a motorcycle is to define why you’re buying a motorcycle in the first instance, and the pros and cons of different types of machine.

Remember that if you’re short, tall or heavy, some bikes will not suit you at all.

Following from that, list what attributes are best suited for you. If its primary use will be commuting, you may want a comfortable, upright riding position, easy maneuverability, and the capacity to carry a briefcase.

This exercise is equally applicable whether you’re buying your first Class 2B machine, or your tenth litre-class bike.

If you’re a millionaire, feel free to buy a range of machines to suit the roads you plan to tackle each day. If, like me, you want one bike for everything, get prepared to make some compromises. I enjoy touring, but I didn’t want a big, heavy touring bike for the daily commute, so I chose a street bike that had some wind protection and added some aftermarket luggage capacity.

Listing the attributes that I wanted in a bike before I went shopping really helped me focus on my needs, and I ended up a very happy owner.

Ask yourself hard questions – are you willing to put up with higher running costs and discomfort on a daily basis just to look like Valentino Rossi on weekends?

There’s a lot of choice in the market, and lot of attention-grabbing machines; your list will help avoid being distracted by the fast or the flashy, instead keeping you focused on your needs.

And finally, you should now have a good idea what type of bike you’re looking for. Take a look around and see what models people are riding. It’s all well and good to be an individual with a one-of-a-kind machine, but repairs and spare parts will be much easier with a popular model.

Writer is bike enthusiast and journalist, Tony Tan.

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