Congratulations, you've got your licence. The next step is to choose your first bike, with all the excitement it provides. But how do you make the right choice and make the best purchase?
Before you start to dream, you'll need to remain a bit serious so that you:
- know the technical limits imposed by your licence
- ask your broker for any restrictions and the amount of the insurance premium
- complete or overhaul your safety equipment as no rider should go on the road without being well protected (despite the price!)
- find out the cost of taxes and maintenance
Where to buy?
All motor vehicles must be technically flawless and this is even more true for motorcycles. A dealer will ensure that your vehicle is in perfect working order. Whether it's a company vehicle, an assured used vehicle, an end-of-line or the latest showroom release, a professional is the guarantee of a reliable purchase. What's more, it's common to change motorcycles and a good purchase means a good resale.
- The weight of your motorcycle is very important. Too heavy, and you risk difficulties when manoeuvring at low speed, when parking or stopping. Too light, and it will have less grip and the risk of locking the wheels when braking is greater.
- A short turning circle ensures agility and ease of use.
- The motorcycle-rider combination must be balanced and take into account your body shape. You must be stable with your feet fully on the ground when stationary and not bent over while riding.
- Remaining comfortable is essential. Remember:
- Driver assistance systems facilitate steering, but an inexperienced rider may not always understand the limitations of physics.
- It's best to start small and then grow according to your experience, so your first bike shouldn't be a sports bike.
- Your temperament is important. If you're a bit of a daredevil, limit the power so you don't get overwhelmed by the horsepower. If you are quieter, a larger engine capacity will allow smooth driving at low rpm on the torque rather than in the revs.
It's often about riding pleasure, but there's no greater pleasure than the safe option. This first beast should be easy to master. Modern motorcycles are all good, it's your driving that makes the difference. The right compromise is a versatile and manoeuvrable bike. A trail bike or roadster is therefore likely to end up in your final selection. After six months or 10,000km, your choice may seem a bit too sensible, but take the time to learn to master your pride and joy. Real experience is only gained after 2 years and 20,000km of practice. Be careful and enjoy the ride!