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How to Choose your First Motorcycle | RideTo
Tom Baker · July 15, 2018
You’ve passed your CBT, but what next? Here are a few handy tips on how to choose your first motorcycle.
Do you really need a 125cc motorcycle?
It’s tempting when looking for a new bike to get the biggest engine size available. After all, the higher the number, the better the bike, right? Well not necessarily.
A quick look at some fuel economy stats will show you that a 50cc Honda scooter will return around 140 mpg - that’s probably enough riding for a month on a single tank of fuel, so if you’re strapped for cash then a look at the scooter market may well be a worthwhile investigation.
But what about styling, surely there aren’t any decent looking 50cc motorcycles out there?
How about this Mash Dirt Tracker? With it’s 17” wheels and four speed transmission, it’s got the look of a larger machine - explicitly a Ducati Scrambler… Seriously guys? It’s near identical!) but with a simple, 125cc single-cylinder engine. It won’t win you any friends if you’re intending to ride on any faster A-roads, but if all you need to do is jet about town between work and home, then at less than £2700 it would be foolish for you to not at least take a cursory glance at a smaller machine such as this.
Should you buy a manual or an automatic?
If you’ve passed your CBT Training, then you’re entitled to ride both a geared or automatic bike. But what are the pros and cons for each type?
Changing gears on a motorcycle can be a pain, and if you’re a little snatchy with your clutch control then maybe an automatic gearbox could be a solid choice for you. If you live on a busy town or city and are expecting a lot of stop/start traffic on your rides then an automatic motorcycle is certainly worth a look.
That said, most riders who take their CBT are usually looking to use it as a route into riding larger machines at a later stage, and whilst some of the new ‘DCT’ (Dual Clutch Transmission) bikes released by the likes of Honda are impressive, they’re also still pretty rare on the roads these days and maybe a few months practicing your clutch control on a smaller capacity machine is just the rehearsal you’ll be needing before you progress onto a bigger bike.
Ultimately it’s your choice.
The truth of the matter is that everybody’s decision will be influenced by a mixture of budget, desire, preference and circumstance. Some people wouldn’t be seen dead on a Vespa, whilst other riders won’t consider a larger motorcycle because of their size. And we’ve not even begun to discuss running costs, insurance levels and the type of journey’s you’ll be regularly making.
aThe most important thing to be sure of when choosing your first bike is undoubtedly comfort. It really doesn’t matter what you ride as long as you feel safe, comfortable and happy with your shiny new - or second hand - steed! You’ve passed your CBT, but what next? Here are a few handy tips on buying your first motorbike.