A Guide To Buying Your First Bike

With modern cities becoming just a bit more congested every year, people are coming back to motorbikes, being reminded of how fun and efficient they are. Back in the earlier days, if you were looking for Kawasaki motorbikes, then you were likely a hardcore rider or enthusiast. But now, technological and engineering advancements, as well as increasing traffic, means that they’re an option for a wide demographic.

So, how do you find which bike to get for your first time? We’ve written up a bit of a guide, which classifies bikes into eight classifications, to help discover which bike is right for you.

Cruiser

One of the more romantic types of bikes; sporting appealing aesthetics and fierce engine sounds, and is a common choice for actual biker types and more common folk. It’s also a great first choice, thanks to a low seating position, and ease of riding, with an chassis designed for a smooth delivery of power aimed at , well, cruising, rather than pure power. If you want a cruiser with more power, there are ‘power cruisers’ that provide more kick. There are 250cc models, for the city, to 2,000cc monsters, CC being cubic centimetre, which is the commonly used unit of measurement for most motorbike engines.

Sport

The antithesis to cruisers, sports are all about speed, and they’re proud of it. Top-end sport bikes sport more than 200 horsepower and have top speeds higher than 200mph. They can keep up, if not outrun, the fastest exotic supercars. They’re fun, but, clearly not the best option for a starter. There are, however, options for novice bikers, with 300-500cc sport bikes, which retain the aesthetics of their more exotic siblings, while retaining all of the tech, like ride modes, fuel injection, ABS brakes and the like. If you opt for something like this, you’re not only going to need good gear for riding, but some serious training.

Standard

The jack-of-all-trades, built to just be ‘motorbikes’, before the days where a list like this would be needed. A standard is a flexible choice, making it a great starter option. You can put on saddlebags, a windscreen, backrest, or whatever else you want. Or not, and just speed with it. Standards range from 250cc to 1,200cc, so you need to put your leg over a lot of bikes to see what feels right for you and fits your budget; generally, a good range is between 500cc to 700cc, depending on your size.

Dual-sport/ADV

Whenever you think of Kawasaki motorbikes, dirt bikes tend to pop up. But there’s also ADVs, or adventure bikes, which are basically the hybrid of street bikes and dirt bikes, able to be ridden on or off the pavement legally.  They’re flexible, but in a different way from Standard; simple in design, lightweight, good on gas, tough, fun to ride, and tough. Yes, tough, twice. Off-roading does a number on bikes, but dual-sports can handle it. They range from 250cc machines that are good for city traffic and off-road trails, to 1,200cm monsters that are designed for cross-country trips.

Touring

Touring bikes are those who want the experience of riding a motorbike but still experience the comforts that a car provides. Touring bikes, also known as ‘dressers’, have   lot of bells and whistles; automatic transmission, stereos, heated seats, GPS, and other things. Unless riding long-distances is something you really want, another bike is a better option, as dressers sit at the larger end of the scale, in weight, size, and power. Their cousins, the ‘baggers’, sport less weight and features, but are just as good with long-distance travel.

Dirt

A dirt bike is only for those who want to off-road and nothing else, as they aren’t street legal. They tend to be on the tall side, like their dual-sport cousins, but there’s a lot of options, all the same. There are 50cc models for kids, 200-350cc iterations for starters, and even 450-500cc beasts for those that want something more daring. Proper gear is paramount if you plan on biking on the dirt, and learning to handle the dirt is great for when you want to ride on the streets. Remember, you cannot ride these bikes to the dirt, so you’ll need a pickup, or something similar to transport your bike.

Electric

Like with cars, electric engines are also becoming more popular with bikes. When it comes to the urban settings, a modern electric bike is king; the perfect beginner bikes thanks to their streamlined designs, and good acceleration. Range and costs tend to be issues, but, if you can get past that, you’ll be riding with the cutting-edge of transportation technology, which is way more fun than it sounds.  A model like  Zero DSR ($18,000) represent the more affordable options, and are worth it if you want to get around the city in short order, all with minimal noise and without wasting a single drop of fuel.

Scooter

The modern version of scooter is a great option for urban travel, sporting light frames, great comfort and helpful tech. They’re great for starters, with a wide range of options for riders. Scooters start at 50cc, though you’ll need some bottom-tier motorbike endorsement on your license. If you want more speed, there’s 150cc machines, which give more speed, on top of increased carrying capacity and tech assistance.

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