Standing in front of a sleek, 3 wheel motorcycle for sale, it’s very easy to be seduced by the shine of glistening chrome and the promise of adventure. But the relationship a rider develops with his or her bike changes – not only with the rev of the tachometer but also with the steady increase of miles.
Learning how to assess a motorcycle actually means learning how to assess whether a motorcycle is right for you. Determining whether you and your motorcycle are a good match requires that you ask the right questions about what you expect, what kind of riding you do and what level of motorcycle your current riding skills can handle. When you consider specific key qualities you will make better decisions about which make and model best suits you. This is invaluable when trying to determine if you’ve outgrown your current motorcycle or whether or not a different type of bike would be a better match for your riding style.
The four components for evaluating a motorcycle are: handling, comfort, dependability and, last but not least, overall sexiness.
A fine handling motorcycle turns power into grace. Handling is the ability to transfer engine output into an exhilarating sweep of forward momentum. However, no single motorcycle handles perfectly for every rider. Getting the most out of any bike is a matter of matching the rider’s experience and ability with the motorcycle’s technical capabilities.
There has been a trend toward bigger motorcycles. While large displacement motorcycles certainly have their place, this trend can be deceptive. Many accomplished riders still prefer the personality and nimbleness of lighter bikes. And novice riders should always start with smaller displacement motorcycles – 250cc or less. Besides what’s the point of owning the latest bike with the largest power plant if you’re only comfortable riding it slowly in a straight line?
Obviously an off-road rider will be looking for something different than someone who routinely chews up hundreds of highway miles. But a good indication of handling characteristics can be found in how well a motorcycle maneuvers at very low speed and how stable it feels at high speed. Solid, accurate shifting should be considered, as well as efficiency and sure-footedness in a hard breaking situation.
All it takes to get a sense of a motorcycle’s comfort factor is to spend a day on it. Greater physical demands and exposure to the elements are part of the allure of motorcycling. But if you perpetually want to end your ride at the chiropractor’s office there may be a problem.
Basic comfort is mostly a matter of suspension and ergonomics. These factors are designed into the motorcycle’s intended purpose. A steeply angled sport bike, with its aggressive rider position is intended to offer speed and agility – not long distance comfort. Cruisers and touring bikes have a more upright riding position, longer wheelbase and more compliant suspension.