Hello and welcome to Alex's Blog. I've given you guides on to buying kit (and will give some more on other items in the future!) but how about a guide to buying a bike to use that kit on?
Not a lot of people realise that J&S Accessories Ltd actually sells bikes too but we do! Our Oakmere and Doncaster stores have our main bike showrooms with both new and second hand bikes to choose from and experienced staff to help you in your choice of bike.
So if you want a new bike there are a lot of things you will want to consider - I spoke to Steve Bourne from our Oakmere motorcycle sales and he recommends looking at the following:
Do you have the correct safety equipment? – No matter what bike you ride, this is imperative. Luckily you're at the right place if not! Anything you don't have we definitely do! With 30 stores nationwide and an online store you can always come to us. Also you may want to consider your budget. Its all well and good thinking you have a certain amount to spend but if you don't have any of the kit to ride it with then you need to allow for the kit too.
Do you have the correct licence and what age are you? – If you're just starting out try to find out as much information as you can. You must get a Provisional Licence and do Compulsory Basic Training to be allowed to ride on public roads. You must pass both parts of your practical test within 2 years. You can apply for a Provisional Licence at 15 years and 9 months and take your test at 16. If you are 16 you can only ride a 50cc motorcycle. You will also need to take a CBT.
Vespa Primavera 50
Piaggio Typhoon 50 2T
You have to be 17 to ride a motorcycle and you can ride a 125. You have to take a CBT and Theory test and Practical tests. You can do Direct Access which is like a course done quickly or Progressive access over a period of time.
Aprilia Tuono 125
Suzuki VanVan 125
If you're coming back to biking after a long break, do you need a refresher course, do you need to consider that bikes may have changed and are now more powerful than they were?
What do you want your bike for? – Some people like a certain style of bike, but you really need the best bike to suit your needs. It's no good getting a balls out racer when you only want to commute 3 miles to work! You would need something that is economical and hard-working and is good in all weathers. There are some customers who like to cruise in the good weather and this is best suited to a custom bike or the cruiser style and then there are bikes for track days and for faster touring or road work around the twisties (all within the speed limits of course!!). We are all individual and all have different ideas about what we want from a motorcycle.
Aprilia RSV4 RF
Vespa GTS Touring 300
Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic Special Edition
Make and Models – Do your homework, study the market and check out the different makes. Listen to your mates and study the forums on the internet. Not all bikes are the same. Speak to experienced riders about biking life in general and their experiences. Go to the dealers and sit on as many bikes as you can to get the “feel” of them. Also don't go too big too soon. You may love the look of an R1 but if you're inexperienced and quite a timid rider you won't really be getting the best out of the bike (it'll be getting the better of you!) A lot of people work up to their dream bike and are better riders because of it.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10RR Performance
Yamaha XV950 Racer
Suzuki GSX R750
Yamaha MT 03
Also do you like the idea of maintainable free shaft drive or the lighter, less power sapping chain, or the compromise of belt drive? Again, research is the best option here. Another question is do you like the wail of four cylinders or the rumble of two, the compromise of a triple or the simplicity of a single? Do you like the stripped back, easy to maintain naked or the easy to clean fully faired? Will you be carrying a pillion or going solo? Sportier bikes aren't generally very comfy for a pillion and if you're planning to take a pillion often then their comfort will have to be considered.
Comfort – Things to consider are, how tall are you, are you in a comfortable riding position? Do you have a disability which makes things more difficult for you to ride – do you need adaptations? How far will you be riding and do you need luggage? Not all bikes are the same and not all of the same style are the same either. A Triumph Tiger has a different riding position to a Honda CB1300 for example, even though they look the same. Definitely sit on the bike and see how you feel.
How are you going to fund your new hobby/necessity? – Check out the best deals at your dealers. Most, like ourselves, will do 0% Finance on some new models and also some good second-hand deals especially at Registration changeover time. You may also wish to buy outright or get a bank loan or even better a loan from the bank of mum and dad!
Where will you store the bike? – This is important as you need to be aware of the aftercare. If you are storing a bike outside, then you will need to take great care of any mechanical parts which may rust and tyres which will perish faster. Chrome is also harder to look after if a bike is kept outside. It is advisable to buy a shelter or good outdoor cover. Even if a bike is garaged you still need to prepare it for the winter months.
Will you need any extras? - Do you want to customise or add extra luggage? Is it possible on the bike that you want? Find out as much as you can as to what is available for the model you want. Our staff in all of our 30 stores can advise you on what luggage will fit etc. Do you need your bike to have luggage capacity? How often, realistically, will you use it?
Other things to consider: – It is always a good idea to keep to the service schedule of your bike. This helps keep the residual value and keep your machine in tip top condition inside as well as out. Also, budget for unforeseen repairs that may occur such as needing tyres, chains and sprockets etc. It may also be a good idea to invest in breakdown cover if you do a lot of miles.
Another thing you may want to do is learn about basic maintenance. Changing your oil, looking after your chain and generally how to clean your bike is all important to keep it road worthy but also this can stop you from costly repairs too. Also do you care about depreciation? Or is it just about the bike/ride for you? Are you planning to keep this for life?
Also the most important factor in choosing the right bike for you is will it make you feel great every time you ride it? If the answer is yes then you've fund the right one for you!
Until next time, stay safe