Should you buy a motorcycle before taking the MSF course? Many have done so. It is best, however, to wait until you are licensed so you can test ride before buying to be sure it suits you. If you do buy early, keep it in the garage until you have passed the course and are licensed. Until you have received proper instruction you are not qualified to do any more than sit on the bike uttering vroom, vroom sounds.
While waiting to take the course you can be doing research to prepare for buying your first bike and properly equipping yourself with safety gear. If you are not yet sure of what style bike you want to ride, this is the time to start learning more about the different types of motorcycles.
Buy smart. Chances are the bike you really want should not be your first bike. It will be too large and/or too powerful for a beginning rider. Keep in mind that this is your first bike, not your ultimate bike. If you buy an inappropriate bike it may well be your last bike.
A common recommendation is that you spend a year of so (3,000 miles) on a 500cc or smaller standard style bike, or a 750cc or smaller cruiser style bike, or if you have long legs, a 650cc or smaller dual sport bike. Think twice and then think again before buying a larger bike. Do believe the mantra: large and heavy or powerful bikes are not for beginners.
Horsepower—A Beginner’s Enemy
By all means, stay away from the high performance bikes (super sport, race replica, street fighter, super bike) like you would the plague. Because they will bring a plague upon you consisting of gobs of horsepower, insane acceleration, a twitchy throttle and deadly serious braking power. These bikes require a practiced, smooth and steady touch to stay out of trouble. As a new rider you will be anything but smooth and steady. Riding such a bike as a beginner is like lighting off fireworks while sitting on a barrel of gasoline. The fact that some new riders select these bikes and live to tell their tales is not a good reason to put yourself in harms way. Some people do stupid things and get away with it. Others are not so lucky.
Beyond the fact that the performance bikes and large, heavy cruisers substantially increase your risk, is the fact that they detract from the joy and fun of your early riding experience. Just controlling the bike and trying to survive will leave little time to truly enjoy the ride. Smaller, less powerful bikes make the job of learning and building your skills so much easier. The smaller bike will be much more maneuverable, agile and provide more pure joy while you are learning. So, should your first bike be a Hayabusa? I don’t think so.
Riding motorcycles is an inherently dangerous activity. Don’t increase the risk by trying to learn on an inappropriate bike. You don’t want your first bike to be your last bike, do you?
New or Used?
A used bike, preferably a model without fairing which is expensive to replace should you drop the bike, is your best investment. This eliminates the large first year depreciation incurred with a new bike. By not investing too much in your first bike, you won’t have to keep it as long to get full value from it. Put the money you save into your second bike savings account. After a year or two of riding, you will be much more knowledgeable about the type of bike you really want and have the experience to handle a larger, higher performance bike.
Also most new riders drop their bike at least once at barely moving speed, while stopped or while parking the bike, So don’t be surprised if it happens to you. It is easier on the ego and wallet if the bike you just dropped has a few dings from prior owners and does not have an expensive-to-replace fairing. If you shop and buy wisely you can resell the bike, after riding it for a year or two, for the same or not much less than you paid for it. Used beginner bikes in good condition are always in demand.
Be extra cautious when buying a bike ten or more years old. Doing so exposes you to outlays of cash to repair the bike and/or make it safe for the street. Rubber, belts, seals, fuel tanks, seats, cables and wiring deteriorate with age. They deteriorate faster if the bike is not ridden and maintained regularly. A bike that has been sitting for years is a bike to skip. It may look like a good bike and good deal at first glance, but may be a money pit in disguise. As a beginner you don’t need the grief. Also, newer model bikes are safer and more enjoyable. Brakes, suspension, handling and reliability are much better on newer model bikes.
This is from another website I found that gives advice on purchasing motorcycles.