Choosing the right motorcycle
Contributed by: Ryan Boehm (Sales Manager- High Road Langley)
It can be a daunting task trying to figure out what bike to buy, especially if it is you first bike. We all have a bike we want or think we want, but it is best to talk with sales professionals and get their professional opinion on it as well. Magazines and internet can only tell you so much. You need to actually go see, touch and sit on the bikes. And if the dealership allows a test ride (and yes, we do offer test rides at both our Vancouver and Langley locations)
We all seem to get drawn in by size, whether it be engine size (CC) or physical size. When it comes to physical size, especially weights and seat heights it is best to take them with a grain of salt and actually go sit on the bike.
Posted seat heights can be deceiving. For example, 2 different bikes both have a 30-inch seat height but both fit VERY different. The posted seat heights don’t take into account how wide the seat is. A bike with a 31-inch NARROW seat may actually be fit you better than a 30-inch-WIDE seat. The wider the seat the further you need to open your legs up making you shorter. And the opposite for a narrow seat, your legs are closer together in effect making you taller. A lot of bike manufactures now offer low and tall seat options as well as factory lowered suspension. And if the bike you REALLY want does not have these options, there are other aftermarket solutions we can try. So, don’t give up on your dream bike yet!
Posted weights are no different. A bike weighing 500 pounds may feel heavier than a 650-pound bike. It all depends on the centre of gravity, handle bar position, seating position and the style of motorcycle. Also check if these are DRY or WET weights. Dry meaning no fuel or fluids and wet meaning full of fuel and all fluids. Going into your local dealership and sitting on bikes will give you a real sense of the weight and how it feels for you.
The final and usually biggest hurdle for people is engine size and CC size. We have all been told “don’t get a bike that is too big “or “don’t buy too small a bike “Yes engine size is important BUT in saying that the configuration of the motor and style of bike are equally, if not more important. For example, a 600 CC inline 4 cylinder will have more and different power delivery than that of a 650 CC single or twin cylinder. Most of todays bikes have “adjustable power “at the flick of switch. This is not a replacement for riding experience or skill, but it can come into play on your engine size decision.
There are several things to consider before buying your first or next bike. Everyone has their favorite bike or dream bike but do yourself a favor and go sit on every style of bike you can. You just never know unless you try.