When you’re looking to buy a used motorcycle, the same rules apply for buying a used car. Exercise due diligence and compare the VIN, tag number and mileage on the bike to the title and registration. Buying from a larger motorcycle dealer is generally safer. They’re not going anywhere and have invested heavily in their reputations. Furthermore, many reputable dealers commonly offer some kind of warranty.
First, decide which category of bike you want. Is it a sport bike like a Triumph 675 or an adventure/dual-purpose machine such as the BMW GS? Are you looking for a motocross/dirt bike, like the Kawasaki KX250, or a boulevard cruiser like the Harley Fat Boy? Maybe you want a loaded touring rig like the Honda Gold Wing. If you don’t already have some training or riding experience, check out the MSF Rider Course or equivalent training.
Get the Gear Before You Get it IN Gear
If you need help choosing the right gear for your type of riding, your best options are to check out a motorcycle accessories store, as it will have trained experts who will assist you to make the right choices. To make sure you have all the stuff you need, here’s a convenient list of recommended products:
- Helmet: Get the right head gear for your riding niche — full-face for sport biking, half to three-quarter for cruisers or tourers, MX for dirt/motocross, etc. Top brands include Shoei, Arai, and HJC. Don’t forget the face shield or goggles.
- Jacket and/or Pants: There is specialized apparel for every kind of riding. Materials include leather, rip-stop nylon, Gore-Tex, polyamide fabric and other patented textiles. High-speed, high-performance garments have sewn-in or removable abrasion protection inserts made of polycarbonate, Kevlar or carbon fiber. Almost everybody wears a jacket, and those who race or otherwise ride hard wear specialized pants, too. Additionally, street/road riders typically carry a rain suit in their saddlebags or tank bags for those sudden rainstorms. In cold weather, it’s prudent to own an insulated riding suit similar to the VentureHeat MC-20 line. Popular clothing makers are AlpineStars, Joe Rocket and Icon.
- Gloves: There are many styles, genres, brands and models of motorcycle gloves. Styles include street, sport, touring, long, short, mid-length, rain, snow, wind-resistant, armored, off-road, MX, enduro and oodles of other kinds. Scores of construction materials, colors and sizes are available. You can spend a week online comparing. The best brands are Tour Master, Dainese and FirstGear.
- Boots: Boots are specialized for each category of riding, including MX, road racing, etc. Even street boots have a special shifter pad sewn onto the toe and thicker material built into the ankles. These details cost a pretty penny, but are worth it to serious riders in need of specialized gear.