Ren and the art of Motorcycles

Friday, August 04, 2006

Buying a new Motorcycle

For a woman, especially one as short as I am, 5'2", buying a new motorcycle requires a lot of research and work. I'm also a fairly new rider, as I've been riding for less than 5 years. I tend to be very cautious in riding. I don't try to do wheelies, I have almost never leaned the bike over so far that I have scraped metal parts and I don't weave in and out of traffic.

This is my fourth motorcycle. I have loved all the bikes I owned and learned what I like and dislike from each. My long trips have been to Americade and to Deal's Gap, North Carolina. Now I wanted a new bike. Since I'm commuting 40+ miles round trip daily, I want a bike that I can ride year round. It needs to have a seat low enough that I can get my feet down comfortably, enough voltage power to use a GPS and my Gerbing electric gear, and enough engine power to carry another adult passenger as my children, being in their mid teens, are adult in size.

I began my research with Motorcycle Consumer News. I read their reviews about all the bikes that interested me and created a spreadsheet. Then I went to each bikes' webpage and read what the manufacturer had to say. Then I checked out comments on the internet from owner forums, complaints, anything I could find.

I narrowed my decision down to 4 bikes based on engine power, seat height, and bike weight. I spent a few days going to various dealers and sitting on bikes. One disadvantage to buying a motorcycle is that you usually don't get to test drive them like you can a car. So, unless you have a friend with the bike you are interested in or a dealer is having a test ride day, your only exposure to any motorcycle is sitting on one in a showroom.

I found the bike that fit me, my wants and needs and my budget and bought it...a Suzuki SV650. Then I went into a frenzy buying the accessories I want for the bike ( a new seat, supports for hard luggage bags, wiring for the GPS, a centerstand).

Note to dealers: I was in several dealers alone and also with a male. I found I was often ignored while the man had salesmen all over him. I bought my new motorcycle from the dealer and the salesman who talked to ME, not the person with the XY chromosomes. Several dealers who sold the same motorcycle I bought lost my business thanks to their sales people.

Now, the only thing I have to do is ride. Since my motorcycle is my main mode of commuting, I have already put a lot of miles on it. I love my new bike and I can't wait till I can take my first long trip on it.


  • At 6:14 AM, Anonymous loanmotorcycle said…

    When you're buying a motorcycle you need to know about bikes, but you also need to know about how to buy a bike, and that has nothing to do with engines and manufacturing. One important detail where a lot of people that purchase motorcycles go wrong is getting the right loan.


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