Types of Motorcycles to Choose From
With so many different models of motorcycles to choose from, it can be quite confusing if you don’t know what you are looking for. Each motorcycle is classified by a particular type. This helps clarify what you will be getting with a particular model that falls under that particular category.
The most common type of motorcycle is the cruiser. These are very easy to handle and long lasting motorcycle models. This category also offers the consumer the most choice when it comes to style and design. The basic design of a cruiser features a standard seat, basic handle bars, and comfort. They are designed for easy turning as well as excellent handling even at top speeds. One draw back of cruisers is that they tend to be on the heavy side compared to other types of motorcycles.
Most custom motorcycles also fall under the category of a cruiser because of some of the design features and what the use they are designed for. Radically modified custom motorcycles referred to as choppers are also a type of cruiser bike. Another popular type of cruiser is the tour bike. This is designed for comfort at they are used for cross country trips and other long travels that you will want to be comfortable for.
Sport bikes are defined by their speed. If you are looking more for sheer power than for comfort, this is the category of bike for you. This type of bike generally isn’t recommended for long rides as they are designed for racing. Most sport bikes feature a sturdy suspension, and they are very light. They offer the operator the ability to make tight turns at neck breaking speeds.
A great combination option is the dual-sport style of motorcycle. This type of model features large tires and it can be ridden on any street or off road surface with ease. This is a great feature for someone who enjoys riding their motorcycle for commuting purposes as well as enjoys the off road excitement.
Many foreign sport bikes are referred to as Crotch Rockets. This is because the design of them requires the individual to lean forward towards the handle bars while riding. While many owners of these bikes find the position to be very comfortable so individuals find that it is uncomfortable compared to the position on a cruiser.
Off Road motorcycles are enjoyed by individuals of all ages as you don’t have to have a motorcycle license to legally ride one. They are illegal to ride on streets though. These types of bikes are often used for climbing dirt hills or racing around dirt tracks. They are commonly called dirty bikes by those who ride them. These types of motorcycles don’t feature headlights or turn signals.
Deciding which category of motorcycle you wish to purchase is only the beginning of the selection process. You will also need to determine the amount of money you wish to spend on a motorcycle, then compare the various models in that category that fit your price range. Take your time and try out several different models as well as brands of motorcycles. This will help you determine which ones feel the best to you. Once you have narrowed down your selection, take each for a test run to help you make a final decision.
Motorcycles Designed for Women
Most motorcycles are designed with men in mind, and it is true that they are the majority of the operators. However, there are many women who want to do more with a motorcycle than just ride on the back of it. Finding a motorcycle designed to fit a woman is more difficult and the choices are limited. However, it is very possible to find one if you know what to look for. More and more motorcycle manufacturers are becoming aware of this market.
For too long female motorcycle owners have been stereotyped as reckless women wearing all leather, smoking and drinking with a wild gang of bikers. Approximately 10% of motorcycle owners are women, and many more are interested in purchasing one. These women come from all walks of life. Some of them enjoy the thrill of riding their own bike while others find it a very economical way of commuting each day. The majority of women who do own motorcycles are in their 30’s, they have a family, and they are educated.
More than 80% of the motorcycles women purchase are cruiser models. Sports motorcycles are also very popular. Women prefer a motorcycle that is lighter weight, but they still want the power males crave with many motorcycle models. Today, many of the major motorcycle manufacturers are providing women with options for motorcycles that are light weight yet fast. These manufacturers include Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha.
Harley Davidson offers three models designed specifically for women – the Sportster, DynaGlider Low-Rider, and the XL 1200 Custom. Kawasaki offers women dirt bikes including the Ninja 500R and the ZZR600. Honda has followed suit with the Nighthawk 250CC and the Rebel 250CC. Suzuki offers the 650 Savage, Marauder 800CC, and the 800 Intruder.
If you are considering purchasing a motorcycle designed specifically for a woman, then these models give you plenty to choose from. Make sure you take your time and find the one that fits your body correctly. Sit on the motorcycle and make sure your feet are able to touch the ground on both sides. Make sure it is light enough that you can handle it. If you are struggling with it, then pass it over as you will have difficult controlling it on the road. Look for a motorcycle with a low, narrow seat. You also want long handle bars so that you can ride the motorcycle comfortably. If you plan to ride your motorcycle a great deal, you may consider having one custom built to fit your style and body.
Keep in mind that motorcycles for women are available in models that are recommended for a new rider and some that are for a more experienced operator. Make sure you take this into consideration while you are contemplating the motorcycle to purchase.
There are many online motorcycle clubs for women and magazines as well. Most of them are operated by other female motorcycle owners. This is a great place to ask questions and get valuable information as you look for one of your own. Online websites for female motorcycle owners are a great place to meet other women and to find out about various events and motorcycle rallies. You can even help set up a motorcycle event in your area. Fit out how other female motorcycle owners enjoy their bike. This is also a great place to find out reviews on various models and even to find used bikes for sale.
The stereotype of a “biker chick” is still in the minds of many people, but you would be surprised how many women have passed you on their motorcycle. It is often hard to tell if they are wearing a helmet. As the number of female motorcycle owners continues to grow, you can be sure there will be more models to select from. Manufacturers aren’t going to pass up this target population. The American Motorcyclist Association now has 265,000 registered female motorcycle owners, proving this to be more than a passing fad.
Learning how to Operate a Motorcycle
The idea of riding a motorcycle is to allow you the freedom of the open air while traveling. It can also be a very inexpensive way to travel or to commute. Learning how to operate a motorcycle is very important. You don’t want to be an inexperienced operator out there with so many other vehicles on the road. The process is quick for some, and others struggle to learn how to operate one. It comes down to learning the skills and believing in your ability to make it happen.
Keep in mind that the motorcycle you learn on is going to affect how well you are able to learn to operate it. Make sure it is designed to fit you. This can be some what tricky because many people learn how to ride a motorcycle on one that belongs to someone else. However, you need to make sure the motorcycle isn’t too heavy for you. It is important that you are able to touch the ground with both feet. Reaching the gas, brakes, and handle bars are essential as well. It is a good investment to find a cheap used bike that fits your body well. Once you have successfully learned to ride it well, consider upgrading to a better bike.
Make sure you learn from someone you trust and who is patient. Nothing can add to your insecurity as someone watching over you, especially if they are concerned about you damaging their motorcycle. If you don’t have someone you can comfortably learn from then you are wasting your time. It may be a worthwhile investment to enroll in a motorcycle instruction course and learn from someone who is trained to teach this skill.
Once you have managed the basics of motorcycle riding, continue practicing. Just like driving a vehicle, you will get better as you practice. Avoid riding on busy streets, highways, or interstates until you are very comfortable with your riding skills. Practice changing lanes, turns, curves, and sudden stops as these are all things you will experience once you are operating your motorcycle on the open road.
Practice riding your motorcycle in a variety of weather situations. This will give you some very important motorcycle skills that you won’t get anywhere else. You will be amazed at how different your motorcycle operates on a sunny day versus a very windy day. Being prepared for a variety of riding conditions is going to make you a much better operator. In time you will feel comfortable enough for long trips, maybe even to some of the wonderful motorcycle rallies that take place each year.
If you start small and practice hard, learning to operate a motorcycle will be a very rewarding experience for you. Too many beginners want a new motorcycle or the same power as their friends. They either find the motorcycle to be too much to handle or seriously injure themselves riding it. This can also cause you to loose interest in the idea of learning to ride it, and result in your selling it.
The motorcycle learning process can be a great experience if you aren’t in a hurry to be driving it fast on major road ways. Like anything else, your skills will only improve as you practice and learn from your own mistakes. Operating a motorcycle is a challenge that you will proudly succeed at if you work hard and follow the safety precautions of the road.
Obtaining a Motorcycle License
To operate a motorcycle on streets, an individual must obtain a motorcycle license. You do not need a license to operate a dirt bike as long as you keep it off of the streets. The procedure for doing so varies by state. In most states, you can obtain one at the age of 16, the same age for obtaining a regular driver’s license. The process involves a written test as well as a motorcycle driving test.
Keep in mind that if you get caught operating a motorcycle without a valid license, you face the same penalty in your state as driving a motor vehicle without a valid license. It is also very likely that the motorcycle you are operating will be impounded. Nationwide, 32% of motorcycle accidents involve those who do not hold a valid motorcycle license. Likewise, any person who has a suspended or revoked driver’s license won’t be allowed to obtain a motorcycle license either.
Each state offers a motorcycle operator manual for you to review free of charge. In some states, you can even review the information online. It is very important that you read the manual thoroughly and ask about any information you are not understanding. The information in this manual is what will be on the knowledge test you are required to pass in order to obtain a valid motorcycle license.
In some states, you will then be issued a motorcycle learners permit. This allows you to practice operating a motorcycle with the assistance of another licensed motorcycle rider. After a set amount of time or a set amount of practice hours, you will then be able to take a motorcycle operator skills test. Make you to bring along any safety equipment for riding that is required in your state. For states that don’t issue motorcycle learners permits, you will be issued your license upon successfully passing both the written and skills tests.
Make sure you have spent plenty of time going over the proper procedures for operating a motorcycle before you attempt to take the skills test. Test administration is very strict because of the huge risk operating a motorcycle comes with. Some of the same rules apply as when testing for a traditional driver’s license including looking in your mirrors, using signal lights, stopping appropriately, watching for pedestrians, and obeying posted speed limits.
Some common motorcycle skills you will be tested on include starting your motorcycle, stopping, turning, and balancing the bike. In some states, they set up an obstacle course for motorcycle testing that you have to be able to maneuver through. You can ask your local Department of Motor Vehicles what to expect on the skills test. This gives you plenty of time to practice particular skills before you test.
To find out the specific requirements including age, testing, cost, and other important information for obtaining a motorcycle license in your state contact your local department of motor vehicles. You can also find the information on the internet. If you are interested in learning to operate a motorcycle but don’t have anyone to teach you, consider enrolling in a motorcycle instructional course. This is a great way to develop the skills you need to operate a motorcycle safely and properly. You will also get a discount from most motorcycle insurance companies if you can verify you successfully completed such a class.