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The beginner's guide to buying your first bike online

8th September 2015 Print

The time has come to buy your own motorbike. You’re confident on the road, and you’ve proven you’re worthy of a licence. Now it’s time to take a trip to an esteemed motorcycle dealer like Metropolis Motorcycles or see what you can find online. But before you open your wallet, here are some pointers to help you make the choice that’s right for you.  

You’ve still got a lot to learn

As a general rule, veer away from bikes with engines larger than 600cc if you’re just starting out on two wheels. Since you’re still in your formative period as a rider, you’ll learn to be a better one and won’t develop so many bad habits if you’re on a slower bike.  

How and where will you ride?

Buy the bike to suit your circumstances. Do you need a cruiser that’s suited to long-distance riding? Something small and nippy for negotiating traffic and winding streets? Maybe you live in a rural area of hills and uneven roads. The way you ride will probably mean you have to prioritise one or two features over others, such as ride comfort over looks.

Select the best fit

The ergonomic experience of riding a bike is far more important than that of a car. If your stance as you ride on one particular bike is dramatically more comfortable than on any other, then that’s the one for you. It’s no good choosing a sports bike that gives you backache. If nothing else, it’s unsafe. If you find a potential buy online, it’s always best to try it out for size before parting with any cash.

New v second-hand

One of the pluses of buying a used bike is that it probably won’t be in tip-top, pristine condition. Therefore, should you prang it as you pick up confidence, it won’t matter so much. However, try not to pick up a too-battered example - that could mean it’s not so reliable. A new bike, on the other hand, is a far more expensive option, but will likely come with some kind of warranty.

Budget for more than the bike

The payouts don’t stop when you’ve bought your bike. There’s safety gear to consider (at the minimum, a helmet and gloves) as well as insurance and running costs. A more popular bike will often be cheaper to maintain and repair than an imported rarity due to the prevalence of parts.

Make sure you love it!

Since the very act of riding a bike is a more physically intense one than driving a car, you must be sure that your choice is worth the extra effort. Once you’ve sized up the financial elements, and had a possible candidate checked over by a mechanic or expert, you need to be sure you’ll love riding it even after the initial thrill of being a motorcycle rider fades. After all, riding a bike is less a practical choice than a passionate one.

For more advice, head to – while on, you’ll find the questions you can’t afford not to ask a seller.