It’s a fair question that’s asked a lot – “What’s the best bike for me to buy?”
The answer is, there is no simple answer and like with cars, there’s no single “best” bike.
Really, the best bike is the one that fits you and suits the purpose you’re buying the bike for.
And just like buying a car, there are some things to consider that can make the decision easier.
Start with what you’re buying a motorcycle for.
Do you want the bike to commute to work in a city or suburban environment? If that’s the case, if you’re only going to be travelling on roads that have speed limits of up to 80km/h, and you regularly need to carry things with you then a small scooter could be the best machine to buy.
They’re practical, have more than enough power to cope with suburbia, light and easy to manoeuvre and park, and they’re cheap to own and run.
Just remember though, that appropriate riding gear is still a necessity. Just because “it’s only a scooter” doesn’t mean you’ll get hurt less if you fall off. A crash at 50km/h from a scooter does the same damage as a crash from a big powerful sports bike at the same speed.
If you plan on a bit of suburban riding and commuting but also want to go for a run in the country of a weekend, then maybe a small naked bike like a Suzuki Inazuma 250, Kawasaki Z300 or Yamaha MT-03 might be a good choice.
The weight and physical size of the bike is also something to consider. There’s an old saying that “if you can’t pick the bike up, then it’s too big for you”, but it’s one I don’t exactly agree with.
I’d prefer to consider that statement this way – if you find the bike too big and heavy to handle at low speeds then it’s too big for you. You don’t want to be worrying about dropping it all the time, let alone having to pick it up.
Once we start getting into bigger bikes they can also be a bit too much to handle around traffic.
A 1000cc sports bike isn’t designed to be ridden slowly through traffic (that doesn’t mean ride it fast through traffic!!), and a Honda Goldwing that’s designed for touring probably isn’t the sort of bike you want to be riding to work either.
Both of these classes of motorcycles are at home on the open roads, and once again they serve different purposes.
A sports bike is good for a fun trip through some twisty mountain roads, but is utterly painful if you wanted to take a passenger on a long trip. There’s no room for storage and the unlucky passenger is likely to have his or her knees up around their waist for the length of the trip.
Touring bikes like the Triumph Trophy SE, on the other hand, are the sort of bike you need for a long leisurely trip and can be very practical even around town.
There’s so many things to consider, and once again, like buying a car it’s not something to rush in to.
Of course your budget will be a big factor in your decision as well.
Do your research, read reports, talk to other riders – even contact us for advice – but above all test ride the bike you’re thinking of buying.
Make sure you feel comfortable on the bike, and even though you may love the look of it, ask yourself one crucial question – “Is this bike going to be easy for me to live with?”