Bikesure ambassador UsernameKate, AKA Kate Ralph of Bolton in Lancashire, offers five tips if you have passed your test and are buying your first motorbike.
And her advice comes with huge experience because the rising YouTube star has held sales roles for some of the world’s top bike brands such as Harley-Davidson, Ducati and, since March 2020, BMW.
It’s not just selling bikes, UsernamKate has experience buying them too and currently owns a Triumph Street Triple 765 RS, Suzuki GSXR 750 K6 Trackheap and Beta Alp 200. She also gets to ride many other motorcycles in test rides and bike reviews on her YouTube channel.
UsernameKate said: “It’s understandable to be blinded by the vast number of options and possibilities when it comes to buying your first bike.
“Here you will find five important things to consider when choosing a motorcycle that is suitable for your first bike.”
1 What type of riding are you looking to do?
As a salesperson, this is one of the fundamental questions that I ask potential customers when they are looking at buying their first motorbike. It ‘s important to establish what’s going to be the most suitable bike for them and their individual situation.
If you are simply looking for a Sunday toy, the practicality of a bike may not be so important, so fill your boots with that obnoxious exhaust and lack of screen to help with wind protection.
If you are looking at doing some big mile munching, comfort and fuel range might be some of the key features that you need to look out for.
2 Research, research and research some more!
There are many ways to conduct your research when buying your first motorbike. You have professional sources like manufacturer websites and there are motorcycle news outlets such as MCN and Visordown to get facts and figures.
You can also sometimes learn real life ownership experiences from genuine bikers that are on Facebook owners groups, or even just by chatting with fellow bikers at local bike meets. They’ve usually spent their hard earned cash on their motorcycles and are often quite vocal about the things they like and the things they dislike about their bikes.
You can usually find lots of hidden gems in anecdotal tales on Facebook — things to look out for, weak areas, strong suits etc.
3 Should you buy privately or from a dealership?
A common dilemma when buying your first motorbike is whether or not to buy from a dealership or from a private seller.
Pros to buying from a dealership? You usually get some form of warranty which can be particularly comforting in case anything goes wrong. It usually means you won’t be lumbered with a huge repair bill. An obvious downside to this is, usually, you will pay a premium for this safety blanket.
Pros to buying privately? The poor sod you’re buying the bike from has already taken a hit on the VAT if the bike is nearly new, meaning you save £££s.
If the bike is already quite old and has done a lot of miles, you might be looking at a bike that’s relatively “depreciation proof”.
Some bikes like Suzuki Bandits and Honda Hornets for example, can be picked up for around £2,000 and under.
One of the worries with buying a bike from a private seller is that once you’ve done the deal, the bike is “sold as seen” meaning if it starts to show any mechanical or electrical problems after you’ve purchased it – it’s your responsibility to put it right!
4 Worried that you won’t ask the right questions?
Take someone along with you to view with you when buying your first motorbike. Take someone who is confident, who knows about bikes and knows what questions to ask. A second pair of eyes and a second set of ears are always a good thing to have when parting with your hard earned cash money.
When I bought my first track bike, I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for, so I brought along a racer that I know for a second opinion. He checked over the bike and of course, it’s still risky as the engine could have been a pig, however he listened to it running and he could tell it didn’t sound like a bag of spanners and that it was probably a safe bet.
5 Can you afford buying your first motorbike?
Cost of buying yiur first motorbike is a critical factor. It’s all well and good saying, “I have £3,000 to buy a bike”. But do you?
Have you considered that ever growing road tax? Have you thought about the costs of insurance? Have you acknowledged servicing and maintenance costs? What about when you’re due a new set of tyres?
Though motorcycles are a labour of love, they can also be a bit of a money pit if you aren’t prepared. Be realistic in what you can afford and don’t get caught out!
I hope this guide has been of use to you and we wish you all the best in purchasing your first motorcycle!
Insurance when buying your first motorbike
However much you spend and whichever motorcycle you end up buying, Bikesure will find you a competitive insurance quote that won’t compromise on quality.
As a specialist motorbike broker we will compare motorcycle insurance from dozens of providers to find you the very best deal, whatever your personal needs and even if it is your first bike. We treat all our customers as individuals and because we have access to more than 40 different motorbike and moped insurance schemes, you can be sure there will be one suited to you.
Call 0330 123 1028 to get a great quote or book a call-back at a time that suits you.