What’s the right bike…for me?
Like many who ride bikes, I am easily enticed by another bike or a newer model.
Don’t get me wrong…I love my bike and think it’s the best bike I’ve ridden…but…I sometimes feel that I wish it was good…or better, for this or that type of trip. I wish it was great for autobahns and green lanes alike…a thrill sports and a laid back cruiser…a bar hopper and a grand tourer.
In brief I want it to be an individual bike with its own character, but I also want it to be the ‘everybike’. I don’t want much do I? And I can see why for some riders out there, that having one bike is just not enough, and we’d like to build up a stable of bikes…a bike for each occasion!
How do we choose our next bike or why do we stick with the one we’ve got? What do we look for in a motorcycle? Is it: speed & handling performance, economy, versatility, off road capability, aesthetics or safety?
SAFETY!!! Urrgh…there’s that word again! Would this really be a consideration when buying a bike? Unlike cars in which there is a measurable safety testing system such as ENCAP, bikes are much less considered.
Yes, we’d like bits to work properly and not be falling off…so safety is a consideration in that regard, but not necessarily when comparing one model against another, unless we’re factoring for mechanical features e.g. ABS, traction control etc.
So, really, we have a general idea of what make and model we like and then all of our attention is focussed on whether it will suit our needs and fulfil our wishes. Do we like the look of it…will it be a head turner…will it cause uncontrollable grinning anytime we ride it? Have we made our choice before even viewing the model of bike?
A few years ago I actively changed the way in which I selected a bike to buy. Whereas in the past I would look at a bike that I liked the look of or just thought…”That’ll do”, this time I approached from another angle.
I focussed on what kind of riding I wanted to do, what kind of distances and would I likely carry a pillion? I considered engine sizes and power to weight ratios but one of the most important things was the overall size of the bike…would it fit me…or rather would I fit it?
I really focussed on ride-ability and comfort, and when I had figured that out then I looked at the types of bikes that I thought might do the job and that I thought I’d like to ride and I liked the look of.
I researched reviews and had lots of test rides of different bikes, some worked really well and others were just not for me at all! I was aware of still trying to keep an open mind for other models after riding a bike that I really liked and that certainly occurred, as the first bike I test rode was actually the model bike I ended up buying. So even with my changed approach I cannot say with any certainty that my mind had not already been made up before I even started looking.
It ticked virtually every box I really wanted at the time…but in truth I wasn’t really actively thinking about safety or safety features when I bought it. It was stable and felt and rode great…’it felt planted’ and yes I was grinning from ear to ear…
So after a couple of years have passed and still loving the bike, it doesn’t stop me thinking about getting another one or trading in. So… I’m still asking: “What’s the right bike for me?” and “How do I choose the next bike?”