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Motorcycle Buyer's Guide: How to Buy a Motorcycle

So, you've finally decided that you're ready to buy that motorcycle you've been dreaming about for the past 10 years. Congratulations! Do you know how to buy a motorcycle? This ATV buyer's guide will provide everything you need to know before you buy. Whether you're a seasoned expert or just getting started, the following will be beneficial to you.

Hopefully, you've already taken at least one motorcycle safety course and gotten your motorcycle license. If you haven't, you should do it before you buy a motorcycle - you'll definitely want to ride home from wherever you buy it! If you already you're your license, you've probably got a few in hand and ready to buy - but you're not exactly sure what to look for or what to expect.

Here are a few tips that should help you figure out how to buy a motorcycle:

1. If you've been dreaming about motorcycles for years, you probably already have an idea of what kind of bike you want. It doesn't matter if you're in love with Harleys, Yamahas or Honda's - you want a bike that will provide you with years of service. For most of us, a buying a bike is an emotional process and it's hard to put your needs before your wants. You must prioritize.

2. Think about what kind of riding will you be doing? Commuting or cruising? How far will you ride? Is gas mileage important? Will you be riding solo or with a passenger?

3. Cost. A lot of people shop based solely on the cost of the bike. You should also take into consideration the true operating cost of the bike, including the sticker price. Monthly payments, maintenance, insurance and gas can add up quickly!

4. Which features are important to you? Comfort, style, color? Remember to take into consideration things like engine size, available options and ergonomics. You'll want a bike that has the right height, reach and weight - the last thing you want is a bike that you're not comfortable on. The more flexible you are about specifics, the more options and bargaining power you have!

5. Once you figure out the above, you should be able to narrow your choices down to just a few bikes. Now it's time to start visiting the dealerships or shopping the local ads. Get a solid idea of what the average selling prices are of each of the bikes you're interested in from both dealers and private sellers.

6. If you can, try to buy during the winter months when sales are slow and dealers are trying to move last year's inventory. You could end up saving a lot of money (you'll just have to wait longer to take your first long ride!).

7. Take a test ride. This is crucial! You should test ride each and every bike you're interested in, even if the one you ride may not be the one you ultimately end up buying. Also, if you ride the bikes consecutively, you'll be able to see the differences between them more easily, which should help you make your decision.

8. Last, before you buy a new motorcycle you should look it over. Yes, you expect it to be in perfect condition, but it still may have defects or damage from shipping or test driving. Oh, and make sure it comes with a warranty! You'll be glad you took the time to do this if something ever goes wrong.


Custom Chopper Kits

Choosing the parts that your custom chopper will be made of can be very confusing, considering the large numbers of custom chopper bike kits available on the market today. Chopper innovators like Biker's Choice, Phantom Cycle, Paul Yaffe and many more sell chopper-in-a-box kits available for chopper enthusiasts. Thanks to these kits, custom choppers have become quite affordable and are no longer necessarily toys for millionaires or master mechanics.

Custom chopper kits provide the future chopper owner with all the instructions and just about every component necessary to create a perfect chopper of ones dreams. Jesse James, famous for his Discovery series "Monster Garage", offers a Big Book catalogue loaded with individual parts and accessories needed to create a fully custom bike with truly unusual frame configurations and groundbreaking metal sheet parts as seen on his TV show. However, the most exquisite details, such as an unusual tortoiseshell finish of the gas tank, can be obtained in your custom chopper only if you have your chopper built from scratch by Jesse himself.

Before you start building your custom chopper you need to ask yourself what kind of chopper are you interested in building. Then you have to set up a budget for parts, labor and inevitable cost overruns. The price of the parts has scared many chopper enthusiasts from building a custom chopper of their own, but if you have exact specifications and the time and skills to invest into the project, then parts can be fairly inexpensive. If you choose the parts for your kit at the lower end spectrum, you will still end up with bike that will look like a Jesse James creation but will still have enough money left to throw a party when your new chopper leaves the garage.

When you select the parts for your custom chopper kit, try to use the most genuine parts available on the market within your price range. Sometimes even if you have a beautiful design in-mind, you can end up with poor-looking chopper, due to a lack of attention to detail by different suppliers

Complete custom chopper kits typically consists of an engine, chassis kit, exhaust pipes, tires, steel tanks and other metal parts, taillights, various controls, a seat, headlamp and many more. The extras supplied with a chopper kit would vary depending on the brand of chopper chosen. To finish your project, you will need paint and sometimes battery acid. Most chopper kits do not provide mirrors, speedometers or other accessories. These you can buy separately according to your taste.

To avoid unpredictable result, experienced chopper builder recommend waiting until you can afford buying all the accessories from one manufacturer. Waiting may not be easy when it comes to building your dream come true. But when you finally complete your custom chopper, you will be really glad you waited.


Motorcycles as an Alternative Mode of Transport

In an age where road congestion, pollution and fuel prices are considerably high, no person could ever be blamed for ditching their car and turning to human-powered transport instead; be it walking or cycling. And bicycles are indeed a fantastic alternative to cars - they are mobile, free to operate, easy on the environment and ultimately, they are great for keeping fit.

However, the one major drawback of bicycle transport is the lack of any real kind of speed. Yes, cycling is quicker than walking, but given that bikes aren't allowed on bypasses or motorways, they are really only suitable for short city commutes. And this is why many people choose to compromise between motorised 4-wheel transport and bicycles. Motorcycles have many of the advantages of their pedal-powered counterparts; they are mobile and can bypass traffic jams with relative ease.

Furthermore, they aren't nearly as harmful on the environment as other road vehicles, consuming around half the amount of fuel per mile than that of the average car. And given the soaring cost of petrol throughout much of the world in recent times, this works out pretty well on the wallet too.

Moreover, motorcycles have many of the main advantages of cars; they are fast, reliable and are allowed on city bypasses and motorways everywhere, which is ideal when trying to avoid city congestion. But when deciding to make the change from 4-wheeled to 2-wheeled transport, there are some key differences to be wary off, which can ensure a much safer existence on the roads.

Firstly, it is all too easy to go very fast with next to no effort on a motorcycle. And this is why it's important to learn how to shift, brake and take corners smoothly; this will be taught in the motorcycle licence test, but to hone these skills will take time. In a car, braking is performed entirely with the foot; on a motorcycle, however, the foot only controls the rear brake. If the rear brake is applied without the front brake, this can lead to what is known as a 'highside', which essentially means that the bike is flipped sideways, throwing the rider off in the process.

In addition, the need to wear adequate protective gear cannot be overstated either. In most countries, it is mandatory to wear a motorcycle helmet; but it is highly recommended that you wear as much protective gear as possible, such as leather jackets and trousers, gloves and boots.

Of course, it is also essential to take out adequate motorcycle insurance, which will go some way to providing financial protection not only to the motorcyclist themselves, but to other road users too. And as motorcycle insurance is generally cheaper than car insurance, this could just be one more reason to consider switching to two-wheels.


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