Abundant Life Guide

Which Motorcycle Should I Buy? // Women Motorcycle Riders

Deciding what motorcycle to buy can be hard, especially if you’re a new rider or someone considering learning to ride motorcycles. You’ve probably been wondering which motorcycle to get ever since you decided to ride and got your motorcycle endorsement. 

In this blog post you will learn ways to think through this decision and how to pick the motorcycle type that best suits your needs. I’ll discuss the different types of motorcycles available and mention their key features. I’ll also mention what type of riding is commonly done with each type. And then, at the end I’m going to share with you what motorcycles I own, how I chose them to suit my needs and how they are absolutely perfect for my style of riding.

As a motorcycle safety coach and mindset coach, people always ask me what motorcycle they should buy as their first motorcycle. To be honest, I was super confused about which motorcycle to buy when I first started out, too. It was super confusing to me when I would search online for a good beginner’s bike because everyone had conflicting opinions and I was just totally overwhelmed by the options. 

So overwhelmed in fact that I didn’t buy a motorcycle for 6 months because I was dragging my feet and didn’t want to make a commitment and investment that I would regret. 

By the way, sign up for my Women's Moto Round Up - my weekly newsletter full of motorcycle news, mindset tips and cute dog pics. It's curated specifically for women who ride and women who want to ride motorcycles.

Buying your first motorcycle is a super important consideration that will influence how you ride, where you ride, and how often you ride. 

If you buy something you aren’t ready for, chances are you will be uncomfortable riding it, and it could be dangerous to yourself and other road users. Dropping your motorcycle is really common but it it happens a lot (for example, if your motorcycle is too big) when you first start riding it’s discouraging to say the least. 

Buying your first motorcycle is the start of an amazing love affair. You may think that’s an exaggeration but it’s not. Your first motorcycle will always hold a special place in your heart because you will have amazing memories on it. It is the vehicle you will see new places on, meet new people, find your community, but most importantly you will find yourself. 

Riding motorcycles is one of the quickest ways to unlock who you truly are and start to create a new identity for yourself. Riding motorcycles is completely life changing.

The first step to deciding which motorcycle to buy is to first determine what the purpose of riding is for you. Certain types of motorcycle suit certain purposes; for example the frame of the motorcycle is different for  highway riding compared to off road riding compared to city riding. 

Do you plan to commute on your motorcycle? Will you ride on weekends mainly on highways and country roads? Or do you like the idea of having the option to ride off road and on road?

Whether you plan to commute, take leisurely weekend rides, go for long distance multi-day rides, go trail riding, or racing you will need a motorcycle that is best suited to each activity. 

Say, you pick your motorcycle type and you buy a motorcycle based on your decision to ride daily on city streets commuting to work - this doesn’t mean that you can’t take it on a multi-day ride. All I’m saying is some features make a motorcycle more comfortable and are specific to it’s purpose. 

Ok, so I want you to pick how and where you plant to ride. This is important when learning about the different types of motorcycle. 

Let’s talk about different types of motorcycles and their features. There are three broad categories of motorcycle: on road, off-road, and dual-purpose. 

It’s really as simple as it sounds - on road motorcycles are ridden on the road, off road motorcycles are ridden off the road, and dual purpose motorcycles are ridden on both. 

For motorcycles designed for on-road riding there are 4 motorcycle types: standard motorcycles, sport motorcycles, cruiser motorcycles, and touring motorcycles. 

First we have standard motorcycles. 

Standard motorcycles are great generalist motorycles. Sometimes called ‘naked’ due to their minimal use of panels, standard motorcycles have all round capabilities. 

The ergonomics of a standard motorcycle have you sitting in an upright posture with foot pegs below your knees. Standard motorcycles are a great option for city riding and daily city commuting as they are typically lightweight and nimble. 

Next up is sport motorcycles. 

Sport motorycles are those designed with high speeds in mind so they are more aerodynamic than other types with body panels to support wind deflection. Sport motorcycles can be quite powerful and accelerate quickly compared to other types of motorcycle. 

The ergonomics will have you in a lean forward sitting position with foot pegs behind your knees. Sport motorcycles are typically slightly heavier than standard motorcycles to accommodate the additional body panels. 

They can be an option for riders with the need for speed and desire for track racing. 

Next up is cruiser motorcycles.

Cruiser motorcycles have more traditional styling and are commonly seen with a windshield, large fairings or fenders and luggage compartments. 

Sometimes called ‘baggers’, cruiser motorcycle have an ergonomic sitting position in a backwards lean with foot pegs in front of the knees. 

Cruisers are a great choice for riders looking to take evening and weekend rides, though they are also used for commuting due to their storage capacity. Cruisers are typically heavier than standard and sport motorcycles. 

Next up is touring motorcycles. 

Touring motorcycles are designed for long distance riding and have special features designed for comfort like extra storage space, a large fairing to deflect wind, a generously sized back seat, speakers, radio and GPS navigation systems. 

The sitting position on touring motorcycles can be upright or leaned back depending on the brand. Touring motorcycles are heavier than most other motorcycle types to accommodate all the additional creature comforts. 

Ok, so that was on-road motorcycles. Now let’s look at off-road motorcycles. 

Off road motorcycles are those designed to be used on trails away from road traffic. For motorcycles designed for off-road use there are 3 types: enduro, motocross, and trials. 

First up, we have enduro motorcycles. 

Enduro motorcycles are characterized by their rugged tires and increased shock absorption for the forest trails and desert riding they were designed for. Enduro motorycles will typically have a head light and tail light and are lightweight and nimble. 

Next up is motocross motorcycles. 

Motocross motorcycles are designed for competition on closed course circuits. They have rugged tires and increased shock absorption for jumps but no headlight or tail light. Similar to enduro motorycles, motocross bikes are lightweight and nimble. 

The last type of off-road motorcycle is the trials motorcycle that are used for competitions in a closed course circuit for particularly technical riding. They are very pared down and lack many traditional features. 

Ok, now let’s look at dual purpose motorcycles. 

Dual purpose motorcycles which can be used both on and off road. They typically have enduro-type qualities that make them usable on trails but they meet all the legal requirements to ride on the road with other vehicles. These motorcycles work great for overland adventure riding or motorcycle camping. 

That wraps up the type of motorcycles available. Now you know the basics features of each motorcycles type so you can decide which best suits your needs and riding style. 

Now I want to share with you what motorcycles I ride, why I ride them, and why I love them. 

My first motorcycle was a Suzuki DR200 dual sport motorcycle. I absolutely love this motorcycle - it’s lightweight, nimble, I can pick it up off the ground when I drop it, and it’s low enough that I can comfortably have my feet flat on the ground. When I was considering what motorcycle to buy, I knew I wanted one that was on the smaller end so I didn’t feel too overwhelmed at the start on my riding career. 

While the top speed on my DR200 didn’t really go beyond 60 MPH, that was perfect for me. Since I was just learning I didn’t want to go super fast and was content riding around my neighborhood and practicing motorcycle safety drills in empty parking lots. This motorcycle is perfect for trail riding, too. 

My other motorcycle is a BMW K75 - a touring motorcycle. After a year on my Suzuki I knew I was ready to upgrade so I bought this touring motorcycle so I could ride further for longer. My BMW has lots of luggage compartments and saddle bags so it’s perfect for camping trips and multi-day rides. The engine is larger and overall the motorcycle is much heavier than my Suzuki so I’m super glad I started small with my dual-sport before upgrading. 

I share all that with you to demonstrate how to pick a motorcycle that suits your needs. My needs changed over time as my skills developed which was great - it meant I was becoming a better, more confident rider. It’s kind of a good thing because it meant I got to buy another motorcycle which I love doing. 

Download my free guide How To Be A Badass Biker Babe and Live Your Best Life to help you get started riding motorcycles!

Ok, time for a recap. In this blog post you learned how to decide which motorcycle to buy. I explained that you first must think about how you plant to ride and this will guide your decision on what motorcycle you buy. We talked about the 3 types of motorcycles: on road, off road and dual sport. Finally, I discussed details on each specific motorcycle that you can buy to give you an idea of which would suit you best. I shared a little about my motorcycles, how I chose them and why I love them. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. As a motorcycle coach and mindset coach, my aim is to always share information to keep you safe on the road so you can live your best life. 

Share this blog post if you found it helpful - it really helps get the word out so more women are empowered to ride motorcycles. 

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Download my free guide How To Be A Badass Biker Babe and Live Your Best Life to help you get started riding motorcycles!

See you next time for more motorcycle & mindset tips!