WHAT TO RIDE?
What is the best type of bike or scooter for my needs?
Powered two wheelers (PTWs) vary significantly and making sure you get the right bike for your needs is important. Bikes vary in design and price, but there are three main point to consider before purchasing any bike: your ability, your journey and your budget.
Most modern scooters are 'twist and go' automatics, making it easier to learn to ride than a manual geared motorcycle. Scooters are great for the shorter commute but if you are going to ride longer distances you may be better to opt for a larger motorcycle.
Always ask to take a test ride before purchasing a PTW to ensure your ability matches the type of handling the bike requires. PTWs require a lot of careful body coordination and control especially at low speeds, junctions and in emergency situations.
Above: A Vespa 'twist & go' automatic scooter
Buying a bike
The rule of buying a bike is – the more you pay, the better the bike. This isn’t to say that bargains can’t be found. If you are getting a bike on finance then always check the interest rate and do some shopping around first.
One of the most important things to remember when buying a bike is that you should always be offered a test ride. If the bike is second-hand, you should always be able to discuss the bike with the current owner and, if you are unsure, bring a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about bikes and can advise on the kind of bike you need.
Above: A 'sports' style motorcycle
- It’s possible to find some great second-hand bargains, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Look on the internet; check the ‘for sale’ pages of your local newspapers, as well as in second-hand motorbike shops.
- When searching for a bike, don’t be tempted to buy the first one you fall in love with. Visit a few shops in your area and compile a shortlist of powered two wheelers that you like. It’s important that you shop around.
- Tell the shop your budget and the type of bike you’re looking for – don’t be ‘sold’ a bike that you don’t want. And be certain that any bike you’re thinking of buying matches your handling ability.
- Check all paperwork and inspect your bike before and after registration. Never buy a bike without a V5 registration document.