The latest motorcycles range in styles, are packed to the handlebars with accessories and the latest technologies, all for some incredible prices.
Whether new to riding or returning to the saddle after some time away, Clutch and Chrome has brought together five reasons why there is no better time to buy a motorcycle. Admittedly, there are many reasons why we’re riding through one of the best periods for motorcycle ownership, but the following are our collective top five.
Before moving onto the reasons themselves, a quick donning of the responsible motorcycle magazine cap requires us to make the obvious recommendation that whether completely new to riding or a returning biker, everyone should take a recognized motorcycle safety course before hitting the open road. As cool as a reader’s motorcycle-loving relative may be, an accredited safety course will teach all the correct habits and review the boring, but needed skill sets and information Uncle Bob may gloss over in the local superstore parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
As for returning riders, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since sitting in a saddle, the modern road and today’s motorcycles are completely different beasts. Besides, imagine how impressive it is to be one of the few experienced riders in a motorcycle safety class.
With that out of the way, our reasons this weekend should be filled with trips to the local dealerships.
1. The riding community is an awesome place to live
Some motorcycle sales staff will actually mention this point just as they have a would-be buyer sitting on the latest, greatest model. The family tree may vary depending on what style of motorcycle is being discussed, but anyone who rides a bike enjoys extended brothers and sisters of the road of all varieties.
While older riders may have faced more defined roles in the riding world; cruisers, sportsbikes, touring, off road and more, today’s riders can decide what kind of biker they want to be regardless of the motorcycle they own. Gone are cruiser-only bike nights and a growing number of riders will offer the wave to others regardless is what being ridden.
Casual riders are as welcomed at motorcycle events as those who can strip down a motorcycle and rebuild it with a paper clip. Our recent time at Sturgis showed adventure motorcycles parked next to cruisers which sat alongside sportsbikes in a sea of rubber and metal. The pool of motorcycles were represented by every manufacturer from the different corners of the globe.
2. Spoiled for motorcycle-choice
Most manufacturers have spent the last few years developing new engines, bringing advanced technologies from motorcycles used in professional racing over to consumer models as well perfecting their manufacturing lines to squeeze a laundry list of accessories into every model at a low cost.
Advancements which make riding easier also offer more control includes preset performance profiles for different situations known as riding modes, clutch-assisted technology defining not only how a motorcycle handles but helps newer bikers through learning curves and modern conveniences such as USB ports.
A simple accessory of preventing the motorcycle from being placed in gear with the engine running while the kickstand is down saves the embarrassment of a parked bike lurching across the lot when fired up by an absent-minded biker.
Indian, Triumph and Harley-Davidson are just three manufacturers that have introduced new engines with Suzuki, Kawasaki and KTM bringing over racing technologies to models found on the showroom floor.
The range of models seems to grow every model year. Ducati have spent the last two years bringing back the light, carefree riding of the sixties with its Scrambler models, Triumph has long honored the classic British bike look and Polaris has perfected the classic Indian designs with its latest models. Every type of American muscle and cruiser motorcycle can be found from Harley-Davidson and Victory with naked and sportsbikes enjoying plenty of brand-love. BMW Motorrad and Yamaha have full lines of models with a slice of retro designs included as well.
Regardless of what style catches the eye, there’s a wide selection to choose from. Best of all, motorcycles have become more affordable.
“What you’re getting nowadays for what they cost is phenomenal,” explains Tim Olsen, PR Manager for Suzuki. “Companies have figured out how to do smaller production runs but put all the high-end stuff in there and keep it affordable.”
3. New motorcycles are (relatively) trouble-free
The biker days of having intimate mechanical knowledge about a motorcycle are long gone. The quality of newer models and reliability they offer is the best the industry has ever known. Even better, the expectation of a rider intimately understanding how a motorcycle works and knowing what everything does are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
It could be said dealerships rely on casual riders to fill their service bays. On an ironic note, some riders will complain about what they consider exorbitant costs related to service, and then spend a small fortune on customization.
However, today’s motorcycles are highly-tuned and complex creations requiring owners to follow the recommended maintenance schedules. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall over a manufacturer’s failing Anti-lock braking system (ABS) found many affected had been negligent in changing out the required fluids.
Following the mandated preaching guidelines, ‘Take care of the motorcycle and it will take care of you’.
4. The world loves bikers
Motorcycle enthusiasts have long ridden through the past stigma and stereotypes attached to bikers. Clutch and Chrome walks through the rough reputation riders faced in the past, but this has been wiped away with the growing number of people taking to the saddle, some of which are quite famous.
Some may say the widening demographics of who’s taken to the open road may have homogenized the two-wheeled past time, while others feel bikers being thought of as ‘the neighbor next door’ is long overdue. If anything, the non-riding public’s fascination with bikers falls under the category of curiosity and a slight twinge of envy, leading to endless conversations with strangers at gas stations.
5. There’s so much to do on a motorcycle
Admittedly, riding a motorcycle is like any other hobby, it’ll continue to be interesting as long as some effort is made to make it so.
The very reasons most take to the saddle are why there’s so much to do with a motorcycle. More than a form of transport, riders relish the time it takes to get from A to B. Aftermarket accessories allow riders to carry golf clubs, surfboards and even a barbeque on their motorcycle, blending the two-wheeled obsession with any other interests a biker may have.
Of course there are all the motorcycle events such as rallies, organized rides and those weekend plans that pull friends together. From robust luggage which safely adds more storage space to bike, to trailers designed to be towed by a motorcycle, a road trip is only limited to a rider’s imagination.
If the above reasons have would-be riders locating their nearest dealerships, we would suggest reading through our different sections, with the most obvious being about motorcycles where Clutch and Chrome covers the latest model releases and reviews as well as our articles section. We detail common motorcycle mistakes, different ways to make the next ride that much more enjoyable as well as the offbeat two-wheeled world we live in.
As this is a website strictly about motorcycles, there should always be something interesting with every click.
Finally, we would ask our readers give add their tips and hints to would-be riders in our comments section!