There are a lot of reasons why people decide to ride a motorcycle. There might be a general interest in the culture, inspiration from a friend, wanting to know what it felt like to be on one, and there is always the overall coolness of it all. There are many brands of bikes, styles, sizes of engines, and price ranges. The first question I always ask when someone shows interest in wanting to ride is What are you looking to get from the bike?
Think about that for a second before you continue to read through the rest of my recommendations.
My first urge to get a bike was the ability to work on one and understand the mechanics behind it. I like working with my hands and having a desk job can get old without the proper outlets for expressing what makes you happy. My first bike (shown here) was a 1974 Honda CB360. It looks great, but it didn’t run great, and I still work on it today.
It was the perfect bike for what I needed. Having the chance to understand a machine in its basic form and over 40 years old. The Honda was the right bike for me. After a season of not riding and only working on it, I grew increasingly frustrated and decided I need a bike that could take me anywhere and was reliable. Then came the same question again. What are you looking to get from the bike?
My answer, this time, was to be able to take off and drive as far as I needed. Then came my 2008 Harley Davidson Sportster Nightster. Within four months of getting this bike and four months of real riding experience, I rode from Brooklyn, NY to San Francisco, CA.
If you can answer “What are you looking to get from the bike” then you can decide which one is right for you. If you know one day, you might want to wake up and take off, then always think about the function of the bike and don’t limit your potential by getting handlebars that only allow you to ride an hour with getting tired or a bike that won't allow you to carry a sleeping bag.