Buying A Motorcycle For Your Teen: What Features To Look For

Posted on: 11 July 2016

Many teenagers hope for a car as a gift that propels them to independence, but if you have a teen with motorcycles on the brain, you might consider purchasing two wheels instead of four. However, it's easy to get caught up in the power and features available in the motorcycle market. How do you know which motorcycle features are best and safest for a young motorcyclist who is just beginning? Here are some things to consider when you start shopping for your son or daughter's first bike.

1. Stay away from powerful sport bikes.

These tight powerhouse motorcycles are often what a young bike enthusiast dreams about. They are modern, fast, powerful, and small -- making them the feature in youtube racing videos and even Hollywood films. However, these bikes (commonly nicknamed "crotch rockets") are not really suitable for a yet inexperienced rider. The power and speeds these bikes are capable of are better for a rider who is already experienced in handling a motorbike. It's just to easy to wreck or become injured because of poor handling. 

2. Bikes built for travel and comfort will cost more.

A start-out bike should be like a start-out car: unless you can afford something really nice, it's best to stick with something simple and easy to maintain. Because biking enthusiasts can travel cross country on a motorcycle, touring models are built more like luxury cars with better parts, more storage, higher design, and even GPS. The high price tag and the extra features you'll pay for are simply not what your teen needs from a motorcycle. It's best to spend fewer dollars on a bike that's a little better suited as a starter.

3. Standard bikes are great to help your teen find their riding niche. 

Because there are so many different types of bike design, a standard bike can really help your teen get used to riding without having to commit to specific type of motorcycle. A standard has a more sleek look, like a sport bike, but it has a more upright position, like you might find on a motorized scooter. Generally, the standard bike is good on gas, powerful enough to feel tough, conservative enough that the bike won't get your teen into trouble, and lightweight enough that they can be affordable. Because these bikes are so great for beginner riders, they also have a good resale value, and you can count on finding a decent price on a used model because you're not paying for status, speed, or road-trip accommodations. 

If your teen is disappointed because they have their heart set on a different style of bike, it can be helpful to remind them that the standard bike means little commitment to a certain type of riding. For example, once you're used to handling a standard, you can naturally progress to a more powerful sport bike or a large cruiser; this bike trains you for both. 

4. Smaller engines can be a good thing.

If your teen is truly a beginner, look for a engine that is 500cc or smaller. These are better on gas and easier to master if your child has no real experience with biking in general. These bikes are less expensive, which can be a plus if your son or daughter accidentally wrecks the bike. However, if you're hoping for a bike that will have longer lifespan for your child's expertise, you should look into something a little larger. It will be more difficult to master in the beginning, but it will provide greater longevity before your teen is looking to sell it in order to upgrade for something a little more powerful.

Regardless of what bike you choose, you should have your child take some professionally taught motorcycle courses and have him or her test drive a few bikes before making your decision. For more information, contact a company like Carl's Cycle Sales.