The Beginner’s Guide to Motorcycles
Good, Clean, Legal Fun
We won’t hide the fact that a lot of new riders get started when their parents or friends show them how to ride. It might have been on a 250cc starter bike or ripping around trails on a dirt bike. While this is a fine way to learn, it’s not the best way to. To get your motorcycle endorsement on your Texas driver’s license, it’s in your best interest to go out and take a rider’s safety course.
Not only is a safety course a required part of the endorsement process, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn the basics of riding, motorcycle maintenance, and riding gear. Fortunately, there are a bunch of different riding schools throughout the state of Texas running classes all year round. That means you can take a course at your earliest convenience. Once you’ve passed the course, your results are valid for 24 months. That means you have two years after taking the course to get your license updated with your motorcycle endorsement. We’re pretty sure that even the worst of DMV lines won’t take you that long.
Pick a Ride, Any Ride
Once you’ve got that “M” endorsement on your license, it’s time to get riding. But choosing the right motorcycle is the most challenging, and hopefully most fun part, of being a beginner rider. You have a huge selection of styles and brands to choose from, from classic cruisers to high-end sport bikes and everything in between. Before you settle on a brand or a model, consider whether you want a new or used bike as there are pros and cons to each.
Buying a New Motorcycle
A new motorcycle is truly a thing of beauty. In addition to a spotless paint job and an odometer that’s waiting for you to run the miles up on it, it also comes with a warranty. That means if your new motorcycle encounters an unexpected issue, you can get it taken care of with little to no extra money out of your pocket. There’s also a plethora of parts to choose from to service and upgrade your new ride.
While these are great reasons to buy a new bike, you’ll also end up paying new motorcycle prices. This can limit your selection of choices. There’s also the constant crippling fear of dinging, scratching, or chipping the paintwork, that chrome exhaust pipe, or those flashy ape hanger handlebars.
Buying a Used Motorcycle
It’s hard to argue with a little patina on your motorcycle. It gives it a bit of character, and you just know there’s a story behind it. Buying a used motorcycle is a great option for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. First, and perhaps most obviously, is the price. A used bike opens up a huge selection of choices from nearly every model, maker, and style you can think of. It’s not uncommon to find a screaming deal on a gently used motorcycle. Plus, since it’s already been ridden a little bit, you don’t have to worry about the break-in period. That also means that if you’re new to riding, if your motorcycle already has some “character features” like scratched paint and a dented tank, you don’t have to worry about dropping it as much.
The downsides of buying a used motorcycle is that you might not be able to find the right parts for it if you need to repair it. This is more common of an issue for “vintage” bikes, or motorcycles that are a few decades old. There’s also some risk that the used motorcycle you bought wasn’t well cared for. This is more of an issue if you buy it directly from a private seller, as a dealership like ours will give it a careful inspection before we set it for sale.
It’s important to keep a few things in mind, however. As long as the motorcycle you choose runs reliably, is comfortable to ride for a few hours at a time, and helps you learn valuable skills, it’s the right motorcycle for right now. You might change your mind after a few months or years of riding, and that’s ok. When you’re ready for something new, you can come back and see us again!