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Should I buy a motorcycle?

by Steven S. Brooks on August 13, 2011

in Automotive Industry,Car Ads,Car-Trucks,Dream Cars,Just for Fun,Motorcycles,New Cars,Racing

I know this blog is called "Car Chase" but, for the first time in my life, I have a serious interest in owning and riding a motorcycle. Don't ask me why, but I wandered into the Northern Ohio Ducati and Triumph dealership a few months ago and was dazzled by the motorcycles there. The dealership, surprisingly located in the Chapel Hill area, had just gone through a major expansion and renovation. Road bikes, sport bikes and race models filled the floor. The bright red Ducatis looked like they were going a hundred miles per hour just sitting there and the classic Triumph designs brought back great memories of my younger days.

 I thought the desire for a motorcycle would just go away but it seems the craving just gets stronger. Having never owned or seriously ridden a motorcycle, I am asking the sage counsel of our readership. What has been your motorcycle experience? What questions should I be asking myself and the seller? What features should I be looking for?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Prasino spiti August 14, 2011 at 5:09 am

A motorcycle? No way! Not with the SUVs and the crazy speeds on our US roadways…it's just too dangerous! Now, if you had a vacation home somewhere that allowed for casual, short distance travel, perhaps a Vespa-type scooter could appease your longing?!

Harley owner August 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Not ony are motorcycles enjoyable to ride but the gas savings can be considerable. When you purchase a bike, the main concern is what type of riding. If your going for longer rides, a sport bike wouldnt be recomended. Also, if your going to take long trips you'll want a larger engine, 800cc minimum. The next is price. Most imports are cheaper and will give you a lot of enjoyment. Just be careful if you buy new because resale value of imports is as bad as a car. Higher end bikes hold their value for the most part. Motorcycles are no more dangerous than the wrong person behind the wheel, and when your riding, your much more alert (no cell phone, coffee, loud music). Live a little and enjoy the ride!

Kay August 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I had never been on a motorcycle until a few years ago. Partially from fear but mostly from lack of opportunity. The key, I have learned, is to be confident in your skills, (or, in my case, the skills of your driver) cautious and ever aware of your surroundings. We tend to stay away from the highways and enjoy the scenic Ohio countryside. I wouldn't recommend one of the "big boys" for a novice. Find something you're comfortable with not just dazzled by.

Cheese August 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm

The 3 previous comments are certainly insightful. And rest assured, you began your journey at the correct place. The owner of the TR / Ducati dealership is knowledgable and "bend-over-backwards" courteous and customer service oriented. As a novice rider, I would encourage you to look at the Triumph Bonneville(s)——I own one, plus a '98 Triumph Thunderbird. The Bonne boasts classic styling and is indeed a head-turner. Prepare to make friends wherever you park her because someone ALWAYS comes up and asks what year she is !
Next segment of advice: TAKE THE OHIO BMV RIDERS COURSE!! I began riding at 54 years old (I am 63 now) and was a total beginner. The OHIO BMV course will save your life! It will train you to be observant and cautious. The course is very comprehensive and, best of all, it's cheap! When I took the course it was only $25 and you're taught on the bikes THEY PROVIDE. Upon completion of the 3 day course you receive your endorsement (the " M " that goes on your license) are knowledgable (not all-knowing), aware, and most of all, safe! Believe it or not, there are riders out there that just renew their temporary / learners permit from year to year……..that's not good if they get caught violating one of the restrictions. Oh, one more thing, I DO agree with Kay…….I try to avoid the highways as much as possible and find the backroads offer me more adventure than there are hours in the day! Best of luck in your adventure! This is only the beginning!!

T. Goose August 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm

The above posts are all on the money and well thought out… You should consider the type of riding you would prefer to do…(off road vs street, etc) and I highly recommend a riding course. Find a mentor, someone who is willing to share the ropes with you….
The only one piece of safety advice I would give is this: Try to always remember that you are invisible and ride accordingly…. Enjoy the ride. It's well worth the effort. I'm 58 years old and have been riding street motorcycles since I was 18 with no accidents.

Steven S. Brooks August 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

Thanks to everyone for the great advice. My enthusiasm has been stoked by your encouragement. Since everyone's overriding theme was to be smart about the process, I will begin my journey by taking the Ohio BMV course first and then head back to Northern Ohio Ducati and Triumph.

Doc August 31, 2011 at 12:01 am

Dear Steven, on behalf of the entire staff at Norther Ohio Ducati and Triumph (NODT), we thank you for the kind compliments. We have been and will always be committed first to customer service. Do your homework. Learn and ask questions….it is a truly an exciting and fun process. We encourage all novice riders to take one of the rider courses. Forums are great resources for questions and wisdom from experienced riders. Ohio is blessed with some great roads to ride on as well. When you are ready please come in to NODT and "park your butt" on the bikes here and at other dealerships as well so you can get a preliminary feel for the various types of bikes. We extend the privilege of demo rides on our motorcycles— a feature some dealerships do not allow. These rides will help you decide on what you feel is best for your style and needs. We will always be available to assist you or any motorcyclist with any need, service or question. We look forward to seeing you in the future. Finally, as we say at NODT, "Enjoy the ride!"

Ed Madden November 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

Hi Steven,
So what's the rest of the story; did you get a motorcycle?

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