Bikes are simple. Two wheels, one engine and a great sense of freedom. However, in life, simplicity comes with a price. Therefore, before you swing your leg over the leather and kick that stand back in its place, here are a few aspects to consider.
Style or convenience? Your pick
Intention of the Ride
Consider your needs first. The purpose of your ride will greatly influence the type of bike you should opt for. If you want to make a style statement among your friends, choose a sports bike.
If you travel long distances often, then a touring bike or a cruiser will be a better option. For regular commute in heavy traffic, pick an economic bike.
The Precious Price Factor
Double-check all aspects before buying
How much is too much? Do a comprehensive online as well as offline research to check out prices. Don't be surprised if you find the online prices to be lower than your expectations. These might be the ex-showroom prices and not on-the-road prices.
Bike dealers will help you with financing options, so that the cost doesn't burn a hole in your pocket.
While selecting a bike, ergonomics (bioengineering) plays a crucial role. The beast you choose must be comfortable during both the test rides and the subsequent long rides.
Comfort is subjective but usually involves ergonomics
While riding, ensure that there is only moderate pressure on the wrists, due to weight. Ideally, the handlebar shouldn't be too far to reach and your knee shouldn't be bent more than necessary.
Seat height is important, especially for those with shorter stature. Recently, bike manufacturers have shifted focus to low saddle height with specific focus on females as pillion riders.
Adequate wind protection is often neglected while selecting a bike. You don't want to be tired out after long rides, because of the elements beating you down. A good wind deflector will protect you from this.
Skill and Experience
Riding a bike is undoubtedly fun, but it could also be lethal if done wrong. Therefore, assess your skills and abilities and choose a bike with a performance you can handle.
Going for a crotch rocket (bikes featuring high cc) in the learning stage could get you into trouble. On the other hand, those with mastery and experience would truly appreciate a faster ride.
Fuel Efficiency Matters
Ultimately, it's all about mileage
Most bike manufacturers spend huge amounts in research and development to ensure maximum fuel efficiency. According to the Automotive Research Association of India, the fuel efficiency of most Indian bikes orbit around 60 kmpl (indicative figure).
The Actual Cost of Ownership
Ask friends and family who own bike models, like the one you plan to buy, regarding the actual maintenance and ownership costs. Alternatively, you may also check and post your queries on online forums and biking clubs.
More than one factor determines the actual cost of ownership:
- Two Wheeler Insurance Policy
Opt for a comprehensive insurance policy that protects your ride from physical damage, theft and third party liability. Several insurance companies offer additional benefits such as no-claim bonus, cashless garage service, etc.
- Equipment and Maintenance
The cost of tires, spark plug, brakes, clutch plate, chain, nuts and bolts, etc. could result in a hefty sum. Ensure that the spare parts of the model you choose are easily available in the market. Additional long-term costs involve regular oil change, chain maintenance, air filter replacement, etc.
- Accessories and Riding Gear
Bike dealers often add rear-view mirror, side stand, pillion rider footrest and number plate as accessories, with an additional cost. Beware of such marketing tricks.
Riding smart is riding safe
Your basic riding gear requirement is a well-fitting helmet; a jacket is optional.
A good buyer is well informed of the various aspects of the machine, before purchase. Apart from the practical criteria, purchasing a bike always involves a rider's passion. Choose a bike that meets most of the standards, while ensuring an exciting ride!