Welcome to Anything Motorcycle website. Perhaps you’re a rookie rider, you’ve no idea what motorcycle might be appropriate for you. Then again, you might be at the opposite end of the spectrum, you might be a seasoned vet who simply took a hiatus and found that the motorcycle market you return to is vastly different than the one that you left. In either case, I can help you out today, I’m going to talk about some of the various categories that exist on today’s motorcycle market to help you figure out which bike might be most appropriate for you. But today, what I am going to concentrate on is breaking down those doubts so you know exactly what type of bike you might want to look at when you walk into a dealer or check out that Craigslist ad. I’m going to be talking to you about some of the features of each of these bikes that help them be good at a certain task, I am going to debate some of the pros and cons of those construction pieces, the motorcycles themselves, and will let us break down the features for the bike, my job is to talk to you how the bike feels more ergonomic standpoint. Now keep in mind, there’s a lot of you out there that might have fall in love with a certain style of bike, take, you know, a sport bike, for example, looks awesome, looks fast, hardcore lines. And that bike might be appropriate for you know, impressing friends on a Sunday afternoon.
But it’s probably not the most appropriate machine if you’re going to commuting back and forth to the office on a regular basis. Now, while I am not intending on this website is to tell you what bike is right or wrong for you, what I would like to do is just give you some recommendations about you know what you can expect from each of these machines, and how it’s going to affect the actual riding that you’re doing. Because just remember, the style of riding you might think you’ll be doing might be a lot different than the riding you actually do.
And because these bikes are constructed differently, they come in all shapes and sizes, much like many riders means they interact with people’s bodies differently. So for example, for me as I sit on the sports bike, my feet are firmly planted on the ground. And I feel like I have complete control and that bike is good for new riders out there that have never ridden a motorcycle before. Being able to have your feet firmly on the ground is going to instill confidence in you right from the get go. As is the body positioning, you know, my hands are directly out in front of me, my shoulders are pretty much on top of my hips. And then when I put my feet up on the pegs, they’re directly below me.
So I feel like I’m just sitting nice and upright on the machine. Now if you have any doubts about whether or not the motorcycle is right for you, you know the same way you try on a pair of jeans or clothes before you buy them, try out the bike. I’m not talking about a test drive, talk about walking into your dealership, putting your ass in the seat, grabbing the handlebars, and sitting there for 10 or 15 minutes. See how you feel.
Let’s kick things off with one of my favorite classes of bike and that is the standard motorcycles, usually fairly sporting machines, and their best exemplified by having zero bearings on these things are generally fairly naked, you’ll hear that term used from time to time, they’re not sporting plastic side fairings Now these motorcycles are not the perfect tool for any job. However, they can handle lots and lots of different scenarios with a bomb. For instance, the Suzuki SV 650 could very easily be taken to attract but it’s also comfortable enough that you wouldn’t mind taking an all day trip on this motorcycle either. It’s a very versatile machine.
So there’s no surprises to why the standard style motorcycle is going to be you know, just a do anything machine. I have an easy reach to the ground and I have a firm control of the bike, much like I talked about there in that beginning segment.
Next up I have is the sport bike. Sport bikes are patterned after road racing machines, you’ll notice how sleek and aerodynamic they look. And that’s important due to the plastic bearings on this motorcycle. Now sport bikes are very appropriate, as I had mentioned, for racing and doing a track day a sport bike is just the thing. And you can also use them on the street too. But I’d say they’re probably best used for shorter, more spirited rides. Due to the aggressive body position on here. It’s hard to remain comfortable for most riders on a sport bike for a really long time. Now the other reason to I wouldn’t probably recommend these for beginner unless you’re in the beginner class of sport bikes is that the larger machines, the middleweights are larger bikes and generally are extreme machines.
And when I say that, I mean that in a lot of different senses. They’re very, very fast. And they also have razor sharp braking and handling, which doesn’t really bode Ill for a beginner who might not have mastered inputs on the motorcycle. The other thing that’s really extreme on these things, too is the body positioning. If I’m planning on aggressively riding or tackling a track day, that’s fine but if I’m just commuting back and forth, you know, chances are 30 to 45 minutes, I’m going to start to grow uncomfortable. Now that’s not to say that there’s not riders out there that do it. There’s plenty of riders that commute on the style of bikes, I am just going to say that this might not be the most appropriate machine to do that on, especially when you consider some of the more advanced you know, rate style mechanics on this bike, like the suspension for example. If you’re using this on the street and you start to hit potholes, bumps and bruises, you know this is going to transmit all that back to the rider which can cause you to feel a little bit unsettled so the sport bike might not be the most appropriate machine for you start out on.
Let’s roll on the next bike and that is the cruiser. So cruisers are bikes built for a nice long low ride. Cruise in the name may imply these things that prioritize comfort over speed. Now there’s a couple characteristics about a cruiser that make them particularly good for beginner riders. The first is that these bikes even though they have very large engines, they deliver very controllable powerful and they’re typically very forgiving for beginners who happened to make some mistakes. One of the other things that makes them particularly suited to beginning riders is the fact that you’ll notice the front wheels kicked out just a little and that makes the steering and handling a little bit more controllable on this motorcycle. And again, also forgiving rookies who might happen to make a mistake or two.
And there’s a class of rider to who might be very interested in the cruiser and that’s those of you who are short in height. If you’re a shorter rider, cruisers are almost universally a good choice because just about every one of them across the board has a very low seat height. So it means that even if you’re not a large motorcyclist, even if you’re on a large motorcycle, you’ll find yourself able to easily control the bike. Now these things are built of course for comfort, not for speed.
Now I say two different options be cruisers are usually available in two different flavors. I’ve currently got the Ford control on this bike. And that means that I’m actually going to actually wait my brake and my shift levers on my left side with my feet pushed forward. Now if this bike were to have mids on it, what you would notice is that my feet would actually be sitting just slightly below my hips. And that’s going to be a much more I would say for me personally comfortable riding experience cuz it makes me feel like I have more leverage over the bike than something that’s kicked out a bit more front. But really, it’s going to vary rider to rider.
I personally prefer forwards when I’m riding a cruiser, I find that to be just a little bit more comfortable for me. So even among experienced riders riding the same bike, there’s not even a consensus necessarily on what is right. So I’m going to kind of reiterate what I told you the first time around, spend some time on a bike sit on it, it’s not weird at all to be in a showroom, or perhaps to park yourself on a bike and just ask for 10 or 15 minutes to make sure the bike is comfortable for you.
Let’s move on to the next class of motorcycle. Already now I come to the class of motorcycle that offers more smiles per gallon than just about anything else and that is the scooter. So scooters are kind of interesting. These are really offered in a broad variety of sizes. The smaller bikes are excellent for in town work if you live in an urban area and you want to just run some errands, scooters are absolutely perfect. Now there’s also a larger class of scooter known as Maxi scooters, and those are much much bigger with more powerful engines and they can actually attain motorcycle speeds. In fact, legally they’re actually classified as motorcycles. They offer lots and lots of storage capacity and taking a really long trip on one isn’t out of the equation at all.
Scooters are built a little bit differently than a regular motorcycle and obviously visually just as much different. Let’s go through some of the construction features on here that make it a little different than some of the other bikes I’ve talked about already. First, let me direct your attention to the wheels which are much smaller in diameter than the other bikes I’ve looked at. Generally these contributes to the easy handling nature of a scooter.
It’s entirely different in terms of where your feet sit than really almost every other motorcycle out there on the market. Note also underneath most scooters, there’s plenty of storage. Believe it or not, there’s a surprising amount of cargo carrying capability on a scooter, especially relative to its size. Now also in that same vicinity to is the transmission I should talk about that just briefly. With the exception of older scooters, almost every single one of these things has an automatic transmission. So if the prospect of learning to drive a manual transmission vehicle is kind of daunting, the scooter might be the perfect gateway into the world of motorcycling.
But my legs are definitely more in front of me than anything else. Because if this was a motorcycle, my fear sitting right where the engine would normally be. So I think if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before, you know, you’re not going to notice that but for those of you that are kind of coming off of maybe MSF course where you’ve been practicing on a bike, you know, getting onto a scooter might be a little bit different experience for you. But you do have a lot more room and you do have that clear field of the ground. And because these things are so lightweight, you never feel like you’re intimidated.
You know, the other point to make is if you are coming off of an MSF course you know this is not to be confused with a motorcycle in the fact that like when it’s so fully automatic, you don’t want to grab that front lever thinking it’s a clutch because it’s actually a brake and you will throw yourself right over the front but other than that it’s a fun machine learn how to ride a bike on.
I move on to the next type of motorcycle and that is the touring motorcycle. You may hear touring bikes, also called dressers or baggars. touring bikes are meant to carry lots of stuff at high speeds for long distances. Now the signifying factor that makes a bike a touring bike is big, big storage often integrated right into the motorcycle. You’ll notice that behind the touring bikes there are some huge saddle bags on it. Now because these bikes are meant to be ridden for long periods of time, the manufacturers typically make them very comfortable for riders and I mean that in terms of both seating position. It’s also not uncommon at all on a touring bike to see full audio systems and navigational aids, just in an effort to make our riders ride as good as possible.
I mean, out of all the bikes I’ve talked about so far, this is the one that’s definitely big enough to fit someone bigger as there’s plenty of room for you to move around. Now in addition to the rider comfort, there’s also plenty of room out back if you want to bring a passenger along. You know, these bikes come in around seven to 800 pounds and you throw a passenger in the mix, it’s a pretty heavy ride, especially considering you know, while I can get my feet on the ground for this, it’s still going to be kind of hard to leverage this back and forth if I’m not really comfortable with the machine itself.
Now although I am not here to tell you what’s right or what’s wrong for your first motorcycle, I are going to kind of steer your way from certain bikes and this will be one of them just because of how large this is. It’s not going to instill confidence right from the get go for new riders.
Now one of the other bikes I want to talk about before I move on is actually kind of a hybrid motorcycle. I’ve already talked about the sports and touring machine. Now this is both a mixture of a sport bike as well as a touring machine. These bikes also are considerably faster than a straight touring bike as well. One of the other hallmarks of that breed of motorcycle is the aerodynamic bearings. The riding position is sort of middling as well, you won’t see the full upright position nor the forward position.
Now, before I move on, I do want to mention something else about positioning, you may have noticed that just about every bike, I’ve talked about up to this point has had a pretty neutral or intermediate riding position with the exception of the cruiser and the sport bike both of those kind of at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Most manufacturers are shooting for that sort of neutral riding position. And the reason I’m bringing that up is because it’s a very successful riding position. The reason you see it on so many motorcycles is because so many motorcyclists are comfortable in that position. So if you do find yourself gravitating towards one of the bikes, again towards the outside ends of the spectrum, whether it be sport bike or cruiser, I would encourage you to spend a little bit of time again on one of these more intermediate bikes.
Just you know what else is out there. Now that I’ve got that on the way I said, I head on to dirt bikes and let’s get dirty. When you say off road motorcycle to most people, the thing that jumps into their head immediately is probably something like a dirt bike. These bikes are made to tackle the roughest terrain that Mother Nature has to offer. And as such, they’re constructed in a very specific way. Let’s start with a couple of those features. The first and probably most noticeable is the tires, you can realized that these things have very super aggressive tires made to bite into the loose surfaces that dirt bikes are typically ridden on.
The other thing to notice about this bike is how tall it is and has lots and lots of suspension travel, that also sits very high up. And that’s because dirt bikes are meant to roll over some obstacles like tree stones, logs and rocks, they all get in the way. And having a bike that sits up high prevents the bike from being damaged. Now one of the other important parts about a dirt bike too is you should know that this is a single cylinder machine the motor is physically very small, though it is pretty powerful. On some motorcycles it’s kept small, so the light weight keeps down the bike when you’re wrestling a bike around off road and you have to pick it up after you’ve dropped it after a crash which is fairly common in off road riding.
Having a lighter bike really can help. These things are also not street legal. You need to know that going in. There’s no headlight no key, no taillight, there’s a bunch of stuff that’s missing on this bike that won’t make it legal to ride around on the street. Now when it comes to riding these things again, riding off road is really different than riding on the street. How does that affect your your seating position then?
Now from a rider standpoint, talking about the ergonomics, it’s very similar I talked about with a standard riding position, my hands are out in front of me, it’s definitely a wider bar for maximum leverage. But my shoulders are top my hips when I’m sitting up, right, and then my feet are just below my hips, so I think feel very comfortable. Now the one thing to note with a dirt bike is this long flat seat and it is quite uncomfortable. But that’s okay. But you’re going to spend most of your time standing up or kind of sliding back and forth, you’re not going to sit in one position too long, because you’re going to use your body as a counterweight over terrain when you’re out there riding with his machine. It’s also one of the reasons you might see different style handlebars on different style dirt bikes, because you want to make sure you’re comfortable not just sitting down, but also when you’re standing up.
Now I’m going to be telling you a little bit about this next type of bike and that’s an adventure bike, also known as an ADV bike. Now, these differ from a dirt bike in several important ways. They’re larger, they’re heavier, they have bigger, more powerful multi cylinder engines, and they’re also street legal. So you can think of them as the Cadillac of dirt bikes. They’re kind of enormous, but they’re also much more powerful.
Enjoy the ride