Bike Insurance

How to Choose a Motorcycle

There's probably not much in life as exciting as purchasing your first (or second...) motorcycle. Whether you're in the market for a small urban style scooter to zip to work and back, or a veritable road hog to tear up the tarmac with, our guide can help you select the motorcycle that's best for you.

While the wide variety of motorcycle manufacturers, models, engine sizes and colours on the market means you're bound to find a suitable motorcycle for you, the sheer number of options feels endless if you don't know exactly what you want. If you're overwhelmed by options, use this guide to help you select the right motorcycle for your needs. While you're deciding, you may want to rent a motorcycle to try out different styles and powers.

How to find the right motorcycle

Do some research online and offline

The power of the Internet will help you when deciding on the motorcycle you should buy. There are plenty of websites with information and advice about what you should consider, for example or

Offline research can be just as beneficial. If you know anyone that is already a motorcycle rider then ask their opinion about the model of motorcycle they drive. What do they like or dislike about it? Would they recommend it as the first motorcycle for a new rider? Their opinions can provide you with extremely useful insights.

Choosing a style

Consider what you will mainly use your new motorcycle for.

When deciding on your motorcycle's style this can be based solely on need or simply on preference. For example, if fuel economy, purchase price, and efficiency are high priorities for you then a smaller model may best suit your needs; alternatively if you really just want the cool feeling from driving a speed demon and money isn’t an issue then you may want a street racer style ride. Either way, you should spend some time considering your needs, your motorcycles use, and other elements like your budget.

Costs to consider

Generally speaking, more expensive motorcycles will have higher running costs.

The sticker price of your new ride isn’t the only expense to consider. Your new vehicle will also come with other expenses such as insurance premiums, road tax, maintenance and fuel costs. These costs need to be taken into consideration when you are choosing a vehicle to buy. If you are paying for your motorcycle on credit these additional costs can rack up your monthly payment. If you are buying your motorcycle outright then these fees still need to be recognized as part of your budget. Road tax, motorbike insurance, and fuel will all be impacted by the size of your ride. As a rule of thumb the more expensive, larger engine sized bikes will have higher monthly running costs than smaller and more economical models.

Motorcycle insurance costs for 125cc, 900cc and 1200cc Engines
Motorcycle insurance costs by size of engine

Picking the correct engine size

Choose an engine that matches your needs and ability.

As motorcycle engine sizes range from 50cc to 1500cc and beyond there is no shortage of choice when it comes to the kind of power you want your ride to supply. While there is no such thing as a "correct" engine size for riders, there are a couple of points to think about.

  1. A bigger engine will cost more in fuel so consider how important fuel economy is.
  2. From a safety point of view, larger engines may be more suitable for experienced riders.

As a new rider, it may be prudent to ensure that you can safely handle any motorcycle you are buying so while it may be tempting to get the biggest, fastest model on the market make sure you have enough experience to safely operate it.

Rider and Safety Reviews

Seek out information on the motorcycles you are considering.

Before finally committing to your brand new motorcycle purchase spend some time in a final review of any models you are considering. Check into some motorcycling clubs or forums as well as automotive websites. The former will provide you with personal accounts and information as well as other rider's opinions on various vehicles, while the latter will provide official reviews, ratings, and test drive information that will be useful when making your final purchasing decision.

Emma Hersh

Emma is a writer based in Manchester. She's written about business management, lifestyle, personal finance and recruitment advice for a range of magazines, large enterprise clients and industry trailblazers. She also has extensive Six Sigma experience from her years in logistics business management. For more information see Emma's Linked In profile.


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