Much to your horror your man is announcing he is buying a motorcycle. Uh oh… Whether it’s a midlife crisis, rush of adrenaline or a moment of insanity, your man has made the plunge. While you might not be able to stop him from buying a motorcycle, you might be able to stop him from buying the wrong one.
But don’t trade your wheels just yet
There are a few things you need to know before committing to a motorcycle. Here are the four most important things you should know:
You can’t treat a motorbike like a bike
People get a wee bit confused because motorcycles and bikes both have two wheels and a handlebar. But you can’t treat buying a motorcycle like buying a bike. When buying a bike, you likely go to a store and say “oh that one looks pretty, I’ll take it!” Face it, unless you’re a competitve cyclist, your purchase probably went a lot like that.
Motorcycles on the otherhand are much more complex. Motorcycles have many makes and models, depending on how you want to use yours. Here are the most basic kinds:
- Cruisers have lower seat heights and a more laid-back riding position. Think Harley Davidson.
- Sport bikes are bulky high capacity cycles. However because of the large engine size and capacity, this certainly isn’t a good first bike!
- Touring cycles are comfortable looking motorbikes equipped for long distance travel. While you lean forward heavily on sport bikes, these ones allow you to sit back comfortably – some even have windshields, stereos and luggage trunks.
- Standards are pretty much any bike in the “miscellaneous” section. Those are the ones that don’t fit easily in any category
You also need to consider weird things you hadn’t even thought about when driving a car or riding a bike. Like whether a 250cc engine suits you better than a 600cc. And whether jeans will be protective enough in case of a crash.
If going green is your motive, go home
A long held urban legend is that motorcycles are far more fuel and environmentally friendly than cars. But this might not be so. When Mythbusters tested motorcycles ecofriendliness, they came to this conclusion:
At best, it’s a wash. Motorcycles are just as bad for the environment as cars. At worst they’re far worse.
Yes, it’s true the average motorcycle will save you 28% on fuel and have 30% less carbon dioxide emissions than the average car. But they also emit 416% more hydrocarbons, 3,220% more oxides of nitrogen and 8,065% more carbon monoxide. TLDR: stop kidding yourself that motorcycles are greener.
You might sit in front of a stoplight for hours
No really. You can get stuck in front of a stoplight for hours without it chaning. And guess what? It’s all your fault. You see, most traffic lights work in one of two ways. They’re either timed or triggered. Cracked reckons triggered lights work on an induction loop, which is basically a bit of coiled wire that completes a full circuit when the weight of a vehicle squishes it together.
So where does this leave you, apart from impatient every time you reach a traffic light? You can either wait for a “real” motorist to trigger the light behind you. Or you move your motorcycle to a part of the road where the sensor is located – usually the middle.