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Your First Motorcycle
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

When I first put up this page on buying your first bike I had not yet made my final decision on what to do. And so I collected as much information as I could on the opinions of others. I leaned toward buying my (perceived) ultimate Harley, buying a Sportster to learn on or buying a Honda Rebel 250 for six to twelve months until I am more confident I can handle the big engines and weight. I took the Rider's Edge MSF course from Harley. And I read a lot of books and articles.

There is much conflicting information about what kind of bike should be your first bike. And why should buying a motorcycle be any different from most other important decisions of one's life? Just as in other areas, you will have to decide for yourself, just as that you will have to bear the consequences of that decision. Which is as it should be.

Ultimately, my personal decision came down in favor of the Honda Rebel, even though it was not a Harley. A couple of arguments tilted the debate for me. First, someone wrote that your first bike probably won't be your last bike. From what I have read, that is true. So that first bike doesn't have to be everything you want in a bike. It can be a learner's bike.

The second telling argument was that even if your ultimate goal is to fly jets, you will still start out on something more manageable. Something more forgiving. Something on which you can learn the basics without killing yourself because the engine is more than you can handle. That seemed like a good analogy to me. And, once you have some seat time, you may change your opinion on what your ultimate bike will be. Because you will have road experience, not just book knowledge.

And so, I bought a Honda Rebel 250. I love it. If you are under five feet, ten inches, it is a great choice. Mine easily goes 75 mph. It is highly maneuverable. It is a manageable weight and height. It is well thought out. It is black, and sexy, and I am not embarrassed to be seen on it. It has the lines of a Harley and goes for around $3500, tax, title and license included. Insurance is cheap.

Still, in the end, figuring out which bike to make your first bike is never easy. Just remember, it's your first bike, not your last bike. Get something to learn on, and get busy learning. Meet you on the road!

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To read my motorcycle blog, click here.

For some links about buying your first bike, explore the listings below.

"The Exquisite Agony: Buying Your First Motorcycle," by

"Form Equals Function: Sportbikes are Not Beginner Bikes," in


"Your First Motorcycle: What to Consider,"by Genevieve Schmitt, in

"What Motorcycle Is Right For Me?" by Rebecca Hunter, in

"Which Bike Should I Buy?" [A British look at buying your first bike. Well worth the read.]

"Beginner's Guide to Motorcycling," in [at the bottom of this article are excellent links to how to evaluate a used motorcycle]

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