When you first start riding motorcycles, everyone tells you to buy a low-powered bike. This ensures you can focus on developing your skills without worrying about the bike overpowering you. It’s a smart piece of advice that I followed. I rode my first motorcycle for about six to eight months before I started wanting something more. Again, this was normal. Most new riders ride their first bike for a short amount of time before they upgrade to a new motorcycle.
Over the years, I have bought and sold motorcycles to eventually end up with the motorcycle I own today. I’ve owned my current bike for about seven to eight years. While I love my Kawasaki ZX14, I also feel it’s time for something different. This led me to wonder, how do you know when it’s time for a new motorcycle?
Table of Contents
Your Bike Lacks Performance and Power
This is the most common reason people upgrade their motorcycles. Their current bike is a smaller cc and has less performance power. They feel that the bike is underpowered for the type and style of riding they want.
If you twist the throttle and find the response lacking, you could be in this category. There is a distinctive “lack of power” feeling that you get through the handlebars while riding. It’s like when you get in a small, affordable car. The light turns green, you hit the gas pedal, and nothing happens. A few seconds go by before the car starts to pick up speed. Even then, it feels like the rest of the traffic is passing you by. The same sort of sensation happens on an underpowered bike.
You Want a Bigger Bike
This one is similar to the last reason but deals with the physical size of the whole bike. Generally, the bigger and more powerful the engine, the bigger the physical size of the bike. However, not all physically big bikes are tuned for performance and power. Some riders fall into the last category because they want responsive acceleration and high top speed. Other riders fall into this category because they want increased riding comfort and long-distance traveling capabilities. Physically bigger bikes are also better for those that are bigger themselves. Riders with long legs, tall height, or heavy weight will feel more comfortable and confident on a bike that suits their size.
Your Bike Lacks Modern Features
Technology evolves faster than we can keep up. It seems like I have to upgrade my phone and smart watch every couple of years. The same development happens in the motorcycle world. With each passing year, your bike becomes more obsolete and outdated. Now, this isn’t a big deal if you prefer to have a simple, technology-free motorcycle. There’s something to be said for the old-school bikes. However, not everyone wants this. If you enjoy new technology and features, you’ll want to consider trading in your bike. You’ll find that some of the top-performing bikes on the road have a whole host of rider-assist features and built-in technology.
Your Riding Interests Have Changed
Your ride style and habits will change over time. It’s okay and only natural. Maybe you were a natural-born hooligan in your early days. However, you’ve grown and matured. Now, you leave your adrenaline rushes for the track. Maybe there was a time when you loved the social aspect of riding around town in a group. But these days, you prefer hitting the open road solo.
Whatever your interests, you need a motorcycle suited to your riding habits. If your current bike isn’t cutting it, then it’s time to consider trading it in for something different. Think about when you are happiest riding. Then, look for a motorcycle best suited for that style of riding.
Your Finances Have Changed
Many people buy their first bike when they are young and starting out in life. Their finances limit their purchase. They can’t afford to buy a high-end luxury or custom motorcycle. Some riders can’t afford to buy the bike with the full suite of features and options. At the time, you were just happy to be on two wheels.
Years have passed, and now you are in a much better financial position. This means you can upgrade your bike. Time to invest in your passion by upgrading your motorcycle to a new one. Get the luxury motorcycle of your dreams. Buy the motorcycle with the features and options you’ve always wanted. Finally, start that custom project that you’ve always thought about.
Your Body Has Changed
This is a fact that my darling husband had to face. You see, he was a die-hard sport bike rider. He loved weaving through traffic at the speed of Mach Jesus. He is also a dedicated gym goer. He may be in his early 50s but can easily outperform men half his age. So, it was a tough pill to swallow when he had to admit that his lower back hurt. He would be fine on short rides. However, half-day or full-day riding would leave him sore and unhappy the next day. It was time for him to accept that an aggressive sport bike riding position was no longer compatible with his body.
If you have aches and pains after riding that you weren’t used to, this situation might apply to you. Pay attention to how your body feels after riding. Maybe your back hurts. Maybe it’s your arms or shoulders that give you pain. Wherever you feel it, riding should be fun, not painful.
I didn’t want to admit it. I tried to ignore the feelings. I love motorcycle riding, so how could I possibly feel bored? If I’m honest with myself and you all, I am. It’s not that I don’t love riding my bike or that I don’t enjoy my time while riding. There just seems to be a spark of excitement that is gone. Perhaps it is the challenge and thrill that I have overcome. Maybe I’m just ready for something new. Whatever the reason, I want the spark and joy back, and I think a new bike would accomplish that.
Do You Need a New Motorcycle?
If one or more of these situations sounds familiar, it could be time to buy a new motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle should be a fun and fulfilling experience. If your bike no longer suits your needs, you aren’t getting everything you could out of the experience. If you are like me, you love your motorcycle. So, deciding it’s time for something new can be a bittersweet experience. It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend.