Your first bike will be one that you remember forever. It will also be one that teaches you a lot and allows you to advance your skills as a rider. It's important that you choose the right motorcycle-- and that takes a lot more than just picking out the one that's the trendiest or the best-looking. Here are some tips to help you pick the right bike.
Don't over-bike yourself.
Make sure you choose something that you can handle comfortably. Far too many new riders take a bike for a test ride, feel like they're barely able to handle it, but buy it anyways figuring that they will adapt. This is not a safe or smart strategy. Driving a bike that you do not feel entirely comfortable on is risky, especially when you don't have years of experience under your belt. You can always upgrade later. For now, choose something you feel completely at-ease and in control on.
Consider the type of riding you will do.
Do you plan on cruising gently down country roads, or are you going to embark on a cross-country camping adventure? Do you have visions of bombing along through hills and along banks? If you will do a lot of slower cruising, then a cruiser is a good choice as it puts your body in a comfortable position for longer rides. If you plan on touring and packing a lot of things on your bike, then a touring bike is a good choice. And if you want to speed along and accelerate quickly, a sport bike will be perfect for you. It puts you in a more forward position so you can absorb the shock and lean into the corners.
Don't avoid used bikes.
As much as you might want your bike to be new and shiny from the factory, your best choice at this point may be to buy a used bike. You can find a better-quality bike at the same price if you buy used rather than new, and when you're a green rider, the extra options that come on better-quality bikes, from better mirrors to larger fuel tanks, really make riding easier.
Try it before you buy it.
This should go without saying, but never buy a bike without riding it first -- even if you have ridden the same or similar model before. Two bikes of the same model can handle differently, and you want to ensure you're comfortable on the specific bike you choose.