How To Choose The Right Motorcycle For You: A Beginner's Guide

Jake Robison - June 10, 2021

motorcycle types

Motorcycle sales continue to hit new highs across America each year, and they’re expected to continue to grow moving forward. In fact, a record number of people are expected to purchase a motorcycle this year, sending sales to unprecedented levels. Many of the people who are in the market for a bike will be first-time buyers.

Helping You Get the Right Bike from the Start

Here at American Motorcycle Trading Co., we have a selection of gently used bikes to choose from. If you’re one of the many people looking to purchase their first motorcycle during the coming months, chances are one of the models we have to offer is exactly what you’re looking for. Feel free to browse our inventory to see which ones strike your fancy. In the meantime, check out our tips for choosing the right motorcycle for you.

Looking at the Different Types of Motorcycles

As you may already know, there are several kinds of motorcycles on the market. Each one has its benefits and is geared toward different rider preferences. While you may already have your eye on a specific style of bike, appearance is only one factor to consider.

Sport bikes

Sport bikes are known for their speed and being fairly light. They’re also among the most maneuverable bikes on the market. They can potentially allow riders to zip through traffic jams, weave around passenger vehicles on the highway, and navigate particularly tricky obstacles.

Having said that, many sport bike models aren’t considered the best motorcycles for beginners. When paired with a lack of riding experience, their excessive capacities for speed can make for an unsafe combination. Still, some models with smaller engines could be a good fit for a newcomer to the world of riding. We also need to mention that sport bikes aren’t exactly comfortable for long hauls because of their high seats and forward-leaning position.

Touring Motorcycles

Whereas sport bikes are built for speed and agility, touring bikes are designed with comfort in mind. You could say they’re the limousines of the motorcycle realm. They’re available in a range of styles with varying levels of comfort-fostering features. In general, though, they offer more storage space, a little more legroom, and a more comfortable riding position. This makes them a great option for long road trips.

Touring motorcycles come in several sizes and horsepower ranges. That means you should be able to find one that’s perfect for you if this is the type of motorcycle, you’re interested in. Since they’re not as focused on speed as sport bikes, they’re perfectly suited to beginners. Some of the most popular models in this category are the Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Electra Glide.

Adventure Bikes

Adventure bikes are fairly new to the motorcycle market, but they’ve already gained a good bit of popularity. They’re basically hybrids with appearances that resemble sport bikes and features of dirt bikes, cruisers, and touring models all added to the mix. You can ride these bikes on interstates, backroads, and even off-road.

Adventure motorcycles are often recommended for more experienced riders. If you’re a beginner, though, you could initially stick to the highway and gradually work your way onto rougher terrain over time. As the name indicates, these are the bikes for people who are looking for scenic adventures.


Cruiser bikes are nice for both long trips and everyday use. They offer a terrific blend of luxury and practicality. Higher handlebars, more contoured seats, and multiple options for foot positioning make for a comfortable ride no matter where you’re going or how long it takes to get there. There’s no end to the customization options for cruisers, so you can tailor them to your own riding style and personality.

These are classic bikes that include incredibly popular models like Harley-Davidson’s Softail and Road King. Though some cruisers are perfect fits for smaller riders and beginners, many are known for being heavier than other types of bikes. If you’re not accustomed to riding every day, their extra weight could quickly wear you out until you build up your strength.

Additional Factors to Consider

Which type of bike is best for you partially depends on the kinds of rides you plan to enjoy and the motorcycle styles that appeal to you. Of course, other aspects factor into the equation as well. It’s important to look at the bigger picture before buying a motorcycle.

Your Capabilities

All bikes have a certain amount of weight to them. This will affect not only how well you can control a motorcycle but how long you’ll be able to ride safely and comfortably. At the same time, speed is a significant element to consider. Faster bikes tend to require better reflexes and reaction times.

It’s important to understand that the best beginner motorcycle for you depends on how much weight and speed you can control. Don’t buy more bike than you can handle. You’ll have plenty of room to upgrade as you become more experienced.


You should never buy a bike that’s too tall or wide for you. Doing so will greatly detract from your safety and comfort on the road. Try out several models in person before you decide which one works best. Sit on them. Rock them back and forth. Be sure both feet can securely touch the ground while the bike is in the upright position. If you’ve got your sights set on a particular type of bike you found online, search for similar models near you to try on for size.

New or Used

In addition to those points, you’ll need to decide whether to purchase a new or used motorcycle. Many riders dream of owning a brand-new bike that’s theirs and theirs alone. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you’ll have a higher price tag to contend with, and you may face more expensive tags, taxes, and insurance coverage with a new model. Used models like the ones we offer give you plenty of quality and all the benefits of owning a motorcycle at a more affordable price.

Choosing a Bike that’ll Meet Your Expectations

Keep all those factors in mind when choosing your first motorcycle. Think about the types of rides you imagine yourself going on as well as your personal style and preferences. From there, consider how much bike you can handle, which sizes and types of bikes fit you best from a physical perspective, and how much money you’d like to spend. If you have any additional questions, we’re here to answer them; just call us or contact us online.




Jake Robison


Jake Robison has operated powersports dealerships since 2003.  With an extensive background in the motorcycle industry including sales, service, parts, finance, management and powersports training, he covers all things motorcycles and enjoys sharing valuable information to newcomers on two-wheels

Back To News