We’re seeing more and more women of different ages enjoying the convenience and liberation of riding motorcycles on the road. With such a wide variety of second-hand bikes available online it’s important to understand how they’re priced, what condition they’re in and whether they come with a repair and maintenance record.
Francois Labuschagne, product and marketing manager at Auto Mart had a look at the different motorcycle choices available and gave his advice on how to choose the perfect one to suit your needs and personality.
“There are a myriad of motorcycles to choose from and some of the major brands that dominate the market in South Africa are the Japanese machines with the American Harley-Davidson a close second,” he said.
“We have on average 1 800 bike listings on our site at any given time with Honda, Harley-Davidson and Yamaha proving to be the most popular brands so far this year,” Labuschagne says.
A passion for speed is probably a top reason for many to invest in a motorcycle, while others choose a bike with the environment in mind as it has a zero congestion effect and contributes to reduced pollution.
“Arriving at your destination on time is a plus as no one enjoys being stuck in traffic for hours on end and for those who are money conscious, investing in a motorbike is cost effective as it is fairly easy to maintain and you won’t spend too much on fuel,” says Labuschagne.
Using motorcycles and to some degree scooters, as a main form of transport, has picked up in recent years, especially in the metropolitan areas due to traffic congestion and among both male and female working professionals.
“For travelling to work and back we find that people are looking for second-hand motorcycles that are well-built, reliable and affordable in terms of the purchase price and monthly maintenance,” he says.
A wide choice of scooter brands has become available locally in recent years and they’re often used by students, whether travelling to school or the shops, but they can also be used by young professionals when heading to work through the suburbs where the speed limit is 60 kilometres per hour. “Scooters are relatively cheaper than ordinary bikes, but they are slower, which will put parents’ minds at ease,” says Labuschagne.
For those who are rediscovering their youth, or want to take up a new pastime now that the children have left the house, a cruiser motorbike, ideal for a Sunday breakfast run, will definitely be an appealing option. Typically, these bikes are designed for a comfortable ride and are therefore best suited for long distance journeys. “The thrilling part of owning a cruiser is that you can customise your bike to suit your personality with various types of handlebars, saddlebags and exhaust systems,” he adds.
Before choosing any kind of motorcycle, ask the following questions to make an informed decision:
- What type of riding will I be doing?
- What type of riding experience am I after?
- Will I be using the motorbike daily, on weekends or only on special occasions?
- Does the bike suit my personality?
- What is my budget to purchase a bike and what will my expenses be in terms of monthly maintenance and insurance?
- Do I need to add accessories or customise the motorcycle in any way to meet my immediate needs?
These questions are often overlooked, but are very important when conducting research to find the ideal motorcycle.
Published on Womenonwheels.co.za, 18 Aug 2016.