Don't just ride a bike, KNOW how a bike works
I'm fed up with folks who plead they don't have a lot to spend, buy an older bike because it's so much cheaper, and then a month later bemoan that it won't start, without trying to learn what's wrong or how to fix it.
I'm tired of hearing the stories about how this Honda or that Harley were "bad" bikes because they left someone on the roadside.
Having a motorcycle is NOT just like having a car. You can own a car for years and years, and never have it leave you stranded. But after about 18 months on a bike, it begins to need things that you should address, if you don't want to push it or worse, call a tow.
If you want some exotic, complex, expensive motorcycle that has multiple computer systems and FI and ABS and/or fancy buttons and switches and options, then you usually get to pay for a tow, then a professional mechanic when something goes wrong, which it inevitably will, as it does on all mechanical things.
But if you have found a suitable motorcycle of a plainer kind, and STILL won't embrace the fear, the toil, the thrill, dare I say the adventure, of learning to trouble-shoot a motorcycle, then there is much less respect in the fact that you ride.
If the armored knees of your riding pants have never been a welcome barrier between you and the hot July asphalt as you confirmed fuel flow from both the tank and the float bowl; if you have never soiled your gloves because you needed to adjust your throttle or clutch cable at the gas station; if you have never found yourself looking for some shade on the roadside because the engine has just stalled and you're holding the clutch and shifting to neutral, looking for the best, safest place within rolling distance to figure out what's wrong; if you have never heard a certain "click" or "slap" or "tap-tap-tap" and known exactly what it was coming from the engine or chassis, then....maybe you have a lot to learn, or maybe you're able to always call for a tow, or maybe you ride in fear.
Ladies, don't just ride a bike. KNOW how a bike works! It's not that hard: hydraulics, internal combustion basics, the most elementary of fuel and spark tests, even how to plug a tire with a nail in it will make you more than just someone who owns a bike; it will make you a RIDER.
Do please pardon a woman rider's rant here; but you cannot know how often I face the same questions, over and over: why won't it start? Why won't it rev past 3k? why won't my brake light come on? Why is the battery dead after every ride? In my local community, my riding buddies who aren't rich call ME when they need work done, because the local shops are going to rape them. And they are expected to help do the work and learn as they watch.
Honey, FIGURE IT OUT! if there weren't TONS of help available for free, right there on the web for you to find, it would be like the old days where we made our man a sandwich and brought him a cold beer while he turned wrenches on our Shadow and everybody was happy. But the fact is, if you can learn to ride, you can learn to wrench. And only the ones who are willing lift a finger to work on their own bikes, getting dirty and possibly busting a knuckle in the process, get to call themselves real riders.
This does NOT apply, I guess, to the self-professed "girly girls" who know they have no intention of breaking a nail while pulling the tank to chase a wiring short. These kinds of riders know from the beginning that they are not going to plead anything but "female" or "single mom" or "dival" and there's no shame in that. But if you saw the rebel image of a biker and shivered, if you felt the lift in your heart when your bike started for you the first time, if you ever thought for a moment you should fold your wings when you reached a stoplight...then your bond to your machine is not just ignition-key-deep. You might need to get a set of wrenches and love that machine properly, Darling.