Inspiration Friday: Ride Free

Inspiration Friday: Ride Free

Inspiration Friday: Ride Free

Ever wanted to have a taste of what life on two wheels can be like, in a safe and friendly way and for free? Welcome to Inspiration Friday: Ride Free, inspired by Honda‘s Ride Free campaign. No catch. No pressure. Free safety course, free cash towards a bike & free cash towards your license too. Just show up, have fun, learn, ride and be inspired! Book today.

With gas prices spiking around the world, it’s becoming more and more attractive to learn to and ride a motorcycle. Cheaper gas, cheaper insurance, more fun… what’s not to love? And when you combine all that with a great resource like Total Motorcycle, it’s a gravy train with biscuit wheels!

Plus we added great spring guides such as: The art of motorcycle maintenance, MOTORCYCLE COMMUTING: THE ULTIMATE SOCIAL DISTANCING, Honda Test Ride Guide – Top Tips When Road Testing a Bike and TOP TEN TIPS FOR ROAD TESTING AND CHOOSING A MOTORCYCLE!

Check out all our 2022 motorcycle models guides and 2023 motorcycle model guides plus all our hundreds of weekly motorcycle Inspiration Friday’s to get you into the two-wheel lifestyle.

 

Total Motorcycle would like to thank Honda, Bike Social as well as the hundreds of millions of motorcycle riders who visit TMW for inspiring us to bring you this week’s Inspiration Friday: Ride Free. Each week we bring you another Inspiring Motorcycle story to inspire you to get out and ride!

Join Total Motorcycle here and help us by joining Total Motorcycle’s new YouTube Membership and $1/mo Patreon channels. Please help us help riders, support motorcyclists and motorcycling worldwide today.

 

2019 Honda Monkey

Honda launch new ‘Ride Free’ campaign to encourage more people to try riding motorcycles and are offering a free ride to anybody interested

The Ride Free experience aims to introduce as many people as possible to motorcycling through the Honda Dealer and Honda School of Motorcycling network in an enjoyable, informative and no-pressure environment.

Who knows, it could be the start of a two-wheeled journey of a lifetime. And there’s some cash on offer for those that do carry on. All in all, this a fabulous opportunity to try two wheels in a closed, safe area with expert tuition and guidance on hand from an approved trainer.

Key points to know:

  • There’s no catch, the Ride Free day is completely free of charge!
  • Bikes available include the CB125F, Monkey and MSX125 Grom
  • To make next steps easy advice will be available from a training and sales specialist to help a new rider toward a new motorcycle, scooter or full licence
  • There’s also a bonus £50 toward the cost of a CBT on purchase of a new 125cc Honda motorcycle or scooter
  • And a very healthy £500 off a new Honda motorcycle over 125cc if they attain their full licence at a Honda-approved training school

Ride Free is already in operation across the Honda dealer network and there are places ready and waiting to be booked over the coming months right now.

Courses are available across the country and demand from those looking to try life on two wheels for the first time is high so, for more information on locations, dates and to book follow the link below:

Try out the Honda Ride Free Experience from Honda Approved Motorcycle Training

 

2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster

The art of motorcycle maintenance

The essential guide in how to look after your motorcycle

Every motorcycle owner has different ideas on how their bike should be looked after. Ask any biker how they maintain their machine, and you’ll hear a different range of tips and tricks that they’ve picked up during their years on the road. Some of these nuggets of advice will be gold, but others can be unfounded and possibly damaging.

The more experienced the rider is, the more likely their tips will be legit. And when it comes to experience, it’s hard to rival Matt Close. Matt’s been riding and working with motorcycles since he was 12 years old. If you need to know something – anything – about getting the best out of your bike, he’s the right person to ask.

1. Check your tyre pressure
Cold temperatures alone are enough to reduce motorcycle tyre pressure significantly, so it’s even more crucial to check your tyre pressure in the winter. When you’ve only got two bits of rubber on the road, even a small change can make a big difference to handling. Do regular checks using a gauge at a petrol station and, for consistency, try to use the same gauge each time.

2. Make sure your bike is well lubricated
Wet weather can wash away lubricant almost as quickly as you can put it on. A dry or rusty chain will wear out more quickly and take a chunk out of your fuel efficiency, so it’s worth getting into the habit of checking. But do it after your last ride, rather than just before your next one. Applying motorcycle chain lube and leaving it to coat the links overnight works best.

3. Maintain the correct chain tension
Your bike’s chain is essentially a hefty piece of metal flying around at high speed, so it’s wise to make sure that it’s at the right tension. Different bikes will require different amounts of free play in the chain, so consult your manual. But whatever model you own, whether it’s a big bike like the Gold Wing or the MSX125, check regularly. It’s also worth stocking up on motorcycle chain cleaner.

4. Wash your bike regularly – especially in winter
The salt on UK roads in the winter is rock salt. It works well enough for reducing ice, but it isn’t great for metal motorcycle components, which can get coated or clogged up when you ride through the salt. If left to sit, salt can even corrode metal, so get into the habit of washing your bike after each winter ride if you can. Soapy warm water is low-tech but highly effective.

5. Avoid jet-washing
It’s tempting – especially when the weather’s cold and you’re tired after a ride – but jet-washers are best avoided in favour of good old-fashioned elbow grease. High-pressure jets can damage rubber seals and even flatten the slanted fins of radiators. If that happens, water gets trapped, and you can end up with a hole where you don’t want one.

6. Listen for squealing brakes
Keeping an ear out for anything unusual is a generally a good idea, but especially when it comes to your brakes. If something doesn’t sound right, then ask your Honda dealer to give them a once-over. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

7. Keep your battery topped up at all times
If bad weather means that your bike spends a little less time out on the road, then it’s a good idea to take care of your motorcycle battery. Either disconnect it (so it doesn’t run down) or hook it up to a float charger to keep it topped up to the brim.

8. Use a cover to protect your bike
If you took two identical motorcycles – say, two Africa Twins – and rode them the same amount, but kept one inside and one outside, they would look very different after just a few years. If you don’t have a garage or shed, a good-quality motorcycle cover is the next best thing to protect your machine from the Great British weather. Just remember to wait until the bike has cooled off before throwing it on. Otherwise it could melt – and the motorbike cover could be stuck on for a while…

9. Always pack a toolkit

All bikes should have a small toolkit on board. It pays to check that yours is in good working order and that it contains a puncture repair kit and any other essential motorcycle accessories. Losing tyre pressure is bad enough at the best of times, but if it also means that you have to wait on the hard shoulder in the cold and rain for a few hours, that really would be a let-down.

 

2022 Kawasaki W800

MOTORCYCLE COMMUTING: THE ULTIMATE SOCIAL DISTANCING

It’s hard to escape the prospect of using public transport when living in a busy city. Trains run every few minutes, buses stop on most roads, and everyone’s got a taxi app on their phone. Public transport obviously has a convenience in life, but there are so many reasons why taking the journey by motorcycle can be the better option. Here’s our guide to why commuting by motorbike is the best option.

Motorcycles can be cheaper
With train travel in the UK being notoriously expensive, using a motorcycle as your preferred choice of transport can actually save you heaps of money. In a 2013 report by Visor Down, the cost of commuting by train from London to Guildford was £366 per month, while commuting by motorcycle (including fuel, insurance and road tax) was £164.97 for the same journey. This means spending less than half of what the public transport commuter would pay. Obviously, these statistics are totally dependent on the journey and the bike though, so it’s worth checking a commuting map or commuting calculator to be sure.

Motorcycles save time
There’s so much to factor in when commuting to work on public transport. There’s the journey to your train/bus station, the length of the commute itself (with delays a frequent possibility), and then the time it takes to get from your station to place of work. By taking the journey by motorcycle, you can hugely cut down on door-to-door commuting time. We talked to five motorcycle commuters and every one of them told us that riding independently made their commute time shorter. One biker told us that they saved 80 minutes by riding a bike, “My bike’s been in the garage, so it’s been taking me and hour and 40 minutes to get home.”

Beat the rush hour jam
City dwellers will have become accustomed to the sight of suited-up workers zipping through traffic on fold-up commuting scooters. Love or hate them, you can’t deny that they can crack through the rush hour jams faster than a bus or taxi. But you know what navigates busy streets even better than all of the above? Motorcycles. The mindless grind of sitting motionless in traffic or red signals changes when you’re on a motorbike. You can navigate through traffic easier, quickly take alternative routes, and use your knowledge to take short cuts. When asked why they chose to take their bike instead of public transport, one of the riders we spoke to said, “Because it’s quick! I don’t have to hang around waiting for buses. I like to be sort of autonomous and be able to go wherever I like whenever I like.”

More freedom and flexibility
Not only does motorcycle travel save time when compared to the public transport commute, it also means you don’t have to rely on other people to get to your destination. One of the five bikers we talked to described it as, “more civilized and more flexible, with more freedom.” This goes back to the reason why so many people get motorcycles in the first place: the freedom of being able to do what you want, when you want. You’re free from the shackles of timetables and the dreaded delay messages over the station tannoy.

It won’t feel like a commute
When you’re forced to spend a chunk of your day commuting, you may as well spend that time doing something you love. When you’re riding your motorcycle, the journey won’t feel like a boring slog anymore, it just means you get to spend your mornings and afternoons doing the thing you love.

 

2022 Indian Pursuit Limited Premium

Our Guide to Choosing and Road Testing a Motorbike.

With the inevitability of lockdown measures being eased, many of us could soon find ourselves having to make the busy commute back to our workplaces.

The Government has advised commuters to consider all other forms of transport before using public transport, meaning increasing numbers of people are looking for safe, reliable and quick modes of transport during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Car-sharing, cycling and walking have all been discussed when it comes to commuters or travellers getting from A to B, but one solution has been missed, and that’s powered two-wheelers.

Motorcyclists across the world already know the benefits of two wheels – they’re affordable, economical and can help ease congestion. However, the list of advantages has been expanded even further now that being socially distanced is high on people’s agendas. Now, choosing two-wheels is a safer alternative to public transport as it allows individuals to remain isolated and at a safe distance from others outside of their households, while enjoying the freedom of the road and having a little fun in the process.

In the article below we go through the ins and outs of the various bike that might be on offer and help you better understand what to look for when choosing and testing your first motorbike All of which is great to get you started on your journey to #UnlockYourFreedom with a Honda motorcycle.

 

Honda Test Ride Guide – Top Tips When Road Testing a Bike
By Michael Mann – Bike Social

It’s exciting isn’t it, riding a brand-new bike for the first time? But what do you look for when test-riding a new or used scooter or motorbike? How do you stop the romantic notion of the occasion taking over? How do you get the most out of the ride? It’s surely just a simple case of hopping on for a 10-minute blast down the road then deciding if it’s fast and comfortable enough, right?

Sure, there’s plenty of information flooding your way when riding but how do you know what to look for, what questions to ask and how to maximise your test ride? This is where we step in with a little advice to help you focus on how you ought to be testing your potential new acquisition and what questions you need to be asking your dealer.

Depending on where you are in your motorcycling life, whether you’ve just stepped in having passed your CBT and you’re looking at something like a PCX125, or whether you’re stepping up into an A2 licence category then perhaps it’s a CB650R, or if you have an A category licence where you can ride anything, like an Africa Twin. I was invited to outline my top tips and advice when road testing and choosing a Motorcycle supported by Honda UK’s Social Media Coordinator Laura Maliphant.

 

125 SCOOTER
The Honda PCX125 is CBT-ready, so you don’t need to have a full licence for something like this, but what should you look for when riding this for the first time?

Primarily, it’s becoming comfortable and familiar with that feeling of being able move under power while not peddling, and getting used to the throttle response. It hasn’t got a great deal of power but when you’re in a town situation or it’s your first time on a powered two-wheeler, it can feel like a lot so the idea is to understand the balance and throttle connection – where you can roll on and how much you can use because a 125cc scooter will happily, safely and legally cruise on a dual-carriageway.

With a potential of achieving 133 MPG on this particular model it’s going to be really economical but in terms of other safety benefits then if you’re riding at night, especially if you’re doing the commute to and from the train station or to work daily during the winter months when it’s dark in the morning and at night, this has LED lights so it’s important to be seen and to do the seeing too – check this type of feature on your test ride if they are going to be essential to your type of regular ride.

ABS, again is really important, and comes as standard on the PCX125. Whenever you’re going to test a bike like this then do so in the circumstances you’re going to be riding it in, and on the roads that you are familiar with. Make sure you’re comfortable with the controls and make sure it’s easy enough to get on and off. If you’re going to be swinging a leg over this twice a day, everyday then you need to be happy and you’re familiar with the weight, perhaps if you’re going to park it on the centre stand then you’re happy with the technique and managing that weight.

If someone’s starting out on two wheels, they will also need to look for the right things to wear, what would you recommend for a 125?
Other than having the correct licence, there are only two legal requirements in the UK to ride a bike; have insurance and wear a helmet but we’re going to recommend that you have all the gear on all the time. Whether it’s Kevlar jeans, protective boots and a leather jacket or a GoreTex suit, it’s so important to keep protected, especially with gloves, I see so many riders not wearing gloves just because it’s a bit warm outside, because you never know what’s going to happen. We’re such an exposed bunch on the roads and the slightest impact from a vehicle can result in lasting damage if we’re not careful or prepared, bear in mind that your hands are very likely to take the brunt of any fall or slide.

Whether you’re nipping to the shops or riding to the train station, what are the practicalities something like this for a new rider?
A scooter really is a versatile vehicle and so entertaining to ride. Whether you’re coming into motorcycling at a young age with a CBT and you’re looking for something to get you around; to school and back, to work and back. Whether you’re commuting, going to the train station, or maybe as a second or even third bike, perhaps alongside maybe an Africa Twin and you just need to dash to the shops for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread – with the massive under seat storage you can put your shopping in there. It’s just so easy.

If you’re off camping with a big motorhome, just take a scooter on the back or inside, and you can dart around the place on that. They’re incredibly easy to ride.

On something like this, we’ve got a 28-litre under seat storage, so you can get a full-face helmet in there which means you don’t need to carry it around with you…

Yes, it’s ideal. We’ve used the example already that if you’re either commuting into a city or to a train station you can have your handbag or briefcase under there on the way and just swap with your helmet when you arrive. And a lock of course is important, so there’s plenty of storage space as well as weather protection too, with the front skirts protecting your legs.

ON THE SCOOTER – PCX125
A great twist and go that’s easy to get on with and to build confidence but first you need to make sure you fit. Is there enough space for your knees? Are the handlebars close enough? Are you restricted getting on and off the bike? Because the last thing you want to do is regret your purchase if you’re not comfortable getting on or riding. I’m 6ft tall and wouldn’t want to be too much taller before starting to worry about knee space.

The practical side needs exploring – if part of the attraction to a twist and go machine is the under-seat storage then make sure your helmet and bag fits. And, if you’re planning on riding through the winter months then do find out how optional extras like hand muffs or a skirt to keep you warm and dry fit, and if you can include them in any deal.

Worthy of note too, is the financial benefits of a scooter vs public transport. Even though the initial outlay might hurt the pocket including the safety gear, insurance and security, over two years the commuting would save plenty of money and you’d have the bonus of being able to ride whenever to suit your schedule. The fuel efficiency of a scooter would be kind on your wallet while taxing and insuring a sub-125cc PTW would also be beneficial over a larger machine.

Beating traffic on such a light, nimble and stable scooter will become a daily challenge as you nip around towns or cities and the 12bhp is more than enough for the 130kg (kerb weight). With this particular scooter being very light, the range of turning circle will be valuable when negotiating traffic jams, car parks or town centres.

 

650 MIDDLEWEIGHT
Looking at the CB650R, it’s a middleweight bike that is A2 licence ready and comes as standard with ABS, torque control options (on/off) and things like a slipper clutch but what would should someone be looking at when testing this sort of a bike?

Well, this is clearly very different to a scooter because you’re introducing a gearbox, a clutch and of course the switch of position of the rear brake, so something like a 650 with its inline four, it has a great deal of character through the engine so it’s important to get used to that when you’re moving away from a scooter and onto a bigger machine.

Whether you’re stepping up from a smaller capacity machine onto something like this, with 94bhp – which is plenty for such a lightweight machine – what’s also quite good is that you don’t have too many options, the handlebars aren’t packed so you can concentrate on getting the most out of your ride. If you’re stepping down then you might be used to a similar amount of power although from a heavier machine which would offer a different ride and distribution of weight. So, if you’re certainly if you’re going to test ride it, just make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of power that it’s got

It’s still fairly lightweight so it’s still got the agility with its dynamic chassis plus a great sound and big revs so there’s a lot going for it as an entertaining motorcycle whether you’re riding through the twisting roads on a Sunday or going through town, there’s a lot of practicality with a 650.

What’s also worth noting is that coming away from a scooter and onto a bigger bike, it’s about becoming familiar with the riding position and making sure you’re comfortable with it. It’s all very well looking at a seat height on a spec panel and thinking ‘oh yeah, I can fit on that, no problem’ but that comfort depends on how your legs are splayed, where the foot pegs are, if you have any problems with your knees, or legs. Then there’s the reach to the ‘bars and making sure all the controls are comfortable to access.

There’s plenty of practicality on this bike too. It might be a naked bike with little weather protection, but the seat is big enough for either a passenger or a piece of luggage, and the exhaust is low which helps if you’d like to add panniers for a bit of touring.

There are several key features on this bike that wouldn’t be on a scooter – switchable torque control, a slipper clutch, adjustable suspension and ABS, for example. What’s great about this bike is that it’s very easy to understand so it won’t take long to get used to it.

It’s also relevant for those who have been on a bigger bike and are looking to downsize although the test ride is important to get familiar with handling and how the weight affects braking and acceleration reactions. With it being lighter in weight than most larger capacity bikes, you can brake later and accelerate quicker. So, it’s important to understand the mechanical differences as well as the chassis dynamics such as your field of vision because you’re sitting taller than on a scooter. Plus, think about where the centre of gravity is for manoeuvrability and how the bike reacts to your inputs.

ON THE BIKE – CB650R
There’s a lot of things you can learn on a test ride and my advice is to head to roads you’re already familiar with so there’s nothing too abnormal. If you know the roads already then you don’t have to worry about what’s ahead and you can then concentrate on learning about the bike. When you’re first on the bike you should be able to judge how it feels. For example, if you’re going to use this bike for the weekend blasts then has it got the leg room? Has it got the ground clearance? Is it comfortable? Are you wearing the same clothes that you would normally on a ride – are your jeans flapping about, do you have enough weather protection? If you’re going to be spending the money then you need to make sure that every time you open that garage door you want to be thinking “yes!” and feeling proud.

If the motorway is where you’ll be spending most of the time then test the lack of weather protection on your test ride – the last thing you want is to have completed the purchase then head to the nearest A road and start doing 60-70mph and feeling like your head’s going to fall off.

There are plenty of other considerations during a test ride. Always try and get the most out of it as you can, negotiate with your dealer because I’m sure they’ll let you out for a little bit longer if you need it. Or, if you’ve not got everything you need out of one ride then you can always go back again – perhaps it was too hot, cold, wet, or you forgot to ride it on a motorway which is where you’ll do most of your miles. Don’t make it a rushed decision.

That said, it’s worth taking into consideration the financial commitment and while it’s not like you’re laying out for a ‘forever home’, because you can always p/ex it or sell the bike, double check the bike isn’t hoovering through fuel. For example, if your commute is 50 miles each way and the tank will only hold 100 miles worth of fuel then filling up daily will be annoying and expensive. So, before that test ride re-set the gauges so you can see the mpg according to your type and style of riding. It’ll also help to see how the instrument panel works.

You’ve always got to go to your dealership with the mind-set of ‘how am I going to use this bike?’ What am I going to be using it for and how do I maximise that during a test ride? If its short, low speed journey’s through towns with a bit of filtering then how is that low-speed rpm and throttle connection up through the rev range? How does the gearbox feel? Is it a light enough clutch? Are all these things going to make you happy? You don’t ever want to be in a position where you regret riding or are too busy concentrating on the things that you’re not comfortable with and not on the road ahead.

On a bike like this you don’t have too much to worry about in terms of riding modes, traction control or, heated grips. None of those buttons exist on this particular model which makes it a lot easier to understand the controls and become familiar with the layout of the handlebars. It’s not necessarily about the seating position in terms of where your weight is on the bike, or whether you sit up tall on the bike, how’s your lower back? Are your legs cramped? How about reaching forwards – are the handlebars too far forward, or are the grips too far apart? If you’re planning to put the miles in then you need to make sure you’re fully comfortable on a relatively short test journey.

And if you’re after performance on a bike like this then again, make sure you test it, but build it up slowly, let the tyres warm up. Don’t be aiming to get your knee down at the first corner out of the dealership!

 

1000CC ADVENTURE BIKE
The Africa Twin is aimed at the A-class licence holder but what should somebody be looking for when taking it on a test ride?

I think it’s easy to categorize with the three P’s – Power, Presence and Practicality.

Obviously if you’re looking at an Africa Twin then you know what type and style of bike you’re going to ride. Power-wise, you have 94bhp which is enough to get out of mischief, getting away from the traffic if you’re going for an overtake or into a junction quickly, or even off-road.

Presence; it’s big, buxom, bold and tall. You’ll have a great vantage point over the traffic and it’s important to be seen too which is difficult enough for us motorcyclists. If you’re coming through the traffic on one of these then other vehicles drivers are going to be getting out of your way.

Practicality; think about the type of riding you’re going to be doing with this bike. If it’s touring then make sure the windshield deflects the wind and rain away from you’re the visor of your helmet, there’s not a much worse than being buffeted around when putting big miles in when touring. The big 21” spoked front wheel might add a little extra cushioning for your ride but does it turn quickly enough? There’s plenty of room for a pillion with a lovely big seat and top box support – but if you’re going to do most of your riding solo then is your seat comfortable and spacious enough?

Overall, the key to any test ride is to tick all the boxes of things you want to get out of the bike.

The DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) option on the Africa Twin may seem a little alien when you first get on the bike and there’s no clutch or gear lever but it’s a simple system to get used to. There’s a Drive mode and three different Sport modes depending on when in the rev range you’d like the bike to change gear for you. It’s still a regular six-speed gearbox but the DCT does the changing for you both up and down in a clever and automated manner. It takes the manual labour away from riding, making things a little easier. On top of the DCT modes, you’ve also got three engine modes which adjust torque control, engine braking and power plus, if you’re going to go off-roading or do a bit of greenlining, there’s G mode which adjusts traction control and ABS settings. If you’re going to lay out the kind of money this model commands you need to be comfortable with the controls, so do your research before. It’s a tall, big and heavy motorbike but can you flat foot when sat on it? There’s an adjustable seat, so ask the dealer if they can adjust it if needs be.

ON THE BIKE – AFRICA TWIN
Getting on it is the first issue to combat. It’s not necessarily about the seat height, which is adjustable, but consider how wide your legs are splayed when on the bike, particularly with the foot pegs in the positions that they are. You need to be confident in being able to handle the weight, when riding but also when moving the bike at low or no speed in a car park, at work in your garage.

The DCT is an incredibly complex advancement in motorcycle technology but it doesn’t take long to get used to using it and I’d encourage everyone to try it instead of knocking it without giving it a chance. A mile or two down the road and it’ll become obvious how simple it is to use but make sure it’s not just the novelty that’s provoking your decision. Flick between the modes on the test and get a sense of how the gearbox and engine work together, wherein the rev range the bike changes up or down plus how the engine braking affects your deceleration and the differences in the torque control options via the engine mode settings too. You’ll end up going for a ghost clutch or gear lever when you come to a standstill but we’ve all been there! There’s even the manual over-ride option, so you can use the + and – buttons on the left side of the handlebar just like in a sequential gearboxed car.

Despite its weight the bike is very stable on the road and with a good spread of torque across the rev range plus 94bhp, you can ride those back roads with plenty of spirit. Other advantages with an adventure style bike is the wide protection from the screen and fairings plus the visual advantage you get from sitting taller than most cars and, with the width and engine bars there’s an extra safety aspect to be considered with the bike’s road presence.

The front forks and rear shock are adjustable to suit riding styles and locations, rider height, pillions and luggage so, if you’re confident to adjust them, give it a go before your test ride or just ask the dealer to find out how and what would suit you.

If you’ve seen an Africa Twin with the fog lights, heated grips or top box accessory then speak to the dealer about the type of riding you’ll be doing and don’t be afraid to negotiate a few extras into the package.

 

2022 BMW R18M

TOP TEN TIPS FOR ROAD TESTING AND CHOOSING A MOTORCYCLE

1 – Try not to get caught-up in the romance of a shiny new model – it’s important to know what you’re looking for, go with a check list of what any new bike must do or have

2 – Is it practical to suit your needs? Know what’s important to you – what do you want from the bike. If you’re going to use the bike for touring, does it have enough wind protection? Is it likely to be comfortable for 200 miles at a time? Can you mount a sat nav and attach it to the battery?

3 – Is the riding position comfortable? Check for handlebar reach, seat support, foot peg position and leg room.

4 – How heavy is the bike? Can you move it around with ease?

5 – Read the press reviews and forums – the mix of professional and customer opinion should give you a decent idea of what the bike is like – it’ll also offer an idea of rivals. Don’t be afraid to test them too. Do the research.

6 – Make the most of your test ride – use as much time as you can on as many different types of roads as you can but also on the roads you already know to offer comparison. Don’t be afraid to ask for longer or another appointment.

7 – Try not to compare a brand-new bike with its brand-new tyres, brakes, suspension and so on, with your old machine. Every brand-new bike is likely to feel good.

8 – Know what’s changeable: if a bike is too tall, too heavy or too wide for the garage, it’s not going to change but components like brakes or suspension can be altered.

9 – Be realistic with your expectations – a £7k naked middleweight is unlikely to have semi-active suspension, riding modes, heated grips and cruise control.

10 – It’s not forever – you can always sell/trade it.

About Michael Le Pard 7482 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 23 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 375 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.