If you enjoy the wind in your hair and the sun at your back, the modern motorbike could be the perfect option. These amazingly nimble units can be a pleasure to ride while the power that certain designs pack cannot be overstated. Manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson, Honda and Suzuki have come a long way in redefining this sector and as technology continues to evolve, so will your overall riding experience.

Main Features and Benefits

Many believe that the hands-on experience that motorbikes offer is their main advantage. They can accelerate to impressive speeds; sometimes in only a few seconds. They are able to handle tight turns and thanks to their size, motorbikes can be easily stored away when the weather outside is less than accommodating. Some can fit two passengers while the addition of a sidecar is great when taking a small family for a ride. Finally, there is a wide variety of makes and models to choose from. Each can suit a different type of personality.

The Unique Types of Bikes

As mentioned in the last paragraph, there are several types of motorbikes available in the United States market. You are likely already familiar with “choppers” such as those made by Harley-Davidson. Sport bikes such as the Triumph Daytona 955i are also quite well known for their sleek appearance and sheer speed. Some other categories include:

  • Cruisers (such as the Suzuki Marauder)
  • Scooters (such as Vespa models)
  • Touring models (the Honda Gold Wing)
  • Conventional street bikes (the Triumph Bonneville T100)
  • Step-through models (the common moped)

Each of these is suited for different riding needs. They are also obviously associated with various price ranges. It is not uncommon for younger riders to opt for the more streamlined versions such as those produced by Honda and Suzuki. Collectors could instead opt for classic Harley Davidson models, as these can gain in value over time. Those who plan to take longer excursions such as cross-country trips could opt for a touring bike.

The Price Range to be Expected

As with any other type of vehicle, the price ranges associated with a motorcycle will depend upon the make and the mode. Cheaper and more utilitarian versions such as the Vespa can cost $5,000 dollars or less (for used versions). Street bikes such as the Harley Davidson 750 will cost slightly higher at just over $7,500 dollars. The British company Triumph has also become quite popular in the United States. Prices can vary between $9,000 and $20,000 dollars for a 2016 model. Of course, we are not taking into account any after-market work that may be performed on any of these versions. Many Harley-Davidson owners prefer to add detailing, chrome, stunning paint jobs and numerous other accessories. These could all vastly increase the final cost of the bike in question.

What Driving License do You Need?

We should make it a point to mention that you will normally require a valid motorcycle driving license in nearly every state to operate these bikes. This is commonly known as a Class M license. The only exceptions can be some types of scooters, mopeds and electric bicycles. However, the individual regulations will vary between states and it is therefore a good idea to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) found within your area. The most common criterion is that you will need a Class M license if the bike in question has an engine that is larger than 250cc (cubic centimeters).

Having said this, obtaining a Class M license is very important in terms of your safety and the safety of those around you. Many motorcycles have to follow slightly different rules when compared to a car and once again, these can slightly vary depending upon where in the country you live. Much as in the same way as obtaining a normal license, you will apply for and take a road test through the DMV after paying all of the applicable fees. This license will normally be carried along with your standard license and some states dictate that you must have both present at all times.

Motorcycles can be a great deal of fun and in many cases, they represent very real investments. Understanding the different makes and models alongside the type of license that you need are two important first steps into this amazing and worthwhile hobby.