Why You Should Buy a Motorcycle

Two of the most commonly recommended first bikes: They both have 500cc two cylinder engines. Larger engines have more power which can more easily get away from a newbie, and with more cylinders the power comes on more quickly requiring a more subtle wrist to stay shiny side up. You really don't want to go over 650ccs or two cylinders for your first bike.

Unfaired bikes (without extra plastic) are better for beginners than fared bikes (with extra plastic) because the plastic is much easier to damage when you drop it. Which you will. So buy used, and wear armor.

Do not buy a motorcycle until you have gotten your license. You want to take the MSF class before you touch another motorcycle.


Aerostich Roadcrafter - this is commonly considered the best armor for commuting. One or two pice (which can be left zipped together), you're supposed to be able to put it on in 10 seconds, and it's waterproof. And probably the most protective synthetic armor there is.

Synthetics are more convenient for commuting because they can be worn over clothes. While racing leathers are more protective, they require you to completely change.

Getting your License (endorsement)

To get a license (in Massachusetts, similar elsewhere, contact your DMV):

Here, the MSF BRC is, I believe, 10 hours on a motorcycle, 8 hours in a classroom. There is no other acceptable way to learn to ride a motorcycle.

I do not recommend touching a bike, other than those owned by the MSF, until you've gotten your license. You are statistically much more likely to have accidents any other way (especially being taught by a friend).

Buy a Motorcycle

Buy used. You will drop it. It's okay.

Go to craigslist.com, click the closest city, click "motorcycles" (under "for sale").

Bring someone with you who is familiar with motorcycles to look over anything you're considering buying.

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