Your first motorbike. The first steps to becoming a biker

Home Road Motorcycles Tips Your first motorbike. The first steps to becoming a biker

The topic of the “first motorbike” is as fascinating as it is difficult to describe in a handbook. Nevertheless, there are a few things which should be considered; let's look at the 5 highlights:

1) although it is no easy task, because passion drives us to look at the most prestigious models, usually you should start off with a motorbike with a small displacement;
2) it may be useful to try it even if it is just stationary, at the dealer, and if possible, on the road too, as these days there is plenty of opportunity to do so;
3) the choice of motorbike is purely personal - what seems to be the perfect one for you might simply be horrible for someone else, and vice-versa. So choose the one that you like the most, the one that gives you a thrill just by looking at it, which represents your lifestyle;
4) it is better not to make a purchase with only the cost in mind (obviously within the limits of your budget) nor should you only think of its value second-hand: a motorbike is not an investment, it is a pleasure, a passion;
5) a driving course held by a reliable school can be a good investment both in terms of safety and to enjoy it both fully and quickly, for total riding satisfaction.

Now let's have a little more insight and take a look at what the market has to offer.

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Start in stages

The first thing you should keep in mind, even if you have the budget for it, and the right age, is to avoid a bike with a large displacement. Although if you are passionate you will be in a hurry to go for a big bike, but starting in stages is essential; some bikes require considerable experience to be ridden safely, not only because the leap forward in performance can be excessive and therefore dangerous, but also because it is more difficult to handle big motorcycles, since they are much heavier.

Where the heart takes you

Today, technology has made great strides, and most bikes are well built, reliable and safe. This means that when choosing your first motorbike you do not have to worry about the technical specs, the trim version, the brand: you leave it to your heart to decide. So you choose the one you like the most, the one that gives you a thrill just by looking at it, which represents your lifestyle.

However, you should consider whether it is suitable for your needs, including your build. When you get on the saddle you need to feel comfortable, calm; the bike should be your friend, it shouldn't make you feel challenged with excessive weight and size, and it definitely shouldn't look like a horse to be tamed.

To evaluate this fit, visit a dealer to see the bike that impressed you the most up close and reassess its appeal: seeing it in a picture, a video, or passing by on the road and having it as your (likely) future two-wheeled partner is quite another matter. What's more, it is better to get on the saddle, with the bike stationary, to assess the foot support on the ground, the grip of the handlebar, the weight and the dimensions. Finally, if possible, the best thing is to test drive it, many dealerships today offer this opportunity.

Let's now look at the categories and their characteristics, pros and cons.


The Enduro category is a vast one. Enduros range from the most suitable models for discovering off-road riding, to the almost exclusively road models, which retain only the inspiration of an off-road bike. They are famous for their generous fairing, comfortable two-seater saddle and set-up for generous bag sets. They are perfect for long, adventurous journeys, even as a couple, where the asphalt alternates with well-tended dirt tracks.

Enduros stand out for their wide handlebars, tyres with knobbed read patterns to various extents and long suspension, which make them quite high above the ground and therefore more challenging to ride when manoeuvring at a standstill and at low speed, especially if you have a heavy weight to handle and are not very tall. In this case the sitting test is crucial: if you only reach the ground with your toes and are additionally concerned about the weight you need to handle, it might be better to think of a more (physically) accessible model.

Custom bikes

Let's now address custom bikes because they are just the opposite of the Enduro. Not only do they have the lowest frame, but the saddle is also low, carved out, so the low centre of gravity plus wide handlebars make them very easy to manoeuvre, so small-displacement custom bikes are often a favourite to get started with. Maxi bikes are altogether different, as they can easily exceed 300 kg and are therefore far from easy to manoeuvre.

In addition, small and mid-displacement custom bikes are quiet, with engines that work at low revs and allow you to ride smoothly at low speed. The last thing to consider is the silhouette, which is quite particular, and the fact that they constitute the perfect base for customisations. Another reason for their appeal.

Sports bikes

Another leap in style. Unlike custom bikes, sports bikes have low handlebars and the saddle is high up, which means that the riding position is not very comfortable, with your leaning forward and your weight pressing on your wrists. However, they have the charm of competitions, as the fairing replicates those of racing bikes, and suggest (without imposing) riding spectacularly with your body, which is what racing riders do.

The drawback, in addition to the more tiring ride due to the extreme riding position, is that they offer a very limited amount of space for a passenger, who is usually offered a very small portion of the saddle and very high pegs; finally, they are not the most suitable for fitting bags, making them very uncomfortable if you want to travel.

Naked bikes

Mid-displacement naked bikes are well balanced, with a mid-height saddle that's just right for most riders, a wide handlebar and a natural, upright riding position that makes them easy to ride. In this respect they can be assimilated to custom bikesThey are also good for travelling, as they provide good driver and passenger comfort , and are discreetly set up to accommodate bags. The only drawback is the lack of aerodynamic protection, so you'll get quite a lot of fresh air, which is not entirely unpleasant.

Finally, as far as aesthetics are concerned, there is a wide range of products on offer and every motorcycle manufacturer tries to find special aesthetic solutions to distinguish their line-up.

Classic bikes

From a technical perspective, classic bikes can be assimilated to naked bikes - the real difference is the aesthetics, which are similar to those of bikes from the 60s and 70s. Your choice is therefore tied more to the silhouette and memories they bring to mind, to the charm of the immortal lines, those of the great icons of motorcycling. The objective of classic bikes is therefore clear, not so much about the performance but first and foremost the style, a decisive factor in the purchase of a motorcycle.

The classic bike segment also includes scramblers, off-road bikes derived from road bikes. They usually have raised mud guards, slightly longer suspension, tyres with knobbed tread and wider handlebars. It is more a question of style, from a riding perspective they are very similar to classic bikes, with just a slight off-road disposition.