The sun shines. Its beams reach your face as you glide down the road. The wind brushes against your cheeks. The feeling of freedom has never been more prevalent than this moment. Motorcyclists fall in love with their toys because of the feeling it gives them. However, searching for the right motorcycle can be a risky experience.

First time motorcyclists may find it difficult to rummage through the countless options out there. Knowing what will bring you the safest ride is hard to decipher. Here are four things to explore while shopping for your first motorcycle:

  • The use: The most important question to ask yourself is “What will I be using it for?” For some, long road trips are the primary use. For others, off-roading is what their heart desires. Knowing what you want out of the bike will narrow your choices and shorten the decision-making process.
  • The weight: Depending on what you need the motorcycle for, the optimal weight range will change. For road trippers, a heavier bike is necessary. The increased weight helps create a smoother ride. Off-roaders need a lightweight bike that can handle the stress of the natural plane. In-towners need a moderate weight motorcycle. These bikes will offer flexibility with stops and curves. They also make for a smoother ride than a lighter weight bike can offer.
  • The muffler: The height of a muffler is something most novice motorcyclists overlook. Based on your needs, the height of a muffler differs. If you were to take a sharp turn, a muffler would need to be high enough off the ground to safely make that curve. In some states, the decibel of the muffler matters. Texas motorcycle laws don’t have a decibel limitation. However, every state is different. If you’re a road tripper, knowing different state laws can save you trouble in the long run.
  • The gas tank: No matter what you use your motorcycle for, a good gas tank is important. Whether you’re on a road trip or off-road away from a gas station, motorcyclists should know how long they can go without a fill.

Finding your first motorcycle is harder than finding your first car. There’s so much to learn and hundreds of motorcycles out there. It’s best to research your options. Exploring the ins and outs of a new motorcycle can lead to a safer and more enjoyable ride.