5 Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle

Photo Credit – Motorcycle Shippers

Editor’s Note: The following article about things to consider when buying a motorcycle is the second in a series of Guest posts provided by our friends at vikingbags.com


Summer is in full swing, and it is the best time for you to buy a motorcycle. Buying a motorcycle is not just about choosing a vehicle for your commute. For many, motorcycling is a lifestyle and a personal statement. For this reason and many more, there are several things to consider when buying a motorcycle.

Through their bikes, hardcore riders define who they are. This is the reason why many motorcycle manufacturing companies are launching stripped-down bikes with minimal aesthetics and accessories. These motorcycles provide an untouched canvas that riders can customize according to their needs, preferences, and riding style.

Whether you are a novice rider who has just acquired his riding license or an experienced rider looking to upgrade to a bigger and heavier bike, taking the decision to buy a bike is a huge step. Before you make the purchase, you should consider multiple factors, including your budget, riding skill, the type of motorcycle you can handle, engine displacement and outputs, and preferred styling.

Never impulse buy a motorcycle because you like the paint job, are attracted to its leather saddlebags and stylish plastic bodywork, or are impressed by the engine power.

If you are unable to control the bike, sit comfortably, or make the long-distance trip you always wanted, the bike will cause disappointment and become a burden on your finances.

This article aims to help you determine whether you are into racing, touring, or want a motorcycle to hone your skills, before you buy a bike and join the motorcycle community.

Table of Contents

1. Determine How The Bike Feels & Handles
2. Determine Your Budget
3. Consider the Resale Value
4. Consider Customizability
5. Consider a Second-Hand Motorcycle

1. Determine How the Bike Feels & Handles

Image of a man leaning on a motorcycle around a turn with mountains in the background. Photo Credit: The Manual

Photo Credits – The Manual

Any bike that looks good to you, is within your budget and fits you comfortably is the perfect bike for you. For example, if you are into motorcycle camping, then a Harley Davidson Road King might be your perfect bike.

On the other hand, if you prefer a lightweight, high-performance bike designed for urban power cruising, then Harley Davidson Low Rider S might be the best choice.

To find the perfect bike, also check whether its ergonomics suit your build. We recommend that you take a test ride and see if:

  • The forward and foot controls are within easy reach
  • You can touch the ground easily at a standstill
  • Your arms are bent but not strained as you grip the forward controls
  • The seat is comfortable. Perforated seats ensure breathability for summer rides.

Also, consider if:

  • The fuel tank should not feel uncomfortable against your knees
  • The footpegs or floorboards make for a comfortable footrest
  • You can drag the bike and stop it from toppling over easily
  • The engine does not feel intimidating
  • Speed is controllable
  • You can easily hold your motorcycle upright.

2. Determine Your Budget

Graphical icon of a plan with a checklist and stylized coins to indicate a budget. Image Credit: Dreamstime

Photo Credits – Dreamstime

When buying a bike, most riders focus on the bike’s retail price. But you should also consider the maintenance costs, insurance costs, and the cost of safety gear. Oftentimes new bikes that cost low do not come with many essential accessories, such as fairings, windshields, crash bars, and passenger seats. You should also add these costs to your payment plan.

Many riders do not have immediate cash to pay for the bike and end up getting loans. While you can easily find financing options, make sure you research thoroughly and visit multiple local moneylenders and banks to get the best financing plan.

Also, try to avail discounts to finance your insurance as it is a necessary evil.

3.  Consider the Resale ValueImage of a salesman talking to a man about options when buying a pre-owned motorcycle. Photo Credit: CNPC Autos

Photo Credits – CNBC Autos

As soon as you ride your bike out of the dealership lot, your motorcycle starts to depreciate.

In the first two years, a bike depreciates about 5% and up to 27% by the end of the second year of your ownership. On average, the bike loses at least 5% or higher each year after that. The rate of depreciation depends on the demand for the bike, the type of bike, the condition of the bike, and your location.

Some bikes tend to retain their resale values better than others. Make sure you research the market trends.

You can also calculate the resale values of different motorcycles at online platforms such as Kelly Blue Book and J.D. Power.

If you find two or three bikes in a similar price range having similar features, then choose the one with a better resale value.

4.  Consider Customizability

Image of a customized motorcycle with blue and gold paint and gold rims. Photo Credit: Thunderbike

Photo Credits – Thunderbike

It is great to have a bike that offers everything you need, such as an Indian Roadmaster or Harley Davidson Street Glide. These bikes are decorated with a stereo system, stylish fairings, tall windshields, motorcycle luggage, infotainment screens, heated grips, and plush seats.

However, after spending a fortune on these bikes, there is little room for customization. If you enjoy customization projects, then look for a bike to which you can add unique accessories.

Something as small as fuel tank decals can give your bike a new look. So custom accessories are something you should consider when buying a bike.

5.  Consider a Secondhand Motorcycle

Photo of keys about to change hands with a motorcycle in the background indicating a sale. Photo Credit: Bikesales.com.au

Photo Credit – Bikesales.com.au

If you are a novice rider looking to upgrade to a cruiser or a sports bike after riding a standard bike, it is recommended that you buy a used bike instead of a brand-new one. These bikes don’t come with the baggage of initial depreciation and if you maintain them, can be resold. Especially if you realize that the motorcycle does not suit your style or needs.


As soon as you get the keys and possession of your new bike, make sure to go for a celebratory ride. Buying a bike is a memorable moment. You can make it even more special by spending quality time with your brand-new bike.

In the beginning, ride in deserted streets to familiarize yourself with brakes, acceleration, and other controls to prevent getting into accidents. Make sure you invest in a DOT-certified helmet to ensure safety.

If you have picked up the right bike, you will keep and ride it for years. Never neglect regular maintenance of your bike if you want to enjoy its performance and aesthetics for a long time.

Many riders prefer to ride their bikes on long distances. When doing so, make sure you read the owner’s manual to not exceed the weight and storage limit of your bike as overloading your bike can damage tires, engine, and other mechanical parts.

Special thanks for this guest post by Viking Bags

If you’ve enjoyed this article click below to check out the previous article by Viking Bags:

Hero Image for a blog by Viking Bags about common causes for Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

Editor’s Note: The following article about the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Iowa is the first in a series of Guest posts provided by our friends at vikingbags.com

Listen to this article:

Table of Contents

  1. Motorcycle Accidents Statistics at Iowa
  2. Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

2.1 Speeding

2.2 Riding while Impaired

2.3 No Helmet Law

2.4 Distracted Car Drivers

2.5 Lost Control

2.6 Angled Collisions

  1. Conclusion

To help prevent motorcycle accidents, their common causes must be identified. For those who haven’t been here, Iowa is a beautiful U.S. state located between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, well-known for its large cornfields and landscapes.

Due to such scenic views and attractive spots, Iowa has become an attractive place for motorcyclists. However, riding a motorcycle in Iowa is riskier for several reasons. Read this article to learn the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Iowa.

1.    Motorcycle Accidents Statistics at Iowa

In a study conducted by the Institute of Transportation (InTrans) of Iowa State University, approximately 302 riders died during 2016-2021 due to being involved in motorcycle accidents in Iowa.

Iowa roads require constant diligence to safety for motorcycle riders as the number of motorcycle accidents has reached more than 5,700 during this period. Almost 1,305 riders during 2016-2021 suffered from serious injuries.

2.    Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

2.1 Speeding

Statistics: As per the statistics presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), 25.9% of fatal motorcycle accidents that occurred during 2015-2019 were due to speeding.

Modern motorcycles can produce impressive horsepower and torque due to being fitted with powerful engines. Many young riders are attracted to sport bikes and aggressive riding, resulting in more motorcycle crashes and deaths. Speeding becomes more dangerous when:

  • It is raining
  • There is less visibility due to fog
  • There are sharp turns on the road
  • There is heavy traffic

2.2 Riding while Impaired

Statistics: Most riders involved in motorcycle accidents were found to have more than the permissible amount of Alcohol Concentration in their blood (BAC > 0.08%).

In Iowa, 6% of all the fatal motorcycle crashes that happened between 2015-2019 occurred due to riding under the influence as reported by the NHTSA.

You are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident if you are impaired. Alcohol and drug use among motorcycle riders and car drivers have been a major issue in Iowa and all over the U.S. When you are under the influence, it can make you lose your senses, judgment, decision-making ability, muscle coordination, and control of your motorcycle. Impaired riders have a much slower response to danger as compared to sober riders.

“Wear all safety things, don’t outride my abilities, and never drink and ride!” -Luther Berge, Three Rules of the Road for Motorcycle Riders

2.3 No Helmet Law

Close up image of a motorcycle helmet on the ground

This may not be a cause of crashes, but it could easily be argued that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury in a motorcycle crash. That said, Iowa is one of the few U.S. states that does not have a helmet law. In Iowa, you are not legally required to wear a helmet and there is no fine imposed on riders not wearing helmets while riding. However, it is encouraged to wear a helmet to be safe.

In Iowa, it is the rider’s choice to wear protective gear and eye protection. Most fatalities in motorcycle accidents are caused due to head injuries. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet and appropriate riding gear can save you from severe injuries. Even a “minor” head impact during a motorcycle crash can cause severe injury or death.

2.4 Distracted Car Drivers

a woman in a yellow shirt texting while driving

Motorcycles are smaller than cars and are less visible to car drivers on the road, especially when riding in the dark. The possibility of a car driver hitting a motorcycle increases when he/she is distracted.

The most common distraction which results in most road accidents is the mobile phone. In more than 10% of fatal road accidents in the U.S., the driver was reported using a cell phone while driving. The drivers may be inclined to reply to a text message, receive a phone call from work, play music, and eat food while driving.

Statistics: According to the NHTSA, almost 70% of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. occur due to drivers not paying attention to driving carefully and failing to watch out for motorcyclists on the road.

If you are involved in a motorcycle or car accident and have suffered injuries due to another rider’s fault, you can seek assistance from The Biker Lawyers to find justice and cover your medical bills and property losses.

2.5 Lost Control

Statistics: According to the NHTSA, approximately 18% of deaths in motorcycle accidents happened due to riders losing control of their motorcycles. More than 29% of motorcycle crashes in Iowa between 2015-2019 involved riders that lost control of their motorcycles.

There are several reasons why a motorcycle loses control during the ride. It can be due to bad weather, wet road conditions, obstacles, animals, damaged roads, speeding, distraction, swerving, speed wobbles, loss of traction, and faulty motorcycle parts and products. If you are a beginner rider, you should only ride beginner motorcycles. Riding sport bikes, performance cruisers, and naked bikes require expert-level handling and maneuvering skills to ensure stability.

2.6 Angled Collisions

Image of a motorcycle after being T-boned by a car

Angled collisions, also known as T-bone collisions, are those in which two vehicles collide with each other at an angle of 90°. T-bone collisions usually occur when drivers do not follow traffic rules, break signals, and change their lanes without indicating the other vehicles on the road.

Statistics: Accidents involving two or more vehicles resulted in 45.2% of fatalities in motorcycle accidents between 2015-2019 in the U.S. and the most common of these are angled collisions. NHTSA also found that 56.1% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved angled collisions.

3.    Conclusion

There are several reasons why the number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents has been increasing in Iowa over the years. If you want to be safe while riding a motorcycle, make sure to wear a helmet and appropriate riding gear. Avoid speeding and riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs as it can be life-threatening.

If you are a beginner and learning how to ride a motorcycle, do not take your motorcycle out on busy roads. Also, to be safe on the road, do not ride a motorcycle that you cannot handle. You can install a motorcycle trunk bag and saddlebags available at Viking Bags to carry useful stuff such as a first-aid kit, helmet, gloves, and white visors to ride safely in the dark.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, click here to contact The Biker Lawyers, or call (877) 209-9452 for a free case evaluation.

Get to Know Pete Leehey, Personal Injury Lawyer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Get to Know Pete Leehey, Personal Injury Lawyer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If you need a personal injury lawyer in the Midwest, you need Pete Leehey.

When the open road turns treacherous and leaves you battered and bruised in its wake, it feels like your world has been shattered.
When Accidents happen, Pete can help.

You’re left grappling with physical pain, towering medical bills, and lost wages — a triad of trials that threaten to grind life as you knew it to a halt. It’s in these grueling moments when you need a trusted ally, someone who truly gets it.

Meet Pete Leehey, your Personal Injury Attorney. He’s not just a lawyer. Pete’s a fellow biker who understands your passion for the ride and your struggle in the aftermath of an accident. He’s here to pick up the pieces with you, to navigate the twisted wreckage of legal complexities, and to fight relentlessly for the justice you deserve.

In this article, you’ll step into the world of Pete Leehey, a seasoned personal injury attorney at the heart of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. With a career spanning over 38 years, Pete has committed his life to aiding accident victims secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.

In this journey, we’ll delve into Pete’s background, his areas of expertise, and explore how he consistently commits to the needs of his clients.

Background and Experience:

Our journey begins where Pete’s did: The University of Iowa College of Law. This is where he proudly completed his Juris Doctor degree. From that point forward, he has continually applied his personal injury law expertise. He did this not only in Iowa but across the Midwest.

Along the way, Pete has tackled thousands of personal injury cases, encompassing car and motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and workplace injuries.

A member of A.B.A.T.E., Pete remains an active participant in motorcycle events and rallies.

Areas of Expertise:Pete Leehey, Founder of The Biker Lawyers

As we transition to Pete’s area of specialty, we find that it lies primarily in personal injury law, specifically cases involving motorcycle accidents.

With a profound understanding of the legal system, insurance policies, and negotiation tactics, he masterfully champions his clients’ interests.

Motorcycle Accidents

As a biker himself, Pete understands the unique challenges and risks faced by motorcyclists and is committed to representing their interests in personal injury cases.

Car Accidents

With vast experience in handling car accident cases, Pete ensures that his clients receive just compensation for their injuries and damages.

Truck Accidents

The intricate nature of truck accident cases doesn’t deter Pete. With his knowledge and experience, he proficiently navigates cases involving multiple parties and complex legal issues.

Commitment to Clients

Despite his many accomplishments, Pete never loses sight of the most important part of his practice: his clients.

Every client that walks into Pete Leehey’s office receives his full attention. He takes time to learn the details of each case, crafting a personalized legal strategy to secure the best possible outcome. Pete’s impressive negotiation skills have helped him secure thousands of dollars in favorable settlements for his clients.

“Pete did a great job of handling our case. Neither of us had ever been involved in a suit like this and he guided us through each step. He let us know what to expect, as well as how best to prepare for the different parts of the case. He also was very concerned with us as people, not just as a case. It was evident that he cared about us and our situation.” – Sarah, Client

Pete works on a contingency fee basis, meaning that clients do not have to pay any upfront fees, and he only receives payment if he successfully recovers compensation on their behalf.

Image of Pete Leehey with his Indian Motorcycle

Have you been injured? Contact Pete for a free consultation!

Pete Leehey is a seasoned personal injury attorney in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a proven track record of success in representing clients in various types of personal injury cases. 

With his extensive experience, expertise in motor vehicle accidents, and commitment to providing personalized attention, Pete is the biker’s choice for those seeking legal representation following an accident.

Contact Pete Leehey for a Free Consultation

Sharing the Road: A Guide for New Motorcycle Riders

Sharing the Road: A Guide for New Motorcycle Riders

“Look Twice, Save a Life”

Welcome to the world of motorcycling! Before we dive in, remember the mantra, “Look twice, save a life.” Now let’s talk about how riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car and how we can stay safe on the road.

Motorcycles vs. Cars: The Seven Big Differences

When you hop on a motorcycle, you’re not just in another type of vehicle; you’re in a whole different world. Here are seven ways motorcycles are different from cars:

  1. Motorcycles are way lighter.
  2. They’re smaller.
  3. You don’t have a metal shell protecting you.
  4. You’re out in the open, feeling the wind and weather.
  5. You can’t carry a bunch of friends.
  6. Balance is super important.
  7. Brakes work differently.

Riding in Lanes: Choose Your Spot

Graphic demonstrating Lane apportionment for motorcycle riders

When you’re riding your motorcycle, you’ve got three choices for where to ride in a lane: the center, the left, or the right. Each spot has its good and bad points:

  • Left third: You’ll be more visible to cars coming towards you or from the left, and it’s a good spot if you’re planning to turn left.
  • Right third: You’re visible to traffic from the right and for cars coming towards you if you’re preparing to turn right.
  • Center third: If there are cars coming from both sides and ahead, this spot can make you more visible.

But if it’s rained recently, avoid the center because oil from cars can make it slippery.

Blind Spots: Seeing and Being Seen

Where you ride in the lane affects how well cars can see you. Each position creates or reduces blind spots for cars. That’s why we say, “Look twice, save a life.” It reminds us to check our blind spots for motorcycles.

Brakes and Distance: Why You Need More SpaceGraphic with the text Less than 3 seconds is too close.

Motorcycles and cars brake differently and that affects how quickly you can stop. Because motorcycles only have two wheels, they only have two small contact points with the road (instead of a car’s four larger ones), so they need more distance to stop. That’s why it’s best to keep a good distance from the car in front.

The Three-Second RuleImage illustrating stationary points for counting the 3-second rule for following in traffic

How do you know if you’re far enough back? Use the three-second rule. Pick a “stationary point” on the road and count how long it takes you to reach it after the car in front passes it. If it’s less than three seconds, you’re too close.

Distracted Driving: Why Texting Can Wait

We all know it’s bad, but let’s go over why texting and driving is such a no-no.

Think about it this way: At 35 mph, you’re moving 51 feet every second. If you look down and text for three seconds, that’s like closing your eyes and riding blind for half a football field.

That’s not cool, it’s scary… and could be deadly.

Right-of-Way Mistakes

A lot of crashes between cars and motorcycles happen because a car driver didn’t see a motorcycle and turned right in front of it. We call that a right-of-way violation, and it causes three out of every four car-motorcycle crashes.

How to Avoid Crashes: Five Key Steps

To help keep everyone safe, here are five things you can do:

  1. Always keep an eye out for other motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians.
  2. Look twice before turning or moving into a new lane.
  3. Make sure you’ve judged the speed of the traffic around you before you make your move.
  4. Always check your blind spots.
  5. Use your turn signals, and let them blink at least four times before you move.

Remember, “Look twice, save a life.” Be safe out there and enjoy the ride!

Embrace the Ride, Safely

As you embark on your journey as a new motorcycle rider, keep these tips close to your heart. They’re not just rules or guidelines; they are the foundations of a safe and enjoyable riding experience. Remember, the joy of motorcycling comes with responsibility—not just for yourself, but for everyone sharing the road with you.

Being mindful of the key differences between motorcycles and cars, understanding lane positioning, respecting other road users, and knowing how to avoid common causes of accidents are fundamental steps toward becoming a skilled and confident motorcyclist. But it doesn’t stop there; continue to learn, gain experience, and educate yourself.

The mantra, “Look twice, save a life,” is a powerful reminder that every moment on the road matters. Every decision, every signal, and every glance can make the difference between a safe ride and a dangerous situation. As a new rider, you have the opportunity to be part of a positive change on our roads.

So, let’s get out there, embrace the freedom and excitement of riding a motorcycle, but above all else, let’s ride safely. Welcome to the world of motorcycling!

If you or someone you know has been injured, contact The Biker Lawyers today for a free consultation.

Top 5 Premier Biker Events in Iowa You Can’t Miss!

Top 5 Premier Biker Events in Iowa You Can’t Miss!

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In Iowa, we Bikers cram a lot of motorcycle events into our summer. Which are the best? If you’ve been looking for the top biker events in Iowa in 2023, you’ve come to the right place! Iowa is an exciting state for biking enthusiasts, though the weather does limit the riding season. Since everyone has unique expectations about these events and what makes them amazing, everyone has their opinions. Here are ours! Image of a motorcycle on a drag strip with blue and pink smoke from the Redneck Revival Rally, a top biker event in Iowa

5. Redneck Revival Rally in Conesville, Iowa (May 25-28, 2023)

The official biking season in Iowa kicks off with the Redneck Revival Rally. It takes place over the Memorial Day weekend in a private campground just south of Conesville, Iowa. This rally is a great destination for bikers, with features including:

  • Private property venue, meaning fewer rules and restrictions
  • A Beer Barn, live music stage, and biker games throughout the day
  • Food and drink vendors
  • Drag races at the adjacent race strip
  • On-site camping and parking facilities


4. Anamosa Hill Climb in Anamosa, Iowa (June 4, 2023)

Image of two motorcycles racing up the Anamosa hill climb- a top biker event in Iowa

Next on the calendar is the Hill Climb event near Anamosa, Iowa. Despite its seemingly simplistic concept, the steep hill or ‘cliff’ provides an intriguing and entertaining spectacle. Other features of this event include:

  • Variety of vendors, offering food, drinks, and other items of interest to bikers
  • Family-friendly atmosphere, making it one of the few biker events suitable for children
  • Alternate rain date, ensuring the event happens despite weather conditions
  • Two iterations annually, with the next one in September


3. Romper Room Rally in Earlville, Iowa (June 14-18, 2023)

Image of hundreds of motorcycles at the Romper Room Rally and Run in Earlville, Iowa

The Romper Room Rally in Eastern Iowa is another highlight. Taking place at the Earlville Speedway off of Highway 20, this multi-day event also includes:

  • The largest single-day ride in the state
  • Limited vendors, but essentials are available
  • Proximity to gas stations and restaurants
  • RV Campground and tent camping facilities


2. ABATE of Iowa Freedom Rally in Algona, Iowa (June 29 – July 1, 2023)

Multiple images from the ABATE of Iowa Freedom Rally in Algona Iowa, THE premier biker event in Iowa

Considered the premier motorcycle rally of the season, the ABATE of Iowa Freedom Rally is a must-attend event. Held on private property, it stands out due to:

  • National music acts and a Beer Barn
  • A wide range of activities throughout the day
  • The impressive size of the event, with over 5,000 attendees and 22 acres of parking
  • Volunteer-driven organization and free tickets for those who contribute a certain amount of volunteer hours


1. Conesville Redneck Revival (Part 2) and ABATE of Minnesota Rally

The second Conesville Redneck Revival rally, which takes place on Labor Day weekend, rounds out the season in Iowa. Simultaneously, the ABATE of Minnesota Rally in Litchfield, Minnesota, offers a crisp fall feel to a biker rally. In conclusion, Iowa and its neighboring states offer a series of exciting events for bikers throughout the summer. Whether you are a local or visiting, these events offer a guaranteed-to-be-unforgettable time full of camaraderie, entertainment, and parties the likes of which can only be found in the Biker Community!

The Biker Party Wants You!

If you love a good Biker Party, check out The Biker Party Facebook Group where you’ll meet like-minded road warriors from around the world who always know where the party is! Did we miss your favorite Biker Event in the Midwest? Leave a comment below to let us know!