You and your motorcycle

Choosing your motorcycle

What to consider when choosing a motorcycle

Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a motorcycle are:

  • the size of engine that is best for you – and bear in mind that when you’re on a learner or restricted licence you can only ride a LAMS-approved motorcycle. A list of LAMS-approved motorcycles can be found on our website at www.nzta.govt.nz/lams.
  • where you want to ride your motorcycle
  • the differences between various types of motorcycles, the advantages of each and your intended use
  • your riding ability and experience
  • how much you intend to pay (remember to allow for the cost of protective clothing).

The size of the motorcycle

For motorcycles, 'size' refers mainly to the engine's piston capacity (cc), rather than its height and weight.

The greater the piston capacity, the larger the engine. A 200cc motorcycle has a larger engine than a 100cc machine.

Motorcycles generally fall into one of three categories:

  • light - from 50cc to 250cc
  • medium - from 251cc to 650cc
  • heavy - 651cc and over.

Selecting a motorcycle that's appropriate to your size, strength and experience

Asking yourself the following questions will help you decide whether a motorcycle is suitable for you.

Sit on the motorcycle

When you sit on the motorcycle, can you
reach and operate all the controls easily?

Can you hold the motorcycle upright?

Can you hold the motorcycle
upright when you stop?

Can you easily push it in a figure 8?

Can you easily push it in a figure 8?

Can you easily place the motorcycle on its stand?

Can you easily place the
motorcycle on its stand?

Is it the right weight for you?

Is it the right weight for you?
Generally speaking, you can control a
motorcycle that is up to three times your weight.

Do you have sufficient skill?

Do you have sufficient skill
to control the motorcycle?

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Last updated: 10 October 2012