The most important factor when buying a new motorcyle

I'm sure many of you look at the engine size, style, color, features and other factors when shopping for a motorcycle. But one thing you may not consider is the ride experience. For me to fall in love with a bike I need it to give me a visceral experience.

What does this exactly mean? Well to me it means I feel it deep in my gut, it's a connection I have where I am experiencing the bike in its entirety. Each gear shift, twist of the throttle, sound, smells and vibrations flows through your body.

Having owned over 30+ motorcycles, I can clearly recall the top bikes that gave me this experience. While other bikes were fun...they just didn't provide that raw experience. One of the bikes I felt truly connected to was my 1977 Kawasaki KZ650b. That was an incredible feeling bike. I had to do quite a bit of work to it so I was busted knuckles deep into that bike. As much as I wanted to keep it, the motor started to develop some major leaks and it wasn't financially wise for me to hold onto it just because the way it made me feel.

The other bike is my current ride, a 2006 Yamaha Roadstar 1700, Fat Amy. This is a big bike, not only does it have a big V-Twin, but it's long and heavy. However, when I sit on her, I feel like I'm sitting in a cock pit of a jet. I feel so connected to her that I can envision myself and the whole bike as one unit.

Why is the visceral feeling important? Well you don't want to be bored riding a motorcycle, do you?  A motorcycle should wake you up, invigorate, motivate and help you feel like you're REALLY ALIVE! It should be exciting, a pinch of danger, a controlled chaos of sorts. It shouldn't be muted or subduded. If you get on a bike and it doesn't evoke some passion, then it's going to be a boring ride, you'll probably end up selling the bike later on because it really is no fun.

Just recently I was shopping for a new bike. I had considered a Yamaha MT-09, Royal Enfield Continental GT or the Triumph Thruxton. All great bikes...but when I thought about it, the Yamaha might be too refined for me. Enfield could be too slow and the Thurxton...well everyone seems to have one in my area. Besides, neither one of these bikes really wow'd me. I didn't get that gut feeling. Its hard to explain it, but once you know how that feels, then you rely heavily on it to help you make decisions on buying a motorcycle.