April 12, 2024

When is it time to upgrade my motorcycle?

By Melissa Delgado

Are you feeling ‘stuck’ with your current motorcycle? Feeling like you have reached its top potential and not fully enjoying the ride? This could indicate that you’re prepared to move up the scale: a larger bike. Transitioning isn’t just about chasing more power; it’s about matching your bike with your advancing skills and evolving preferences. Whether you’re seeking the excitement of enhanced performance, longing for additional features, or aiming to meet new riding objectives, understanding when it’s time to upgrade is vital.

It comes down to whether your current motorcycle no longer presents a challenge to you—indicating you might be prepared for something with more power. However, it’s important to note that being able to ride without accidents doesn’t necessarily equal to being an expert. True expertise lies in smoothly navigating difficult situations. Don’t fret too much about the number of miles you’ve ridden or the places you’ve traveled; what truly matters is how engaged and connected you feel while riding. If you’re considering a larger bike, test one out and gauge how it feels. Trust your instincts and your abilities. In the end, the decision is entirely yours—there are no strict rules dictating when to take the leap.


9 Signs You’re Ready to Upgrade


1. You’ve Outgrown Your Current Bike’s Performance

If your current motorcycle no longer challenges you or feels underwhelming in terms of power and capability, it’s a clear sign you might be ready for something more robust.

2. You’re Looking for More Advanced Features

Modern motorcycles come with advanced technology and features for safety, comfort, and performance.


3. Your Riding Goals Have Evolved

As your riding skills improve, your goals might change. If you’re transitioning from commuting to more adventurous riding or track days, a more capable bike might better suit your new ambitions.


4. You’ve Maximized Your Skill Level on Your Current Bike

If you feel completely comfortable and in control of your current bike in all situations, and you’re no longer being challenged or learning, an upgrade could offer new learning opportunities and challenges.


5. You’re Not Just “Adequate”, But Proficient

It’s one thing to ride without crashing, but another to handle your bike proficiently, actively preventing accidents even in extreme conditions.


7. Engagement Over Time and Mileage

It’s not just about how long you’ve ridden or the miles you’ve covered, but how engaged you are with the riding experience. If you’re deeply involved and always looking to improve, an upgrade could be the next step in your riding journey.


8. Personal Comfort and Confidence

Ultimately, your comfort and confidence on the bike matter most. If you feel ready and confident to handle a bigger, more powerful motorcycle, it might be time to consider an upgrade.


9. You’ve Tried a Higher-Performance Bike

Sometimes, riding a more powerful motorcycle can be a revelation, showing you what you’re missing. If you’ve had a taste of a better bike and can’t stop thinking about it, it’s a strong indication you’re ready to move up.



Questions to ask yourself if you decide to upgrade:


Did You Outgrow Your Current Motorcycle?

Skill Level and Comfort

Reflect on your comfort and skill level with your current motorcycle. Have you mastered its controls, handling, and feel confident in various riding conditions? If you find your current bike no longer challenging and consistently riding within its limits, it might be time to consider an upgrade.


Consider whether your current motorcycle physically fits you. Riders grow, and what once was a perfect fit might now feel cramped or too lightweight. An upgrade can improve ergonomics and comfort, enhancing your overall riding experience.


What Are Your Riding Needs and Goals?

Riding Style

Evaluate how your riding style or preferences might have evolved. Are you looking to venture into longer tours, requiring a bike with greater comfort and luggage capacity? Or are you leaning towards a more performance-oriented riding style that a bigger, more powerful bike could better accommodate?


Think about your primary use for the motorcycle. If you’ve transitioned from short commutes to more highway riding or touring, a larger motorcycle can offer a smoother, more stable ride with the power to overtake and handle higher speeds confidently.


Can You Handle a Bigger Motorcycle?

Physical Control

Bigger motorcycles have increased weight and power, which can significantly impact handling. Assess whether you have the physical strength and skill to maneuver a larger bike, especially in low-speed situations or when parking.

Riding Skills

Consider if your riding skills are up to par with a more powerful and potentially more challenging bike to control. It might be beneficial to take advanced riding courses before deciding to upgrade.


What’s Your Budget?

Initial Cost and Maintenance

Upgrading to a bigger motorcycle often involves a higher initial purchase price and potentially greater maintenance costs. Assess your budget to determine if you can comfortably afford the purchase, upkeep, insurance, and any necessary gear upgrades.

Resale Value

Consider the resale value of your current bike and how it will contribute to your upgrade. Sometimes, the market for used bikes can significantly offset the cost of a new purchase.


Have You Researched Potential Upgrades or Scheduled a Test Ride?


Spend time researching potential upgrades. Look into bike reviews, forums, and manufacturer specs to understand the features and performance of different models.

Test Rides

Most importantly, arrange test rides for a few models you’re interested in. Direct experience will give you the best insight into whether a bigger motorcycle suits your riding style and comfort preferences. Check out our motorcycles available in our rentals page to see if any of the motorcycles you would like to try out we have available for rent.


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