GEICO says rider experience and comfort should be a top priority when choosing a motorcycle

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2014 – With spring weather upon us, it's time for motorcycle enthusiast to get ready to ride. If you are among the throngs of riders in the market to purchase a motorcycle, GEICO says choosing the right bike will help ensure that everyone has a safe time this motorcycle season.

"Motorcycles come in a wide variety of body styles, engine sizes and design features," said Tom Garner, GEICO's motorcycle/RV division. "Get one that's right for you. Take the time to research and choose a bike that is a good fit based on your level of riding experience. It's is a big decision that will help you stay safe and have an enjoyable experience on the road."

Each motorcycle season introduces an abundance of new riders who are ill-prepared to handle the challenges of operating a motorcycle safely. Many of these new riders are involved in accidents due to inexperience and operating bikes that are not a good fit for their current riding ability.

Riding experience is one of the most important factors in choosing the right motorcycle. Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

Are you a first timer or do you live on two wheels?
What style of bike are you comfortable with based on your physical size?
Do you plan on riding off road or on the street?
What engine size are you considering?
Do you plan on taking long distance or local trips?

"Your answers will help you decide the type of motorcycle that's best for you," said Garner. "I would also recommend that a new rider go out and sit on a variety of motorcycles to test their comfort level."

Garner says wearing the proper safety gear (goggles, helmet, gloves and riding boots) in conjunction with taking a motorcycle safety class will help new riders get a feel for some of the potential hazards associated with riding a bike. "Start out with a smaller motorcycle to build up your confidence. Once you have gained that experience, you will know when the time is right to move to another bike that may offer more performance and power."

Here are some standard types of motorcycles to choose from:

  • Touring – The largest and heaviest class of bike, specifically designed for long distances. With a large and powerful engine, the bike can weigh between 900 to 1,400 lbs fully loaded.
  • Cruisers – Styled after American motorcycles from the 1930's with a large and powerful engine featuring low end torque.
  • Sports – Reduced weight, agile and handles well with an emphasis on quick acceleration and top end speed. Engine size can range from moderate to powerful.
  • Sport touring – A cross between a sports and a touring motorcycle with a powerful engine. The bike can weigh between 500 to 750 lbs.
  • Standard – Versatile, general purpose street bike, usually recommended as a beginner motorcycle. Engine size is moderate.
  • Dual Purpose – Lightweight with the characteristics of a dirt bike featuring a raised seat and a simplistic design. Good for maneuvering on paved and unpaved roads. Engine size is moderate.
  • Dirt – Light and very agile, these bikes are used for extreme off road terrains. Engine sizes range from small to moderate.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

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