I am a first-time motorcycle buyer (first-time rider, avid road (bi)cyclist). I have taken the Introductory Motorcycle Experience, loved it, got my permit, and am taking the Basic RiderCourse through MSF next weekend. I will almost certainly be using the standard Suzuki cruiser they provide for the course but want to buy (hopefully) soon after completing it.
I have no idea how to go about buying a motorcycle here (or anywhere, for that matter). I have never purchased a vehicle (though I do drive occasionally). I expect I will be able to ask my instructors these questions as well, but I'd like some basic working knowledge of this process in advance. Very sadly, I have no friends or family members who ride motorcycles to ask (yet!) :o(
In a past post
I saw it's recommended to buy used since I will probably drop the bike, etc., but I'm wondering if it's worth the risk of getting something that's not in good working order? I guess I'd need to have it inspected by a mechanic, but of course I do not have one, nor do I know how to find one and am confused about the process of signaling desire to purchase/demanding inspection/committing to purchase. Is it recommended to purchase from a dealership? I had trouble locating bikes on craigslist and am a bit leery of purchasing that way as a first-time buyer with limited motorcycle knowledge and no knowledgable friend to accompany me.
I am looking at Kawaksaki Ninja 250R or Honda CR250R, but am also open to cruisers, though I've heard they are heavier and thus less desirable for a beginner. My intended use is some limited around-town riding, but mostly to take weekend trips of probably no more than 5 hrs one-way (with planned overnight stay). Budget: preferably < $6,000.
Do I need to arrange for winter storage for my motorcycle? If so, what are my options and what can I expect to pay?
Finally, can anyone recommend where to buy some good quality protective gear (in NYC? I'd like to try it on if possible?). I'm female, if that matters :o)
Thank you in advance for your advice!