How To Pick A Second Bike

KTM 350 EXC-F

Get Dirty

Ridden off-road yet? It’s probably the most fun you can have on two-wheels. And if you already have a street ride, it’s a great way to add fun and adventure to your life while actually increasing safety — speeds off-road are substantially lower than on-road and there’s no cops or other cars to worry about. Unless you already have a truck, we’d suggest picking up a dual-sport. Doing so will vastly increase the areas available for you to ride in while giving you the ability to get to the trails without the need for a trailer or hitch mount (although those are great ideas). Our favorite dirt bike of the moment is the KTM 350 EXC-F, but bewarned, it’s not a happy camper on asphalt. The used bike market for dual sports is also vast and starts at very low prices, so this is a second bike option for virtually anyone.

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Doing Distance

Want to see what lies over the horizon? If the bike you have now isn’t very distance capable, then we’d suggest checking out one of the big sport tourers or an ADV bike. The two classes share many of the same capabilities, but the tall, upright riding position of an Adventure machine is often even more comfortable while facilitating greater vision and control. If you’re on a budget, just shop for a used Suzuki V-Strom 650. That’s one of the most comfortable bikes out there, it’s totally capable of hauling luggage and a passenger and returns great fuel economy, solid reliability and has cheap running costs to boot. It’s not the prettiest bike on the block, but if your main bike is something sportier, that won’t matter.

Practical Considerations

Any bike that’s not being used regularly should be plugged into a trickle charger such as a Battery Tender. Depending on how rarely you’re using it, you also want to avoid flat spotting the tires, which means it should live on bike stands and maybe even under a bike cover  if it’s outdoors or if you just don’t want it getting dusty in your garage.

If you ride something fancy, you may even find that adding a second bike could reduce your insurance premiums. Call your insurer to find out how much the reduced mileage on your more expensive bike might save you.

You should also consider beefing up your garage security if you’re leaving something valuable in there while you’re off riding something else. Ground Anchors, chains and alarms (either area or on the bike) are all a good idea as are stronger locks and deadbolts on the door.

If you’re on a budget, also factor in the cost of additional riding gear. If all you have right now is a one-piece race suit and you want to get a dirt bike, you’ll need all-new equipment.

What bike would you choose for that second spot in your garage?

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