Buying your first motorcycle may seem like an easy task, and for some people it is, but for others, they don't know where to start. When I bought my first bike I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I wanted something that was in decent condition, easy for me to work on, easy for me to ride and, of course, something that looked cool. Here are the four main things I thought about:
The style of motorcycle you choose is as much about how the bike rides as how it looks. A sportbike is going to ride differently than a touring bike, cruiser or a dual sport bike. Think about the type of riding you want to do and go from there.
I've never considered myself a large man, and because of this, I gravitate towards smaller, lighter bikes. There's certainly a place for large cruisers and touring bikes, even for a man or woman of smaller stature, but when starting out, a smaller, lighter bike is going to be easier to manage and learn on. Remember, you can always upgrade later.
Price is the main concern for many of us. First off, you should never buy a $12,000 motorcycle as your first bike because you're likely going to at least ding it up a little bit at the beginning. Instead of buying your dream bike off the bat, go for a less-expensive, second-hand bike. They're way less expensive and can provide you with everything you'll need.
Linked to price is the condition of the motorcycle. If you're a gearhead and want a project, then go out and find a junker bike in the back of some guys barn and fix it up. If you need something that's a little less labor intensive, opt for something a little newer and well-kept. You don't need a new bike as your first bike, but if you're so inclined and you have the money, go for it.