There’s an old saying that says making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret.

Spring is a great time to make a big life change, and buying a motorcycle might fit the bill. Before you decide to sign on the dotted line, however, there are a few things to consider, starting with your experience level.

If you are a newbie, you obviously need to learn how to ride and get a license. If you’ve been away from cycling for a while, take a refresher course. In either case, check out riding schools in your area. A great place to start is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which can be found at www.msf-usa.org.

Next, decide what kind of riding that you are interested in. That helps determine what type of bike you’ll need to buy, whether it be a touring bike, a sport bike, or a cruiser.

When it comes to price, a motorcycle’s cost can run the gamut depending on whether it’s new or used, and how much you can afford. For many riders, a used motorcycle is a better option and a sensible transitional machine. There's no reason your first bike needs to be expensive during your trial and error period. Get comfortable before considering a brand new set of wheels.

Body type also figures into the equation. If you can’t put both feet flat on the ground when sitting on the bike, it's too tall for you. Also, if this is your first bike, or you've never ridden anything fast, don't even look at a high-performance bike. It’s too much too soon.

If your plan is to use the cycle primarily for daily transportation, a standard bike will do. The up side for those who used to ride years ago, is that bikes these days have electric starters, fuel injection and disc brakes.

If you have a lengthy commute and you have a passenger, check out the cruisers. If travel is your goal, you need a touring bike. And, if you primarily want to straighten curvy roads, a sportbike will suit your needs.

This is certainly not the definitive list of how to go about purchasing a motorcycle, simply a little nudge to get you steering in the right direction.