6 Best Motorcycles for Beginners

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So…you’re buying your first bike. As a beginner, you’ll need to know all there is to know about beginner-friendly motorcycle models that promise ease of handling (but won’t break the bank).

Motorcycle riding may be an expensive hobby, but rest assured: that feeling of cruising down the open road will be worth every penny.

To ensure your first ride is a memorable (and enjoyable) one, you’ll need to choose the right motorcycle, designed with beginners in mind. Otherwise, you may find yourself hunched in an awkward position, swerving haphazardly and stalling when starting from a stop.

If you want to feel cool and confident on the road, stick with the motorcycle models spotlighted on this list.

What Are the Best Beginner Motorcycles?

As a newbie, the abundance of choices for beginner motorcycles can be challenging. Although no magic formula exists to pinpoint the perfect bike, several key factors can guide you. Pay attention to seat height, power, control, handling, and weight. A balanced combination of these elements offers beginner riders a smooth experience.

Let’s explore some of the top beginner bikes and their key features.

#6: Honda Rebel 300

Price: $4,500 – $4,900

Image courtesy of Honda Powersports

    The Honda Rebel 300 weighs approximately 364 lbs (165 kg) wet, making it one of the lighter options in its class. This lightweight nature enhances maneuverability, especially in city streets or tight-riding situations. It has a low seat height of around 27.2 inches, making it an accessible model, especially for shorter riders.

    The motorcycle is powered by a 286cc single-cylinder engine, generating around 30 horsepower. This power output strikes a balance, providing enough energy for city rides and highway cruising. The fuel tank capacity is approximately 11.2 liters offering a decent range and fewer stops during rides.

    The Rebel 300 embodies a classic cruiser design with a modern twist. Its low-slung style, relaxed seating position, and minimalist appearance make it visually appealing. Its customizable features, such as different paint schemes and accessories, allow you to personalize the bike to your taste.

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    #5: BMW G 310 R

    Price: $5,000 – $5,500

    Image courtesy of BMW Motorcycles

    The BMW G 310 R weighs around 349 lbs (158.5 kg) when fully fueled, with a seat height of about 30.9 inches (785 mm). Taller riders may find the G 310 R more appealing due to its comfortable riding position, overall design, and ergonomic considerations.

    Powered by a 313cc single-cylinder engine, it produces around 34 horsepower. This output provides ample power for both urban commuting and highway cruising. The fuel tank capacity is approximately 11 liters offering decent mileage for short to mid-range rides before refueling.

    This bike showcases a sporty, naked-bike design with clean lines and a modern aesthetic. Its features include standard ABS, an LCD instrument cluster, and optional add-ons like heated grips or luggage accessories. The ABS manages power delivery and control, especially in challenging conditions, with knobby tires, providing an added boost of confidence for beginners.

    #4: Yamaha MT-03

    Price: $4,500 – $5,000

      Image courtesy of Yahama Motor Co.

      The Yamaha MT-03 showcases a distinctive naked bike design with aggressive styling and a muscular stance. It features an LED headlight, digital instrumentation, and a comfortable upright riding position. The MT-03 is impressively lightweight, tipping the scales at around 373 lbs (169 kg) when fully fueled. 

      With a seat height of approximately 30.7 inches (780 mm), it offers accessibility for new riders providing a secure footing, especially during stops or low-speed maneuvers. A 321cc parallel-twin engine powers this beginner bike and generates around 42 horsepower. The output offers spirited performance without being overwhelming for newer riders. 

      Also, the fuel tank capacity is approximately 14 liters, allowing for a decent range. Its appearance and features cater to riders seeking modern sport bikes, emphasizing practicality and performance.

      #3: Kawasaki Ninja 400

      Price: $5,000 – $6,000

        Image courtesy of Kawasaki

        The Ninja 400 embodies the sportbike DNA of the Ninja family, featuring aggressive styling, aerodynamic fairings, and a dual LED headlight design. It includes a slipper clutch for smoother downshifts, a feature beneficial for new and experienced riders.

        When fully fueled, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 weighs approximately 366 lbs (166 kg) and has a seat height of around 30.9 inches (785 mm). Powered by a 399cc parallel-twin engine, the great starter bike produces around 49 horsepower. This is enough power to provide ample acceleration and performance, making it suitable for highway speeds without being overly aggressive.

        The fuel tank capacity of the motorcycle is approximately 14 liters. With this capacity, you can enjoy longer stretches between refueling stops. 

        #2: Royal Enfield Meteor 350

        Price: $4,500 – $5,000

          Image courtesy of Royal Enfield

          When fully fueled, the Meteor 350 weighs around 421 lbs (191 kg). While heavier than other beginner bikes, it still maintains a manageable weight for most riders, contributing to stability on the road. With a low seat height of approximately 30.1 inches (765 mm), the Meteor 350 offers a comfortable and accessible perch for new riders. 

          Powered by a 349cc single-cylinder engine, it delivers around 20 horsepower, providing adequate performance for leisurely cruising making it approachable for new riders. The fuel tank capacity is approximately 15 liters allowing for longer rides between refueling.

          The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 showcases classic cruiser aesthetics with modern touches, featuring a teardrop tank, chrome accents, and a relaxed riding position. It includes features like a Bluetooth-enabled instrument cluster for navigation and music, enhancing the overall riding experience.

          #1: KTM 390 Duke 

          Price: $5,500 – $6,000

          Image courtesy of Central Florida PowerSports

          When fully fueled, the KTM 390 Duke weighs approximately 329 lbs (149 kg). It is built on a lightweight chassis, providing a responsive and agile riding experience. The seat is about 32.7 inches (830 mm), which might be a bit higher for some riders. However, its narrow design allows many riders to plant their feet comfortably, aiding stability when stopped.

          Powered by a 373cc single-cylinder engine, the 390 Duke generates approximately 43 horsepower, offering spirited acceleration and performance. The fuel tank capacity of the motorcycle is approximately 11 liters. 

          The 390 Duke boasts a sharp and aggressive naked-bike design with distinctive styling. It includes high-end features like a TFT display, ride-by-wire throttle, and adjustable suspension. Also, it has advanced safety features like ABS, traction control, and slipper clutch, catering to riders looking for modern bikes with tech and performance.

          Summary

          Experienced riders can offer valuable insights and tips when choosing the best beginner motorcycle. Most experts suggest factoring the motorcycle’s size into your decision.

          Size not only impacts rideability but will inform the storage solution you need for your motorcycle.

          If you lack space in your garage, there are several alternatives to protect your new bike. They include a 5’x10’ storage unit, a suitable garage, motorcycle covers, or shelters. 

          As a new rider, budgeting involves more than just the upfront cost of the bike. Additional expenses like insurance, maintenance, and storage costs should also come into consideration.

          While you could save money storing your covered motorcycle on your driveway, even heavy-duty motorcycle covers don’t completely protect against debris, extreme temperatures, or humidity. Also, these covers can even scratch the bike’s paint. Therefore, storage units and garages are recommended to protect your motorcycle properly. They keep your motorcycle away from moisture, dust, rain, and sun, which can damage its switches and other electrical components.

          Consider Neighbor —a peer-to-peer storage marketplace that provides safe, nearby, and budget-friendly storage units and garages for your new motorcycle. 

          Frequently Asked Questions

          What Is the Easiest Motorbike to Learn On?

          Bikes with a lower engine displacement (250cc to 400cc range) and a more upright riding position, such as standard/naked bikes or cruisers, tend to be easier for beginners to learn. 

          What CC Should a Beginner Start With?

          Beginner riders often find success starting with motorcycles in the 250cc to 500cc range. These bikes provide enough power for highway speeds while remaining manageable for learning. 

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