Safest Motorcycle: Our 3 Top Picks + a Guide for Choosing Your Bike

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As a new rider, trying to find the safest motorcycle can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. So many brands have improved their safety features, but not all motorcycles meet the same standard for riding safely. 

For maximum rider safety, you’ll need to choose the type of motorcycle that’s best suited for your experience level (and stacked with features like advanced braking systems and traction control).

In this article, we’ll highlight our top three safest motorcycles on the market right now and highlight some features to look out for when choosing your next bike. 

Top Safest Motorcycles for Different Riders

The decision to choose the right motorcycle hinges on factors like skill level, riding style, and above all, safety. 

For new riders, a smaller motorcycle with a smaller engine size is the safest choice, while for long-distance travel, a touring motorcycle is the safest option. Choose based on your riding experience and intended use.

Want a closer look at the specific models engineered with safety in mind? There isn’t a universal answer, as the “safest motorcycles” will vary between different types of riders (and their unique skill levels, experience, and strength). 

Honda CBR500R

Starting Price: $7,299

Main Safety Features:

  • Inverted-fork design that allows for more precise steering
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) that ensures secure stops and enhanced control during braking
  • Torque Control traction control (2024 model) for safety (more specifically, mitigating wheel slip)

The Honda CBR500R is one of the safest motorcycles on the market right now, and it’s tailored for beginners. It offers a manageable engine size (471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke) and operates on a six-speed transmission. 

This bike also comes equipped with a slipper/assist clutch, which reduces the effort needed to move the clutch by 45%, making it much easier for novices to get accustomed to. 

The CBR500R clocks in at around 420 lbs and has a seat height of 31 inches. 

Image Courtesy of Honda Powersports

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BMW R 1250 GS

Starting Price: $17,995

Main Safety Features:

  • BMW Motorrad ASC (Automatic Stability Control) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) for improved traction and stability in varying riding conditions. 
  • BMW’s Integral ABS Pro for safer stopping power, even while turning. 
  • Rain drive mode for better control in wet or slippery conditions. 

At its core, the BMW R 1250 GS is an adventure motorcycle that caters to a wide range of riding styles. This model is a good fit for both dirt bike enthusiasts and those who prefer standard motorcycles. Fair warning: this bike is much more expensive than the Honda CBR500R, but it’s also more powerful. 

The 1254cc engine produces about 136 horsepower on a six-speed transmission. The standard model comes with Automatic Stability Control, but you can custom order a bike with Electronic Suspension Adjustment for an even smoother ride. 

For nighttime riders, the R 1250 GS comes equipped with a full LED headlight. 

The R 1250 GS weighs around 475 lbs and has a seat height of 34 inches. 

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Indian Scout Sixty

Starting Price: $11,749

Main Safety Features

  • Option to build with traditional disc brakes or with disc brakes and ABS. 
  • Drag Torque Control (DTC) helps reduce rear-wheel slippage when slowing down.
  • Pass Switch to alert traffic that you’re changing lanes or coming up behind them. 

Ideal for beginners with an interest in touring bikes, the Indian Scout Sixty is a cruiser with style. 

Despite being built for cruising, the Scout Sixty comes with a powerful 999cc engine, producing 78 horsepower on a 5-speed transmission. 

The Scout Sixty is heavier than the other bikes on this list, at about 540 lbs. It does have a lower seat height, at 25 inches, which improves stability and control, as riders are easily able to reach the ground. 

Image Courtesy of

Consider These Safety Features When Shopping for a Motorcycle

Considering the safety features a motorcycle offers is vital when making a selection. These features can significantly enhance your control over the bike, provide better stability, and ultimately, help prevent accidents.

The best safety features to look out for are:

  • Advanced braking systems
  • Traction control
  • Enhanced visibility

Advanced Braking Systems

Braking is a fundamental part of riding, but in emergency situations, it can be challenging to brake safely and effectively. This is where advanced braking systems such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) come in. 

ABS brakes prevent wheel lock-up during abrupt braking, allowing riders to retain stability and control. This technology has progressed to ensure optimal deceleration and user-friendly operation for riders at varying skill levels.

An advanced form of ABS, known as lean angle-sensitive ABS or “cornering ABS,” is designed to improve braking performance and stability, particularly during cornering. These sophisticated systems adjust the braking power to the motorcycle’s lean angle, offering a smoother and safer ride.

Traction Control

Traction control is another essential safety feature that helps enhance a bike’s stability during acceleration, braking, and steering. It works by momentarily reducing power to assist the rear wheel in regaining traction, thereby preventing common safety issues such as drifting, wheelies, and skidding.

In challenging riding conditions, traction control can significantly enhance stability and handling. It quickly identifies a loss of grip and takes action to mitigate wheel spin, reducing the likelihood of skidding and enabling the rider to maintain control of the motorcycle, regardless of their riding style.

Enhanced Visibility

Safe riding hinges greatly on visibility, both for you as a rider and for others on the road. 

  • LED lights offer enhanced brightness and better energy efficiency over traditional bulbs, and greatly improve your visibility at night. 
  • Reflective pinstripes, swatches, and tail lights increase your visibility to other drivers, especially in low-light conditions and at night. 
  • Pass switches allow you to quickly alert drivers to your presence. It’s the equivalent of flashing your high beams in a car. 

Tips for Maintaining Motorcycle Safety

Your motorcycle can have all the advanced safety features in the world, but it’s still up to you to maintain and regularly inspect it to ensure everything is in working order.

Perform Regular Inspections – Your motorcycle should be inspected annually, not only to ensure compliance with transportation regulations but also to help your bike retain its value and safety rating. Fixing any issues before they become serious is one of the best ways to avoid motorcycle accidents caused by mechanical malfunctions. 

Check Tire Pressure – Tire checks are also essential as inadequate tire maintenance can result in decreased handling, reduced safety, poor fuel economy, overheating, uneven wear, and catastrophic tire failure. 

Replace FluidsTry to change your oil every 5,000 miles to ensure your engine runs smoothly and efficiently. Similarly, maintaining your brake system by regularly cleaning the brakes and replacing the brake fluid every two years guarantees dependable stopping power and helps avert accidents.

Keep Your Safe Motorcycle…Safe

You may have purchased the safest motorcycle on the market, but there are steps you can take to ensure it stays safe for years to come. 

Chief among them is choosing the right storage space for your motorcycle. A climate-controlled, covered storage area ensures that your bike is protected from rain, snow, dust and debris, and UV rays. All of these things can lead to corrosion, rust, or damage to the mechanical systems of your bike. 

Most riders store their bikes in a shed or a garage, but if you lack the proper space, you should consider renting a 5’x10’ storage unit or covered garage in the offseason. There are many budget-friendly – and safe – local storage solutions at your disposal., for example, is a peer-to-peer storage marketplace where users with free space can rent it out to people like you, looking to store their motorcycle! All of Neighbor’s hosts are vetted, and their locations are safe, affordable, and easily accessible. 

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