Top 10 Motorcycles for Beginners

The best motorcycle for beginners has features that are enjoyable and beginner-friendly. When searching for the best motorcycle, utilize the acronym BEST to identify the most enjoyable motorcycle for you.

What Is The Best Motorcycle For Beginners?

So you’re ready to hit the road with a new set of wheels, and you’ve decided that a motorcycle is just the ride for you. As a new motorcyclist, you want to find the best motorcycle for a beginner. So, what is the best motorcycle for beginners? 

The truth is, the best motorcycle for a beginner depends on what the motorcyclists’ interests are. Given that one rider’s interests may vary from the next, the best motorcycle for one beginner may be different for another. The first step to selecting the best motorcycle is to take a personal inventory of what your goals are. 

The best motorcycle has features that align with the rider’s current needs and skill level. Before purchasing your new ride, consider the following questions:

  1. What is your purpose for getting the motorcycle? Specifically, how do you intend to use it?
  2. Will you be riding on roads or off roads? Will you be riding for long or short distances?
  3. What size would best suit your needs and skill level?
  4. How much time and money are you able to commit to increasing your skill as a motorcyclist?
  5. What will boost your confidence and enjoyment as a new motorcyclist? Are there motorcycle features that will support your growth and safety as a beginner?

While searching through all of the cool rides that are out there, these questions can understandably be a lot to keep track of. To remember how to find the best motorcycle for beginners, simply keep the acronym BEST in mind: Beginner Friendly, Efficient & Durable, Safety Features, Time & Cost Effective.

Considering each of these factors while comparing different motorcycles will assist you in identifying the best motorcycle that aligns with your intentions, skill level, and increases your chances of having the most enjoyable riding experience. 

B: Beginner Friendly Features on The Best Motorcycle For Beginners

When learning a new skill, starting with the basics will help to increase comfortability. The same applies to a beginner motorcyclist. In order to find the best motorcycle for you, begin with the basics and  familiarize yourself with the main features typically found on a motorcycle. This will allow you to jumpstart your education as a motorcyclist, and assist you with clarifying the features you are looking for. 

In addition to familiarizing yourself with the common features of a motorcycle, begin exploring the various types of motorcycles out there. You will quickly find that the size and features of each model will vary. Revisit your intentions for purchasing the motorcycle to narrow down your search on which one may be the best for you. 

Generally, the best motorcycle for beginners will have features that are simple and easy for the beginner motorcyclist to adapt to. Some of these beginner friendly features to consider include:

  1. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS): This feature prevents the brakes and tires from locking if the brakes are applied too hard. 
  2. Windscreen: Similar to a windshield on a car, a windscreen on the front of a motorcycle can protect riders from wind and certain weather conditions. 
  3. Seat Height: The appropriate seat height will determine how comfortably a beginner motorcyclist can stop and stand upright on the vehicle. 
  4. Handlebar Height: The height of the handlebar can determine how easily the rider can access the controls on the motorcycle, as well as how comfortable the rider is when the vehicle is in motion. 
  5. Engine size: Motorcycles with an engine size less than 600cc are recommended for beginners because they may be easier for a new motorcyclist to operate, due to the smaller size. However, some beginner riders may find a motorcycle with an engine size less than 600cc to be too small. Reflect on your needs and current skillset to determine which size is best for you. 

E: Efficient & Durable Maintenance on The Best Motorcycle For Beginners

Another factor to consider when identifying the best motorcycle for beginners is how often the motorcycle will need to be maintenanced. While motorcycle maintenance may be simple, ensuring that you follow the maintenance requirements for the vehicle you select is critical to your safety and overall experience as a rider. Some questions to consider include:

  1. How often will maintenance need to occur in order to maintain the durability of the motorcycle?
  2. Will the motorcycle need to be taken to a shop for repairs? 
  3. Does the maintenance of the motorcycle vary based on where the bike is driven (i.e on road or off road)? 

Determining the maintenance required to ensure that you have an efficient and durable ride is critical to select the best motorcycle for beginners.

S: Safety Considerations For The Best Beginner Motorcycle

When it comes to safety for beginner motorcyclists, the reality is that a good portion of accidents take place within a new rider’s first six months. Additionally, motorcycles do not hold all of the protective features included in an automobile (i.e. air bags, outer exterior of an automobile, etc.), which ultimately increases safety risks for a new rider.

Given such, safety is a key factor to consider when identifying the best motorcycle for beginners. In terms of safety, familiarizing yourself with the safety features of a motorcycle is essential. Features to look out for are those that allow for easy maneuvering while operating the motorcycle. Some of these features may include:

  1. Anti-lock Brakes (referenced above)
  2. LED Lighting: This feature can increase visibility and light while riding.
  3. Stability Control: Some motorcycles have built in systems that monitor stability and ensure that the appropriate amount of power is used when turning.

T: Time & Cost Effective -The Cost(s) of the Best Motorcycle For Beginners

The last component to consider when selecting the best motorcycle for beginners is whether the identified vehicle will be both time and cost effective for the new rider. To determine if a motorcycle will be time and cost effective for you, consider the following questions:

  1. How much are you able to spend on a motorcycle?
  2. How often will you be able to ride? 
  3. How much time will you need to set aside for repairs and/or maintenance?

10 Motorcycles for Beginners

1. Honda Rebel 500

  • Motorcycle Type: Cruiser
  • Weight: 408.1 to 414 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.9 gal
  • Displacement: 471 cc
  • Engine: Twin-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed

Price: $6,399

The Honda Rebel 500 might be the best bike for beginners. It is lightweight, practical, and forgiving of new riders. Its low seat height of 27.2 inches makes it incredibly comfortable to ride. It features optional ABS brakes, LED lighting, and a slipper/assist clutch. The slipper clutch reduces clutch effort between shifts by 30 percent.

It also features a blacked-out muffler, which creates a pleasant sound when riding. The cast-aluminum wheels are lightweight and sturdy. The wide front wheel makes it easy to maneuver and make sharp stops. Its twin-cylinder engine is narrow, which helps maintain the bike’s small size.

This is ideal for city and highway riding. You can easily ride through narrow corners without a problem. There are also a variety of accessories made for the Honda Rebel 500, which makes it easy to customize. You can buy front fork boots, side tank pads, a passenger backrest, a headlight cowl, a custom rider seat, and many more accessories.

With the amazing comfortability and durability the Honda Rebel offers, it is no surprise why it is a favorite among beginners and experienced riders alike.

2. Kawasaki Z125 Pro

  • Motorcycle Type: Sport/Streetfighter
  • Weight: 224.8 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gal
  • Displacement: 125 cc
  • Engine: 4-stroke, 1 cylinder, SOHC
  • Transmission: 4-speed, return shift

Price: $3,399

With a length of 66 inches and a width of 29 inches, the Kawasaki Z125 Pro is small but fierce. It is a sports bike stripped only to its essentials. The straightforward design and attitude of the Kawasaki Z125 Pro make it one of the best options for beginners.

It is extremely agile and easy to ride through narrow spaces or city traffic. It is a thrilling bike with good fuel economy. Beginners will not feel intimidated when approaching this bike and will not have any trouble riding it.

The bike has a rake/trail of 26 degrees, which allows for stability without a steering stabilizer. It also comes in bold and stunning colors, such as pearl robotic white, pearl shining yellow, and candy plasma blue. Most importantly, the Kawasaki Z125 Pro is one of the most economical bikes you can buy.

At only $3,399 plus its excellent fuel economy, it is a bike that will cost you very little money in the short term and long term. If you are looking for a bike that is easy to master and fun at the same time, the Kawasaki Z125 is the one for you.

3. KTM Duke 390

  • Motorcycle Type: Naked/Sport
  • Weight: 328.5 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.5 gal
  • Displacement: 373 cc
  • Engine: 4-stroke, single-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed

Price: $5,799

The KTM Duke 390 is an ultra-lightweight and compact bike. The slipper clutch is specifically designed to prevent wheel chatter when braking and decelerating. The KTM Duke 390 features an intelligent ride-by-wire system, which translates the rider’s throttle commands into throttle valve positions. The bike’s engine is protected by camshafts and cam followers, which ensure longevity and power.

The engine contains a catalytic converter which reduces emissions. The chamber silencers are positioned close to the bike’s center of gravity to improve balance. The preload suspension can be adjusted, which means the KTM Duke 390 will adapt to almost any circumstances.

The wheels are light, stable, and durable. They offer great grip on both dry and wet roads. The bike has two seats which are the perfect height for comfortability and security. The handlebars allow the rider total control of the bike. Likewise, the clutch and brake levers are fully adjustable, thus offering riders more control.

The multicolor TFT display communicates all the necessary information in a clear way. The display bars also change colors and alert you when the engine is warm enough. A menu switch is attached to the left handlebar for convenience. The KTM Duke 390 is extremely technologically advanced, but simple enough for new riders to get the hang of it. It is perfect for beginners looking for a small compact bike that includes cool features. 

4. Honda CB300R

  • Motorcycle Type: Naked
  • Weight: 317 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.7 gal
  • Displacement: 286 cc
  • Engine: 4-stroke, single-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed

Price: $4,949

With its small size and low weight, the Honda CB300R is extremely beginner friendly. The bike’s lightweight frame offers better balance and control. Not to mention that the frame is incredibly strong. The front/rear weight is 49.6/50.4, which adds to the overall great balance of the bike.

In addition, the bike features a steel swingarm which ensures safe and smooth cornering. The engine offers the desired narrow width, plus the power. It uses an intake and exhaust system designed to ensure a more linear throttle response. The engine is also designed to increase fuel efficiency.

The bike features a slim LCD screen that displays the engine rpm, speed, and fuel level. The bike also contains a full LED lighting package and powerful brakes. The Honda CB300R features both rubber-mounted aluminum handlebars and aluminum wheels. The handlebars guarantee great control and steering feedback.

The wheels offer a great grip and are responsive to different road conditions. The Honda CB300R is an ideal bike for beginners who desire only the essentials. The bike is straightforward, practical, and offers helpful features as well.

5. BMW G 310 GS

  • Motorcycle Type: Adventure
  • Weight: 386 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.0 gal
  • Displacement: 313 cc
  • Engine: 4-stroke, single-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed

Price: Range from $5,695-$5,945

The BMW G 310 GS is designed for both everyday riding and exploring. The bike’s clutch and brake levers are adjustable, so you can have a comfortable grip. The engine comes with ride-by-wire, which allows for a better throttle response. The engine is also designed to be economical.

The bike also features a stainless-steel exhaust system, a luggage carrier, and a full LED package. Possibly the best part of the BMW G 310 is how much you can customize it. You can choose from two models: “the adventurous” and “the commuter GS.” The adventurous model features a large side bag you can use to pack your things when you venture out.

It also includes handlebar risers that allow you to sit more upright. The handguard and heated grips protect your hands from all kinds of weather. Additionally, the engine is protected from damage by an aluminum guard. The commuter GS is more suited for an urban setting.

It has a low seat, so you can ride comfortably, and a luggage carrier. It also includes a black windscreen to protect you from windy weather. Overall, the BMW G 310 GS is a great option for beginners who desire to have the most amount of freedom when customizing their bikes. 

6. Royal Enfield Meteor 350

  • Motorcycle Type: Cruiser
  • Weight: 421 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.9 gal
  • Displacement: 349 cc
  • Engine: 4-stroke, single cylinder
  • Transmission: 5-speed

Price: $4,749

The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is a classy motorcycle. The air-oil cooled engine with its electronic fuel injection system provides smooth power and reliability. The chassis setup of the new model is sturdier, and the brakes are stronger. These features provide more comfortable maneuverability.

The bike provides a Tripper navigation system that connects your phone to the motorcycle through Bluetooth. It indicates directions through a display system on the motorcycle. The headlight contains a halogen bulb with an LED light guide for better visibility during the dark.

Meanwhile, the taillight is an LED ring-type light. The 15-liter tank is excellent for long rides. The seat is wide and low, which also makes it ideal for long rides. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes in a variety of unique colors from fireball red to supernova blue.

The bike is perfect for relaxed commuting around the city. It is reliable, comfortable, and durable. It is an excellent bike for beginners to begin gaining more confidence in their riding skills.  

7. KTM 390 Adventure

  • Motorcycle Type: Adventure
  • Weight: 348.3 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.8 gal
  • Displacement: 373.2 cc
  • Engine: Single cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC
  • Transmission: 6-speed

Price: $6,599

The KTM 390 is perfect for beginner riders who are a little bit more adventurous. The KTM 390 is suitable for all kinds of roads, from dirt roads to paved roads. The engine’s lightweight structure facilitates the faster movement of air and gasses. This allows the engine to heat up quicker.

In addition, the fuel tank ventilation system makes the KTM 390 eco-friendly by keeping exhaust emissions down. The bike also includes a slipper clutch that saves power and a muffler placed in the bike’s center of gravity. The frame of the bike is extremely lightweight but suited for tough conditions.

The foot pegs include rubber inserts that can be inserted and taken out when you want. The rubber inserts allow a more comfortable riding experience in the city. They can be removed when you are riding on a tough road and need a better grip. The KTM 390 also includes a TFT display where information is arranged on a screen.

The information is organized in a way that is simple and easy for riders to understand. Overall, the KTM 390 is practical and accessible to all new riders. Many of its parts are adjustable, such as the windshields, which allows for great flexibility. It is perfect for riders who want a bike that is adaptable to all circumstances. 

8. Yamaha MT-03

  • Motorcycle Type: Naked/Sport
  • Weight: 373 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal
  • Displacement: 321 cc
  • Engine: Twin-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed

Price: $4,799

The Yamaha MT-03 is an aggressive, hyper naked sports bike. The Yamaha MT-03 contains powerful LED headlights and signals that ensure visibility during the darkest of nights. It also adds to the bike’s sporty and aggressive appearance.

The compact and lightweight frame of the Yamaha ensures agility and great maneuverability during sharp turns. Its 22.6” asymmetrical swingarm provides security when accelerating, turning, and braking. There is a silicon aluminum alloy used in the cylinders, which ensures heat dissipation and reduced friction.

The engine also provides a broad range of speeds, which are easy to manage at both low and high speeds. The bike has aluminum pistons that guarantee smooth riding at any speed. The Yamaha MT-03 contains an anti-lock braking system that prevents wheel lockups.

With its low seat height of 30.7 inches, the Yamaha MT-03 is extremely comfortable for new riders. The muffler is specifically designed and placed to improve balance when riding the bike. The Yamaha MT-03 is a sporty bike that is adaptable to both urban and rural settings. Its compact size, helpful features, and low price make it ideal for beginners.

9. Kawasaki Ninja 400

  • Motorcycle Type: Sport
  • Weight: 366 gal
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal
  • Displacement: 399 cc
  • Engine: Twin-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed

Price: Range from $5,199-$5,799

The Kawasaki Ninja 400 is ideal for beginners with a love of speed. It is perfect for those who want to test their limits and sharpen their skills while remaining safe. The lightweight frame of the bike makes it easy to handle, especially during turns.

The bike’s brakes are incredibly smooth and reliable. The bike also features an Assist & Slipper clutch which reduces the clutch spring load. This allows for a lighter feel when using the clutch. The instrumental panel LCD screen features an economical riding indicator.

This lets riders know when the riding conditions are consuming a low amount of fuel. The Kawasaki Ninja offers reliable monitoring of fuel consumption, so riders always know what is going on. Various parts of the chassis, such as the handlebar and seat, can be adjusted to suit the needs of every rider.

Some parts are interchangeable, and others are adjustable. This allows riders the freedom to create what feels comfortable to them. In essence, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 is a comfortable, yet exciting bike.

10. Suzuki SV650

  •  Motorcycle Type: Standard
  • Weight: 437 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.8 gal
  • Displacement: 645 cc
  • Engine: DOHC, V-twin
  • Transmission: 6-speed, constant mesh

Price: $7,749

The Suzuki SV650 features an advanced EFI system that ensures a smooth takeoff and overall ride. The Suzuki SV650 contains fuel injectors on each side of the throttle body that aid in reducing fuel consumption. Additionally, the bike’s L-shaped piston rings reduce the release of emissions.

The bike contains many advanced systems such as the Engine Control Module and the Easy Start System, which allow for ease of use. The Engine Contain Module is designed to better fuel economy, while the Easy Start System allows you to start the bike without pulling the clutch lever when the transmission is in neutral. The cast aluminum alloy wheels and rear shock are responsive to different road conditions.

This makes the Suzuki SV650 great for riding on both highway and rural roads. There is also an instrumental panel that includes valuable and easily accessible information. Some of the features on the instrumental panel are a speedometer, dual trip meter, clock, coolant temperature, oil pressure indicator, fuel consumption, driving data, and many more.

Overall, the Suzuki SV650 is a highly sophisticated bike that is still approachable for beginners. The many advanced features and systems installed on the bike make it easy to use, not to mention the visual appeal of the bike. 

Selecting The Best Motorcycle For Beginners

The best motorcycle for beginners varies from one rider to the next. The key way to find the best motorcycle is to determine what is truly BEST (Beginner Friendly, Efficient & Durable, Safe, Time & Cost Effective) for you. This way, you ensure that you identify the ride that aligns with your current needs, skillset, and is the most enjoyable.