Doing a quick search in Google for the term “beginner motorcycle” will net you over 750,000 results. Within these results you’ll find everything from beginner motorcycle guides to rundown of what a beginner motorcycle is.
So, of course, that begs the question: what exactly is a beginner motorcycle?
A Beginner Motorcycle Should Be Your First Motorcycle
You know, the motorcycle that introduces you to the exciting world of motorcycling in a safe and efficient way; the first motorcycle you own that, years after you’ve outgrown and sold it, still brings a smile to your face every time you see one. The one that starts it all.
- The problem is that there isn’t a definite answer to that question. It’s hard to describe what a beginner motorcycle is, but it’s easy to describe what it isn’t and what it does not have:
- Beginner motorcycles do not have three-digit horsepower – A new motorcycle rider doesn’t need 100+ horsepower in their first motorcycle.
- A beginner motorcycle isn’t a race-replica – There’s no need to have racing technology in a entry-level motorcycle, so it simply isn’t there. Is this a bad thing? Not really (keep reading).
- Beginner motorcycles do not have peaky power-bands – An experienced rider may not have a problem handling sudden power surgers, but that’s the kind of thing that could send a new rider for an asphalt-filled adventure.
- A beginner motorcycle isn’t expensive – Well, generally speaking, it isn’t expensive. There are exceptions to this particular rule.
- Beginner motorcycles do not have unnecessary gimmicks or doo-dads – Again, there are exceptions, but for the most part a beginner motorcycle packs what you need in a nice, affordable package. Manufacturers tend to leave the more advanced features for their more elaborate (and expensive) models.
So now that we know what a beginner motorcycle isn’t, we now have to figure out what it is? The answer is, simply, a motorcycle that is designed to be your first motorcycle.
A beginner motorcycle is generally smaller, less expensive, and packing a smaller punch than a larger, more elaborate machine. However, that doesn’t mean that it is slim on the excitement. The Kawasaki Ninja 650R (read our Kawasaki Ninja 650R review) or Suzuki SV650S (read our Suzuki SV650 review) are both considered to be beginner motorcycles, but both are actually quite capable machines.
Other motorcycles, such as the Kawasaki Ninja 250R (read our Kawasaki Ninja 250R review) and the Suzuki GS500F (read our Suzuki GS500F review), offer thrills and excitement in a smaller package that’s both inexpensive and easy to handle. Sounds good, right?
Which Beginner Motorcycle is Right for Me?
This depends entirely on you. A lot of factors come into play when choosing your first motorcycle:
- Height and weight – A 5’2″ person will be more comfortable on a smaller bike than a 6’2″ person. As well, a Honda CBR125R won’t feel quite so limited if you only weigh 100lbs vs if you weigh 250lbs. You really notice the weight on a motorcycle.
- Desired ride type – Are you looking for a more sporty ride? If so, a sportbike will suit the bill. If you’re looking to cruise, look into a sport-tourer or a cruiser.
- Price – Generally, the bigger and faster the bike is, the more it will cost.
- Maintenance and insurance – The Kawasaki Ninja 500R is almost maintenance free, and insurance is quite low as well. In fact, most motorcycles that don’t fall into the super-sport category are quite inexpensive to maintain and insure.
Whichever motorcycle you choose there is one very important factor to consider: fun. It is absolutely essential that you enjoy riding what you bought.
Have fun, and ride safe!