Starting your motorcycle journey can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of top motorcycles for beginning riders!
With over 8 million motorcycles registered in the U.S. and the biker industry growing every day. It’s no wonder, according to The Motley Fool, one in thirty-six people are taking to the open road.
But with so many options out there, how do you choose the right motorcycle to start your journey? Everyone you ask will have an opinion, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to finding a bike that fits you and your needs.
Don’t worry about going with a top motorcycle brand, what’s most important is that you feel comfortable on your new ride.
We’ll help guide you through the process by answering some key questions and revealing the top ten best motorcycles for beginners. So buckle up, grab your helmet, and let’s hit the road!
Ask the Right Questions Before Buying Your First Bike
Before we get to the list of motorcycles, ask yourself four questions. You’ll want to have an answer to each question before you start looking at bikes.
Narrow down the list of what will be best for you. Before you know it you’ll be cruising to events.
What are you going to use the bike for?
When it comes to getting your first hog, one of the first things you gotta ask yourself is what you’re gonna use it for. Commuting to work? Taking it off-road? Long road trips? Or maybe you just wanna show off at the local bike night.
Every motorcycle is designed with a purpose in mind. It’s important to choose one that fits your riding goals. Don’t get a bike meant for off-roading if you’re planning on cruising down the highway, or vice versa. Pick the right bike for the job, and you won’t be disappointed down the road.
How big of a bike can you handle?
As you shop for your first motorcycle, size is an important factor to consider. The physical size and weight of the bike can affect your ability to put your feet on the ground and control the bike.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about the power output of the engine. As a beginner, you’re still mastering the throttle and navigating turns, so it’s best to start with a bike that isn’t too overpowering.
Choose a bike that’s proportionate to your physical capabilities and power needs, so you can ride with confidence and enjoy the experience without feeling overwhelmed.
How much money do you want to spend?
You need to consider what your budget is for the initial investment. Larger engines also mean larger insurance payments.
Another reality of riding a motorcycle is that you will eventually drop it. Repairing a smaller less expensive motorcycle will be more affordable.
Best Motorcycles for Beginners
Find a motorcycle that ignites your passion and captures your heart, one that will leave you in awe every time you lay your eyes on it.
Your first bike should be a true reflection of your style and personality, and leave you longing for the next time you can hit the open road.
Let’s dive into our best picks that fit the bill for a riding beginner.
Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883
The Sportster has been around for decades and is widely known for being one the best motorcycles for beginners. But, it is one of the more expensive bikes on the list.
The seat is lower making it friendly for those who are shorter. There is no passenger seat, which is perfect for a new rider who shouldn’t be having passengers yet.
It may not handle as smoothly in slow turns as some of the other bikes on this list. Use this to your advantage and make yourself a better rider with some practice slow turns in an empty parking lot.
The aftermarket options for customization are endless for Harley motorcycles. You’ll have the ability to invest as much or as little as you desire into making your first bike your own.
The Sportster is commonly referred to as the woman’s bike of the Harley line. Don’t let this top you if you are male. You can make the Sportster look tough and less feminine.
Indian Scout Sixty
The rivalry between Harley and Indian has spanned decades and is alive and strong. If you are looking for a cruiser then you need to consider the Indian Scout Sixty.
Indian Motorcycle has taken a modern approach to the classic cruiser. They gave it a lot less chrome and a whole lot more black.
The aftermarket parts options aren’t as plentiful for Indian as Harley. Indian does a much better job at making the parts easily interchangeable. This makes it one of the best motorcycles for beginners.
The Bolt is a versatile motorcycle that is perfect for beginner riders who are looking for a cruiser-style bike. This motorcycle is designed with comfort and stability in mind, making it an ideal choice for riders who want a comfortable and confident riding experience.
The Bolt features wide handlebars that provide a comfortable and stable grip, making steering easier and more intuitive. The low seat height of the Bolt also makes it ideal for riders with shorter legs, as it provides a more accessible and comfortable riding position.
Additionally, the Bolt is priced at around $8,000, making it an affordable option for those who are just starting out in the world of motorcycling. Despite its budget-friendly price tag, the Yamaha Bolt is packed with features and performance capabilities.
Kawasaki Vulcan S
Kawasaki may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think of cruisers, but the Vulcan S is a fantastic option for beginner riders.
This bike offers unparalleled customization options, allowing you to adjust the handlebars, seat, and pegs to ensure maximum comfort.
Whether you’re commuting to work or hitting the open road, the Vulcan S provides ample storage space for your belongings.
However, it’s worth noting that riders over 160 pounds may need to consider upgrading the stock suspension for optimal handling and performance.
Honda Rebel 300 or Rebel 500
The Honda Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 are great options for beginner riders who are looking for a motorcycle that’s easy to handle and maneuver.
These bikes come with two engine size options – the 300 and the 500. This allows riders to choose the amount of power they’re comfortable with. With a low seat height, these bikes are ideal for those who are shorter in stature.
In addition to their user-friendly design, the Honda Rebel models are also known for their reliability, which is a testament to Honda’s long history of producing quality motorcycles.
With prices starting at around $4,000 to $6,000, these bikes are affordably priced and offer great value. Whether you’re commuting to work, cruising around town, or hitting the open road, the Honda Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 are excellent choices for beginner riders.
Kawasaki Ninja 300
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 is one of the smallest motorcycles on this list and perfect for a nervous or very inexperienced new rider. If you are smaller physically then you need to take a look at the 300.
Kawasaki used to make a 250R which was their smallest beginner bike. You have the choice of buying a 250R used for about three thousand or going with a new 300 for about five thousand.
The 300 is fuel injected which means starting your bike will be faster and smoother no matter what the temperature outside. The 300 looks like a bigger bike than it is.
The 300 has received glowing reviews from critics and riders alike. Keep in mind that the 300 is a smaller engine power-wise.
You may feel that the power is lacking when riding with other riders. If you do go with the 300, plan on upgrading in the near future.
The Honda CB 500 comes in two options, the CB and CBR. Both options are great for new riders who are confident with their skills and have experience with motorcycles in some capacity.
Both options come with the option of ABS brakes. The seat is 30.7 inches which makes it a mid-range height on this list.
It’s on the lower end price-wise at about six thousand dollars. This is a bike you can get as a beginner and not grow out of in six months.
If speed and hardcore leaning into turns are what you are looking for then a sportbike is the way to go. A Yamaha R3 is one of the best motorcycles for beginners.
It has a great entry price of just five thousand. The engine is 321cc which makes it a smaller bike both in size and engine.
Don’t worry though it will still perform well on the highway. Keep in mind with sportbikes you’ll have a lot less storage space for your items.
Kawasaki Versys-X 300
If you are looking to go on a true adventure then the Versys is what you need to be looking at. Adventure bikes let you own the road and the off-road by carrying a ton of gear and having big knobby tires.
If you are very short adventure bikes are not for you as they all have tall seat heights. Get the ABS brakes, they are worth the extra investment.
Triumph Street Scrambler
The Scrambler is a term that you’ll see all over the place these days as it’s the “cool” bike style right now. The term scrambler means it’s a smaller bike that has an exhaust that is higher, knobby tires, wide handlebars, and a longer body.
If you are into the old-school cool of Steve McQueen then this might be the bike for you. Triumph has combined the scrambler style with modern technology.
You’ll have luxuries like traction control and ABS brakes. This bike is one of the most expensive best motorcycles for beginners at around $11,000 new.
Take the Next Step: Get on the Road
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of our list of the best motorcycles for beginners.
But now comes the most important part of the journey – finding and buying the right bike for you. Consider your needs, lifestyle, personality, and budget before making a final decision.
Don’t just rely on online research – visit local dealerships, sit on a few bikes, and take them for a test ride. The right motorcycle is waiting for you, and we hope this list has provided a good starting point.