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What’s the best first motorcycle for people who are new to riding? Some motorcycles are easier for beginners to handle and learn on than others, so it’s important to know what to look for before buying your first bike. This guide covers the features that make a beginner-friendly bike and some of the top motorcycles for new riders.
What Makes a Good Beginner Motorcycle?
Choosing the best first motorcycle for you requires a little bit of research first. The most important thing to decide before shopping for a bike is the style of riding you want to do. There are great beginner motorcycles for every riding style. The main types of motorcycles are:
- Standard: all-purpose bikes
- Touring: made for long-distance riding
- Dual-Sport or Adventure: made to handle tough terrain
- Cruiser: made for relaxed rides and commuting
- Sport: made for speed and nimble handling
If you’re not sure which type of bike is the best for you, a standard style motorcycle is probably the way to go. As you learn to ride, you’ll have a better idea of what style of riding you enjoy most.
Regardless of the riding style you favor, there are a few things to look for in a beginner motorcycle. For example, it is always better to go with a relatively small bike when you’re just starting to ride. A lighter motorcycle will be easier to handle, balance on and control.
Additionally, stick to bikes with an engine under 600cc. A less powerful motorcycle will not only be safer for beginners but easier to learn on. Once you get more experienced and comfortable riding motorcycles, you can switch to a more powerful bike confidently.
Consider looking at used motorcycles before buying a new one. You may not always be able to find the motorcycle you like used, but it is definitely worth taking a look. A used bike will save you money. Plus, you won’t have to worry as much about little scrapes and dings that inevitably happen when you’re learning to ride.
No matter where you buy your bike, it’s always a good idea to try it out first, if possible. Try out a few bikes, too, so you have something to compare each one to. This can even help you figure out what style of motorcycle you like best.
Top 5 Best First Motorcycles for Beginners
There are a lot of great motorcycles out there today, but we’ve picked out five of the best first motorcycles for different types of buyers and riding styles. Take a look at these awesome bikes when you’re looking for your first ride.
1. Kawasaki Z125 PRO SE: Best Overall Motorcycle for Beginners
The Kawasaki Z125 PRO SE is purpose-made for new riders. This bike rips while still being approachable for beginners. It’s a super affordable standard-style bike, which makes it a great fit for a lot of new riders. The 125cc engine is easy to handle, so it’s great for building your confidence on the road.
The Z125 PRO SE has a seat height of 31.7 inches, which makes it great for shorter riders as well as taller riders. Overall, the Z125 PRO SE is a great all-around motorcycle that’s perfect for your daily commute or zipping around town just for fun. Priced around $4000 new, it’s one of the most affordable bikes for beginners.
2. KTM 390 Adventure: Best Beginner Adventure Bike
If you’re looking for a great adventure bike that’s all beginner friendly, check out the KTM 390 Adventure. An adventure bike is a good mix of a touring bike and a sport bike, made for long rides on roads and off roads alike. The KTM 390 Adventure looks more like a sport bike, but rides great off-road, too.
The 390 has a 373cc engine, so you get enough power to handle rough terrain while still keeping things low-power enough for beginners. KTM built this bike with tough parts, too, which is helpful for new riders. The weight remains manageable, though, at approximately 380 lbs. This bike is on the pricier side for a beginner, with an MSRP around $7400.
3. Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS: Best Beginner Bike for Short Riders
If you’re below average height, it can be frustrating finding the best first motorcycle for you. Unfortunately, a lot of bikes have a seat height that’s too high for shorter riders to work with safely or confidently. Cruiser bikes often have lower seats, but the cruiser style isn’t for everyone. Luckily, there are still some great options out there, like the Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS.
This motorcycle is a staple among shorter riders, thanks to a seat height just under 31 inches. Kawasaki also made the Ninja 400 with “ergo-fit” design features. This means it’s designed for riders to easily be able to swap out parts in the bike to adjust the fit and riding position.
The Ninja 400 is a sport bike, but the design is much more approachable for shorter riders compared with most bikes made for this riding style. You’ll get a 399cc engine, which is on the higher side for a beginner, but good for growing into. The ABS braking system also improves safety, a great feature for new riders.
4. Royal Enfield Meteor 350: Best Beginner Cruiser Motorcycle
Cruiser motorcycles are some of the best first motorcycles you can buy. If you want something that’s fun to ride around in your city or suburb, a cruiser bike is a great choice. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is one of the best cruisers for beginners.
This bike has a sleek, classic design available in several different colors with an MSRP around $4700. The Meteor 350 has a 349cc engine, which makes it a good choice for beginners. However, it is worth noting that this engine may not be powerful enough to handle high-speed freeway travel for some riders. Nonetheless, this is a relatively lightweight bike that’s easy to handle for those just starting out on a motorcycle.
5. Ryvid Anthem: Best Beginner Electric Motorcycle
Cars aren’t the only vehicles going emissions-free. There’s a growing market for electric motorcycles today, including some cool options for new riders. If you’re looking for an electric bike, the Ryvid Anthem is one of the best first motorcycles you could buy. This feature-packed bike is relatively new to the market, but much more affordable than most other electric motorcycles.
The Ryvid Anthem is a standard-style motorcycle that gets around 75 miles of range on a single charge. The battery is removable, with built-in wheels and a handle making it easy to bring inside for overnight charging. The stainless steel frame weighs in at just 240 lbs. It has plenty of torque and handles city and suburban riding nicely.
One epic feature of the Ryvid Anthem is the built-in seat adjuster. With the press of a button, you can adjust the seat height from 30 to 34 inches. This makes the Ryvid a great option for riders of all heights. Plus, it’s priced at $7800, which is significantly lower than most other electric motorcycles.
Choosing Your First Motorcycle With Confidence
Finding the best first motorcycle for you is all about choosing the right riding style and pinning down an entry-level bike in that category. There are plenty of awesome motorcycles to choose from today. Beginners need to take a few key features into account, but the most important part of shopping for your motorcycle is to just have fun. Go with a bike that you feel confident riding and you’ll have a great time!