Motorcycle riding is a good exploit for outdoor enthusiasts looking for thrill and fun. But as a first-timer, familiarizing yourself with the various types of motorcycles for beginners is key to experiencing the utmost thrill and fun.
It’s worth noting that not all motorcycles are beginner-friendly. Some are too fast, and others are too technical for a beginner rider.
We understand how frustrating it can be to spend money on a motorbike that you may never enjoy riding.
Let’s guide you on what to look for in a beginner motorcycle, highlighting the most beginner-friendly motorcycle brands and discussing the various types of beginner motorcycles.
Let’s get into it!
What to Consider When Buying a Beginner Motorcycle
As a beginner motorcyclist, you want a motorcycle that you’ll enjoy riding and one that offers you value for money. On that note, here are some essential considerations:
1. Purpose of Getting the Motorcycle
Why do you want to get a motorcycle? Answering this right will help you pick the right type.
For example, standard motorcycles are best for commuting while sport bikes are best for on-road racing. On the other hand, dirt bikes are best for off-road/dirt touring.
If you want to go on a motorcycle tour, you should get a touring motorcycle. But if you are the adventurous type, getting an adventure bike makes sense for you.
2. Engine Size
You don’t need a very powerful engine as a beginner. You should, however, not go for the smallest capacity. Overall, 600cc is a good benchmark, and you can go for anything below it, depending on your budget.
3. Bike Size
It’s essential that you pick a motorcycle that fits you. In that case, you must consider the handlebar height and seat height.
The handlebar should be low enough to allow you to grab them and ride easily. The seat height should equally be lower to let you sit comfortably.
4. Your Budget
You don’t have to go for the costliest motorcycle as a beginner. Ideally, most high-end motorbikes are for the most experienced riders.
Decent beginner motorcycles average $3,000-$5,500. So, you only need to pick what suits your budget.
5. Motorcycle Technology
Often, a motorcycle’s buying price depends on the technology. This is an area you must pay attention to if you want to know what you are paying for.
Some must-have technologies include GPS, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), and an audio system.
7. Bike Weight
You want a motorcycle that you can push around with ease and one that’s comfortable to ride. For that reason, you should look at its weight to ensure it is manageable.
Most beginner motorbikes weigh between 225 pounds (102kg) and 375 pounds (170kg).
8. Bike Comfort
Riding a motorcycle can be more tiring than driving. Comfort should be a key consideration when picking a motorcycle as a beginner.
Its seat and handlebars should be below, but it should have comfortable geometry, good suspension, and a comfortable saddle.
The terrain that you plan to ride on determines what motorcycle to get.
For example, a sportbike is best for paved roads/streets, while a dirt bike, cruiser bike, and adventure bike are best for off-road. A tourer bike, in contrast, can take many terrains.
10. Bike Speed
Don’t go for a motorcycle that is too fast when you are a beginner. Usually, the faster these bikes go, the harder they are to control.
The average beginner motorcycle moves at a top speed of 60-150mph. That includes cruiser, adventure, and touring motorcycles. Sportbikes, however, can hit 200+ mph.
You also have to consider whom you are buying the motorcycle from. The manufacturer should be reputable, offering a good warranty for the bikes.
Let’s look at the top beginner-friendly motorcycle brands next.
Best Motorcycle Brands for Beginners
Not all manufacturers make the most beginner-friendly motorcycles. Some are just for the most experienced motorcyclists.
Overall, here are the top 6 most beginner-friendly motorcycle brands:
American iconic bike brand Harley-Davidson makes some of the coolest motorbikes in the world. Harley-Davidson flourishes in the cruiser, adventure, and street bikes sector, where its bikes combine speed, comfort, and style.
The bike brand paved the way for the popular chopper-style motorcycle, and they continue to set the bar.
With a history that dates back to World War II, Japanese motorcycle maker Honda is irrefutably the biggest motorcycle manufacturer globally by market share.
Honda is known for budget motorcycles that are cheaper to maintain and fix. They make many motorcycle types ranging from standard/roadster bikes to street and sports bikes.
While Yamaha is more popular as a piano brand, it’s the world’s second-largest motorcycle manufacturer after Honda.
Like Honda, Yamaha hails from Japan and is known for producing some of the fastest motorcycles. You can count on Yamaha for the fastest roadsters, cruisers, sportbikes, and dirt bikes as a beginner.
|KTM Official Website|
KTM is Europe’s largest motorcycle producer. So, it’s only fair that Austrian motorbike brands rank among the best beginner-friendly motorbike brands.
KTM is known for its fast-racing dirt bikes that have won many world motocross championships and Dakar rallies. Besides dirt bikes, you can count on KTM for beginner-friendly street bikes, cruisers, and adventure bikes.
|Suzuki Official Website|
Suzuki enjoys the largest distribution network globally. Its distribution centers are in at least 23 countries.
Suzuki is known for its durable and affordable motorcycles, some costing as low as $1,000 in developing countries.
Overall, Suzuki is known for its cruisers, tourers, dirt bikes, and sportbikes.
|Kawasaki Official Website|
Kawasaki is another reputable Japanese bike brand that caters to all kinds of riders.
Kawasaki motorbikes are pretty fast, and they come at different budgets ranging from $2,300 (for beginners) to $50,000 (for pro riders).
Kawasaki superbikes have won several superbike championships, and as a beginner, you can count on them for the fastest sport bikes, dual-sport, and street bikes.
Best Types of Motorcycles for Beginners
While there are many types of motorcycles out there, not all have the specs of beginner-tailored bikes.
Here are, however, six motorcycle types that you can get as a beginner today:
1. Standard (Roadster or Naked) Motorcycles
Standard motorcycles are general-purpose street motorcycles known for their upright posture that allows you to ride in a natural position.
These bikes mostly lack windscreens/fairings, and even if they do, they usually are smaller. You can use them for urban commuting and short urban travels.
- Ride friendly
- Lower seat height
- Little to no fairings
- Minimal luggage capability
Recommendations: Suzuki SV650, Yamaha MT-09, Yamaha SR400, Suzuki GW250, and KTM Corner Rocket.
2. Cruiser Motorcycles
Cruisers are American-style motorbikes popularized by Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles, and they are known for their chopper-like design.
The cruiser riding position puts your feet forward, hands relatively high, and your back slightly backward. They are pretty comfortable and fun to ride.
However, they are not the fastest as their design only allows them to go at a slow to medium speed. They are also heavier than most bikes.
Cruisers are generally best for around-town cruising.
- Easy to ride
- Easy to maneuver
- Prestigious to own
Recommendations: Indian Scout Sixty, Honda Rebel 300, and Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114.
3. Sport Bikes
These are road bike motorcycle equivalents, known for their electric speed of up to 125+ mph, steady acceleration, and powerful braking. They also have superior handling and enjoy high-performance engines.
Though they aren’t the most comfortable motorcycles, they compensate for that with high performance. The bikes are generally best for fast racing.
- Less comfortable
- Require superb handling skills
Recommendations: Honda CBR500, Yamaha Y2FR3, and Kawasaki Ninja.
4. Adventure Motorcycles
Adventure motorcycles are known for their upright seating and ability to take on on-road and off-road surfaces. Though they look like street bikes, they are more aggressive and offer more luggage capacity.
They also have more crash protection and are generally best for long-distance travel and commuting.
- All-terrain use
- Easy to ride
- More luggage capacity
- Slightly slower
- Can be heavy
Recommendations: Yamaha Tenere 700, Royal Enfield Himalayan, and BMW GS650.
5. Tourer Motorcycles (Dressers)
Touring motorcycles are designed for lengthy trips, as the name suggests. They also have large load capacities to allow you to bring a few items on the trip.
The bikes have an upright and more relaxed geometry to let you ride long distances comfortably. They, however, weigh more than other motorbikes.
As a plus, tourer bikes have larger fairings for weather protection and a spacious passenger seat.
- Strong build
- Not fast enough
Recommendations: Kawasaki Versys X300, Honda Goldwing, Indian Roadmaster, Yamaha Venture, and Harley Davidson Ultra Classic.
6. Off-Road Motorcycles (Dirt Bikes)
Off-road motorcycles, popularly known as dirt bikes, are perfect for dirt racing events. They have a much lower engine capacity, mostly below 450cc but are pretty fast off-road.
You’ll find them in motocross, trial, enduro, and dual sport options.
- Fast off-road
- More affordable
- Not the best on-road
- Limited to short distances
Recommendations: Suzuki RM85, Honda 250 CRF, Kawasaki KLX 250S, Suzuki DR200, and Yamaha WR250.
Other Types of Motorcycles for Beginners
Besides the above motorcycles types, here are other types befitting beginners:
- Sports tourers
- Electric motorcycles
- Hyper bike
Now you have an idea of the best types of motorcycles for beginners. Depending on the purpose of buying, your budget, and where you plan to ride them, you can choose whatever motorcycle you want from the list.
Hopefully, the above guide will help you get your ideal motorbike.
People Also Ask
Having covered the different types of motorcycles for beginners, we understand that some questions are likely to arise. Let’s look at four of the most frequently asked.
What Type of Motorcycle Is Best for Beginners?
Beginner cyclists can get any of these motorcycle types:
- Standard/roadster motorcycles – Best all-round choice
- Sports bike – Best for street racing
- Adventure bike – Best for commuting and long travels
- Tourers – Best for touring
- Dirt bikes – Best for dirt racing
Can A Beginner Ride A 1000cc?
1000cc is a lot for a beginner. Beginners generally ride motorcycles with an engine capacity that’s 600cc or below.
You may have challenges handling a 1000cc motorbike if you are a beginner.
Is It Hard to Ride a Motorcycle?
Motorcycle riding is not hard if you have the right bike and an excellent instructor to direct you. But still, you can learn on your own, but you have to be careful and observe all the essential motorbike safety practices.
Which CC Bike Is Best for Beginners?
The best cc bike for beginners should be 600cc or lower. Don’t go beyond 1000cc, as such motorcycles are too powerful to handle and very fast.