Best Motorcycles For Beginners

Best Motorcycles For Beginners

Posted by Team Motorcycle on Apr 4th 2016

In many countries in the world, beginner motorcycle riders are not allowed to ride unrestricted motorcycles. In other words, the bikes are limited in power, allowing the beginner rider to get used to riding a powered two wheeler. Usually after a year or two, the beginner is allowed to purchase/ride a more powerful bike.

This is not done to allow the motorcycle industry to sell more bikes. Honest. It's done for the safety of the rider. Most countries limit the power to around 34 HP. If you think about it, it's a pretty stupid law, since as most bikers will know, the horsepower has very little to do with the accelerations of the bike. It should be all about torque, not horsepower. But many are stuck with the law, so when looking for the best beginner motorcycle, the first thing you look at is the available power.

NOTE: One thing before you start riding is make sure you have received proper training. Getting on a bike without proper training by an experienced professional will make all the difference. Take a MSF course as minimum. Trust me, your life will depend on it. Learning the best reactions and control of a bike is all what it's about.

But in this article, we are going to ignore these power restricting laws, and instead focus of forms, shape and technical capabilities.


The first item to look at for a beginner is displacement. The last thing you want to do when you are starting to ride a motorcycle is buy a liter bike, or even bigger displacement. More displacement means more weight, means more torque, means more difficulties in controlling the bike. A beginner should be learning to adapt to traffic, anticipate and work on reactions and instincts, not focus on speed and keeping the rubber side down.

Anything in the 200 to 800 cc is fine. Above this the power is too important as is the weight. Several manufacturers offer a power-reducing kit; a kit that places the power in the lower range, typically 30-40 hp. This is done in many European countries for beginners for legal or insurance reasons.


Usually cruisers and normal street bikes are best suited for beginning riders. Cruisers because the saddles are usually low, allowing for a low center of gravity (which means better control over the bike). Cruisers are not super fast, and have decent accelerations, so can be enjoyed by many.

Don't go for big and heavy cruisers, instead get yourself a mid-range one. Harley-Davidson is the obvious choice for many, but let's not forget all the Asian manufacturers who make very decent low-to-mid displacement cruisers. Just have a look at the list of examples below to get an idea.

Street motorcycles in the mid range displacement are perfect for beginners. Slightly higher than cruisers, they offer enough torque and speed to make life fun, plus the ability to use the bike for many purposes.

Even some sports bikes can be used by beginners, but you need to stay away for powerful ones. A sports bike that can accelerate like greased lightening is very dangerous even for an experienced rider, so a beginner rider would quickly become a statistic.

And The Most Important Attribute For A Beginner Bike Is...

There is one thing that every beginner bike should have on board. It is the one item that will save more beginner lives than anything else. And that is ABS.

ABS, the anti-blocking brakes system ensures that when you panic and hit your brakes very hard, that they don't lock. Brakes that are locked will make your bike uncontrollable. So when you are riding towards an obstacles which you didn't see, and you hit the brakes hard as reaction, you will go down and probably hit the obstacle. With ABS, you will stand the chance of staying upright, AND avoid the obstacles; there is a very good reason ABS has become mandatory for all new motorcycles in Europe.

Examples of Beginner Motorcycles

Here are a few examples to get you on your way. Click on any of the model links for the full specifications and price.


  • Honda Rebel. One of the most popular beginner bikes. 250 cc and it looks bigger, low to the ground and stylish. But no ABS.


  • BMW G650GS. Slightly taller than most, 650 cc, solid, fun and with ABS.

  • Honda Grom. Small, funky and despite its 125 cc, it's a go-getter. But no ABS.

  • Ducati Monster. An ideal all-round bike which can be obtained with a horsepower limiting kit. Several different displacements exist (the less displacement, the better). Low center of gravity. ABS optional.

  • Triumph Bonneville. Classic and stylish motorcycle, reasonably heavy but easy to handle. But no ABS.


  • Honda CBR300R. Successor to the CBR250R, probably one of the most used beginner sports bikes. Plenty of speed, low and light. Optional ABS.

  • Kawasaki 300 Ninja. Pretty fast and docile sports bike, low weight and saddle height. ABS

As you can see from this very limited list, there is plenty of choice. Avoid big power and heavy bikes in the beginning. Take two years to hone your reactions and traffic sense before moving upwards to bigger and faster bikes. Don't be in a rush to kill yourself, build up knowledge. Remember the old saying; there a old bikers and there are bold bikers, but there are no old bold bikers.