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15 Best Motorcycles for Beginners (2020)

July 31, 2020 8 min read 0 Comments

15 Best Motorcycles for Beginners (2020)

If you are just getting into motorcycles, you probably understand why you should go for a more starter-friendly type of motorcycle. It is easier to learn how to ride and comes with fewer maintenance demands. Once you get the hang on it, you can decide to upgrade to a more powerful, performance-oriented motorcycle to jerk your adrenaline. But if you are wondering which the best beginner motorcycle is, then look no further than this guide. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best starter motorcycles for beginners.

Riding a motorcycle is a whole new experience filled with fun and adventure. But it also comes with its weak points which you need to be aware of. Regardless, getting into motorcycling is a hobby that is extremely rewarding, with a lot of freedom to do pretty much whatever you want with your crotchet rocket.

What are the best beginner motorcycles?

To find the best beginner motorcycles, we look at a list of things which include overall performance, maintenance costs, ease of maneuverability, weight and so on. These are perfect indicators of a good starter motorcycle.

While there are different types of motorcycles that are marketed as best beginner rider motorcycles, there’s a hidden catch that is rarely talked about. And this is the problem with most motorcycles that are marketed as best for learning how to ride a motorcycle. 

If it’s your first time buying a motorcycle, it is important to go for a bike that matches your skill level. The motorized two-wheel world can be daunting but we’ve made it easy for you by compiling a list of great starter motorcycles to herald your motorcycling adventure. 

1. Honda CB1100X

The Honda CB1100X is a capable yet subtle motorcycle for beginners that is both aesthetically appealing and a classic-looking ride. What makes this motorcycle a perfect bike for beginners is its style and maneuverability. Coming with an 1140cc air-cooled engine, the Honda CB1100 produces 90hp with an in-line 4-cylinder. 

The stainless steel chassis is durable and well-put-together to give the bike a desirable classic look. You can bet your money on the triple-disc brake to stop you on a dime. The classic frame, chrome fenders, and rounded headlights put this bike on a pedestal as one of the greatest beginner motorcycles of the modern era. 

As for the price range, this bike sits on the higher end of the middle price range but it is well worth it when you consider the value and durability that you are going to get out of it. 

2. KTM 390 Duke 

The KTM range of motorcycles provides an exciting array of motorcycles. The Duke family is especially excellent first rides with a solid build and an aggressive and sporty look. If you want something with manageable power and incredible speed, then look no further than the KTM Duke. 

Both the 390 and 200 feature small displacement engines which are single-cylinder-4 strokes producing 43 hp. The suspension of this motorcycle is a bit on the firm side, which provides for better handling albeit with a stiffer ride quality. Besides the favorable performance and handling, the KTM series has plenty of accessories you can add for customization or storage space.  

3. Kawasaki Ninja 300

The Kawasaki Ninja 300 is a fantastic choice for beginners. It is incredibly lightweight and provides an easy ride. It has got the looks to turn heads and certainly doesn’t look like a beginner motorcycle. It is capable of reaching highway speeds with an excellent gas mileage that clocks an incredible 66mpg. 

This sporty looking bike is easy to ride and comes with a large digital multifunction display. It is built on a small sturdy frame with a lot of power beneath it. It includes a Digital Fuel Injection technology that not only affords unrivaled fuel economy but also allows for a seamless throttle control with a 296cc parallel twin cylinder engine.   

4. Honda CRF250L Rally

The Honda CRF250L Rally is a truly capable motorbike that boasts of speed and maneuverability. The CRF250L is not only built for speed like most Hondas, but also dependability. This bike provides a smooth, comfortable all-day riding experience with an incredible fuel economy for your daily commutes. It is also very well-priced at an entry price point of $5149 which is quite affordable if you are just getting started into motorcycles. 

The greater fuel capacity means that you will have fewer fuel stops along the journey so you can have elongated fun. The peak power of this motorcycle is close to 25 hp which is manageable and decent for any new rider. 

5. Suzuki DR-Z400SM

The Suzuki DR-Z400SM is a dual sport motorcycle that is unique in its own way. The SM in its name stands for Super Moto. When you look at it at first glance, you will notice a blend of 80% motocross and 20% street riding DNA. These motorcycles are designed for all types of riding including having a supple suspension that can absorb bumps and jumps of urban riding and extra suspension to take you anywhere you want to go. 

This motorcycle has a raised seat at 35 inches which can be taller than usual for most riders but it is there to accommodate suspension travel. The largely exposed body work with minimal fairing is great for keeping the bike scantily clad with a full view of the mechanics. If you are looking for a great starter motorcycle, then the DR-Z400SM is a great option to consider. 

6. Suzuki GSX250R

The Suzuki GSX250R is a culmination of three decades of innovation by Suzuki, tracing back from 1980. The first model of this lineup was the Katana model. This fully-faired street machine has the DNA of a sport bike and the agility to take you on adventures you never imagined. It is a perfect beginner motorcycle owing to its capable 250cc engine suitable for entry-level riders. 

To ensure you comfort and safety, it has a windscreen to divert the wind around the rider and a low seat height of only 31 inches. It is also gizmo loaded with an LCD screen to keep you informed on speed, fuel and other indicators. The LED headlights will illuminate the road ahead and also be bright enough for other road users to see you during the day. 

Despite not having an anti-lock braking system, the dual calipers system provides a great performance for new riders who are eager to hit the road. Going for slightly over $4500, this is a great beginner motorcycle that should be high in your radar. 

7. Triumph Bonneville

The Triumph Bonneville is a classic-styled standard motorcycle that hits all the bells and whistles that you would be looking for in the best beginner motorcycles. Coming with a 4-stroke, air-cooled, DOHC parallel twin engine, the Bonneville delivers all the fun and comfort for a starter motorcycle. It draws its cues and styling from the vintage 70’s motorcycles while being fun and well-behaved. This bike can make the long trips on highways but not really the best for that job. Just what you need to get started and excels at that.  

8. Yamaha SR400

The Yamaha SR400 is a street version of the Yamaha XT400 with a four stroke single-cylinder air cooled engine producing 27hp. It has a displacement of 399cc and five-speed transmission. The SR400 features gorgeous retro-stylings including a kick start and standard motorcycle styling. It is easy to start as it is electronically fuel injected. If you are out looking for a starter motorcycle that carries the vintage look with unrivaled performance and reliability, then we highly recommend the SR400.   

9. Kawasaki KLX250S

The Kawasaki KLX250S is a dual-sport motorcycle that is a perfect match for an adventurous beginner who wants a little bit of power, performance and fun. It features a 249cc 4-stroke single cylinder, liquid cooled engine with a 6 speed transmission. 

The engine is perfect for a beginner motorcycle because the E.P.A has restricted its potential. With this bike, you will be able to gobble up miles and still save on fuel with its 70 + miles per gallon rating. The good thing about the KLX250S is that it is much forgiving that its older brother, the KLR.

10. Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883

If you knowing anything about motorcycles, you probably already know about Harley-Davidson, the brand that produces some of the most acclaimed motorcycles in the world. While many Harleys are souped-up for the pros, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any bikes for the absolute newbie. The Sportster Iron 883 is a perfect example of a bike so fine-tuned for a new rider. 

This blacked-out legendary bike has an 883cc engine displacement that will take you around the planet before you need to refill again. The air-cooled engine runs hard and rides smooth providing you with luxury and comfort. As you hit the boulevards and backstreets be sure to turn heads and reclaim your freedom. The styling of this beginner bike includes a drag-style, dropped-back handlebars that elicit old-school vibes.

11. Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser

The Yamaha V Star 250 Cruiser is a lightweight motorcycle that provides superior handling and excellent gas mileage. At 78mpg, you will travel up to 200 miles between fill ups. This compact motorcycle has a low seating position that is upright and provides you with increased comfort throughout your journey. The V Star Cruiser is chrome-laden, capped with extensive chrome from the fenders and handlebars, and mirrors to give it a stylish look. 

For a beginner, this motorcycle is an absolute must-have as it gives you enough power with its 299cc V-twin engine. While it is not the most expensive bike in the world, the V Star is a quality bargain delivery on style and reliability.

12. KTM 200 Duke

The KTM Duke 200 has a single-cylinder four stroke spark ignition liquid cooled engine that produces 26hp with a 6-speed manual transmission. The bike boasts of an improved ride quality and handling compared to rivals in the same range. However, the lower gear vibrations is something you will have to overlook. If you are in the market for best starter bikes, the Duke 200 is something you should look at. It is perfect for learning the ropes while giving you enough fun. 

13. Yamaha FZ-07

If you crave the feeling of a smooth throttle response, then the Yamaha FZ-07 will thoroughly excite you. This monstrous motorcycle includes a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8-valve, parallel twin, 6-speed transmission and 689cc displacement. 

The dual front brakes and a compact disc brake ensure it stops when you need it to. It has a comfortable yet sporty riding position. Versatile for both city riding and long trips. While this bike is not ultimately made for beginners, it can be enjoyed by riders of varying skill levels due to its versatility. What we know for sure is, it will not be outgrown. 

14. Harley-Davidson Superlow

The Superlow is a low slung, easy-riding chopper that makes you feel united with the road. The Superlow has a low 25.5” seat height that most riders will feel comfortable riding in. it’s superb ergonomics make sure you ride comfortable and for a really long time without getting cramped or feeling exhausted. For larger riders, you can adjust the foot pegs and seats to suit your size. 

The bike is also not too heavy and allows you to easily make maneuvers when you have to. With just enough power, it can handle the long rides and take you on the occasional trips to the store.    

15. Suzuki SV650

The SV650 embodies old-school sports bike look with a touch of modernity. It runs on a 645cc V-twin Engine that delivers enough consistent power. The great fuel economy, and lightweight build make this a perfect motorcycle for beginners. Whether you are on an evening cruise or you plan on riding in a sporty terrain, it will handle very excellently. If you are just learning to ride, you will love the low RPM-assist feature which prevents it from stalling. On top of that, it is very affordable and holds up its value very well.   

These are the best motorcycles for beginners in 2020. They cut across the range in terms of quality, reliability, comfort and how affordable they are. With just enough power to get you through the road ahead and a great handling for starter motorcyclists


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