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Best Motorcycles for New Riders

Top Starter Bikes for 2024

Best Starter Bikes for Beginners- Ohio motorcycle

Selecting the best motorcycle can make or break or experience as a new rider. If you're working on your motorcycle license, getting ready for that upcoming riding course or simply want an easier ride certain models have grown a reputation for being accessible and simple to control. This article will introduce beginners to the best starter bikes, focusing on models that blend manageability, safety, and fun to deliver the best beginner sport motorcycle experience.

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Honda Rebel 300

The Honda Rebel 300 emerges as an exemplary choice for new riders, blending comfort, performance, and style in a package that's both accessible and enjoyable. Here's a deeper dive into what makes the Rebel 300 a standout option.

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  • Key Specifications:

  • Engine and Power: It's powered by a 286cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine, which produces a commendable 27 horsepower and approximately 30 ft-pounds of torque, offering a balance between power and manageability for beginners.

  • Transmission and Speed: The bike features a 6-speed transmission with a slipper clutch, enhancing the riding experience with smoother gear changes. It boasts a top speed of 85 mph, making it suitable for various riding conditions, from city commuting to highway cruising.

  • Weight and Fuel Economy: With a weight of 364 pounds when fully fueled, it strikes a balance between stability and agility. The fuel economy is impressive, offering 120 miles per tank on average riding, making it an economical choice for daily use.

  • Design and Ergonomics:

  • The Rebel 300 sports a modern and attractive design that appeals to a wide range of riders. Its low seat height of 27.2 inches is particularly beneficial for beginners, allowing most riders to comfortably touch the ground flat-footed, which enhances confidence and control.

  • The ergonomic controls and natural riding position contribute to a user-friendly riding experience. The bike's ergonomics are agile, making it easy to flick side to side, suitable for twisty roads, and the suspension system efficiently handles most road imperfections, although it may bottom out in harsher conditions.

  • Safety and Maintenance:

  • Safety features include responsive brakes with ABS available, ensuring reliable stopping power in various conditions. The bike's lightweight nature, combined with an ABS system, enhances maneuverability and safety, especially for beginners.

  • Priced under $6,000 new, the Rebel 300 is an affordable option that doesn't skimp on quality. Its minimal maintenance requirements further reduce the total cost of ownership, making it an excellent value proposition for those entering the world of motorcycling.

In summary, the Honda Rebel 300's combination of a reliable and forgiving nature, manageable power, comfortable ergonomics, and modern design make it an ideal first bike. Whether navigating city streets or exploring open highways, the Rebel 300 offers a balanced and enjoyable riding experience for beginners.

Kawasaki Ninja 400

The Kawasaki Ninja 400 stands as a beacon for beginner riders, offering a blend of lightweight design, manageable power, and a host of rider-friendly features. Here's a closer look at what makes the Ninja 400 a top pick for those new to the road.

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  • Key Specifications:

  • Engine and Performance: At its heart, the Ninja 400 houses a 399cc parallel-twin engine, robust enough to deliver approximately 44 horsepower and 24.6 lb-ft of torque. This power output is smooth and manageable, making it ideal for street riding without overwhelming beginners.

  • Weight and Handling: Weighing in at around 366 lbs (wet), the bike's lightweight frame, coupled with responsive suspension and agile steering, makes it a dream to handle, whether navigating city traffic or taking on winding roads.

  • Safety Features: Safety is paramount, and the Ninja 400 doesn't disappoint with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) as standard. This feature, along with its acclaimed handling and brakes, provides new riders with added confidence on the road.

  • Design and Comfort:

  • Aesthetic and Ergonomics: The Ninja 400 doesn't just perform well; it looks the part too, with a sleek design featuring dual LED headlights and gloss black wheels. The bike offers a comfortable and upright seating position, ensuring good visibility and control. This ergonomic design benefits riders of all heights, including taller individuals, making it a versatile choice.

  • Seat Height and Accessibility: With a seat height of 30.9 inches, the Ninja 400 is accessible for riders with shorter inseams, further enhancing its appeal as a beginner-friendly motorcycle.

  • Additional Highlights:

  • Economy and Versatility: Beyond its performance and design, the Ninja 400 excels in fuel efficiency, boasting an average fuel economy of 45-50 mpg. This, combined with a top speed of around 100 mph, makes it not just fun but also practical for commuting and everyday use.

  • Beginner-Centric Features: The inclusion of a slipper clutch simplifies learning for beginners by reducing the effort needed to operate it, making the Ninja 400 an even more attractive option for those starting their riding journey.

In essence, the Kawasaki Ninja 400's combination of lightweight design, manageable power, safety features, and beginner-centric design elements, all wrapped up in an affordable price point, positions it as a prime choice for new riders looking to venture into the world of motorcycling with confidence and style.

Yamaha MT-03

The Yamaha MT-03 stands out as an exciting option for new riders, thanks to its blend of performance, comfort, and style. Here's a closer look at what makes the MT-03 a compelling choice.

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  • Performance and Engine:

  • At the heart of the MT-03 is a 321cc liquid-cooled two-cylinder engine that impresses with its output, delivering 37.1 hp at 10,590 rpm and 20.2 lb-ft of torque at 9,010 rpm 7. This engine is paired with a 6-speed transmission and a chain driveline for smooth and reliable power delivery.

  • The bike also features a 37mm KYB inverted front fork, which, along with KYB front forks, provides a smooth and confident ride, enhancing the bike's handling characteristics.

  • Design and Comfort:

  • The MT-03 doesn't just perform well; it looks the part too. It features a triple LED headlight/dual running lamp setup and an LCD dash, giving it a modern and aggressive appearance. Available in Cyan Storm, Matte Stealth Black, and Team Yamaha Blue, the bike offers options to suit various rider preferences.

  • With a 31.1 inches seat height and a 54.3-inch wheelbase, the MT-03 is designed to be light, flickable, and easy to navigate in slow-speed scenarios, making it an excellent choice for beginners. The comfortable ergonomics ensure the bike is fun without being intimidating, allowing new riders to gain confidence quickly.

  • Additional Features:

  • Safety and maintenance are also strong points for the MT-03. It comes equipped with LED lighting for better visibility and a 1-year limited warranty, providing peace of mind to new owners.

  • The bike is designed not just as a great starter option but also as a stepping stone within the Yamaha family, encouraging riders to eventually upgrade to larger bikes like the MT-07.

In essence, the Yamaha MT-03 offers a perfect mix of manageable power, rider-friendly features, and stylish design, making it an attractive option for those embarking on their motorcycling journey.

Suzuki SV650

The Suzuki SV650, with its beginner-friendly features and versatile nature, stands out as an excellent choice for new riders or those stepping up to their first 'big bike'. Let's delve into what makes the SV650 particularly appealing for newcomers to the motorcycling scene.

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  • Performance and Handling:

  • Engine: At the core of the SV650 lies a 645cc V-Twin engine, producing a robust 75 horsepower and 64 newton meters of torque. This power is delivered smoothly, making it manageable for new riders while still offering plenty of excitement for faster roads.

  • Low RPM Assist and Easy Start System: Unique to the SV650, these features facilitate smoother takeoffs and prevent stalling, boosting confidence for beginners. The Low RPM Assist gently raises engine rpm during takeoff, while the Easy Start System simplifies the bike's ignition process.

  • Handling: Weighing in at 432 lbs, the SV650 is noted for its lightweight and easy maneuverability, making it suitable for city riding and agile enough for country lane cornering. The predictable and stable handling, complemented by Dunlop Roadsmart III tires, inspires confidence in corners and at high speeds.

  • Design and Comfort:

  • Ergonomics: The SV650 features a comfortable riding position, thanks to its narrow handlebar setup and high, slightly raked back handlebars. This ergonomic design ensures a relaxed riding posture, whether navigating through urban environments or cruising on the highway.

  • Seat Height and Accessibility: With a seat height of 31.1 inches, the SV650 is approachable for beginners, allowing most riders to comfortably reach the ground. This accessibility is further enhanced in the SV650X variant, which also offers a cafe racer aesthetic for those looking for style alongside functionality.

  • Safety, Maintenance, and Value:

  • ABS and Braking: Safety is a priority, and the SV650 comes equipped with ABS, providing sufficient stopping power with a gentle initial bite. This feature, along with the bike's dual front disc brakes and a single rear disc brake, ensures reliable braking performance.

  • Maintenance and Value: The SV650 is praised for its good resale value and cost-effective maintenance. Parts are readily available, and the bike's simple design makes it easy for owners to perform regular care. Priced around $7,000 new and available for $4,000 - $6,000 used, the SV650 offers great value for money, making it an attractive option for those conscious of their budget.

In conclusion, the Suzuki SV650 combines a manageable power delivery with beginner-friendly features and a comfortable riding position, making it an ideal choice for new riders. Its versatility, from city commuting to long-term touring, alongside its affordable price point and ease of maintenance, ensures the SV650 is not just a starter bike but a companion for many riding adventures.


Harley-Davidson Street 500

The Harley-Davidson Street 500 has garnered attention as a prime choice for new riders, thanks to its blend of manageable features and the iconic Harley-Davidson allure. Here's a closer look at its specifics.

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  • Key Features and Specifications:

  • Engine and Performance: Powered by a liquid-cooled Revolution X engine, the Street 500 delivers smooth power with its 500cc engine producing approximately 29.5 ft-lbs of torque. This ensures a power delivery that's easy to control for beginners, making it less intimidating than other models.

  • Size and Weight: Its smaller size and weight enhance its manageability, especially important for new riders. The bike's nimbleness is a plus for urban commuting, with a weight and size that contribute to its easy handling.

  • Safety and Comfort: Equipped with ABS as a standard feature, the Street 500 prioritizes rider safety. The low seat height of 28.5 inches allows riders to plant both feet firmly on the ground, boosting confidence. Its comfortable riding position is beneficial for those still getting accustomed to motorcycling.

  • Rider Experience:

  • Handling: Predictable and easy to manage, the Street 500's handling is ideal for new riders. Its nimble cornering ability shines in urban environments, and its handling is good enough for winding roads, making it a versatile choice.

  • Aesthetics and Functionality: It strikes a good balance between style and functionality, standing out with a better look than many entry-level bikes. The bike's exhaust note uniquely combines the traditional Harley rumble with a subtle whistle, adding to its appeal.

  • Price and Value:

  • Cost: Starting at around $7,599, the Street 500 is relatively accessible for new riders. Its position as a LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle) bike since 2013 makes it an approachable everyday bike, perfect for commuting without breaking the bank.

  • Long-Term Solution: Offering more power and comfort on the highway compared to 250cc bikes from other brands, the Street 500 serves as a better long-term solution for new riders. It holds its value well, making it easy to sell or trade up when the rider is ready for a more advanced bike.

The Harley-Davidson Street 500 is an excellent entry point into motorcycling for beginners. Its combination of manageable size, smooth power delivery, and safety features, coupled with the Harley-Davidson brand's style and attitude, make it a compelling choice for those starting their riding journey.

KTM 390 Duke

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Venturing into the world of motorcycling can be both an exhilarating and daunting task for new riders. With the selection of motorcycles like the Honda Rebel 300, Kawasaki Ninja 400, Yamaha MT-03, Suzuki SV650, and the Harley-Davidson Street 500, beginners are provided with options that blend comfort, safety, and the thrill of riding. Each model offers something unique, from the manageable power and ergonomics designed for new riders to stylish designs that do not compromise on safety and performance. These bikes serve as a foundation, not only for building riding skills but also for cultivating a lifelong passion for motorcycling.

Ultimately, the choice of a beginner motorcycle will significantly influence a new rider's initial experience on two wheels. Therefore, it's essential to consider factors like bike size, weight, power, and ergonomics to find a match that feels right. While this article has highlighted five exceptional models that cater to the needs and aspirations of new riders, the journey doesn't end here. Riders are encouraged to continue exploring, learning, and growing within the vibrant motorcycling community, with the confidence that they have started on a solid foundation. Whether it's for commuting, adventure, or simply the joy of riding, the right motorcycle awaits to kick start an incredible journey on the open road.


Venturing into the realm of motorcycling as a beginner presents a world filled with diverse options, each tailored to different preferences and riding styles. The 2023 lineup of best beginner motorcycles showcases a variety of models from renowned brands, ensuring there's a perfect match for every new rider. Here's a breakdown of the types of motorcycles suitable for beginners and factors to consider when making your choice:

  • Types of Beginner Motorcycles:

  • Adventure Bikes: Models like the BMW G 310 GS and Honda CB500X are celebrated for their versatility and capability for long-distance touring, offering an adventurous start to your riding journey.

  • Cruisers: With a comfortable riding position, cruisers such as the Honda Rebel 500 and Royal Enfield Meteor 350 are ideal for beginners looking for a relaxed introduction to motorcycling.

  • Retro Bikes: The Royal Enfield Classic 350 combines classic styling with modern technology, appealing to riders with a taste for nostalgia.

  • Naked Bikes: Known for their lightweight and agility, naked bikes like the Kawasaki Z400 provide an exhilarating riding experience without overwhelming new riders.

  • Dual Sports: Bikes such as the Kawasaki KLX230 and KLX300 are perfect for those interested in both off-road adventures and on-road commuting, offering the best of both worlds.

  • Scramblers: With higher ground clearance and longer travel suspension, scramblers like the Royal Enfield Scram 411 and Honda CL500 are designed to tackle rough terrains while being beginner-friendly.

  • Factors to Consider:

  • Engine Size and Motorcycle Weight: Opt for a smaller, less powerful bike to ensure manageability and safety as you hone your riding skills 8.

  • Cost and Speed: Consider your budget and prioritize motorcycles that offer a balance between cost-efficiency and adequate speed for your needs 8.

  • Safety Features and Terrain Capabilities: Look for bikes with essential safety features and assess their suitability for the terrains you plan to explore.

  • Fit and Seat Height: Ensuring a good fit and a comfortable seat height is crucial for confidence and control, especially for new riders.

  • Additional Considerations:

  • Used Bikes: Starting with a used bike can be a wise choice due to the lower cost and reduced pressure of maintaining a pristine condition as you learn.

  • Protective Gear and Training: Investing in protective gear and advanced rider training is non-negotiable for safety and skill development.

  • Off-Road Riding: Engaging in off-road riding can significantly improve your traction management, body positioning, and throttle control, laying a strong foundation for all types of riding.

Choosing the right beginner motorcycle is a pivotal decision that influences your initial experiences and growth as a rider. By considering the types of motorcycles available and prioritizing key factors such as size, power, and safety features, you can embark on an exciting and fulfilling motorcycling journey with confidence.


Which motorcycle style is most suitable for beginners?

Naked or Standard motorcycles are generally the best options for those new to riding. Their design strips away the complexities, making them more straightforward to handle and understand. This category of bikes offers a good balance between the aggressive posture of sportbikes and the comfort and simplicity needed by new riders.

What engine size is recommended for beginner motorcycle riders?

For those just starting out, motorcycles with an engine size ranging from 250CC to 400CC are often recommended. This size provides enough power to be enjoyable but not so much that it becomes overwhelming for a novice. While some may suggest starting with 500CC to 600CC engines, a more modest 250CC, 300CC, or 400CC bike can offer a better learning experience.

Is a 600CC motorcycle too powerful for a beginner?

Although modern 600CC motorcycles are equipped with advanced mechanics and controls, their power can still be challenging for a beginner. It's advisable to start with a motorcycle that has a smaller engine, such as 150CC or 200CC. This allows new riders to become accustomed to handling a bike's controls and power in a more manageable way before moving on to more powerful models.

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