Which Motorcycle Is Best for Beginners?Before thinking of what brand you want, the color options, or anything too in-depth, decide on the purpose of your starter motorcycle. Is it for commuting? Pleasure riding after work or on weekends? A mix of on and off-road riding? How you use the motorcycle may dictate what you should consider and avoid. There are many factors to consider when choosing a motorcycle for a beginner, including the rider’s size, skill level, and personal preferences. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best motorcycle for a beginner:
Start smallA smaller, lighter motorcycle is generally easier to handle and control, especially for inexperienced riders. Look for a bike with a lower seat height and a smaller engine size.
Consider the riding environmentDifferent motorcycles are better suited for different riding environments. If you’ll mostly be riding in urban areas, a smaller, more maneuverable motorcycle might be a good choice. For longer distance or off-road riding, you might want a more powerful, sturdy motorcycle.
Choose a reliable brandLook for a motorcycle from a reputable manufacturer with a track record of producing reliable bikes. This will help to ensure that your motorcycle is reliable and easy to maintain.
Get some trainingBefore you start riding, it’s a good idea to get some professional training. This will help you learn the basics of motorcycle operation and safety, and give you the skills you need to ride with confidence.
How Much Power Do You Need?Once you decide on the type, you must refine your choices further. Most manufacturers have multiple sizes of every type of motorcycle. While you’re still learning to ride a motorcycle well, you will want a motorcycle that can meet your needs without being too powerful to handle. You don’t want something too heavy, too tall, or with more power than you’re capable of handling well as a beginner, but something to accommodate your size.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend on a Motorcycle?Another factor to consider is how much you want to spend on your first motorcycle. Do you have an option to buy a lightly used motorcycle that can ride for a year or two and then upgrade to something larger or more in line with your long-term selection? If there isn’t a good, used motorcycle market where you live, should you buy a lower-priced new motorcycle or go straight to your long-term vision of what you want? You will most likely drop your motorcycle, gently fall over, or sometimes have an accident. How much can you afford to replace bodywork or parts, even if you have good insurance with a deductible?
Features to Look for in a Good Beginner MotorcycleEach motorcycle has a long list of features to consider. Still, we have narrowed it down to a handful that will help you choose the best motorcycle for beginners. These are essential standard criteria to look for in each motorcycle that should help you when you’re shopping for your new adventure. If you’d like to know more about the particular types of motorcycles, please visit our Beginner’s Guide to Types of Motorcycles.
Engine Size Less than 600ccA 600cc engine size is a general starting point for beginner riders. A 600cc cruiser may have half the horsepower of a 600cc sport bike, so it will depend on the rider to find where they are comfortable with the type of motorcycle they are interested in. Secondly, a larger rider may find a 600cc motorcycle is too small to fit comfortably. In comparison, a smaller rider may find the same motorcycle too large. Again, it is a starting point for consideration, but you, as the rider, need to find what fits and works best for you.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)Most motorcycles will have a standard braking system that doesn’t involve a computer to keep the brakes from locking with too much application. Some models you’ll find will have an anti-lock braking system as standard fare, but most will keep it as an add-on feature if you want to purchase it. Why ABS is notable is that it will keep the tires and brakes from locking and skidding if you apply the brakes too hard. As a new rider, you’ll be more likely to over-apply the brakes than worry about not applying them enough in a panic-stop situation.
Windscreen/FairingHaving a windscreen or fairing on the front of your motorcycle will allow you to tuck behind it to stay out of the wind and weather. Having to lean forward to fight against the force of the wind as you ride, you tired on a longer ride. The higher speed also equates to more wind force, so a highway ride without a windscreen may cause more fatigue than riding with something to block the wind. A windscreen will also block small rocks and bugs as you ride, like a windshield in your car. Overall, it will keep you cleaner and more energized on your ride than riding without.
Seat HeightAs a new rider, one thing to remember is the seat height and how it reflects on your inseam. When you reach a point where you need to stop and put a foot or both feet down, the seat height will need to accommodate the length of your legs. If the seat is too high, a shorter inseam will require you to lean the motorcycle over to put a foot down or possibly have to stand on your tiptoes to keep the motorcycle upright and stable. Conversely, a shorter motorcycle and a longer inseam may also be uncomfortable because touching the ground is almost too easy. Finding the balance of seat height and inseam length is needed, and most likely, they need to stay within a few inches of each other for a rider to feel comfortable with stopping and standing.
Handlebar HeightLike seat height, handlebar height affects your rider posture, which affects your fatigue level and comfort while you ride. It would be best if you reached the hand controls quickly when seated on the motorcycle. It would help if you didn’t have to reach too far to use the controls or lean too far to reach the controls. Your elbows should be slightly bent when you sit on the motorcycle and reach for the controls, allowing you to stay comfortable and alert as you ride. With all these questions looming, buying new or used is always a tough decision. Whether you’re looking for the best cruiser or sport motorcycle for beginners, we have you covered. 14 Best Beginner Motorcycles
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Been riding for over 45 years, The DRZ400 supermoto is way too much for a beginner! There are 250’s that are easily converted by installing 17 inch rims. Be safe.
Thank you that was so helpful.