Top 6 Starter Motorcycles for New Riders
When I was sixteen and looking to buy my first bike, my father’s friend gave me some great advice. He said, “there are two types of motorcyclists, those who have fallen, and those who will fall.” It was intimidating, but he wasn’t wrong. We’re all human, there are bound to be mistakes. So, while you’re still learning the ropes, it’s best to have a bike that fits where you’re at. Here are six great motorcycles for a brand new rider.
- Honda MonkeyThis fuel-injected single cylinder four speed is an absolutely perfect first bike. With a 125cc displacement, the motorcycle is an exceptionally fun way to get around town. A price point of $4,000, and the bike is a total steal. The initial model was created in Asia during the 1960s and grew a massive following. Yet, it wasn’t until a couple years ago that a newer model finally made its way to the US. It was about time. There is one detractor, the motorcycle is a mini, so it’s not the best option for larger riders. However, for those looking for a zippy bike that will get them all over town, it’s perfect.
- KTM Corner Rocket (390 Duke) This naked frame bike looks great and has the whip to match. Its sport capability provides all the thrills a new motorcycle enthusiast is looking for while maintaining great traction and support. The KTM Corner Rocket is an all-around bike that is comfortable and will get prep you for a speed devil in the future. With 373cc displacement and six-speed capabilities, the 390 Duke is exactly what you want in a starter bike. The $5,299 price tag isn’t too shabby either.
- Harley-Davidson Street 500 It wouldn’t be one of my lists if Harley-Davidson accounted for. The Street 500 is sleek and fun to handle. With its beefy, constricted structure, the bike is one to show off at every motorcyclist gathering. Additionally, the bike is well built to handle daily commuting or nightly adventures. The 500 pounds provides solid traction, making it a terrific first bike. The $6,900 price may be cause for hesitation, but this motorcycle’s advantages should at least make you give it a test drive.
- Honda Grom The Honda Grom is the best starter bike for a smaller budget. At $3,400, it’s on the cheaper side of this list, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a ton going for it. The sport features make it quick and agile going across city streets. Plus, its style and firm handling, add to the stellar experience. One detractor is that the light weight nature of this vehicle means that it’s better restricted to streets and backroads. Freeways and highways are going to be a little too much for the engine. Even still, the sleek design and great specs make the Honda Grom a very solid first bike.
- Kawasaki 300 This sportster is ready to fly. With sharp handling, it can easily traverse hard corners, daily commutes, and weekend sports driving. Lightweight, but with enough power to keep up, the Kawasaki 300 provides everything you could want in a starter bike and more. 296cc and fuel-injected two cylinder put it at the top end of beginner bikes. Slightly taller and able to support larger riders, the Kawasaki 300 has a ton going for it. A $5,000 price tag is almost criminal.
- Yamaha SR400 To close out this list, I wanted to bring in the Yamaha SR400. Utilizing the muscly aesthetic of classic American bikes, the SR400 can barrel through any daily commute. The fuel injected “thumper” engine allows for up to 66 miles per gallon, making it a cost-effective ride. One of the coolest features is the kick starter mechanism. Unlike most bikes that use a push-button to get the bike going, the Yamaha SR400 has chosen to keep things old school. This gives an authentic, retro vibe that immerses young drivers in the tradition of motorcycling. It’ll strengthen your leg and give you some bragging rights. For $6,000, that’s not a bad deal.
Motorcycling is a life-long pursuit. There are always new things to learn and sometimes it can be hard to step back and take it slow. In the beginning, however, nothing is more important than really building up the fundamentals. The right first bike can make all of the difference. Whether it’s a junker or one of the bikes listed here, that first ride will be your greatest teacher. So, get ready for the adventure and obsession of a lifetime with your new motorcycle.