New rider tips, guides, and reviews on great starter bikes.

Best Starter Motorcycles for 2015

Every year there are brand new motorcycle released by the major manufacturers. Some of them are variations on classics, others are completely new designs. Lately there has been a trend of catering to the new rider, and those that like lower displacement motorcycles. Maybe people are starting to realize how inexpensive they are to operate and how fun they can be on the street!

Here is my list of the best motorcycle that you can buy brand new in 2015 [UPDATE: I recently wrote about the BEST starter motorcycles for 2016 and 2017]. Some of these are brand new bikes, others are just updates of previous models. Although I don't usually recommend buying a brand spanking new bike when you are learning to ride, if you have the cash and are careful, there is nothing like being the only owner of a motorcycle. I've listed them not in order from best to worst, but rather from lowest CC to highest. 

Honda Grom

hondagrom.jpg

  • 125cc's
  • ​$3,100 MSRP
  • ​Unique looking bike
  • Fun around town
  • Has a loyal following of fans

The Honda Grom is the bike with the biggest personality in this line up. The way it looks is the first thing that stands out. It doesn't really look like anything else out there. It's obviously small in stature, but it has a beefyness to it that exudes character. It's like the smallest pirate on the ship with a scar across his face and the crazy eye. You know he's small, but he packs a punch when he gets into the rum!

That's what I'd say about the Grom. Even that name, "Grom", it really evokes a unique emotion. At 125cc's you aren't going to be beating anyone in street races, but that's not why you would buy this bike. This is a bike for someone who doesn't take themselves so seriously, someone who likes to have fun in life.

Cruising around town is where this bike shines. When you park it you are sure to get other people approaching you to talk about this bike. Because of it's light weight, small engine, and low seat height, it makes a great starter motorcycle for anyone. It also would make a great second bike too if you just want something low key to ride around on. I've seriously thought about buying a Grom on more than one occasion. 

Yamaha WR250R

yamha-wr250r.jpg

  • 250cc's
  • $6,690 MSRP
  • Classic dirt bike
  • Ability to convert to SuperMoto
  • Mods available

I love the Yamaha WR250R. It's just a great platform to learn to ride on, and because it's built for off road it won't matter as much if you drop it. Because lets face it, when you first start learning to ride it's pretty easy to drop your bike if you aren't 100% balanced. 

The WR250 also has a reputation for being very mod friendly. You can do lots of things to this bike to squeeze out a bit more power and increase the performance. Some riders have even gone all the way and converted this bike to a supermoto with a new suspension and street tires. That makes this bike the ultimate hooligan motorcycle.

One thing to keep in mind is that dirt bikes like this have a higher seat height by default. This bike has a 36.6 inch high seat. Much higher than the next bike in our list the Ninja 300 with it's 30.9 inch seat height. 

Kawasaki Ninja 300 (with ABS)

Ninja-300.jpg

  • 296cc's
  • $5,299 MSRP
  • ​The reigning best beginner motorcycle champ
  • Sexy looking bike
  • Great transmission

When it comes to beginner motorcycles the conversation often starts with the Kawasaki Ninja 300. That might be because Kawasaki has steadfastly always had a smaller 250cc class motorcycle in their lineup. With the Ninja 300 they decided to upgrade the tech, overhaul the looks, and add some more engine displacement to give it more power in the real world. 

The new Ninja 300 comes with ABS if you want it, and I highly recommend it. The transmission on this bike is really a work of art too. They have engineered it to shift quickly and smoothly, while at the same time being forgiving if you down shift at too high a RPM. 

Of course this bike is just dead sexy. It is one of the best looking motorcycles out there right now, and that might be because it's taken it's styling directly from it's older brothers the Ninja 600 and Ninja 1000. In fact, it can be difficult to tell this little Ninja 300 apart from it's older siblings. That's a good thing because although everyone starts as a beginner, most people don't want to LOOK like a beginner. 

KTM Duke 390 (with ABS)

KTM-wheelie-390.jpg

  • 373cc's
  • $4,999 MRSP
  • ​Absolute blast to ride
  • Great hooligan bike, wheelies all day
  • Smaller fuel tank

The KTM Duke 390 is the bike I wish I could have started my riding career on. It's low CC engine is very manageable even for a beginner, yet the bike exudes that fun factor. The engine has loads of grunt in the mid range, and it loves it when you really open it up. You can find yourself slicing through traffic easily on this energetic motorcycle.

KTM has been known for dirtbikes for years, and they've been making headway over the past few years with street bikes. If new riders start on the Duke 390 (or it's sportier brother the RC390), you can bet the larger motorcycles will be an easier sell if they feel like upgrading. This is especially true if you have fun on your first bike, which is what you are guaranteed to do with this Duke 390. 

Although not originally available in the USA, KTM has decided to release both the Duke 390 and the RC 390 in the states. Look for them in 2015.

Suzuki DR-Z 400SM​

Suzuki-2015-DRZ400sm.jpg

  • 398cc's
  • $7,189 MSRP
  • Classic supermoto
  • ​Fun for new and experienced riders

Suzuki has been producing the DR-Z400SM for years, and it's a well polished machine. Straight out of the factory it comes with a more street oriented suspension, inverted forks, street tires, and all the bits and bobs you need in order to ride a bike like this legally on the street. 

It's an electric start and the engine is a real workhorse. It's easy to ride this on city streets or even on the freeway for short jaunts. Because the bike has been around there is a large community that modifies these bikes. In fact some people think the engine is a bit underpowered as it is, especially when compared to other bikes in this class. That really means that this bike will grow with you. If you need better performance you can do a few mods to increase the horsepower and up the torque. 

Like all bikes this style though, it's not ideal for shorter riders. If you are tall enough to throw a leg over this bike though, you are sure to have a blast. 

Yamaha SR400

Yamha-SR400-2015.jpg

  • 399cc's
  • $5,990 MSRP
  • Bare bones classic styling
  • Unique kick starter
  • Great as a cafe racer build

You may not have ever heard of the Yamaha SR400, and if not then that's a shame. Yamaha has a strong history of 400cc motorcycles and this SR400 is like a trip back in time. That can be a good thing, or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.

Most motorcycles these days come with an electric start. Not this bike. The SR400 is a classic kick starting single cylinder bike. Now that's rare for a modern bike! If you've had experience with older kick starting bikes you know that it can require a lot of muscle to kick over. This Yamaha has a few technological upgrades that make this process MUCH easier. Really, once you know the process, it's just as easy as starting any other motorcycle.

This bike is really aimed at those that love projects. Right now cafe racers and bobber style bikes are incredibly popular. Even in my town I've seen a few Honda CB750's from the 1970's that have been upgraded and modded for that cafe style look. If you want to tinker with a bike but you don't want to deal with the rust, corrosion, and electrical problems of a four decade old motorcycle, then this SR400 is right up your alley. 

Honda CB500F (with ABS)

Honda-2015-CB500F_0.jpg

  • 471cc's
  • $5,799 MSRP
  • Very comfortable freeway cruiser
  • Great engine with the power you need
  • Honda Reliability

Although Honda has been a little late to the beginner bike game, it's been making great headway with both the CBR300 and the CB500F. The 500cc class of honda's come in two varieties, the CB500F which is pictured here, as well as a fully faired CBR500R. If you've been following this site for a while you'll know that I am extremely partial to bikes without fairings. They are easier to work on while doing routine maintenance, they don't have fairings to get scratched if you drop them, and I personally think that they look more rugged.

If you want a sport bike style bike that you can cruise freeways on easily, then this bike is it. The engine of this bike is smooth as butter with the torque and horsepower you need to pass cars. As always when you buy a Honda it comes with a bit of reputation for reliability, and this CB500F continues that tradition. As long as you keep up with the maintenance and change the oil, this bike should easily pass tens of thousands of miles without major problems.

The one thing about this bike is it doesn't have as much personality as some of the other bikes on this list like the Duke 390 or even the Ninja 300. The Honda is a solid performer without a doubt, but it is definitely a gentleman's motorcycle.  

Suzuki V-Strom 650 (with ABS)

suzuki-v-strom-2015.jpg

  • 645cc's
  • $8,549 MSRP (with ABS)
  • An adventure bike home on the streets or the dirt
  • Adjustable windscreen
  • Best of both worlds

The V-strom is a bike I've seen around for years, and 2015 has a few small updates you may not notice unless you are a real aficionado. That being said, this bike has a great reputation that is well deserved. If you can't decide between a street bike or a dirt bike, this might be a good compromise for you.

The look of the V-strom is fairly polarizing. I've affectionately referred to it as 'ugly' many times. That ugliness has eventually grown on me though, and now I find myself actually liking the look of the bike. I think the thing that clinched it for me was seeing it in person. You can't help but want to throw a leg over this bike and take it on an adventure! The great thing is that is exactly what it's made for, and it does so wonderfully.

The engine is based on the same one from the classic Suzuki SV650, although it's tweaked a bit to get the best performance for the dirt and street. You can also get some solid hard luggage for this bike which makes a motorcycle camping trip a real possibility. Don't discount this bike based on looks alone, it's a great beginner bike that you can grow into for years.

Kawasaki Vulcan S (with ABS)

vulcan-S-2015.jpg

  • 649cc's
  • $7,399 MSRP (with ABS)
  • Sexy and modern looking cruiser
  • 27.8 Inch seat height (great for short riders!)
  • Ergo-fit customizations allow for riders of all sizes (over 6'1" and 5'6" and under)

Out of all of the cruisers out there right now, I absolutely love the look of the Vulcan S. It is very modern looking while also having a very 'rugged' appearance. It may be the best beginner cruiser motorcycle. It has the option of being loaded with Anitilock Brakes (ABS) which can really help with keeping you safe, especially as a new riders.

The thing that sets this bike apart more than any other is the 'Ergo-fit' customizations that you can get the bike with. It changes the position of the bars, the seat height, and the peg locations. Most of them have 3 different adjustments that you can do. Kawasaki also offers three types of seats: The standard seat for people 5'7" to 6 foot, the 'Extended Reach' seat which lets you slide back in the saddle a bit more and raise you up, and the shorter seat which is about 2 inches shorter than standard in the tapered section. That is pretty amazing. A bike that will fit just about any motorcycle rider.

Combine all of that with a beautiful 649cc V-twin engine (great for new riders) and Kawasaki reliability, and you have an absolute winner of a motorcycle. 

Yamaha V-Star Custom

Yamah-V-star.jpg

  • 649cc's
  • $6,999 MSRP
  • ​Classic cruiser look
  • Extra large 4.2 gallon fuel tank

In the world of cruiser style motorcycles the V-star Custom has been a staple for years now. The 2015 version offers classic styling, lots of chrome and black paint, and a rock solid platform to learn on. Plus with it's shaft drive, you don't have to worry about chain maintenance at all. 

There are two versions of this V-star, including a 250cc version. Both the 650 and the 250 are great bikes, but I really think the larger motorcycle fits that niche of a beginner bike that you are comfortable riding on the freeway.In fact I would recommend the V-star 650 if you are specifically looking to do long highway trips. The large 4.2 gallon gas tank really helps and lets you get about 200 miles on the road before you need to fill up again.

There isn't anything too progressive about the V-star, but sometimes you don't need something new if you have the basics down. This is a classic motorcycle with a great look that many riders will find appealing. 

Honda CTX700N

Honda-CTX700-2015.jpg

  • 670cc's 
  • $6,999
  • Futuristic looking cruiser
  • Automatic transmission
  • Not like any other bike on the road

I hesitated at putting the CTX700N on this list. It's a relatively new bike and it has some updated features for 2015. The thing that makes this bike stand out the most though is it's automatic 6-speed transmission. Yes, that's right, an automatic motorcycle!

I started off my two wheeled journey on a Honda Elite 80cc Scooter. Scooters have automatic transmissions as well, but this bike is much more than just a motorcycle shaped scooter. First of all you have the option of using the automatic transmission, or shifting with a button on the handlebars. It reminds me a lot of how higher end sports cars come with paddle shifters now rather than stick shifts. It's easier on the transmission and easier to do quick shifts that way. 

Not having to worry about clutch levers and friction points really takes a lot of the complications out of riding a motorcycle. Some might say it also takes out some of the fun. But I don't think the CTX700 is aimed at the hardcore motorcycle crazy crowd, I think they are for a rider that sees all of the benefits of riding but doesn't want to get bogged down in some of the details.

This bike would make an EXCELLENT commuter with it's 670cc parallel twin engine. In fact, it even comes with an integrated storage compartment where the fuel tank is usually situated. This is a very unique bike that speaks to a niche of riders that I know will love it.

Yamaha FZ-07

Yamaha-Fz-07-2015.jpg

  • 689cc's
  • $6,990 MSRP
  • High powered extremely fun motorcycle
  • Inexpensive

For ages the Suzuki SV650 has been one of the best starter bikes out there. The fact that it was sans-fairings, powered by a forgiving but fun engine, and was inexpensive compared to other bikes in its class made it extremely popular with new riders. Although a user SV650 is still a great beginner bike, if you want to go brand new then you might want to check out the Yamaha FZ-07. It has taken the crown, and it wears it well.

Yamaha has managed to come up with an inexpensive bike that looks cool and riders extremely well. It's just a fun bike to carve the canyons with or to just take a ride to the grocery store. It's parallel twin engine and the claimed 75 horsepower will leave a grin on your face without shooting you into warp speed instantly. The bike has an aggressive stance that you can't help but love.

This would make an excellent first bike for someone who is confident and knows their limits, or an amazing second bike for a rider that is graduating from something smaller. 

Which bike is best?

There are a lot of great bikes available in 2015 and it's hard to pick one as the 'best beginner motorcycle'. A lot of it really comes down to your experience on two wheels, how much training you've had, what you want to do with the bike (commuting or just riding for fun?), and your personal style tastes.

Now I can't answer that question for you, but if I was going to learn to ride a motorcycle and I was going to purchase something brand new, there is one bike that really fit me and my personality....

The KTM Duke 390.

It's a low CC engine that still has the power to be a LOT of fun in the hills and on surface streets. It has a great look, and I could even see it having potential as a track bike. It's also one of the most inexpensive bikes on this list at around $5,000. That is the bike I would choose this year as the best motorcycle to start on.

Although, I still think the sexiest bike on this list is the Vulcan S. It's funny because I typically don't love the look of cruises, but I can't get enough of that bike!

Comments

afluffykitten's picture

Submitted by afluffykitten (not verified) on

great article, i would love get my hands on a ninja 300 or super duke brand new, although five grand is a bit expensive for me for a starter bike. Im hoping to get a 250 ninja used and use some of the money i'd save for a good saddlebag.

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

That's a great plan. Yeah, I don't typically recommend getting a brand new bike for your first one, it's pretty expensive. But some people have the cash and that's what they want :) My first bike was a used 2002 GS500.

Ben

-BBM Admin

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

trinh's picture

Submitted by trinh (not verified) on

Im starting my MC course in March, but Im thinking of getting a mc to pratice in the driveway while waiting. Im looking at a yamaha vstar 250 2013 brand new for $3350 OTD. The dealer however is 2hrs away. The one near me asked for $3950 for the same models but with a few deep scratches, which they said are from shipping and handling by the mfg and are easily replace and free of charge. My question is could I buy the bike from dealer a and still able to service it at B? Any thoughts, tips, experiences about the transaction would greatly welcomed. Other reasons for me to buy a new are financing since I cannot afford the 2k asking prices on CList, and hv no ideas how to identify problems on a used bike. Thanks.

trinh's picture

Submitted by trinh (not verified) on

I went ahead n grab yamaha 250cc from the 2hrs away dealer a few months ago. I learned that I could bring it to any Yamaha authorized dealers to hv it serviced. So far I only was able to put 200miles on it. Love it but wish it has one more gear. At 65mph the bike vibrates so much. Im glad I went with it as my first bike during the learning throttle phase. A few times I twisted my hand forward instead of back during manuevers and it scared me. Hard to imagine the same on a 600cc sportbike... Thanks for the site. Helped me a lot during my research for 1st bike.

trinh's picture

Submitted by trinh (not verified) on

Oops I got the wrist movement backward :) just so excited to share my exp. Sorry for the confusion

Bim's picture

Submitted by Bim (not verified) on

How about the Cleveland Cycleweks "Tha Heist?" I know it's only 230cc but it's awesome looking!

Matt D's picture

Submitted by Matt D (not verified) on

I love the look but have never seen one on the road....wish someone could chime in!

Marlan's picture

Submitted by Marlan (not verified) on

Any thoughts on the 2015 Ducati Monster 821 as a beginner bike?

I'm taking my first lessons next week. I consider myself very responsible and cautious.

Here in South Africa, you have to be. Hooligan minibus taxis and inconsiderate drivers.

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

That definitely isn't a great beginner motorcycle. It's heavy, powerful, and expensive. But if you have the money and you are very cautious and responsible, you may be able to handle it. It's an EXTREMELY powerful first bike though, so just keep that in mind.

Ben
BBM Owner and Admin

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Marlan's picture

Submitted by Marlan (not verified) on

Thanks for the heads up Ben. I plan on riding only in Urban mode until I'm confident and skilled enough to move up to Touring and finally Sport mode. I think 9-12 months in this mode should give me sufficient skills to progress up. I'm in no hurry to get to Sport. Happy to limit myself to 120km per hour. That's our max speed limit here in RSA.

We don't have an MSF here so it's private lessons to learn. Many of the instructors have done the MSF though. Safety and responsibility is my priority. I will keep you posted on how it's going. 

Thanks again

Marlan

Ro's picture

Submitted by Ro (not verified) on

How about the new Scrambler Ducati? As far as performance goes, it's in the same ballpark as the FZ-07, but comes with ABS by default. What are your thoughts on it?

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

It's not ideal, just like the FZ-07 isn't ideal, but if you have a little bit of motorcycle experience already (such as dirt bikes) then a scrambler would be a good first bike. ABS is always a good thing to have, especially for a new rider.

 

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Tim C's picture

Submitted by Tim C (not verified) on

Harley Davidson just put out a 500 cc and a 750 cc bike. I'm thinking of get the 750 for my frost bike. The 500 has a price tag of 6,400 and the 750 is 7,400$. I'm no sold on it yet though I really think test ridding is in order cause I also thought about a Kawasaki 300 or 650. I want something I can grow into a bit a take it on the freeway when I ready.

 

bignas's picture

Submitted by bignas (not verified) on

How about fz-09 for a beginner?

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

The fz-09 is a SUPER powerful bike. Even the FZ-07 is too powerful for most beginners, even though it is listed in this article. 

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Corey's picture

Submitted by Corey (not verified) on

I'm new to the bike world but love the look and never rode two wheeled anything always fours on dirt and so on. Any advice on the way I should go bike and essential gear needed?

Ivan Vazquez's picture

Submitted by Ivan Vazquez (not verified) on

why the ktm rc390 is not mentioned?
I'll get my very first motorcycle this summer and after some internet surfing, I found my soulmate: the rc390.
But I can tell is not considered on the article.
is there something wrong with this bike as for leave it out?

Diego's picture

Submitted by Diego (not verified) on

Under the KTM 390 section, it mentions in parenthesis that the KTM RC390 is its "older brother"

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

The RC390 is also a great bike. The reason it wasn't included is because I didn't want to have multiple variations of the same motorcycle in one list. THe RC390 is awesome but it has lots of fairings which can get cracked and scratched if you drop it. The duke doesn't have that problem, which is why I favored it in this article. Hope you understand!

Both bikes would make excellent starter motorcycles though.

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Santaslittlehelper's picture

Submitted by Santaslittlehelper (not verified) on

You have a typo in the Yamaha WR250R section.  "One thing to keep in mind is that dirt likes like this have a higher seat height by default. This bike has a 36.6 inch high seat. Much higher than the next bike in our list the Ninja 300 with it's 30.9 inch seat height." Just thought I'd shoot you a heads up! Sweet article!

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

Thanks so much! I will change it right now :)

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Vin Ross's picture

Submitted by Vin Ross (not verified) on

Have you heard of the Z300? It's the naked version of the Ninja300. Probably would be perfect for those wanting Ninja reliability but without worrying too much about the fairings.

brny's picture

Submitted by brny (not verified) on

Hi - I am 99% leaning towards the cb-500f. I have never been on a bike. I will be taking the MC course before buying... After the course, is it advisable to get fz-07, or should I stick with 500 for my first bike? I'd obviously prefer the fz-07 but it seems like to much bike and can get me into trouble...

Leon's picture

Submitted by Leon (not verified) on

Nice article, do you know anything about the HD500 would that be a good starter bike

thanks in advance

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

I haven't reviewed that one yet, but I plan on it!

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Bj wildes's picture

Submitted by Bj wildes (not verified) on

Hi there. After weeks of searching the internet trying to find the perfect bike, I've decided on the duke 390. I test rode bikes such as the ninja 300 etc, but there was something with the duke. Gee I hope I've made the right decision lol. Anyways thanks for this article, I found it very helpful. Cheers bj

tovornottov's picture

Submitted by tovornottov (not verified) on

I Just completed the HD safety course. I rode the HD 500 street. My instructor said i rode above average. Im Looking at the 650 and 950 vstar. i grew up rIding trailbikes. My husband has HD streetglide, which ive tried but is very imtimadating. He drove the 950 and 650 and prefers 950 for me. Just looking for insight to help a lady beginner

GhostlyPalor's picture

Submitted by GhostlyPalor (not verified) on

Grom is a good 2nd bike - it really isn't a "beginner" beginner bike.  The problem is that Grom is so small and light that you can get away with doing bad things on it (i.e. braking incorrectly).  I know this because I rode a Grom for my MSF course...  The bike will absorb or hide a lot of mistakes without giving any negative feedback to the rider.  This is good since it keeps you upright, but very bad for developing good habits.  If you never plan on riding a larger bike, then maybe the Grom is a good place to start, but if you plan on moving up eventually I really think a normal sized 250/300 is a better place to start.  Build good habits first, then get the Grom later.

Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on

Wow, this is an interesting perspective. I never really considered this. I think you may be right, as most people I know with a Grom got it as a second bike, not as a first bike. 

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Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

ShortCake's picture

Submitted by ShortCake (not verified) on

Have had my motorcycle license for almost 10 years.  Was sold a huge harley not knowing any better and got discouraged.  I rode it, never dropped it but sold it after a month or so.  Purchased a Vulcan 500LTD, never dropped and was a nice bike but life got in the way and had to sell it.  It has been a rocky road for me and I am hoping that the 3rd time is a charm.  I am impressed with my skill level for not really having many hours under my belt.  I hear horror stories of dropped bikes, stalling, popping the clutch, etc.  I have yet to do any of those, but, it is not a matter of "will" it happen.  It is "when".

Here in PA, the MSF courses are free so I take them as much as I can as refreshers.  Here is my dilemma.  I am a heavy set woman, only about 5'3 with a disappointing inseam of 27.  I sat on the Honda Phantom and Aero and liked both of them.  I am also considering throwing a leg over the V-Star 650 and the highly recommended Vulcan S (which I never considered until reading this).  Another issue for me is that I have no support on the home front whatsoever so it has taken a toll.  I have friends that ride and if I am lucky, I get to be a passenger on one of their Heritage Softails, but, finding a so-called "mentor" who has patients is almost non-existent.  Any/all advice is appreciated!

R1ngr's picture

Submitted by R1ngr (not verified) on

I'm looking at the Triumph Street Triple for a first bike.  I didn't want to buy something and upgrade in a few years.  Is the triple a good entry level bike that will last?

Doug73's picture

Submitted by Doug73 (not verified) on

What?  No love for the Sym Wolf Classic 150?!?

Based on the old Honda CB125s, the Sym is almost the perfect starter motorcycle.  It has enough power to get you where you're going, but not enough to get a new rider into trouble.  It has Honda reliability (Sym actually made the Honda CB125 from 1969-2002), gets 85mpg, and is an absolute blast to ride.  Even some of my buddies who are more hardcore riders had a smile on their faces after riding the Sym around a few miles.  The bike has a very stylish cafe racer design, and at $3,000 it's an absolute bargain.  Heck, if you ride it for a year and then decide you want "more bike", you can easily sell it for $2,500 and actually come out ahead financially (when you take into account the fact that you got a year's worth of use for $500).  But you probably won't want to sell it because the fun-factor is off the charts.

Give it a look.  It's a fantastic starter bike.      

NateUK's picture

Submitted by NateUK (not verified) on

Here in UK we have to do a basic test which allows us to ride upto 125cc. Im currently riding a Suzuki intruder VL125 always been fond of cruiser style bikes. However to ride an unrestricted bike we have to pass 2 tests (just past first one) on a 600cc bike and i have to say the Yamaha xj6 is a really nice bit of kit the ones my instructor has, do have abs which really comes into its own during the emergency stop we are required to do as part of one of the tests. The more and more i go out on the xj6 the more i love the bike.

Campbell's picture

Submitted by Campbell (not verified) on

Hi there, I've got my various tests booked and will be doing a Direct Access course, if I recall correctly that course will make me practice and pass on a 500cc bike. Therefore, would it seem like going backwards to buy say a 250/300cc Ninja or equivalent for my first bike? Thanks for any advice!

New Rider's picture

Submitted by New Rider (not verified) on

I've ridden dirt bikes for quite a while, and was thinking of going with a 2015 Harley Iron 883 as my first street bike. Any thoughts as to whether this is a good choice? I love the look, and sitting on one felt very comfortable. The ABS feature was a huge factor for me.

r3 rider's picture

Submitted by r3 rider (not verified) on

As a new rider, the Vulcan was my choice but based on price wise. I went and got 1 of 2 Yamaha r3's that are in Steuben county NY. And I love it. At 275 lbs, it rides comfortably, has power when needed, and is only 350, give or take a few lbs. I would recommend that on this list. Great ergonomic seating and very easy to learn on. What do you think?

r3 rider's picture

Submitted by r3 rider (not verified) on

I meant I am 275 lbs and bike weighs 350

MotoMom's picture

Submitted by MotoMom (not verified) on

i am looking at a Honda shadow 750 spirit.  I am told that this is a great deal.  It is a 2008, with less than 3000 miles.   At 5'2" I can put my feet firmly on the ground.  It is heavy, but I am going to start off very slowly.  

jill's picture

Submitted by jill (not verified) on

Thank.....you....so much for your review. I loved my 83 Yamaha 650. But time to upgrade, i went with a low cruiser. ... :(
We didn't mesh. Thanks to your review I marched right over to the 690 naked.
I LOVE IT!
Very nimble...peppy.... corners great. Feels natural.
Me....me...happy....girl.

Carlos A Llado's picture

Submitted by Carlos A Llado (not verified) on

I really enjoy your articles. They are very informative for someone like myself who has never ridden a bike but is cinsidering purchasing one.

I am considering the following bikes. All will be equipped with ABS brakes

1. Vulcan.
2. Indian Scout
3. Indian Chief Dark Horse.

My primary use will be weekend cruising. Any other suggestions are welcomed.

Than you.

Carlos

Javier's picture

Submitted by Javier (not verified) on

I just got my motorcycle license and did the training class a couple of weeks ago. The thing is that my husband has a 2014 Ducati Penagale and he doesn't use it. I know that is EXTREMELY powerful, maybe way too much for me, as I would use it to go to work, gym and around Los Angeles/Hollywood. After reading a lot, I start to believe that I should consider to buy an used motorcycle (maybe a ninja 300) and use it for a year.

I used to drive basics motorcycles for years (15 years ago), and never had any problem, I drive very safe, so what do you think guys? Do you think I should not even try to ride the Ducati Penagale 2014 (I own it already), or should I buy a used bike first? Thanks

 

 

 

aaron khoo's picture

Submitted by aaron khoo (not verified) on

Ben, have you heard of the Kawasaki Estrella 250cc? and is it a good bike to buy?

ponraj's picture

Submitted by ponraj (not verified) on

I'm thinking of buying a CBR 250R ..The one with abs...Is that a good bike for a beginner.

What about your views on that bike.

Help me out ..please..OR I should better go with the kawasaki ninja 300 .

Suzuki dr200's picture

Submitted by Suzuki dr200 (not verified) on

Suzuki dr200 is that a good begginer bike? looks like a nice bike that i would like. seem to have a hard time finding any used ones though. any suggestions on similar stlyes or models? 

Alex's picture

Submitted by Alex (not verified) on

Guys how about Suzuki GW250 Inazuma. Is that a beginner bike?

ME!'s picture

Submitted by ME! (not verified) on

Hi Alex,

I have personally considered the Inazuma 250 as a first bike for myself alongside the honda 500X OR the Sinnis Apache 125cc. I have since decided that the honda might be too expensive as a first bike. I will most likely go for the Apache due to personal preference. 

However during my time spent checking reviews and comparisons online. The Inazuma 250 seems to be a reasonably reliable and affordable bike, with enough power to keep you entertained for a considerable length of time ( I have seen one review that quotes a top speed of around 95mph / 151kph ). Also you can rest assured that as long as you keep up with the servicing and maintenance of the bike then you should not have any major mechanical / engine problems ( according to the dealers, mechanics, and a few motorcyclists I have met).

All-in-all I think this would be a very good beginner bike.

Marlan's picture

Submitted by Marlan (not verified) on

So I decided to go with your recommendation and not get the 821 as my first bike. I got my training done and bought a new CBR300R. Good move on my part I think. I've done about 2000km since June. Been riding in traffic and on the highway. Took the bike to 160km/h. But on a straight line.
I think I'm still a novice but know much more than when I first started. Haven't dropped my bike or had any scary run ins. I know I'm pretty responsible and ride in that manner.
But here's the thing: I'm still crazy about that Monster. My question to you:
Do you think I'm somewhat OK to get it now?
It has ABS and I'll ride in Urban mode until I know the bike well enough.
If I must be really honest, it's all about the look. I've gotten lucky with the chicks on my 300, imagine on the Monster :-) Yeah, I know. Pretty shallow.

salman hasan's picture

Submitted by salman hasan (not verified) on

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Rapid Luck International

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     51310 Sialkot / Pakistan

 

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Tel : - 0092 52 3258515

Mobile:- 0092 3456719061

Bill-A-Quase's picture

Submitted by Bill-A-Quase (not verified) on

Hello guys. I'm new at the motorcycle world & I want to know if a rookie will be able to drive the new MT-03 2016. It has a twin parallel 320cc engine & it's horse power will be at 43hp. Is that good enough to be ridden by a beginner guy? Sorry for my poor English & thanks in advance for your answers.

Anonymous Rider's picture

Submitted by Anonymous Rider (not verified) on

I am Tiny in Height. I want really small automatic gears motorcycle/ legal, RW, Reg.in Vic

MeeLee's picture

Submitted by MeeLee (not verified) on

Priority given to price and weight.

1- Honda Grom

2- Honda Rebel 250

3- Suzuki TU250x

4- Sym Wolf 150 Classic

5- Honda CB300F

​6- Yamaha R3

​7- KTM Duke 390

8- Yamaha V-star 250

9- Kawasaki Ninja

​10- Honda CB500F

​Bonus:

​11- Yamaha SR400

​12- Honda CB500X

13- Suzuki Boulevard S40

mike rider's picture

Submitted by mike rider (not verified) on

1.er6n kawasaki is the best touring and sttuning motorcycle (reccomended for under 750cc) becouse er6n has eco system and has crazy torque than other motorcyle.
2.yamaha yzf r3 is the best 300 motorcylce r3 is definetly fastest than ninja 300, and yamaha fuel injection is better than ninja 300 (I ever made some test for this)
3.kls 250 kawasaki is the best confortable dirt bike and has a good torque, so ninja rr mono use its engine for a sportbike engine
4.honda cb150 and yamaha byson 150 is the collest 150 fighter motorcyle with theri low price and confortable position.
5. kawasaki versys, this is the best touring motorcylce for me becouse versys body is strongest that other bike (my friend ever got an accident and his motorbike is still fine) and this bike is so confortable (reccomended for touring lover) and this bike has eco system.
6. kawasaki esstrela this is the last motorcyle
I reccomended for you, esstrela is kawasaki classic motorcylce, with their new enggine system and cllasic body that make esstrela become collest that other cllasic motorcycle.
that all my reccomended bike for you
thanks

mark smith's picture

Submitted by mark smith (not verified) on

Looking at second hand.am an amatuer but I have 250 road troals & enduro. Looking for something more comfortable & reliable with no expensive common faults. Looked at an aprilla 125 two stroke. I love two strokes but unsure of aprilla reliability & long term problems. Also am Interested in a cbr500r.beautiful bike but I gkust love bikes that have tha harley look with lots of chrome.so am leaning towards a virago or vstar 250 or possibly a 500, thinking about comfort on long trips & that wow factor plus I want a bike that won't be costly or have problems down the track. Is the vstar or virago my best option?

Maz's picture

Submitted by Maz (not verified) on

Hi! I am thinking of doing the A2 License because I have always wanted a Ducati Monster, and just looking at the models, I have seen a second hand 821 Monster that I really like. I know it is very powerful, and read above that it isn't a good bike for beginners. Right now, I am just thinking about it, as I am only 5.3 tall, and quite slim. Would it be a terrible Idea to contemplate buying this bike? Nevertheless I am strong, very stubborn, and learn fast. I also like a challenge but I don't want to be unrealistic if this bike is too much to handle for a newbie female.

Abe's picture

Submitted by Abe (not verified) on

Which of these bikes would also perform well when it has 2 riders? While I have no plans on having a passenger on it anytime soon, I do want it to be an available option down the line.

Sam's picture

Submitted by Sam (not verified) on

Hi Folks,

 

I got my license what to buy a new bike, Need minimum 600CC. Contemplating between 2015- FZ6,2015-Ninja600,2015-Suzuki GSXR600. Please suggest which one to bike.

My Preference:

--Style

--Handling

--Commute/Fun

--Reliable

Thanks for your help in advance!

James 's picture

Submitted by James (not verified) on

Was considering the Honda fury for my first bike, any suggestions??

Duncan's picture

Submitted by Duncan (not verified) on

The V-Strom is an amazing bike -- I own one. I would NEVER recommend it as a starter bike, though. The thing is really tall and fairly top-heavy, which makes it incredibly fun in twisties and UNFORGIVING of mistakes. As a second bike, sure, go for it!  You'll have a hard time finding a better do-it-all bike for less than twice the price, but I urge people AWAY from it for learning on. Even if you only get one season your belt first, you'll be happier learning on something else.

Ale's picture

Submitted by Ale (not verified) on

myself and 2 other friends were looking what bike 2 get when we r able 2 and this site is VERY helpful to help us i will for sure recommend this 2 any new rider i meet who is looking for any good starter bikes =)

new rider's picture

Submitted by new rider (not verified) on

This has been super informative.  Just wondering which is best for insurance rates.. as a Canadian living in Ontario..not many insurance companies want to insure us and if they do, rates are about 3000 to 5000 per year depending on the bike for the first couple of years.. What bike do you recommend for a first time insurer??

HD's picture

Submitted by HD (not verified) on

Harley Street 500. Starts around $6800. Great little bike for the beginner or inter-city commuter!

Ron's picture

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on

Ive been riding a Honda CBR 250R with ABS for 2 years now.  It was a great starter bike and I've decided to keep it rather than upgrade to something bigger since it makes such an excellent commuter (get about 80mpg and is easy to park and maneuver in traffic).  The only thing is the ergonomics are not ideal since its more of a sportbike riding stance.  If they made the CB300F with ABS, that would indeed be the perfect first motorcycle.  Why Honda does not offer the CB300F with ABS in the US, I dont understand since they offer it on the CBR300R.  So if I had to recommend my perfect starter bike, it would be the CBR300R with ABS; the ergos are a bit off but everything else is ideal in terms of functionality.  Style of course is another matter altogether.  

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