For motorcycle enthusiasts there’s nothing like the call of the open road, the feel of freedom while moving at high speeds, exposed to the world around you. This is a really tempting picture and for many of us it becomes a calling. That being said, every single biker who has spent decades hitting the pavement on their hawgs was once a true beginner who knew what they were doing. That’s fine. In some ways riding a motorcycle is a lot like learning to ride a bicycle. In the beginning it is rough going but by learning on a good bike for beginners eventually you can learn and get good enough to hit the road.
That being said, motorcycles are obviously much more complicated and you don’t want to bust up an antique Harley or Indian while learning the basics. Bad form, bad mojo, just bad planning altogether. You don’t teach a teenager to drive using a Rolls Royce and you don’t teach a child by tossing them out into a game: they have to learn to skate first. There’s no shame in owning a motorcycle that is geared towards beginners. The truth is 99% of the people out there won’t even know, and most who do will simply approve of you getting into the biker life and learning from a machine you can handle.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of motorcycles out there that advertise as being great for beginners that aren’t. Even in this world sometimes marketing trumps honesty. The good news is that there are plenty of motorcycles designed specifically for the beginner and those are some of the best (and most affordable) option when getting into biking. So read on to take a look at some of the best starter options around regardless of the type of motorcycle you plan to ride the most in the future.
Friendliest Beginner Option: The Honda CB1100 Ex
The Honda CB1100 Ex is an outstanding option for true beginners for a variety of reasons. One of the big ones is that this is a beginner friendly version of a “traditional” motorcycle design that is easy to maneuver, has a familiar style, and trains up skills that are directly translatable to any future motorcycle that follows a conventional design. The classic frame, chrome fenders, and round headlight will be a huge plus to any motorcycle enthusiast who loves the classic look.
Honda did a great job on design: they didn’t skimp on the “beginner” option. There’s no visible weld on a seamless gas tank, the chassis is solid steel, and a triple brake system means no problem stopping when you need to. The price is on the high-middle area but the truth is that this is really a great model that is going to have more fans than just true beginners. Very good option for newcomers.
Best Beginner “Crotch Rocket:” The Kawasaki Ninja 300
When it comes to pure appearance The Kawasaki Ninja 300 is a really far cry from the Honda CB1100 EX however there’s a reason why it makes this list of the top beginner friendly motorcycles. Designed around the more modern sleek design that originally was especially popular out of Asia but has caught on widely in the decades since, this is a top notch starter option for those of you who are interested in the lightweight, sleek, and high speed motorcycles that are often referred to as “Crotch Rockets.”
The Ninja 300 from Kawasaki has turned a lot of heads. This is incredibly lightweight, making it very easy to ride even for beginners and smaller framed individuals. The throttle control is smooth, the gas mileage is really great and can get over 60 miles per gallon in the ideal conditions. The aesthetic is excellent as the bike looks sleek, modern, and cool while providing a surprisingly easy ride for beginners.
Perhaps most encouraging is the price. This is an incredibly affordable bike that comes from the low price range making it widely affordable.
Special & Different: Introducing The Scrambler Ducati Desert Sled
The Scrambler looks a lot like a hyped up dirt bike and actually that’s not necessarily an unfair comparison. The Ducati Desert Sled is designed specifically to be used off-road and to be able to handle all the particular challenges that can come up with off-roading a motorcycle. This is in addition to providing a really smooth highway driving experience which is an absolute must if you’re going to call it a motorcycle and not just a glorified dirt bike.
If you like to ride high this model will be a favorite since the seat is placed in a much taller position than the average bike. This gives better control and balance for the rider whether on or off road. The suspension to this motorcycle is adjustable and a solid steel frame means tons of durability. At a middle of the road price point, there’s a lot to love about the total package this vehicle brings to the table.
There are plenty of beginner friendly options out there and by focusing on those you will be more likely to get a motorcycle you can handle, one you can learn from, and one that will bring many hours of enjoyment on the open road. While it can be tempting to go for the big classics, that’s not a great idea for true beginners. Some bikes are made to ease you into the life, some are built for lifelong bikers who understand how to use that extra feeling, that extra touch. You want to make sure you get the one that is best for your current experience level.
These three bikes are just some of the best options available, but they cover every type of motorcycle you might run into as a beginner. By looking at , that are friendly to novice riders and still offer an outstanding value and experience, you get the best of both worlds and are far more likely to get a bike that meets all of your needs and more.