One of the most common questions we get from new riders is “What’s the best beginner bike?” It’s not an easy question to answer because the truth is, there is no “best” beginner bike. The best beginner bike will be determined by what’s right for YOU and it drastically varies from person to person. The one thing we can confidently say is that your first bike shouldn’t be your dream bike. Leave that to your second or third bike. While you shop for your first motorcycle, here are some things to consider and a few bike recommendations based on your needs.
First, figure out what style of motorcycles entice you. Sport bikes, cruisers, dual-sport/adventure bikes, standard and naked are the basic categories. If you don’t have a strong preference, look at standard bikes, which are “all-around” bikes that are about as generic as two wheels and an engine. Figuring out what style of bikes you like will help you narrow down your search.
Another thing to consider is what type of riding you are planning to do on your bike. If your goal is to go on long distance road trips, a sport bike would not be ideal. If you want to shred at the track, getting a cruiser is probably not the best idea (although I’ve definitely seen a few cruisers at the track before). Pinpointing your primary use for the bike will again help you narrow down the choices.
Also consider your age, size and weight. If you are 6 feet tall and over 200 lbs, perhaps a little 250cc bike is not the best choice for you. Comfort on a bike is crucially important so if your elbows are hitting your knees as you ride, you did not make the right choice of a bike.
Once you’ve narrowed down what style and size of bike you want, start browsing Craigslist classifieds to see what kind of deal you can find on a used motorcycle. If your budget allows, you can buy new but considering how much value a bike loses the minute it leaves the dealership lot and considering that as a new rider your first bike purchase is very temporary since you’re still learning and trying to figure out what you really want / need / like, we always recommend buying used first. If you are worried about buying a bike that’s falling apart since you don’t know enough about bikes to make a good call, arrange a pre-purchase inspection at a local dealer or independent motorcycle shop. It’s fairly inexpensive to do and will buy you a piece of mind that you’re buying a mechanically solid motorcycle.
Here are some bike options to consider:
Adventure / Dual-Sport
Standard / Touring
Don’t be afraid to start small. The less you have to be worried about or afraid of the bike, the more you can focus on yourself and your surroundings. Starting with a big bike is possible but it will definitely slow down your learning process. Small bikes are cheap to buy and easy to sell as there are always other beginners looking for them.
If you have the option to buy a bike with modern electronics such as ABS or Traction Control, do it. We are lucky to be living and riding at a time where these awesome safety features are an option so why not utilize them?
We know picking your first bike could be overwhelming and we are always eager to help new riders with their first bike choice. Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your first bike purchase and we’ll be happy to help as much as we can.
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by Kate A May 21, 2021
by Kate A December 23, 2020 1 Comment