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Beginner Motorcycles

Cycle World Magazine compiled a list of Best Beginner Bikes in their most recent issue.  Here they are:

  • Aprilia SportCity 250 – 75MPG – $4,599
  • Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 – 55MPG – $6,695
  • Honda CRF230L – 93MPG – $4,499
  • Honda Nighthawk – 90MPG – $3,699
  • Kawasaki Ninja 250R – 60MPG – $3,499
  • Suzuki GSX650F – 56MPG – $6,999
  • Suzuki SV650 – 55MPG – $5,999
  • Yamaha XT250 – 80MPG – $3,699
  • Yamaha WR250X – 60MPG – $5,999

 

As you can see by the MPG ratings, Cycle World was interested in frugality with this article on beginner motorcycles.  While I agree in frugality, I don’t think it needs to be a choice in choosing a beginning motorcycle.  Motorcycles, by default, get better gas mileage than most cars.  When it comes to a beginner bike, I would concentrate on cost, ease of use, small engine size, and personal preference.

  • Cost; this one is simple, a first bike should be cheap, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on something you may not keep long.
  • Ease of use; you want a bike that fits you and is agile enough to learn on.
  • Small engine size; a smaller engine lessens your chance of injury.
  • Personal preference; you don’t want to buy a dual purpose motorcycle to learn on if you are going to be riding cruisers.

 

In reference to a Scooter being on the list, I don’t think I agree.  Scooters, while easy to ride, are not motorcycles.  If you can ride a scooter, it does not mean you can ride a motorcycle.  I would recommend a motorcycle for your first bike, unless you were only going to ride scooters.

So, here’s my list of Best Beginner Motorcycles broken out by type:

Cruiser

Dual Purpose

Sport

Standard

 

Please note that they are all 250cc and under!  As much as you may want to get a “Real” motorcycle, you need to learn on an appropriate bike first.  Notice the military doesn’t throw you in a multi-million dollar jet to teach a pilot how to fly, they use a simulator first.  This is a similar theory, we don’t want you starting out on something that is just too much for you.  After you ride for a while, 2 to 3 years, then you can move up.  Don’t get too impatient to kill yourself.

As with anything, other options are available.  Feel free to buy a used bike for your first bike!  Just keep it small, 250cc and under (maybe 350 for an older model).  In addition, I recommend you take a knowledgeable friend with you to look at any used bikes.  He or she can help you spot any problems you might miss.

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