A motorcycle gives you an open-air experience that you don’t get in cars and can reach extreme speeds as some are powered by engines larger than most of the cars we see on the road. But such bikes can be too big and heavy for a beginner to handle. Research shows that most wrecks involve new riders who spend the first few months on the street on machines that are too large for their skills. It is therefore recommended to go for smaller bikes that are easy to operate and minimize the margin of error with less sensitive controls. This is because motorcycles do not have safety features found in cars, such as airbags, crumple zones and a protective shell.
As a beginner, you also need to consider factors such as horsepower, fuel economy, braking functions and technology. Riders can perfect their skills with less power before moving on to more powerful and heavier bikes. The best beginner bikes are light and have small-displacement engines. Here are the 10 best motorcycles for beginners in 2022.
10 Honda Rebel 500
Since its beginnings in the mid-1980s, the Honda Rebel has been a go-to option for newbies. However, it has recently become hugely popular as one of the best cruiser bikes, prompting Big Red to unveil the new generation Rebel 300, 500 and 1100. The half-litre variant and the Rebel 300 are small enough to welcome new riders while still offering room for growth.
The Rebel’s low seating position and versatile ergonomics benefit both short and tall drivers. It features a super-smooth six-speed transmission and a low curb weight of 421 pounds. Honda also offers accessories such as USB chargers, saddlebags, windshields and more for riders looking to tune their bike.
9 Honda CB500X
The CB500X is a versatile big bike with a beginner-friendly platform for new riders looking to gain riding experience. Dual purpose tires and a long-travel suspension make the bike a perfect hit for dirt roads and easy trails. The CB500X uses the same 491cc two-cylinder liquid-cooled engine as in the Rebel 500.
New upgrades in the 2022 version include a weight reduction from 5 pounds to 439 pounds, dual disc brakes and an inverted front fork. The seat height of 32.8 inches will suit a wide range of riders and you can get it in pearl green or black.
8 Kawasaki Ninja 400
Experienced riders will agree that the Ninja 400’s performance exceeds its “entry-level” moniker – it easily blows the lid of other entry-level bikes thanks to its 44-horsepower twin-cylinder 399cc. With a price tag of $5,000, the Ninja 400 is arguably the best buy in its category.
The Ninja 400 succeeded the 300 and came with improved styling and a lower curb weight. Other upgrades include better brakes, a shorter frame, sturdier front forks and a longer swingarm. A limited KRT (Kawasaki Racing Team) Ninja 400 in a replica racing livery will also be available in 2022.
7 Yamaha SR400
This Yamaha SR400 has been a favorite among new riders in the entry-level bike category since 1978. The latest model still has retro styling dating back to the 1970s. One of the cool old school features is a unique kickstart instead of the normal start button in modern bikes.
The SR400 comes with a low seat height – just under 31 inches – perfect and comfortable for new riders. The 399cc single-cylinder air-cooled 4-stroke coupled with a five-speed gearbox makes the bike suitable for highway and city rides. Even though the SR400 lacks the fairing for wind protection, it remains an excellent choice for novice riders.
6 KTM 390 Adventure
Like the BMW G310S, KTM has taken features from their more powerful engines and mounted them on a beginner-friendly frame, making the KTM390 more manageable for beginners. It shares styling and a 373cc engine with the Duke 390.
This 390 Adventure is a premium entry-level adventure bike with crash protection and long-travel suspension for riders with a passion for off-road riding. It’s a little heavy on the pocket compared to its competition, but comes with features you’d normally find in high-spec bikes, such as different riding modes, cornering ABS and traction control.
5 Honda CB300R
This is the smallest bike in Honda’s Neo-Sports Café range and is available in two colors, matte gray metallic and candy chromosphere red. Its single-cylinder liquid-cooled 286cc engine is agile and fuel-friendly and offers more fun on the road than a ton of monkeys.
The simple design of the CBR300R makes it cheap and easier to maintain – it’s not bogged down with complicated switches, buttons, riding modes and techno nannies that would distract beginners on the road. Its high-end features include anti-lock brakes, LED lighting and an inverted fork.
4 BMW G 310 GS
In 1980, BMW made the first widely recognized modern adventure motorcycle, the mighty R80 GS. In the following decades, the Bavarian brand Gelände-Straße models became the most popular adventure bikes† The German brand has created a small-displacement version of the larger GS range to attract new riders to the game.
The G310 GS has a 313cc single-cylinder engine suitable for highway cruising and light off-road riding. Its distinctive style features a rear rack, ABS, adjustable levers and ride-by-wire. It weighs 386 pounds and has an approachable seat height of 32.8 inches, which is the perfect BMW for new riders.
3 Harley-Davidson Street 500
Harley Davidson bikes are among the best cruiser bikes in the modern world, and the Street 500 is a good option for beginners. It is lightweight (500 lbs) and has a low seat height of 25 inches to help you hone your skills and confidence as a beginner.
For extra long-distance storage, the bike has a custom option with saddlebags and an outer fairing. The motorcycle delivers exceptional performance, powered by a V-twin liquid-cooled 494cc engine. Unfortunately, the Harley-Davidson factory to halt production of Street 500 in 2020citing a focus on large-displacement cruisers.
2 Yamaha YZF R3
Yamaha made the R3 the most radical 300 on the road by giving it an all-new MotoGP-inspired look. The sleek body reflects Valentino Rossi’s championship-winning race bike. The aggressive dual LED headlights emphasize Yamaha’s R-series DNA.
The R3 offers an enjoyable ride while maintaining good highway speed thanks to its 321cc inline twin-cylinder engine. To deliver maximum torque, Yamaha equipped it with 4 valves per cylinder. The R3 is comfortable for long-distance cruising, as the diamond-type steel frame offers an upright riding position and a 30.7-inch seat height.
1 Suzuki GSX250R
The GSXR range has been in the cycling world since the 80’s when they started with the Katana model. Since then it has evolved over the years, but Suzuki only offered bikes with larger displacement – 600cc and above. Since then they have started producing entry level bikes for beginners with a 250cc engine.
The GSX250R has a seat height of 31 inches and features a full fairing and windshield for wind protection. The leaning forward riding style mimics that of larger-displacement sports bikes. The bike does not have an anti-lock braking system, but the dual brake caliper system offers great braking performance.
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