Learning how to ride a motorcycle can be one of the best life experiences, but learning on the wrong motorcycle can be downright terrifying. A motorcycle is often stereotyped as a ticket to freedom, this much rings true in the sense that we can indeed ride anywhere, but if you are a new rider it certainly doesn’t mean you should ride anywhere. When you first start riding it is very important to build confidence, going out on a long trip too soon could end up doing more harm than good if you are not ready for it.
Choosing the right bike is also crucial, budget is obviously a limiting factor, but by far the most important thing you have to consider is the type of riding you really want to do. Once you are sure about that, then it is time to decide what your first bike should be, and for sure, it should be one of these.
10 Honda CRF300L
Although the bike might seem pretty tall when you first look at it, the suspension is soft and compresses low enough for most people to at least touch the ground.
There is no better type of bike to learn on than a dual sport, and this is one of the most affordable, approachable dual sport bikes. Getting comfortable with occasionally loss traction on dirt, or falling on dirt will hold any new rider in good stead, but if you have no interest in riding trails then getting a dual sport makes little sense.
9 KTM Duke 390
If you want a bike you are not going to ever really outgrow, then the Duke is a viable option with performance that is equal part fun and approachable.
The Duke is comfortable enough to do some light touring on too once you are confident enough, it also comes with a host of modern features, most importantly, ABS.
8 Yamaha R3
For those of you with your sights set on a sportbike, the R3 is easily the most approachable money can buy. It also has an extensive aftermarket, so as much as total horsepower will always be limited, other suspension/brake upgrades are only really limited by your budget.
Some might think they can easily outgrow a bike like this, but truth be told, it takes some serious skill to ride these small bikes on their limit.
7 Honda CB500X
If you are an aspiring Adventure bike/touring bike rider desperate to do some exploring, then the 500X is easily the most approachable in the segment.
It has enough power to cope on the highway, not so much that it will intimidate, and is incredibly comfortable. It also has one of the lowest seat heights in its class.
6 Kawasaki KLX250
For off-road enthusiasts, the Kawa offers exceptional value for money. It has a similar seat height to the CRF, but a far superior suspension and better performance.
It is a bike you won’t be outgrowing at all, unless you maybe become a professional enduro rider one day, this is a bike that will make anyone smile on the trail.
5 Honda Rebel 300
For cruiser enthusiasts the rebel is a very good entry point, cruisers vary wildly in size and performance, but this is the least intimidating.
Unfortunately, for those wanting to really enter into the cruiser bike culture, this is one of the few bikes you might outgrow as the temptation of the large displacement twins beckons.
4 KTM RC 390
For those of you really keen on going to the track, the RC is a bike you can both learn on and enjoy for the rest of your life.
It is razor sharp straight from the factory and offers pretty impressive value when you factor in all the features they are able to pack into these little bikes.
3 Kawasaki Z650RS
If you are into the retro scene, but don’t necessarily fancy a full-blown café racer (i.e. a Royal Enfield) then this stunning green machine is your best pick.
Although 650 might seem large, on paper, for a beginner, the power delivery is manageable. It also has a very approachable seat height and actually weighs less than some of those other retro machines.
2 Yamaha XT250
If you truly want a pure beginner bike, there is absolutely nothing better than the XT. Learning on dirt is the best way to learn, and this little 20 horsepower machine won’t be intimidating anyone.
It also somehow manages to have a 32-inch seat height, a decent suspension, and it is air cooled, so maintenance is easy and infrequent.
1 Zero FXE
If only electric motorcycles interest you, there are several Chinese ebikes to choose from, but if budget is no issue the FXE might be the best commuter bike money can buy.
It offers around 100 miles of range in the city, a low seat height of just under 33 inches and being electric, it is just twist and go.
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