The 10 Best Beginner Bikes

If you're brand new to motorcycling and are looking for the perfect starter bike, here's a list of 10 motorcycles that are tailored to the needs of beginner riders.

Don't make the mistake of making your first motorcycle and overpowered sportbike or a flashy heavyweight cruiser; think small, manageable, and keep in mind that you'll probably be replacing your humble starter bike sooner than you think.

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2014 Honda Grom ($2,999)

2014 Honda Grom
Photo © Honda

The 2014 Honda Grom isn't just the cheapest bike on this list of beginner motorcycles, it's also one of the most fun.


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2012 Honda Rebel ($4,190)

2012 Honda Lineup
Photo © Honda

Honda's trusty rebel is a standby at Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses, and its 26.6-inch seat height and mellow 243cc powerplant make it an excellent cruiser for new riders.

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2015 Honda CBR300R ($4,399, $4,899 with ABS)

2011 Honda CBR250R
Photo © Honda

The sequel to the Honda CBR250R, the CBR300R gets updated with a slightly bigger engine that claims a 17 percent climb in power and numerous ergonomic and design improvements. The CBR300R battles the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the upcoming Yamaha R3.

>>Click here for a 2015 Honda CBR300R Review

>>Click here for a 2011 Honda CBR250R Photo Gallery<<

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2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ($4,799, $5,499 with ABS)

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300. Photo © Kawasaki

For 2013, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 upgrades from its venerable 250R predecessor with fuel injection, a stiffer chassis, numerous hardware updates, and available ABS. The Ninja 300 starts at $4,799 and runs up to $5,499 with ABS.

For more check out our 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review, and Photo Gallery.

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2011 Suzuki TU250X ($3,999)

2011 Suzuki TU250X
Photo © Suzuki

The Suzuki TU250X combines traditional styling with a fuel-injected, single-cylinder powerplant and surprisingly plush suspension. Not only does it combine classic standard motorcycle looks with modern functionality, it does so with a price tag that's under $4,000.

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2012 Yamaha V-Star 250 ($4,190)

2012 Star Motorcycles V-Star 250
The 2012 Star Motorcycles V-Star 250 is priced at $4,190, and is available only in Raven (ie, black.) The V-Star 250 features new handlebars, and will go on sale in November, 2011. Photo © Star Motorcycles

Yamaha's mighty V-Max is a compelling halo product, but this V-Star 250 offers classic cruiser style in a package that any beginner can handle. Its air-cooled 249cc V-twin lends it a substantial look for such a relatively small bike, and a low seat height of 27 inches makes it easy to manage.

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2012 Yamaha TW200 ($4,490)

2011 Yamaha TW200
Photo © Yamaha

The fat-tired Yamaha TW200 is a welcome alternative to cookie-cutter starter bikes, and its dual purpose abilities make it trail and dirt ready. Its 196cc single-cylinder engine features an automatic cam chain tensioner for minimal maintenance.

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2013 Honda CRF250L ($4,499)

2013 Honda CRF250L
Photo © Honda

Honda's new-for-2013 dual-purpose CRF250L offers a nicely balanced blend between pavement capabilities and off-road possibilities; mechanical highlights include a 249cc engine adapted from the CBR250R sportbike.

Check out our Honda CRF250L Review.

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2011 Suzuki Boulevard S40 ($5,099)

2011 Suzuki Boulevard S40
Photo © Suzuki

Though it shares genealogy with hulking cruisers like the M109R, Suzuki's entry-level Boulevard S40 weighs a reasonable 381 lbs, and its 40 cubic inches single-cylinder engine yields an estimated 63 mpg.

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2009 Honda CRF230M ($5,399)

Photo © Honda

The Honda CRF230M takes characteristics of the dual-purpose CRF230L-- like long suspension travel and rugged bodywork-- and converts it into a supermoto-style bike with a seat that's .2 inches shorter.

Click here for a review.