What Is The Best Motorcycle For A Beginner?

What Is The Best Motorcycle For A Beginner

The question of “what is the best motorcycle for a beginner” has many answers. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account to determine what will be the best motorcycle for you.

Before we begin, if you are completely new to motorbikes then I suggest that you read through this article which provides you with a basic overview of the main styles of motorbikes that are available on the market.

What is the best motorcycle for a beginner - L Plate - www.MotorbikeLicense.com

The factors that should be taken into account:

  • Am I legally allowed to ride it?
  • When will I be upgrading?
  • How much does the bike cost?
  • How much does the bike weigh?
  • Am I tall enough?
  • How much power does it have?
  • What sort of riding are you going to do?
  • Which style of motorbike?

We will now go into detail for each of these points.


Am I legally allowed to ride it?

Regulations vary between different areas and in many there is a predefined list of motorbikes that someone on a learner motorbike license is limited to. This list of motorbikes is usually determined based upon their power to weight ratio or engine capacity.

We have a number of articles on this website (see here) which will provide you the information on these restrictions for your specific area. The sad news is that you have no chance of legally riding on a Yamaha R1 on your first day.


When will I be upgrading?

This is a question that many people get wrong, as they obtain their learner motorbike license and buy a fancy new motorbike thinking that they will keep it for years. Reality will hit within only a few months, when the bug to upgrade to a more powerful motorbike begins.

What is the best motorcycle for a beginner - Honda CB250 - www.MotorbikeLicense.com

Honda CB250 - Very popular for learners


How much does the bike cost?

Odds are that you are going to drop your first motorbike. It feels a lot better dropping a $2000 2nd hand motorbike than a brand new one straight off the showroom floor. It is worth saving the extra money for your first unrestricted power motorbike. Keep in mind that there are also hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, that need to be spent on motorbike protective gear and other accessories. Don’t send yourself broke buying your first bike.


Am I tall enough?

It is important to find a motorbike which fits you physically. If you are told and you will find that many superbike-style motorbikes are too cramped. In this situation it is worth investigating motard and naked motorbike style options.

On the other hand if you are short, then you may find that a motard style motorbike is too tall for you and you will not be able to touch the ground. It is critical to be able to comfortably place your feet on the ground when you are riding a motorbike, else once you come to your first stop at a set of traffic lights you will simply tip over. For the height challenged riders there are also a number of 125cc motorbikes which specifically suit the smaller rider.


How much does the bike weigh?

Following on from the last question, if you are smaller rider then it makes a lot of sense to find a lighter motorbike. Someone with a larger body will be able to control a heavier bike when it comes to a stop at traffic lights.

Having said this, there are a lot of extremely competent smaller motorbike riders who can handle very big bikes without a problem, but there is no point making it hard on yourself to begin with.


How much power does it have?

Many people will see the question of ”what is the best motorcycle for a beginner?” and straightaway say that it should be the most powerful motorbike that you are legally allowed to ride. While I understand their enthusiasm, the other points here are probably more critical. There is no point having a powerful motorbike (by learner restrictions standards) only to be uncomfortable whenever you are riding, in which case it is likely to spend much of its life in the garage.

At the end of the day you will find that many learner legal motorbikes are of a similar power and you will be upgrading in a short time. You stand absolutely no chance of keeping up with the Ducati 1198 whichever learner legal motorbike you happen to be riding.

The power to weight ratio is a place of very large pots when you are writing a letter legal motorcycle. If you are smaller rider then you may find that a 125cc or 250cc motorbike offers you enough power. However a 6ft 5in rider would find that a 125cc motorbike will struggle under the weight.

What is the best motorcycle for a beginner - Suzuki DRZ400SM 2006 - www.MotorbikeLicense.com

Super Motard


What sort of riding are you going to do?

If you are going to purely commutes to and from work than a motorbike such as motard may be perfect. However if you’re planning on several long journeys you may find that this style of motorbike is too uncomfortable and that a naked motorbike, possibly fitted with a windscreen, may suit your needs better and be able to carry any luggage.


Which style of motorbike?

Superbike-style learner legal motorbikes are very popular, however it is important to remember that odds are that you will drop your first motorbike. If you have a superbike-style motorbike like a Honda CBR250RR (which is a very popular learner legal motorbike) and you happen to drop it, then your repair bill is going to be quite significant. These superbike-style learner legal motorbikes are often quite overpriced piece of their popularity, so may be worth giving a miss unless your heart is set on one.

Your best bet for the style of motorbike from a practical point of view is likely to be a naked motorbike or a supermotard style bike (a trail bike style made specifically for the road), as they are very easy to control as well as being good value.



At the end of the day though it really comes down to what sort of motorbike you want, rather than need, an article about “what is the best motorcycle for a beginner” can only send you in the most theoretically correct direction, you are the one who is spending the money and need to be happy with your decision. Please try and remember to keep in mind these points so you find a motorbike which will be possible to learn on, good value and cheap to repair which will see you spending more time on the saddle.


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