What Is the Best Beginner Motorcycle?

You finally took the plunge and decided to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Congratulations! Riding provides an unparalleled sense of freedom and excitement. However, before you hit the road, you need to choose the right beginner bike. With so many options available, selecting your first motorcycle can feel overwhelming. Here’s a look at “what is the best beginner motorcycle on the market?”

Honda Rebel 300

The Honda Rebel 300 stands out as an excellent choice for beginners. Honda engineers designed this lightweight cruiser specifically with new motorcyclists in mind. The Rebel’s low seat height of only 27.2 inches makes it easy for most riders to plant both feet firmly on the ground. This boosts confidence immensely for those just starting out. The 286cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine also delivers a manageable 27 horsepower—enough for city riding without being intimidating.

Kawasaki Ninja 400

No best beginner motorcycle list would be complete without Kawasaki’s Ninja 400, which caters well to those wanting a little more sporting performance from their first bike. This approachable supersport provides a thrilling ride that is manageable for new riders. The 399cc parallel-twin engine pumps out a zippy 44 horsepower while keeping vibrations smooth. Despite its racy looks, the Ninja 400 retains a relatively upright seating position and low seat height under 31 inches for confidence at stoplights. Anti-lock brakes, a slip/assist clutch, and relaxed steering geometry make this a great transition bike.

Harley-Davidson Street 500

Many beginners gravitate towards the Harley-Davidson Street 500 for a classically styled first cruiser. This V-twin thumper evokes Harley’s trademark rumbling exhaust note in a package designed for smaller riders. With a seat just 25.7 inches high and a curb weight under 500 pounds, the Street provides a confidence-inspiring first taste of the cruiser life. Despite the tiny 494 cc revolution engine, this little Hog rips from stoplights with 34 ft-lbs of stump-pulling torque on tap. Count on sipping just 51 mpg too.

Indian Scout Sixty

Indian’s Scout Sixty appeals to riders who want to start on a bigger bike while keeping things manageable. This midsize cruiser has a potent 61 cubic inch V-twin, kicking out 78 horsepower and 65 lb-ft of torque. Those big power numbers sound daunting until you consider the Scout’s featherweight 561-pound carrying capacity—relatively lightweight for a mid-displacement cruiser. A low 25.3 inch seat height, neutral upright seating position, and adjustable rear shocks help smooth out the learning curve.

Ready to Make Your Choice?

You cannot go wrong with any of these prime prospects when choosing your first bike. Each makes an excellent starting point before graduating to larger, more powerful motors. Avoid anything labeled a “supersport” or putting out more than 100 horsepower; those race-bred missiles require skills and reflexes most newcomers haven’t developed yet. Stick to these approachable, welcoming, beginner-focused options, and your entry into the two-wheeled world will get off to a confident, thrilling start.