The Best Starter Bikes for Beginners

The Best Starter Bikes for Beginners

We have all been there. You’ve just passed your test and are now looking to make a move to serious motorcycle riding, but what is the best bike for beginners? Plus, younger beginners also have to consider how much they are able to pay for their first motorcycle, which can sometimes limit your options.

Here at VMR, besides offering you high-quality, professional motorcycle paint to give the second-hand bike you just bought a new look, we also care about you. This article takes a look at some of the best beginner bikes from some of the top manufacturers such as Honda, Harley Davidson and Yamaha, in the hopes of you feeling confident you have made the right choice when you buy your first ride.

Yamaha YZF-R3

Yamaha created one of the best superbikes of all time in the R1, so it should come as no surprise that its baby brother, the R3 is just as spectacular. It has the superbike look and the engineers at Yamaha have managed to make the 321cc machine absolutely fly. The handling and suspension also feel superb, fast but manageable. If you are looking to ride on tracks or are a speed demon, this is the beginner bike for you. Plus, it will cost you less than $5K too.

Honda CB300R

The CB range from Honda is renowned for being easy and fun to ride. It weighs in at just 317 lbs, and rocks some Showa suspensions, making the baby CB the real deal. It doesn’t look or feel like a beginner bike. The handling is firm and responsive, while the 286cc single cylinder engine provides ample acceleration for city and highway journeys. Honda are experts at creating the full package, and if you want a great all-rounder to start off your riding career, this is a great bike to choose.

Kawasaki Ninja 400

The only reason we have put this bike on this list is because of how much power the 399cc engine is capable of delivering. And its stunning looks. And superb handling. And the comfortable riding position. And, well… it is a long list of things we like about the Ninja 400. Including the price tag.

Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883

The only bike on this list above 500cc, and it of course, comes from Harley. There is nothing I need to tell you guys about Harley Davidson’s that we haven’t already mentioned before. This bike, despite being larger than the rest on the list is a good beginner bike because of its lowered suspension, giving a stable ride and an engine that is designed to go for miles on end, not ridiculous miles per hour. A comfortable ride on a gorgeous bike is something we all enjoy, and now beginners can too. Of course, all that extra bang, comes for extra buck, so it may not be affordable for every beginner.

KTM 390 Duke

The KTM Duke family is easy to fall in love with, from the 1290cc SuperDuke all the way to the youngest member of the family, the 390 Duke. Torquey engines with the grunt to get you anywhere you need to be on the road combined with an up-right and comfortable riding position make for an excellent beginner bike, and also for those experienced riders looking for something fun, cheap and reliable for weekend ride outs.

Yamaha MT-03

MT stands for Master of Torque and the big brothers of this bike have shown to be just that. Ask anyone who has ever ridden an MT and they will tell you they love it. The baby of the family is no exception.

Suzuki DR-Z400SM

A bike that has not changed, beside technological upgrades, in decades. For some, that might be a bad thing, but for this old school dual-sport Suzuki, it is far from it. Off-road looks combined with road hugging tyres makes for an excellent first ride. This model has been tried and tasted through generations, so you can feel confident you are getting a great bike at a great price for just over $7,000.


Naked bikes are fun, cheaper and easier to ride than most bikes, and despite the BMW being a little on the heavy side, weighing in at 411lbs, it is no exception. The 313cc single cylinder engine is as impressive as you might expect from the German manufacturer. You will be flicking through twisty corners with the best of the bikes in its class, but also enjoying comfortable and effortless rides while commuting through the city too.

Second-Hand Alternatives

So far, those bikes are new, straight off the shelf models. However, not all riders can have the luxury of a brand-new bike and are looking for something cheaper and just as good, so we go second-hand. There are certain things you need to look out for when buying second-hand bikes, so watch out for them.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

There really is no better used sports bike to buy when starting out. The Ninja 300 is a direct competitor to the R3 mentioned above and there is very little to choose between them. The Kawasaki has a 296cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke twin which can take you to speeds above 105 mph.

You can also ride all day on your Ninja, with a claimed 60+ miles per gallon rating. Plus, buying a decent second-hand model can save you anywhere between $800 and $1,000 of the MSRP.

Honda Rebel 300

The Honda Rebel 300 is a cruiser which is all about style. The 286cc liquid-cooled four stroke engine offers plenty of mid-range power, ideal for new riders, and you can easily costumize your machine. An estimated 78 mpg means you can cruise all day and go wherever your heart takes you. The shorter wheelbase also ensures you have no issues throwing the 364lbs (wet) machine around corners either.

Honda CB500F

We mentioned earlier that the CB family from Honda make ideal first bikes, and the CB500F is a perfect example. It is reliable, comfortable and a great all-rounder, a stamp of Honda’s pedigree. The CB500F has historically been a perfect starter bike for generations, so finding one won’t be too difficult.