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The 6 Best Beginner Motorcycles

For many people, riding a Harley-Davidson® is a dream come true. For experienced  riders and beginners alike, a Harley-Davidson® can stir the soul. Recently, Harley-Davidson® has been building lighter, smaller, and comparatively cheaper motorcycles for those who are new to the biking world.

But you may be wondering: which are the best beginner motorcycles?

There is no single best motorcycle for beginners that will serve every single type of rider. But, there are a variety of factors to help decide what is the best beginner motorcycle for you.

Check the Specs

A good rule of thumb for riders just starting out is to purchase a model that features a smaller cubic centimeter (cc) engine.

While engines can range from 125cc to over 2,000cc, riders often find motorcycles with engines between 300cc and 500cc are more manageable to ride. These often feature:

  • Lightweight body designs

  • Better stability at highway speeds

  • More comfortable riding positions and seat height

  • Smoother power delivery from the throttle

All of this helps new riders get a feel for their bike as they learn.

The upside of purchasing a motorcycle with a smaller engine is they typically cost less than their bigger counterparts. For example, buyers considering the 300cc class can potentially expect to spend $5,000–$10,000 on their purchase, whereas more powerful models can easily be double the price.

Motorcycles designed for comfort and reliable control have the added benefit of offering fantastic fuel efficiency (compared with traditional gas-powered cars and more powerful bikes). Some models can even see fuel economy of up to 70 miles per gallon! This means riders just getting started can remain budget-conscious and potentially save money as they hunt for the best learner motorcycle.

Though bikes with larger engines (such as those above 900cc) may seem appealing, riders without ample experience may find them to be more cumbersome to maneuver. This is due to their higher centers of gravity and poorer control at lower speeds, which may increase the risks of accidents, injuries, or worse.

With all this in mind, what’s the best first motorbike for beginner riders? Read on as we explore the best motorcycles for beginners to find out!

Harley-Davidson® Street 500

With modern styling, a lightweight frame, and a budget-friendly low cost, this motorcycle offers immense power and control that’s perfect for beginners. It is a reliable ride for congested urban roads, with a tuned suspension, a lightweight body, and a 494cc V-twin engine..

Harley-Davidson® Street 750

Much like its little brother, this easy to ride model replaces the typical Harley-Davidson® rumble with more of a polite purr. It features a single-sided turn signal switch and adds power and control that makes it  a perfect fit for beginners.

Harley-Davidson® Street Rod XG750A

This lightweight bike is the sportier twin of the Street 750, with a front fender and two-piece seat, a 750cc High Output Revolution X V-Twin engine, and tuned suspension for easiermaneuvering. Compared to the Street 750, Street Rod XG750A is tuned for performance.

Harley-Davidson® Superlow

With an 883cc engine, this affordable classic offers a a low-slung bucket seat, high-performance brake system, low center of gravity, adjustable rear shock, tuned suspension, superior balance, and much more.

Harley-Davidson® Sportster Iron 883

With classic lines, a blacked-out frame, and low suspension, the Sportster Iron 883 is bound to turn heads. Its 883cc twin engine, 53.8 ft. lb., and its low seat is beginner friendly , while its lightweight body gives both stability and comfort to the rider.

Harley-Davidson® Softtail Deluxe

This bike is a prevalent choice among beginner motorcyclists, with an exclusive ergonomic design that features scooped seats with lumbar support, pullback handlebars for optimal posture, and floorboards to rest your feet.  This makes it more comfortable to ride over long distances and perfect for beginners.Although it is a heavy bike, it is flexible to ride with a low center of gravity.

Trust Your Gut

To be sure, there is no one right motorcycle for every rider just starting out. From power to personality, beginner motorcyclists have a lot to consider when choosing the ride that’s perfect for them.

Some motorcycles will be more or less comfortable for a rider depending not just on their experience but also on their height, weight, strength, and more. Often, it’s best to simply get a few models between your legs, compare their comfort and performance, and trust your gut for which one feels best.

Looking to purchase a new Harley-Davidson® motorcycle? Browse our collection of Harley-Davidsons® models today!