Great beginner bikes come in many forms, and choosing the right one for you can be easy. Most riders prefer to learn how to ride their first motorcycle on a smaller engine, and easier to maneuver bike. For this, we will focus on the Kawasaki 250, Kawasaki 300, and the Honda 500. Which one you need depends on your needs, weight, height, commuting, how much experience you have handling motorcyles, and how much of a dare devil lives within your soul.
The most popular I would say for learning on, is the Kawasaki Ninja 250R (also called EX250). Having been around for about 25 years, it has gone through 4 generations of remodels and upgrades. Most upgrades were to engine tuning, cosmetics, wider wheels and tires, increases to cylinder compression, and anything to make the engine more free- revving. On average a 250 weighs 375 lbs. making it very easy to balance. All models are 4 stoke, liquid cooled, electric start, 6 speed manual transmissions and a wet clutch. Maximum speeds average 95 mph and averages 50 mpg. This is why motorcycle training and safety courses are often done using old 250 models. But, do not forget about the Honda CBR250R which rivals the Kawasaki with equal performances; both have a msrp of $3999.
In recent years, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 has received a much needed face-lift
Next in line is the Ninja 300. With all due respect, this bike is the new kid on the block, made in 2012 for the 2013 model year. It's engine features a 8 valve straight twin that helps it reach its maximum speed of 106 mph. Like the 250's twin brother, a 300 has a 6 speed manual transmission, electric start, and wet clutch. Weighing in at 362 lbs, it can average 70 mpg. In comparison to the 250, the 300 has a smaller fuel tank, taller gearing, and a back-torque- limiting slipper clutch with an assist feature that decreases clutch lever effort (I sure want that on my FZ6R!) The msrp is $4899.
Once again, both Honda and Kawasaki claim a great mid-range bike – the 500. Kawasaki stopped manufacturing the 500R in 2009, but they can still be found on the roads today and in your local Cycle Trader magazine or visitwww.cycletrader.com. Can you believe that in 1986, the msrp for this bike was $2899? What a deal! As for the Honda CB500F, it is an excellent choice with attitude, great looks (no fairings) and performance. It has a classic riding position, and offers plenty of room with a 30.9 inch seat height. Inside, it has a 471 cc liquid cooled parallel twin engine, 6 speed transmission, and weighs in at 420 lbs. Prices for the Honda start at $5,499 depending on if you get the CB500F, CB500X, or CBR500R.
The 2013 Honda CBR500R is not an ugly bike either
All three models are designed to capture the heart of the beginner rider, or an intermediate rider who is looking for something fun and cheap. These bikes are fun learn on, commute on, take trips on, or just scoot around town on. One common characteristic of all is that you will feel the wind on your face, and that is what matters the most to any motorcyclist.