Years ago when I decided to get serious about riding, I used two simple criteria to pick my first motorcycle: it had to be a good learner bike, and it had to look cool. The used Yamaha Seca II I eventually found looked racy but was also easy to ride, thereby meeting both of my basic needs.
While motorcycle manufacturers have done a stellar job of engineering blindingly quick, race-ready street machines, they've only recently re-focused their energies towards building attractive motorcycles with reasonable pricing and newbie-appropriate capabilities.
One such example is Honda's new CBR500R ($5,999), a fully-faired sibling to other new "500" members of the 2013 Honda lineup which include the more upright and naked CB500F ($5,499) and the adventure-oriented CB500X ($5,999.)
To find out what I thought of the mildly tuned sportbike-- hint: Honda's new six thousand dollar machine is the newest entry in our list of 10 Great Beginner Motorcycles-- read my 2013 Honda CBR500R Review.
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Photo © Honda; click for review