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Ten Great Beginner Bikes


If you're brand new to motorcycling and are looking for the perfect starter bike, here's a list of 10 motorcycles that are tailored to the needs of beginner riders.

Don't make the mistake of making your first motorcycle an overpowered sportbike or a flashy heavyweight cruiser; think small, manageable, and keep in mind that you'll probably be replacing your humble starter bike sooner than you think.

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2. 2012 Honda Rebel ($4,190)

2012 Honda Lineup
Photo © Honda

Honda's trusty rebel is a standby at Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses, and its 26.6 inch seat height and mellow 243cc powerplant make it an excellent cruiser for new riders.

>>Click here to see the 2012 Honda Lineup

3. 2011 Honda CBR250R ($3,999, $4,499 with ABS)

2011 Honda CBR250R
Photo © Honda

4. 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 ($4,799, $5,499 with ABS)

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Photo © Kawasaki

For 2013, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 upgrades from its venerable 250R predecessor with fuel injection, a stiffer chassis, numerous hardware updates, and available ABS. The Ninja 300 starts at $4,799, and runs up to $5,499 with ABS.

For more check out our 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review, and Photo Gallery.

5. 2011 Suzuki TU250X ($3,999)

2011 Suzuki TU250X
Photo © Suzuki

The Suzuki TU250X combines traditional styling with a fuel-injected, single-cylinder powerplant and surprisingly plush suspension. Not only does it combine classic standard motorcycle looks with modern functionality, it does so with a price tag that's under $4,000.

Click here for a photo gallery, and here for a review, and check out our 2011 Suzuki Buyer's Guide.

6. 2012 Yamaha V-Star 250 ($4,190)

2012 Star Motorcycles V-Star 250
Photo © Star Motorcycles

Yamaha's mighty V-Max is a compelling halo product, but this V-Star 250 offers classic cruiser style in a package that any beginner can handle. Its air-cooled 249cc V-twin lends it a substantial look for such a relatively small bike, and a low seat height of 27 inches makes it easy to manage.

Click here to see the 2012 Yamaha Star cruiser lineup.

7. 2012 Yamaha TW200 ($4,490)

2011 Yamaha TW200
Photo © Yamaha

The fat-tired Yamaha TW200 is a welcome alternative to cookie-cutter starter bikes, and its dual purpose abilities make it trail and dirt ready. Its 196cc single-cylinder engine features an automatic cam chain tensioner for minimal maintenance.

8. 2013 Honda CRF250L ($4,499)

2013 Honda CRF250L
Photo © Honda

Honda's new-for-2013 dual-purpose CRF250L offers a nicely balanced blend between pavement capabilities and offroad possibilities; mechanical highlights include a 249cc engine adapted from the CBR250R sportbike.

Check out our Honda CRF250L Review and our 2013 Honda Buyer's Guide.

9. 2011 Suzuki Boulevard S40 ($5,099)

2011 Suzuki Boulevard S40
Photo © Suzuki

Though it shares genealogy with hulking cruisers like the M109R, Suzuki's entry-level Boulevard S40 weighs a reasonable 381 lbs, and its 40 cubic inch single-cylinder engine yields an estimated 63 mpg.

>>Click here for a 2011 Suzuki Buyer's Guide<<

10. 2009 Honda CRF230M ($5,399)

Photo © Honda

The Honda CRF230M takes characteristics of the dual-purpose CRF230L-- like long suspension travel and rugged bodywork-- and converts it into a supermoto-style bike with a seat that's .2 inches shorter.

Click here for a CRF230M photo gallery, here for a review, and check out our 2011 Honda Buyer's Guide.

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