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Ten Great Intermediate Beginner Motorcycles


If you're ready to step up from your first motorcycle into something a notch more serious, you'll want to check out these ten great beginner bikes.

Additionally, here are some related topics:

1. 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 500R ($5,499)

Ronald Saunders/Flickr
One of the tamest members of the notorious Ninja family, the 500R is like a Ninja 250R on steroids-- while remaining manageable enough for beginners.

2. 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD ($5,499)

Photo © Kawasaki
Built around the compact parallel-twin found in Kawasaki's Ninja 500R, the Vulcan 500 LTD is a well-balanced mid-sized cruiser that's well-suited for beginners.

3. 2008 Suzuki GS500F ($5,899)

Photo © Suzuki
The GS500F's sporty appearance should appeal to performance-oriented riders, but its air-cooled, twin-cylinder 487cc engine is tame enough for beginners.

For more check out our photo gallery of the 2008 Suzuki lineup

4. 2013 Honda CBR500R ($5,999)

2013 Honda CBR500R ABS
Photo © Honda
The 2013 Honda CBR500R is a comfortable, quick, and nimble beginner bike with sporty looks that resemble its high-powered CBR600RR stablemate, but more approachable underpinnings that make it appropriate for newbies who might find the CBR250R too small. Available ABS boosts the price to $6,499.

Click here for a 2013 Honda CBR500R Review

5. 2009 Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom ($6,099)

Photo © Yamaha
With a wet weight of 513 lbs, Yamaha's V-Star 650 Custom cruiser might be heavier than most bikes here, but its low 27.4 seat height and mild manners make it an approachable beginner bike.

Click here to view the entire 2008 Yamaha lineup.

6. 2009 Suzuki DR-Z400SM ($6,299)

Photo © Suzuki
If supermoto style is what you're after, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM offers that unique combination of a dirtbike body and street-biased suspension.

For more take a look at our photo gallery of the 2008 Suzuki lineup.

7. 2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow ($7,999)

Harley Davidson Sportster
Photo © Harley-Davidson

The Harley-Davidson SuperLow is one of three new bikes in the 2011 Harley lineup, and this re-imagined Sportster offers enhanced low speed maneuverability, a saddle height of only 25.5 inches, and greater suspension travel for more comfortable riding.

Here's a 2011 Harley-Davidson SuperLow Review and Photo Gallery; for more Sportsters, you can also check out our '10 Forty-Eight Review and Photo Gallery, '09 Harley Iron 883 Review and Photo Gallery, '07 Harley Nightster Review and photo Gallery

8. 2009 Triumph Bonneville ($7,299)

Photo © Triumph
If you like the look of classic British bikes, you'll love the Triumph Bonneville. Its torquey air-cooled 865cc parallel twin doesn't need to rev high to produce decent power, and its iconic design combines retro styling and modern functionality. Read our 2009 Bonneville review, and take a look at the entire 2009 Triumph lineup here.

9. 2009 Suzuki GSX650F ($7,299)

Photo © Suzuki
Don't let its Gixxer-like looks fool you; the Suzuki GSX650F's upright posture and tractable powerplant make it a great beginner bike.

Click here for a review of the 2008 Suzuki GSX650F
Click here for a photo gallery of the 2008 Suzuki GSX650F
Click here for a photo gallery of the 2008 Suzuki lineup

10. 2012 Honda Shadow RS ($8,240)

2012 Honda Shadow RS
Photo © Honda
The Honda Shadow RS's liquid-cooled 745cc V-twin might be more powerful than most bikes in this category, but its low seat height and nimble handling make it a solid choice for beginners.

Click here for a 2011 Honda Shadow RS Review
Click here for a 2012 Honda Buyer's Guide

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