4 Beginner Motorcycles that Don’t LOOK Like Beginner Motorcycles
We’ve all been there, we love the look of the 600cc and 1000cc motorcycles but we realize we don’t yet have the skills to pilot them.
The smart ones will picture a smaller motorcycle and deal with the outdated looks of their beginner bikes, the not so smart ones may go out and buy that 600cc machine and see it crashed before their first month. Now you don’t have to choose, because here are a few motorcycles that are low displacement, but still have racer inspired stylings that will get you all the looks at your local starbucks.
Here’s our list of the best beginner motorcycles that don’t look like they belong to a beginner rider:
1. Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD
Kawasaki is very new rider friendly and they offer more beginner motorcycles than any other major manufacturer. Most of you are probably familiar with the Ninja 250 and the Ninja 500, they are good motorcycles but they do look a bit aged in comparison to their 600cc brothers.
A motorcycle you may not have heard of is the smallest Vulcan in the family, the Vulcan 500 LTD. It’s a great looking motorcycle with a decent engine to boot. It’s motor design was based on the bulletproof design of the Ninja 500, so you can expect clean and predictable power delivery with minimal maintenance issues.
The design of the motorcycle gives it a low seat height and a wide and heavy ‘cruiser’ look that is hard to find in smaller displacement bikes. Usually it seems there is a lot of wiggle room between the frame and the motor, but the parallel twin engine fills up the space nicely. Definitely a great looking motorcycle.
2. Suzuki GS500F
Suzuki has long had a great beginner motorcycle called the GS500 or the GS500E, it was a naked sport bike and it looked great. It was actually my first motorcycle, so I have a special connection with it.
The engineers at suzuki thought that it looked a bit dated (the design was from the 80’s!!!) so they decided to upgrade a few mechanical components and throw a sweet looking fairing on it. I must say that it really improves the look of this little motorcycle even if it does add a little more weight and some things to get scratched.
You wouldn’t look out of place if you pulled up next to a group of GSXR 600’s with this motorcycle, and I think that’s the way they intended it. Under the fairing the motorcycle is basically the same one that has made it a popular beginner bike for the last 2 decades. It’s still a little cold blooded, but that’s to be expected until they decide to outfit this bike with fuel injection.
The extra fairing does add a little to the price, but it is well worth it to be able to hang with the big boys without looking out of place.
3. Suzuki SV650S
If you really don’t want a beginner style motorcycle because you have some dirt bike experience, then look no farther than the Suzuki SV650.
The great thing about this bike is the power delivery is very friendly for new riders, but still torquey enough to give the veterans their moneys worth.
This means that there really is no telling if a rider on an SV650 is a experienced or not because it is very popular with both crowds.
Also the larger SV1000 looks nearly identical to the 650, the only aesthetic difference being a small fairing below the engine.
4. Hyosung GT250R
Probably the best looking bike on this list, and also the one with the smallest displacement. The Hyosung GT 250R is powered by a V-twin, 249cc engine that makes it very very user friendly.
You won’t be popping any wheelies on this motorcycle, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that by the looks. This is one of the cleanest and most modern looking motorcycles on the list, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite bikes.
Because the bike is relatively new to the American motorcycle scene, most people won’t recognize what type of bike it is by sight. The only thing that gives away the displacement is a small “GT250R” sticker on the side fairing.
If by chance you aren’t comfortable on a 250cc, you should check out the GT125 that hyosung offers. It looks identical to the 250R yet they have toned down the CC’s to an easy to use 125cc. You won’t be doing triple digits with that bike, but it will help you learn the proper skills you need when you get a larger motorcycle.