New rider tips, guides, and reviews on great starter bikes.

Motorcycle Reviews

There are a lot of things that are great about the USA: The constitution, action movies, and our love of all things powerful. Unfortunately sometimes the American way can limit some of the things that we get access too, one being smaller displacement motorcycles that actually look good! The Honda CBR 125R is one example that can be found in Japan, Europe, and Australia that has me wishing we didn't love everything so big 'n bad in America.

If you're looking for a good bike for tooling around town, then the kawasaki eliminator 125 may be the perfect bike. It has classic styling, a smaller engine that gets AMAZING gas mileage, and it's light weight makes it ideal for low speed maneuvers. There are a few things this bike can't do, but depending on your situation they may not matter much.

There are few bikes with as much personality as the TW200. I normally ride street bikes, and the TW200 is actually the first dirt bike I ever had the chance to ride. It’s fun, bouncy (compared to a street bike), and a blast to ride on the street or the dirt. I got the chance to take this bike out for a few days and really run it through it’s paces. If you are nervous about dropping your first bike, or you want a motorcycle that is extremely beginner friendly, then check out the TW200.

The suzuki DR200SE is a smaller displacement dual-sport that would make a great beginner motorcycle. It feels at home on the surface streets, or in the dirt with a robust engine with enough torque to get you over the hills or out of dangerous traffic!

The Honda Rebel 250 is one of the first motorcycles I ever got a chance to ride. This is because they are often times the bike you get to learn on while taking the MSF course. This isn't just a motorcycle to learn on though, it's a great bike that can keep you happy for a very long time.

The Kawasaki KLX250S is a dual sport that does everything well, and if you decide to add a couple modifications it does everything exceptionally well! If you want more of the street look, you can check out the KLX250SF or do your own mods to turn this great bike into a supermoto.

The 2008 Ninja 250 is the bike everyone is talking about this year since it has received a MAJOR face lift from the engineers at Kawasaki. Best Beginner Motorcycles was lucky enough to catch up with Gary Jaehne, the author of Sportbiking- The Real World: The Advanced Riders Handbook and Sportbiking - The Real World 2: Rider and Bike Tuning Handbook. Gary Recently purchased one of the '08 Ninja 250s and has written a 4 part ride report of his experience.

The Kawasaki Ninja 250r is the ultimate starter motorcycle for a new rider. It's nimble, light, and gets great gas milage. Although the look of it may be a bit 'aged' compared to some of the newer style of 600cc motorcycles, I personally think that the bike holds its own aesthetically... especially the 2007 black color scheme. I think you will be hard pressed to find another 250cc machine that looks as good and handles as well.

The Yamaha Virago 250 has the classic standard cruiser look without the unmanageable power and torque that a new motorcyclist doesn't need while learning the basics of riding. Out of all of the standard style motorcycles I have to say that I really like the look of the Virago the best. Not only is it small and nimble, but it has a fair amount of chrome on it to satisfy most appetites.

When it comes to beginner motorcycles, most of them have a general 'look' to them that gives them away as being not as powerful as their 600cc+ cousins. One company that is looking to change that in an amazing way is Hyosung with their sleek and modern looking 125cc and 250cc motorcycles. The Hyosung GT250R looks like the beautiful offspring from Suzuki GSXR and a Ducati 748. The only thing that gives away its displacement is the 250R sticker on the side fairing, and by the styling you may think that's a misprint!!

There aren’t that many single cylinder motorcycles out there when compared to twins and inline-fours. This little Suzuki proves you can have big fun with a smaller motorcycle. With it’s classic lines and thumping engine, this is an ideal bike for a smaller rider or someone who wants something to commute around town. If you are a new rider, or even just someone who wants some cheap transportation, read on to find out why this bike rocks.

Being naked has its advantages. It’s very fashionable to be naked these days, especially when it comes to motorcycles. That’s where the Kawasaki z300 comes in.

For decades Kawasaki has been one of the steadfast manufacturers that build smaller motorcycles aimed at new riders. The Ninja 250 is an iconic bike that got a serious facelift in 2008. A few years later, Kawasaki released the next evolution of that bike: The Ninja 300. It's an improvement on the Ninja 250 in every way, in fact it just might be the best beginner motorcycle.


Yamaha has been eerily silent in the beginner bike scene for the last couple decades. It has been dominated by Kawasaki, Suzuki, and now even Honda has entered into the fray with their CBR 300 and CBR 500. Yamaha's new R3 has been worth the wait. This bike has a solid foundation which you can build a great riding career on.

The KTM Duke 390 is a beast of a motorcycle. It's light weight, easy to handle, yet it has the torque you need to make it fun on the streets and safe on the freeway. It might just be in the top 5 best beginner motorcycles out there.


The Suzuki DRZ 400 SM is a great performing motorcycle with enough power to be fun on the freeways or in the city. It is geared more towards the street compared it's brother the Suzuki DRZ 400S which comes with nobbier tires and a little more torque. Read on for the full review!

You may not have ever heard of the Yamaha SR400, if not then that's a shame. Yamaha has a strong history of 400cc motorcycles and this SR400 is like a trip back in time. That can be a good thing, or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Read on to find out whether or not you want to hop on this time machine!

Many people looking to get into the hobby of motorcycling often smirk when it is suggested that they look into a fantastic bike like the CBR 250, Ninja 250, or the Ninja 300. This is most often the case when the soon-to-be motorcycle rider weighs over 200 lbs… “How will the bike carry me? It’s so small!” they often lament. 

The Suzuki GS500 is probably the perfect beginner motorcycle for someone who is confident in their ability to quickly grasp the basic motorcycle concepts. Its a pretty small motorcycle, but its also powerful enough to lug around some of the bigger guys (250 lbs+!!) with relative ease. It gets great gas mileage overall, the only thing that is a little annoying is since it is carburated it takes liberal use of choke to get this bike to warm up on cool days/nights, but after it gets warmed up it is an absolute joy to ride.

The Buell Blast is a very good beginner motorcycle, although it is a tad basic compared to other bikes in it's class. Buell is a branch of the Harley Davidson company that makes sport bikes instead of cruisers. People are very passionate about the type of motorcycle they like, usually they either love sports bikes, or they love Harleys. That makes the Buell family of bikes something of an odd duck in the two wheeled world. So how does it measure up when compared to the likes of Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki or Yamaha?

If you want a motorcycle that has proven itself time and time again, look no further than the Kawasaki Ninja 500R. The 500R is the older brother to the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, and boasts a beefier engine coming in at nearly 500cc's. The basic design of the 500R has changed little since it was introduced in the late 80's, but over time the engineers over at Kawasaki have added bits and pieces to bring this classic into the modern era. 

The Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD is one beginner motorcycle that can hang with the big boys. It's rugged styling is outfitted with a decent amount of chrome bits to accent its already classic look.

The Honda Shadow is a motorcycle that has been around for decades. Between 1988 and 2008 Honda produced the VLX version of the Shadow (also known as the VT600c). It is a great introductory cruiser with enough power to make highway riding comfortable and easy. After all, that’s what cruisers do best and this Shadow is at home on the open road! Read on to find out why you should consider the VLX if you are a fan of cruisers.

The Suzuki SV650 is a motorcycle that is hard to pin down. Most motorcycles that are great for the experienced rider are much too powerful for someone new to the hobby of motorcycling. On the other hand, most beginner motorcycles don't have the power of 600cc's or liter bikes, and that can leave veteran riders are wanting more. This has led to new riders buying 600cc+ motorcycles in an effort to 'plan ahead' for when they are experienced. Unfortunately, these type of motorcycles were designed for racing and therefore are not very newbie friendly. So does the SV650 exist in that goldilocks zone? Does it have enough power for the veterans but not too much power for the newbies? I think so!

I have heard great things about the Honda Hawk GT 650. For an older bike I think it is one of the most stylish with its single sided swing arm and angular features. Although naked v-twins are becoming more popular now, when Honda first introduced the Hawk NT650 in the late 80's, it was anything but the norm. The motorcycle may be 650cc's but it is definitely an easier bike to control than other 600cc+ machines, this is because of the way the V-twin delivers the power to the rear wheel.

The Kawasaki Vulcan has been a mainstay of japanese cruisers for decades. It combines the precise engineering Kawasaki is known for with a modern style that can’t be beat. Perhaps one of the best beginner cruisers available right now is the Vulcan type S. Imagine the looks of the Harley V-rod at less than half the price. Now that is bound to get some attention!

The Suzuki Boulevard S40 and S50 are two amazing bikes. Which one is better for a bigginner though? Which one is better for you? Luckily 'Uncle Bernie' one of the members of BBM has written about his experience of moving from the Suzuki Boulevard S40 to the Suzuki Boulevard S50. Without any further ado, here is Bernie's impressions!

I just bought a Suzuki S50 after riding a Suzuki S40 for the last three months. Ben asked if I'd post a review of the S40 compared to the S50 I just bought so here it is...

When it comes to great starter motorcycles, Harley Davidson isn't known for them. Harleys are loud, heavy, powerful bikes that have a very unique culture surrounding them. One that embraces the veteran rider for the most part.

To most non motorcycle riders you have only two types of bikes: Crotch rockets and Harleys. Although the Iron 883 might not be the most ideal beginner bike, it is one of the best to choose if you are a Harley fan. 


Have questions about how to ride a motorcycle or which bike you should buy? Or maybe you are an experienced rider that wants to share you knowledge. Join the BBM Riders Community and connect with fellow riders all over the world.