About Our Selections

Before we go any further, we need to specify that there aren’t a lot of pure 250cc motorcycles out there anymore. Some dirt bikes, dual sports, and adventure bikes still do come with engines that are 250cc on the dot—but to cover a wider range of styles, we’ve considered anything up to 299cc as valid for the purposes of this article.

These selections considered ease of use, rideability, price, and how effective each motorcycle was in helping the beginner or newer rider learn the intricacies of riding. We are confident that any of these bikes will be superb starter or second bikes for the lighter and/or shorter rider, and even for some of the bigger and taller ones as well!

Honda CBR300R

A sport bike packed with supersport DNA, easy to ride and supremely reliable

Yamaha YZF-R3

The only bike in this displacement class that is a supersport, albeit a junior one

Suzuki GSX250R ABS

Powersports pedigree in a comfortable and confidence-building sport bike

Honda CB300R

A naked sport bike that with the lines of a streetfighter, but nowhere near as scary

Yamaha V-Star 250

A tiny classic "cruiser" that Yamaha calls a Sport Heritage bike, complete with a V-twin!

Honda Rebel 300

A back-to-basics sport cruiser that is designed from the outset to be the perfect beginner bike

Honda CFR300L Rally

A perfect introduction to adventure touring with an almost indestructible dual-sport

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

A small displacement ADV meant to be an on-road "city adventurer"

Kawasaki KLX 300

About as pure a dual-sport as exists in the current market. Confident, capable, and crazy fun

Honda GROM

A smile-per-mile mini that is the perfect city runabout

Kawasaki Z1250 Pro

A "junior streetfighter" mini that is a bit more serious, but still will make you grin like mad under the helmet