Why We Picked It:
This one’s pretty much a no-brainer. Just like the Ninja 400 is perfect for the faired sport crowd, the Suzuki SV650 is the most recommended and highest-rated beginner bike for those who want a touring-friendly bike in the sport naked style.
People might throw around some scary-sounding figures about the SV650—like the fact that it has 75 hp—but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too powerful for a beginner. The truth is, the 645cc V-twin in this thing is so friendly and rewarding it might convince you to keep the bike long after you’ve made it past the beginner stage.
The power response is super forgiving, with a low-torque curve that gently ramps up as you go higher in the rev range. It has a throaty exhaust note, even on factory stock parts, that isn’t hard on the ears at all. It’s also a naked, so it’s lightweight and will happily cruise highways, carve mountain roads, or commute to work without breaking a sweat.
Finally, remember that several thousand of these bikes get sold every year around the world. What does that have to do with anything? Simple: there are replacement parts everywhere. If something goes wrong (although, on a Japanese bike, that’s pretty unlikely), having the parts you need in stock at your local bike shop is really nice.
To learn more about this year’s models, check out the 2023 Suzuki model lineup.