> A good first bike?

A good first bike?

Posted at: 2015-04-14 
I'm trying to get a bike for school and work. I want something I can handle for a first bike, something I won't get bored of, and has a badass look to it. Harley's aren't really what I'm looking for I was thinking somewhere around the ducati monster or ninja style. Any recommendations?

We . . uh . . .-older- bikers, those of us who have survived as much as several decades of motorcycling, don't like the word 'badass'. 8^) It ruffles our feathers. But you want a badass LOOK, and I guess that's not so bad. Sounds to me like you only mean you want a sporty look, not a cruiser look.

The thing is, HALF of all motorcycle accidents happen to riders with less than a year's experience. From what I see young guys doing on motorcycles, I think these figures are skewed by young guys wanting to learn to ride on supersports, doing stunts, hot-dogging, taking unnecessary risks. I call this 'testosterone poisoning'. But it's pretty clear that -learning- to ride a motorcycle is about twice as dangerous as just riding a motorcycle. So we get nervous when a newbie asks: "I want to learn to ride a motorcycle. What kind can jump 18 schoolbusses?" 8^)

There are two schools of thought on the size a first bike should be. Many of us here believe you should begin on a 250/300 because it's smaller/lighter/easier to handle. I don't think a Ninja 650 or Suzuki SV 650 is too big for a beginner, especially if you plan to do a lot of highway riding. Just about all 250/300 class bikes are designed as trainers, as first bikes. But some bigger bikes are also.

I would say you want to learn on a used bike, because you're likely to be hard on your first bike. All the Japanese mfgrs are very good--they just give you the best deal for your money. Several companies make 250/300cc bikes that would be ideal, they're designed as first bikes. The best-known is the Kawasaki Ninja 250/300, but Honda CBR is good (NOT the 600) and there are others.

In the 500/650cc segment you have a choice between twins and fours, different kinds of engines that have different riding techniques (twins have torque, fours have horsepower). Twins are Ninja 500 and 650 (NOT the ZX), Suzuki GS500 and SV650 or V-Strom, etc. Fours are Honda 599, Yamaha FZ6r, etc. There are MANY bikes in these categories, these are just examples. Look on your local Craigslist.

JetDoc makes a good point. Hopefully you have medical insurance. Just in case. 8^)

"Monster style" would be an older used Suzuki SV650 "naked."

"Ninja style" would be a recent year used Ninja 250 or Ninja 300.

Check Craigslist.

...but the SV650 isn't exactly a first bike.

Before you sit on either of these motorcycles,

If you're in California, take the CHP motorcycle course because you're under 21:


and if not in California you should take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course.


I am not "bored" of riding motorcycles, have been riding since 1964, and I currently ride a Vespa 150.

You get "bored" when all you know is "go faster!" If all you think is fun is more speed you might as well start with one of the 600cc racing bikes.

"badass look" means you are a POSER. Since you are a poser, it doesn't matter what motorcycle you get. When you grow up and what you actually want to ride, talk to us old farts.

A good first bike for school & work would be a YZ125.. not that much weight & easy to handle

I'd recommand a Suzuki for you, since you are looking for good looks.

They are made for speed.

Yamahas are made for work and harsh roads and are powerful

Hondas - Lots of fun - not the "badazz look" you want though

A "good first bike" is a Schwinn. If you're looking for a "BADASS" motorcycle, then go shopping for medical and life insurance first. You're going to need it.